Today’s quick hits, Oct. 1, 2020

Farm Bureau opposes California tax initiative: A measure on the state ballot that would base property taxes on fair market values — aimed at raising revenue while curbing sprawl and greenhouse gas emissions — is opposed by the ag industry, which believes it will increases taxes on barns and farming equipment even though farmland is exempt. (InsideClimate News)

Rural record for new Covid cases: More than 61,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in rural counties last week, a one-week record for new infections. Since mid-September, the weekly number of new infections in rural counties has risen 48 percent. (Daily Yonder)

Triple whammy for wine country: Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and now wildfires are hammering California’s wine country. In Napa and Sonoma counties, where the Glass fire continues to burn, there are more than 800 wineries. (Los Angeles Times)

Rebuilding trade with China: Increased competition, including from Brazil and the EU, and a shift toward higher-value products such as meat, dairy, and fruit are obstacles to rebuilding U.S. ag trade with China. (Foreign Agricultural Service)

Sitting on a polar bear study: The head of the U.S. Geological Survey has refused to make public a USGS study that shows oil and gas drilling in Alaska could encroach on the habitat of polar bears, which are also threatened by the loss of sea ice. (Washington Post)