House ag leadership at stake in tight Peterson-Fischbach race – October 26, 2020

House ag leadership at stake in tight Peterson-Fischbach race

If there were a “toss-up caucus” of U.S. representatives in the tightest races, House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson could be its premiere member. The Blue Dog Democrat from western Minnesota is running for re-election against a well-financed Republican, former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, in a district that voted for President Trump in a landslide in 2016.

Poultry and seafood prices advance, keeping food inflation above normal

Prices for many categories of food have been slow to retreat from pandemic-driven peaks, said the USDA. As a result, seafood and poultry prices throughout the year will be higher than usual, bolstering the USDA forecast that grocery prices will rise by 3 percent this year.

USDA extends food-box giveaway through Dec. 31

The Trump administration put an additional $ 500 million into the Farmers to Families Food Box, allowing the stopgap hunger-relief program to run through the end of the year. More than 110 million of the boxes have been delivered but the program has faced charges of inequitable distribution of aid.

TODAY’S QUICK HITS

U.S. puts China ag buys at $ 23 billion: The Trump administration said China has purchased over $ 23 billion of U.S. agricultural products, or 71 percent of its commitment under the “phase one” trade agreement, although a think tank says Chinese customs data show imports of a much-smaller $ 11 billion of U.S. food, agriculture and seafood products. (Office of the U.S. trade representative)

Biggest bug farm in France: The French startup company Ynsect has raised $ 224 million to build what it says will be the world’s biggest insect farm, producing 100,000 tonnes of insect flour, oil and other products annually. (Reuters)

USDA issues new EQIP rule: The Natural Resources Conservation Service released an update of the cost-sharing Environmental Quality Incentives Program that allows joint operations to receive a maximum of $ 900,000 in assistance on contracts issued from 2019 through 2023. (NRCS)

Europe says ‘veggie burger’ is okay: The European Parliament rejected a measure that would prevent plant-based proteins from using names that include words from their meat counterparts, such as veggie burger. (NPR)

ON THE USDA CALENDAR

Monday

American Enterprise Institute hosts a webinar, “The World Trade Organization dispute settlement mechanism and the future of world and agricultural trade,” 9 a.m. ET. Keynote speakers will be Darci Vetter, former U.S. chief agricultural negotiator, and David O’Sullivan, former U.S. ambassador to the EU.

FDA holds webinar on its New Era of Smarter Food Safety, 3 p.m. ET.

Joint annual meeting of National Milk Producers Federation, National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association, continues through Wednesday. USDA issues weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

Wednesday

National Organic Standards Board holds fall meetings, through Friday, online, noon ET.

USDA and Census Bureau hold fall Data Users Meeting online, 12:30 p.m. ET.

John Barza, acting administrator of the USAID, is keynote speaker on “global development over the horizon,” at a webinar sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, 10 a.m. ET.

Thursday

International Grains Council releases monthly Grain Market Report, London.

USDA releases Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook tables, 3 p.m. ET.

Friday

Deadline for producers to apply for compensation through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program for losses in 2018 and 2019 to hurricanes, floods, volcanoes, drought and blizzards.

USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.

Saturday

Boo! It’s Halloween, believed to originate 2,000 years ago in a Celtic festival ahead of the Nov. 1 start of the new year, according to the History Channel. Nov. 1 “marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.” The festival of Samhain was held on Oct. 31, “when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth” and caused trouble and damaged crops.

Sunday

The United States returns to standard time, setting clocks back 1 hour at 2 a.m. Daylight savings time resumes on the second Sunday of March 2021.

America’s Farm Report