RFS must consider impact on biodiversity, court tells EPA – July 19, 2021

RFS must consider impact on biodiversity, court tells EPA

In a victory for environmental groups, a federal appeals court told the EPA to consider the effect of the ethanol mandate on endangered animals and plants. The ruling applied to the 2019 RFS but held implications for the agency’s development of the RFS for future years.

True cost of food? $ 2.1 trillion more than the grocery bill.

The U.S. food system costs at least $ 3.2 trillion a year when the impact on human health, livelihoods and the environment is added to the $ 1.1 trillion paid each year for food, said a report by the Rockefeller Foundation. Most of the additional $ 2.1 trillion comes from the costs of obesity and chronic diseases, food insecurity and the effects of air and water pollution.

Has the American truffle finally broken through?

Despite millions of dollars of investment, many American truffle orchards have never produced any truffles at all, and only a handful produce more than a few pounds. But now, an unlikely trio has seemingly broken the nation’s “truffle curse” with an orderly orchard beneath loblolly pines in North Carolina’s Piedmont region, according to the latest story, published with Smithsonian Magazine.

Today’s Quick Hits

Better than meat: Impossible Foods founder Pat Brown says cell-cultured meat “will never be done with the economics you need for food” while with plant-based foods, “we can make it more delicious than the animal. (Washington Post)

Scorched vineyards: Napa Valley wine makers have the money and incentive to out-wit climate change but their experiences show the limits of adaptation: ‘smoke taint’ that ruins a vintage, wildfires that char vines and temperatures that blacken wine grapes. (New York Times)

Smaller ‘dead zone’: The ‘dead zone’ in the Chesapeake Bay was the smallest on record at the start of June and slightly better than average in late June; forecasts call for a smaller than usual dead zone this year. (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

U.S. trade rep. in Wisconsin: U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai visited a dairy farm and took part in a discussion with farmers in southwestern Wisconsin, saying afterward that “nothing substitutes” for “seeing the human face of our economy.”

GE crop exemptions: The USDA will accept public comment until Aug. 18 on a proposal to add three genetic modifications to plants that are exempt from USDA biotechnology regulations. (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)

On The Calendar

The House is scheduled to vote on HR 1079, the Desert Locust Control Act, to create an interagency working group to coordinate U.S. response to an infestation of desert locusts in East Africa.

United Nations and Italy hold a “pre-summit gathering” in Rome, through Wednesday, ahead of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit in September.
Watt Global Media hosts 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit, through Tuesday, Fernandina Beach, Florida.

USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

National Agri-Marketing Association holds 2021 Agri-Marketing Conference, through Thursday, Kansas City.

USDA releases semi-annual Catfish Production report, 3 p.m. ET.

Senate Judiciary hearing, “Immigrant farmworkers are essential to feeding America,” 10 a.m. ET, 226 Dirksen.

House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “The US wood products industry: Facilitating the post-Covid-19 recovery, 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.

Test vote in Senate of support for bipartisan infrastructure bill that would include $ 65 billion to deploy broadband access throughout the nation.

CBO publishes additional information about its latest budget and economic projections.

USDA releases monthly Cold Storage and annual Mink reports, 3 p.m. ET.

USDA releases monthly Food Price Outlook, 9 a.m. ET. At present, USDA forecasts food inflation of 3 percent this year, above the 20-year average of 2.4 percent annually, led by strong meat and fresh fruit prices.

USDA releases semi-annual Cattle inventory and monthly Cattle on Feed reports, 3 p.m. ET.

National Association of Conservation Districts holds Spring Conservation Forum, through July 27, Chicago.

Deadline under a “general sign-up” to offer large blocks of land for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve.

America’s Farm Report