Ag role in climate mitigation: Net-zero emissions
Before signing an executive order on fighting climate change, President Biden said on Wednesday that mitigation efforts would include net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by the agricultural sector, now responsible for 10 percent of U.S. emissions. “We see farmers making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions and gaining new sources of income in the process,” said Biden without suggesting how.
Pandemic leads to highest SNAP enrollment in three years
Food stamp enrollment has surged by 6 million people since the pandemic hit the United States, said the USDA on Wednesday in its first update of SNAP participation in months. Some 42.9 million people received food stamps at latest count, the highest number since October 2017.
Financial breather for 10 percent of USDA borrowers
The Biden administration on Wednesday announced a temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures of farmers who borrowed money from the USDA and are in financial distress.
Confirmation hearing Feb. 2 for Vilsack
The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Feb. 2 for Tom Vilsack, President Biden’s nominee for agriculture secretary, said the panel’s Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday.
FIRST 100 DAYS
It’s Biden’s EPA now. What does that mean for the agrochemical industry?
Hours after his inauguration, President Biden issued an executive order to review 48 actions by the Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency, including several controversial decisions on agricultural chemicals. Environmental and food safety groups saw the action as a welcome sign that the Biden EPA will begin to temper what they see as the agency’s industry-friendly stance and prioritize the environment, public health, and science.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Covid’s deadliest jobs: Cooks, farmworkers, bakers and other essential food workers face the greatest risk of dying from Covid-19, according to researchers at UC-San Francisco. (The Counter)
Global hunger risk: The pandemic has pushed 270 million people around the world to the edge of starvation, and without intervention by rich nations, “you will have mass famine, destabilization of nations, and … mass migration,” said the head of the World Food Program. (Reuters)
Deep cultural divide: In strongly Republican Kansas, few observers believe President Biden’s proposals to help farmers and rural Americans will make Kansans friendlier to the Democratic party. (Kansas Leadership Council Journal)
Green Plains sells ethanol plant: As part of a move to focus on protein production, Green Plains said it had sold a 65 million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant in Ord, Nebraska, for $ 64 million and working capital. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)