Smoke Problems in California and Cattle Market Transparency Act
**Smoke and ash from wildfires cause concern for California crops and livestock.
Laboratories that test wine grapes for damaging chemicals in smoke say they're backlogged, so it may take some time for the overall impact on the grape crop to be known.
Smoke can cause respiratory problems for cattle, especially young animals.
Hazy skies caused by the smoke have slowed drying of raisins and other crops.
**Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer introduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2020.
This comes in response to packer concentration and the lack of competition in U.S. cattle markets, an ultra-thin price discovery market for fed cattle, and the USDA’s non-disclosure of pricing information in regions with too few fed cattle buyers.
Fischer’s bill follows a bipartisan bill in mid-May and a subsequent companion bill in the House.
But, the earlier bills were never scheduled for a Senate ag committee hearing and languished for months without any action.
**Recognizing the effects of COVID-19 as well as the recent wildfires that have ravaged communities across the state, Washington’s Beef Community gathered in Toppenish last Tuesday to raise money for the Beef Counts Program, Washington’s Beef Community United Against Hunger.
Celebrating the program’s 10th year, $23,407 was raised which brought the decade’s total contributions to more than $1 million raised to purchase beef for hungry neighbors in need.