Today’s quick hits, Oct. 5, 2020

Four million acres burn in California: Wildfires have burned more than 4 million acres in California, an area larger than Connecticut, and more than double the previous annual record of 1.8 million acres, said state officials with the fire season still underway; 31 people have died in wildfires this year. (Los Angeles Times)

Covid-19 toll: 267 food industry workers: More than 63,000 workers at meatpacking plants, food-processing facilities and farms were infected by the coronavirus and at least 267 workers have died of Covid-19, according data compiled by FERN. (Food and Environment Reporting Network)

Small deals = swing-state votes: President Trump scored some incremental victories on agricultural trade issues and his campaign is touting them in swing states, such as Wisconsin (dairy), Florida (produce) and Maine (lobsters). (Politico)

USDA suspends farm labor survey: The advocacy group Farmworker Justice says workers could suffer “massive wage cuts” as a result of a USDA decision to not collect agricultural wage data this fall and to suspend publication of its semiannual Farm Labor report. (USDA)

Fewer kids drink lots of soda: Researchers say the past two decades have seen a 70-percent drop in the portion of U.S. children who are “heavy drinkers” of sugary beverages, “fresh evidence of the success of ongoing school nutrition and public health campaigns. (The Counter)

Espy ‘getting on the radar’: Former agriculture secretary Mike Espy is rising in the polls in his challenge of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. (Mississippi Today)