Today’s quick hits, October 2, 2019

Rule change would cut SNAP by $4.5 billion (FERN’s Ag Insider): The Trump administration proposed a new method to calculate utility costs in each state, a factor in determining food stamp benefits. The proposal would make the so-called Standard Utility Allowance more uniform state-to-state and reduce SNAP spending by $4.5 billion over five years.

Raw cookbook deals (New York Times): Some publishers are offering cookbook deals with small advances, low royalties, and limited time to turn around recipes, forcing some aspiring authors to choose between a possible career boost and making ends meet.

Lots of hemp, few buyers (Bloomberg): Although acreage of industrial hemp surged this year, processing capacity has lagged and a California manufacturer of equipment to extract CBD from hemp estimated up to $7.5 billion worth of hemp may go unharvested.

Grassley recovering from hernia operation (The Hagstrom Report): Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley, who also serves on the Agriculture Committee, is expected to resume work later this week following outpatient surgery for a hernia.

Farmers expect a break in trade war (Purdue): The portion of farmers who expect “the soybean trade dispute with China will be settled soon” has doubled since July to 41 percent.

Director named for top-level disease lab (USDA): Alfonso Clavijo, the executive director of Canada’s animal disease laboratories, will begin work on October 13 as director of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Kansas, a state of the art USDA facility intended to protect Americans and the agriculture sector from serious and contagious animal diseases.