Biden administration to oversee new coronavirus payments to farmers.
Considering the time needed to convert legislation into action, the Biden administration will oversee the payment of most or all of the $ 13 billion in agricultural aid that was included in the latest coronavirus package, said Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey on Tuesday.
Conservation group gives Chesapeake Bay a grade of D-plus.
Most water quality measures are improving in the Chesapeake Bay but the overall grade of the 64,000 square-mile watershed remains a D-plus, said the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in an annual report on Tuesday.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Northey and Fordyce to head west: Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey told reporters, “I’m likely to go back to Iowa,” and administrator Richard Fordyce said he expected to “go back to Missouri” with the end of the Trump administration on Jan. 20. Another Trump appointee, Brandon Lipps, deputy undersecretary for nutrition, left USDA earlier this week. (FERN’s Ag Insider)
Undocumented workers won’t get vaccine: Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said undocumented workers at meat processing plants were not eligible for coronavirus vaccinations. (KNBN)
EPA filters science: As the Trump administration nears its end, the EPA adopted a regulation that restricts the types of studies its scientists can use in regulating pollution, downgrading the value of major epidemiological studies. (NPR)
Weaker protections for migratory birds: The Interior Department said it will finalize a rule on Wednesday that would not hold oil and gas companies legally responsible for killing migratory birds as long as it was unintended. (Roll Call)
Farm bankruptcies on the rise in Iowa: Joel Kurtenbach switched from dairy to beef cattle in pursuit of profits but sold his 700-acre farm in bankruptcy, one of the small but growing number of farmers who became insolvent because of depressed markets and the pandemic. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)