Today’s quick hits, May 7, 2020

Demand for faux meat soars (The Hill): Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two prominent manufacturers of plant-based meat alternatives, have seen surging sales as the meat industry struggles to fight back after Covid-19 outbreaks at processing facilities.

Seafood industry gets a lifeline (New York Times): Despite a dramatic reduction in restaurant sales, seafood consumption is up this year, largely due to a pandemic-fueled resurgence in home cooking.

Pence to meet Iowa food, ag leaders (White House): Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to “discuss steps being taken to ensure the food supply remains secure” during a roundtable in Des Moines with ag and food leaders on Friday.

‘Meatless May,’ urges LULAC (Cedar Rapids Gazette): The Latino civil rights group LULAC asked Iowans to boycott meat, poultry, and eggs from the major food processors during May as a show of solidarity with meat workers; purchases from farmers and small producers would be permitted.

USDA offers grants for urban ag (FSA): Competitive grants totaling $3 million are being offered by the new USDA Office of Urban Agriculture for efforts to expand urban agriculture and improve local food access. Applications are due by July 6.

Driverless tractors working together (DTN/Progressive Farmer): A robotic-farming company based in Chicago has advanced from one remote-control tractor planting soybeans last year to three tractors and planters “operating remotely at the same time” to plant 500 acres of soybeans on a farm in northwest Iowa.