Today’s quick hits, Sept. 25, 2020

Food system Covid toll continues to mount: As of midday Thursday, more than 60,000 workers at U.S. meatpacking facilities, food processing plants, and farms had confirmed cases of Covid-19, and at least 258 had died. (Food and Environment Reporting Network)

China drives growth in global soy trade: World trade in soybeans will rise 8 percent, to a record 164 million tonnes, “the quickest rate of growth in three seasons and stemming from strong demand from China,” in 2019/20, said the monthly Grain Market Report. (International Grains Council)

Include ag in California climate action: Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed an executive order banning the sale of new gas-powered cars in the state by 2035, should “activate our forests, farms, wetlands, deserts, and urban green spaces as part of our climate solution,” said a coalition of environmental groups. (California Climate and Agriculture Network)

New director at OCM: Pennsylvania farmer Mike Eby, who raises beef cattle, was named by the Organization for Competitive Markets to be its new executive director. (OCM)

EPA questions effects of chlorpyrifos: In an assessment that may allow continued use of the weedkiller chlorpyrifos, the EPA said “the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects remains unresolved.” Federal scientists concluded five years ago that the herbicide can stunt brain development in children. (New York Times)