Today’s quick hits, May 31, 2019

Spray cheese is a staple (Bloomberg): The Trump administration proposal to revise minimum stocking requirements for stores that redeem SNAP benefits would count canned spray cheese, beef jerky, and pimento-stuffed olives as staple foods.

Trade payments for unplanted land? (Agri-Pulse): Although the second round of tariff payments, announced last week, was intended only for crops planted this year, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday that the USDA would consider payments to farmers who file prevented-planting claims on their crop insurance policies.

Trump trip raises E15 hopes (Cedar Rapids Gazette): President Trump is scheduled to attend a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on June 11, generating expectations that he will announce year-round sales of the biofuel E15.

Onetime Ag chairman Cochran dies (Mississippi Clarion Ledger): Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, a friend of public nutrition programs and a defender of Southern agriculture as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Appropriations committees, is dead at age 81.

U.S. drives lower global corn outlook (IGC): In its monthly Grain Market Report, the International Grains Council lowered its estimate of the 2019/20 world corn crop by 7 million tonnes, with the United States accounting for 5 million tonnes of the decrease.

A GE fungus to combat malaria (NPR): Scientists have genetically engineered a fungus to carry a spider gene, and the altered fungus produces a venom fatal to the mosquitoes that spread malaria.