Wine Industry Recovery and USDA Invests in Supply Chain
**After a year that featured wildfires in growing areas and pandemic-related shifts in demand, analysts say the wine business could see more-balanced markets this year.
With pandemic restrictions easing, wineries should see a rise in sales at tasting rooms, and online purchases may remain above pre-pandemic levels.
Wildfires, and the smoke they cause, remain a threat to grape production, and drought may reduce yields this year.
**The National Ground Water Association and 18 state groundwater associations sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to consider utilizing water wells in any future infrastructure legislation.
It’s estimated more than 40 million Americans depend on wells as their primary source of clean water, mostly in small, rural, and often disadvantaged communities.
And, while current legislation proposes increased funding for small and rural public water systems, connecting to them is often expensive for the community and homeowner.
**Citing lessons learned from the pandemic and recent supply chain disruptions, the USDA has announced plans to invest more than $4 billion to strengthen critical supply chains through the Build Back Better initiative.
This new effort could strengthen the food system, create new market opportunities, tackle the climate crisis, help left behind communities, and support good-paying supply chain jobs.
Funding is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act and earlier pandemic assistance like the Consolidated Appropriations Act.