Today’s quick hits, Oct. 29, 2021

Calming the waters: U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai hopes to lower trade tensions with China “so that we can have a sober relationship and a sober conversation about how we can stabilize the parts of our trade that are working.” (Reuters)

Specialty crop funds: The USDA announced $243 million in grants to support specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. (USDA)

Age-old tobacco: Findings at an archaeological dig in Utah provide strong evidence that humans were using tobacco, a plant native to the Americas, more than 12,000 years ago. (Modern Farmer)

Sustainable jet fuel: Some 900 million gallons of corn ethanol, half of ADM’s annual production, would be converted into sustainable aviation fuel under an agreement with Gevo Inc. (ADM)