Agriculture

"Five States Sue EPA Over Rule Limiting Pesticide Safety Enforcement"

"Five states this week sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a rule that narrows the areas where farmers are required to limit human presence during the application of pesticides."

Source: The Hill, 12/21/2020

"Biochar Traps Water and Fixes Carbon in Soil, Helping the Climate."

"As droughts become longer, the soil additive could save on irrigation water and, if mass produced, might compete with energy sources such as oil and gas."

"Biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from burning organic materials in a low or zero-oxygen environment, can improve the quality of soil and trap carbon dioxide in the earth for potentially hundreds, or even thousands, of years.

But a recent study suggests that it may also have another benefit: it could reduce irrigation costs for farmers, thanks to its highly porous and water-absorbent properties.

Source: Inside Climate News, 12/14/2020

Vilsack Gets Lukewarm Response From Reformers As Biden USDA Pick

"News that President-elect Joe Biden has picked former Obama administration Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to run the agency anew has drawn disappointment from some who felt he was too aligned with major agriculture corporations during his previous stint."

Source: The Hill, 12/10/2020

‘Buy It Or Else’: Monsanto And BASF’s Moves To Force Dicamba On Farmers

"Get poisoned or get on board. That’s the choice soybean farmers such as Will Glazik face. The past few summers, farmers near Glazik’s central Illinois farm have sprayed so much of the weedkiller dicamba at the same time that it has polluted the air for hours and sometimes days."

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/09/2020

"Biden Picks Marcia Fudge for HUD and Tom Vilsack for Agriculture"

"Ms. Fudge, a House member from Ohio, would be the second African-American Biden cabinet member chosen in two days. Mr. Vilsack would reprise his role from the Obama administration."

"WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has selected Representative Marcia L. Fudge, Democrat of Ohio, to serve as the secretary of housing and urban development, people familiar with the transition said on Tuesday, the second African-American he has chosen for his cabinet in two days.

Source: NYTimes, 12/09/2020

Searching for Narrative in the Groundwater Where It Happens

A graduate field scientist-cum-multimedia storyteller trains her eye on the confounding challenges of western water, with award-winning student reporting on three family farms that face the draining of critical groundwater basins. Could land that drought makes untenable for farming be restored as habitat for endangered species? That, plus how the “ladder of abstraction” helped her tell the tale. The most recent entry in EJ Academy.

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Climate Change Policy Likely To Permeate Executive Under Biden

What will climate change policy look like under a Biden administration? If nothing else, it appears it will be broadly based across a wide range of executive branch operations. This week’s TipSheet walks you through the top 10 federal departments, agencies and spending centers and how they will pivot to focus on global warming. 

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