Today’s quick hits, Sept. 8, 2020

USDA food boxes said to be overpriced: The USDA food box program is costing the agency far more than what the USDA “typically pays farmers and manufacturers for food it buys for food banks and schools—and, in some cases, well above what they’re actually worth.” (The Counter)

California farmworkers face dual threats: Covid-19 and now wildfire smoke both pose threats to California farmworkers and while the state requires employers to provide proper respiratory protection equipment from wildfire smoke, few employers do. (NPR)

Farmers on their own facing wildfires: With firefighters overworked and shorthanded, many California farmers say they’re left to fend for themselves as wildfires ravage the state. (Modern Farmer)

Trump proposes logging in Tongass: The Trump administration Friday proposed a sale that would allow logging on more than 6,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, including 5,000 acres of old-growth forest. (The Hill)

Brazil ends tariff-free imports of U.S. ethanol: Brazil quietly let a tariff-free quota on U.S. ethanol imports expire, meaning a 20 percent tariff would now be imposed. But USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said a deal may be in the works. (DTN)

A little sun(flower) shine: A Wisconsin farmer planted 2 million sunflowers in his pick-your-own fields of berries and pumpkins to boost his customers’ spirits during this difficult year. (CNN)

Cutting out the middlemen: MilkRun, a Portland, Oregon-based company, enables small, local farmers to sell produce safely and directly to consumers via an online platform. (Food Tank)