Coronavirus requires a ‘massive response,’ Pelosi tells the NFU

Six months into the pandemic, America needs a "massive response" to the coronavirus to keep the economy running, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday speaking to the National Farmers Union. "You can't have a skinny deal," said Pelosi, urging NFU members to tell lawmakers to pass comprehensive legislation.

Half-a-billion dollars in additional trade-war payments

Big farmers collected an additional $519 million in trade-war payments in 2019 because of the high payment limits written into the so-called Market Facilitation Program by the Trump administration, said a congressional report on Monday. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, senior Democrat on the …

Grocery prices fall for second month in a row

Lower prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs were the driving factor for a slight decline in grocery prices during August, the second month in a row that supermarket prices were down, said the monthly Consumer Price Index. Despite the decreases, food inflation ran at 4.6 percent in the past 12 months, rising far more rapidly than the overall U.S. rate of 1.3 percent.

Pandemic paradox: As food poverty rises, so does obesity

The Covid-19 pandemic has limited trips to the grocery store, shut down neighborhood markets and generally made it harder for people struggling financially to find affordable healthy food, reports Bloomberg.  As a result, more people are relying on cheaper and more easily accessible fast and ultra-processed food, driving up rates of obesity around the world.

Q&A: A rural Montana school district scrambles keep kids fed during pandemic

Like school nutrition staff across the country, Marsha Wartick, food service director for the Ronan School District in tiny Ronan, Montana, spent the last six months feeding hungry kids and their families under a USDA emergency meals program. Now, as kids head back to school, Wartick is scrambling to react to mixed signals from the administration and hoping the emergency program is allowed to continue through the entire school year. (No paywall)

Highest farm income in seven years, thanks to record-setting federal aid

The Trump administration is showering U.S. agriculture with the largest farm supports ever, an estimated $37 billion, chiefly through stopgap programs to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. As a result, farm income in 2020 would be the highest in seven years.

With harvest at hand, farmers’ coronavirus thoughts turn to marketing

Farmers and ranchers are increasingly focusing on market access for their crops and livestock as the coronavirus grips the world, said the Ag Economy Barometer on Tuesday. In a poll by Purdue University for the monthly gauge of farmer sentiment, 45 percent of producers said market access was …

More growers, less hemp in industry slowed by uncertainty, pandemic

The first year of nationwide cultivation of industrial hemp has been a mixture of retrenchment and optimism for growth in the longer term. "The industry isn't going to go away," said hemp entrepreneur Morris Beegle on Thursday. "It's going to become more of a whole-plant industry."

Meat prices fall for first time this year

After soaring because of coronavirus outbreaks among packing plant employees, meat prices are on the decline for the first time this year and are headed lower, said the USDA on Tuesday.