Today’s quick hits, Sept. 10, 2019

Trump payments top $3 billion (FERN’s Ag Insider): As of Monday, USDA has paid $3.1 billion out of $7.25 billion available in Trump tariff payments to producers since disbursements began Aug. 21.

How to fight food waste? Happy hour (New York Times): A grocery store chain in Finland is experimenting with food “happy hours,” when nearly-expired food is sold at a deep discount, in an attempt to cut down on food waste.

NFU calls for stronger farm safety net (NFU): On the first day of the NFU’s fall fly-in, its board of directors asked the White House and Congress “to fundamentally reform and significantly strengthen the existing farm safety net” in the short term. It also called for resolving the trade war, defending biofuels and strengthening the USMCA with provisions that include country-of-origin labeling for beef.

New leader at think tank (IFPRI): Brazilian-born economist Johan Swinnen will begin work on Jan. 7 as director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, succeeding Shenggen Fan, the think tank’s board of directors said.

Iowa farmers hope for a late frost (Des Moines Register): A cold and rainy spring delayed corn planting in Iowa for so long that farmers could see large yield losses if a killing frost arrives at its usual time, meaning early October in the northern part of the state and late October in southern Iowa.

Dour forecast for Australia wheat crop (Reuters): Australia is headed for its third year of below-normal wheat production, said the government’s statistical agency ABARES, forecasting a wheat harvest of 19.2 million tonnes, down 10 percent from its previous estimate due to drought.