Today’s quick hits, September 18, 2019

‘Big league’ sales of U.S. soy (FERN’s Ag Insider): China is “starting to buy our farm products big league,” said President Trump as USDA reported the third sizable sale since Friday of U.S. soybeans to Beijing. With the new sale of 260,000 tonnes, China has purchased 720,000 tonnes of soybeans worth about $236 million.

Meat giant buys beef from deforested Amazon (Guardian): Brazilian beef giant Marfrig, which sources hamburger to fast food restaurants around the world, bought illegal cattle from a farm using deforested land in the Amazon.

LaVoy becomes top USDA official for rural development (USDA): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue swore into office Donald LaVoy, a former HUD deputy assistant secretary, as deputy undersecretary for rural development.

U.S.-Japan pact stands pat on rice (Bloomberg): The tentative U.S.-Japan trade pact does not expand Japanese quotas for U.S. rice, says a person familiar with the accord.

Colorado community tries self-governance of water (High Country News): Residents of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado are trying on their own to control water use so it reaches a sustainable level by 2031 with steps such as paying farmers to idle their land and taxing commercial irrigation.