Today’s quick hits, Oct. 21, 2019

USDA launches ReConnect project (USDA): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the first award, $2.8 million to an electric cooperative in Tennessee, from $600 million worth of USDA loans and grants to build broadband infrastructure in rural America.

Illinois sets June 20 cutoff for dicamba (DTN/Progressive Farmer): In a step that could force the EPA to decide the power of states to set stricter rules than federal regulators, the Illinois state Agriculture Department set a June 20 cut-off date for use of the herbicide dicamba.

Heavy tariff bite on EU cheese, butter (USDA): Some 42 percent of cheese and 83 percent of butter imported from Europe will face additional U.S. tariffs of 25 percent in retaliation for EU aircraft subsidies, estimated the Economic Research Service.

Grounding air ambulances? (Daily Yonder): Operators of air ambulances say they would be forced to cut back, or even eliminate service in rural areas under legislation intended to prevent large and unexpected bills for patients transported by the services.

Warm fall and early winter (NOAA): Warmer-than-usual temperatures are forecast for most of the 48 contiguous states, except the upper Midwest, for November, December and January, with above-normal precipitation in the western Corn Belt, Plains and the northern Rocky Mountain states, said the Climate Prediction Center.