Today’s quick hits, Sept. 25, 2024

Claim — Senator pressured USDA: The federal indictment accusing New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez of bribery includes an allegation that Menendez called a USDA official in an attempt to quash questions about his benefactor’s status as the sole certifier of U.S. food exports to Egypt as compliant with Islamic dietary code. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

USDA extends discrimination signup: Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have until Jan. 13 to apply for a share of $2.2 billion in assistance for producers who experienced discrimination at USDA in the past; the deadline originally was Oct. 31. (USDA)

EPA report criticized: Corn and biofuel groups criticized an EPA science panel report that suggested there was “minimal or no climate benefits” from substituting ethanol for petroleum fuels, a long-simmering dispute. (Reuters)

Farm bill extension possible: An extension of the 2018 farm law, which expires on Saturday, potentially could be included in stopgap Senate legislation to fund the government, according to two unnamed sources. (Washington Post)

Idalia damage in Florida: Hurricane Idalia caused as much as $370 million in damage to farm production, with livestock hit the worst, said the University of Florida. (