In pandemic, one in five children are not getting enough to eat, says report

An unprecedented number of U.S. children — 13.9 million — are experiencing food insecurity and did not have sufficient food in late June due to the coronavirus pandemic, said an analysis from the Hamilton Project on Thursday. "This level of need merits a substantial and immediate public investment," said Lauren Bauer, a fellow at the Hamilton Project and author of the analysis. (No paywall)

Apples and potatoes will get coronavirus aid for lost sales

In a series of adjustments to its $16-billion coronavirus relief program, the USDA said on Thursday that apple, potato, and blueberry growers would now qualify for federal payments for sales lost to the pandemic. More than one-third of the money in the program has already been paid in cash to farmers and ranchers. (No paywall)

CDC updates Covid-19 numbers at meat plants but uses weeks-old data

As of May 31, more than 16,000 meat and poultry processing workers in 23 states had contracted Covid-19, and 86 had died of the disease, said a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday. Nearly 90 percent of the affected workers were identified as Hispanic, Black, or Asian. According to more up-to-date data, however, the numbers for infected and deceased workers are actually much higher. (No paywall)

AFBF chief is first U.S. farm group leader with coronavirus

Zippy Duvall, president of the largest U.S. farm group, is quarantining at his Georgia farm while recuperating from the coronavirus, said the American Farm Bureau Federation on Wednesday. Duvall is the first leader of a U.S. farm group known to have the virus. (No paywall)

Farmers’ sentiment rebounds from low, but worries persist

Large American farms are more confident of weathering the coronarvirus pandemic but nearly two-thirds of them say Congress should provide more assistance beyond the $16 billion already earmarked for agriculture, said Purdue University on Tuesday. Some 27 percent of producers surveyed for Purdue's monthly Ag Economy Barometer said they were "very worried" about the impact of the virus on their farm's profitability. (No paywall)

Organic industry backs immigration reform, covid-19 protection for farmworkers

The Organic Trade Association on Tuesday called for congressional action on two tracks to help farmworkers. The group seeks passage of an immigration reform law that would give legal status to undocumented farmworkers, and assistance in providing protective equipment to reduce the risk of infection by the coronavirus.

Coronavirus slowed U.S. exports of beef and pork in May

Beef exports were the smallest in 10 years during May and pork exports were the lowest in seven months, "due in part to interruptions in slaughter and processing," said the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Chief executive Dan Halstrom said the global economic slowdown and stay-at-home orders in some Western Hemisphere nations also were factors. (No paywall)

As Covid-19 cases spike, an unprecedented alliance races to protect California farmworkers

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus among farmworkers in California's Salinas Valley spawned a coalition of former adversaries that is racing to safeguard both the workers and the farms where they work, as Liza Gross reports in FERN's latest story, published with Univision.(No paywall)

Pandemic rages, but USDA’s food box program may end in eight weeks

As it announced contracts for up to $1.47 billion to carry the Farmers to Families Food Box initiative through July and August, the USDA also said the program could end on Sept. 1, or soon afterward, as funding for the food giveaway program runs out. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has highlighted the Food Box as a boon to hungry Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, while the White House opposed a temporary expansion of food-stamp benefits.(No paywall)