EPA managers intruded on dicamba decision making
Three mid-level EPA officials altered scientific documents to support their 2018 decision to keep the weed killer dicamba in use, reported the office of inspector general at EPA on Monday. Their decision, to extend registration of the herbicide for two years, was overturned by a federal appeals court because the EPA ignored or underestimated the risks associated with dicamba.
Pandemic payments to producers top $ 400 million under Biden
Since it re-started its coronavirus relief programs two months ago, the Biden administration has paid $ 410 million to farmers and ranchers, according to USDA data on Monday. An estimated $ 5.6 billion is available to cattle producers and row-crop farmers.
Today’s Quick Hits
Democrat challenges Grassley: A farmer and former county supervisor from western Iowa, Dave Muhlbauer, “an old-school farming-labor Democrat,” announced his campaign for the Senate seat now held by seven-term Republican Chuck Grassley. (Carroll Times Herald)
Vilsack defends debt relief: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, visiting a farm in South Carolina to spread the word about a loan forgiveness program for socially disadvantaged farmers, said the USDA will cover any early repayment fees due to banks. (Charleston Post and Courier)
Crab population plunges: The blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay is down by 30 percent this year, tied directly to smallest number of juvenile crabs since annual surveys began in 1990. (Annapolis Capital Gazette)
Spring wheat slump: Only 45 percent of the spring wheat crop, grown mostly in the drought-struck northern Plains, is rated in good or excellent condition, well below the 57 percent expected by analysts for the first report of the growing season. (USDA)
Emhoff and food security: Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, seems more interested in food security as a cause to promote as Second Gentleman than other topics, but his involvement is still in the planning stage. (Politico)