Voluntary mitigation is agriculture’s preference on climate change
The incoming chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee said she will pursue “voluntary, producer-led” solutions, such as carbon markets, for agriculture’s contribution to fighting climate change, with the USDA providing expert advice to producers. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also said the USDA could need additional funding to pay for climate change programs.
Food workers face obstacles getting Covid-19 vaccinations
The thousands of workers who pick, pack, and process our food have become eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in many states. But they still face obstacles to actually getting the vaccine, as companies sort out their vaccination policies and advocates struggle to secure enough doses for a workforce that ranks among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Biden regulatory freeze halts USDA pandemic payments
As part of a government-wide regulatory freeze, the Biden administration has suspended payments while it reviews the $ 3 billion in pandemic aid to agricultural producers that was announced in the final week of the Trump administration, said the USDA on Thursday.
Vilsack: Get stuff done quickly
President Biden’s nominee for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said he would arrive at the USDA with a “serious focus on getting stuff done quickly,” considering the many challenges facing the department, from the pandemic to racial equity and rural development.
Third day of big corn sales to China
China, the world’s largest importer of soybeans and cotton, is developing an appetite for corn as well as it expands livestock production. Exporters reported sales totaling 3.74 million tonnes of U.S. corn to China in three days this week.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Oil and ethanol, frenemies?: The oil industry is seeking an alliance with a frequent foe, the ethanol industry, for a joint campaign against the Biden administration’s drive for electric vehicles. (Reuters)
Six die at poultry plant: Six workers died and a dozen other people were injured when a pipeline filled with liquid nitrogen ruptured at a poultry processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, in the state’s northeast. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
U.S. leads in organic: Six of every 10 organic operations in the world are in the United States, and California has 5,062 of the 28,454 organic operations in the nation, according to an annual count. (Agricultural Marketing Service)
Earmark rural funds: Congress and the White House should allocate 25 percent of any upcoming infrastructure package for rural projects, from roads and bridges to broadband and healthcare, said the Farm Credit Council. (Farm Credit)