Conservation Reserve shrinks to smallest size since 1988 – October 22, 2020

Conservation Reserve shrinks to smallest size since 1988

Lawmakers decided as part of the 2018 farm policy law to expand the voluntary Conservation Reserve, which pays landowners an annual rent in exchange for idling fragile farmland for 10 years or longer. Although the expansion was expected to be popular — offering steady income after years of low commodity prices — it hasn’t panned out. Enrollment continues a decline that began in 2007.

Survey: 40 percent of U.S. children live in households that struggle to afford enough food

More than four in 10 American children live in households that are struggling to afford such basic expenses as food and medical bills, according to detailed data released yesterday by the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Advocates say the new data, coupled with findings from the previous Pulse survey, paints a grim picture of childhood hardship and highlights the urgent need for new economic relief measures.

Financial stress rising in farm sector

The margin for error is shrinking in the farm sector as financial stress, measured by rising debt loads and the erosion of working capital, is rising, said Todd Van Hoose, chief executive of the Farm Credit Council on Wednesday.

TODAY’S QUICK HITS

Impossible milk?: Impossible Foods shared a prototype of dairy-free milk and chief executive Patrick Brown said the company plans to double its research and development team over the next year by hiring more than 100 scientists. (CNBC)

Ethanol production lags: Ethanol makers produced 38.3 million gallons of ethanol daily last week, 10 percent less than the comparable week in 2019, before the pandemic battered gasoline demand, said the Energy Department. (EIA)

Soybean recovery: Among the major U.S. farm commodities, “the 2020 soybean market has seen the largest recovery from Covid-19,” with higher prices and a larger crop than projected in June. (Agricultural Policy Review)

Judge says turkey lawsuit can continue: U.S. district judge Virginia Kendall rejected a request to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges several turkey wholesalers and a price-reporting company conspired to fix prices. (U.S. District Court)

Climate barrier to Africanized bees: Genome sequencing of honeybees indicates a natural barrier — most likely climate — in North and South America to the spread of Africanized honeybees, which are known for more aggressive behavior. (UC-Davis)

America’s Farm Report