Ag News: COVID Impact on Produce and RFA Blasts RFS Changes
**The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect demand for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Farmers and produce marketers say they expect demand from restaurants and other food-service buyers to stay muted due to ongoing, pandemic-related restrictions.
But demand at supermarkets and other retailers remains strong. As one marketer puts it, “People will still crave and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and will seek them out at the retail level.”
**The Renewable Fuels Association is blasting the latest attempt by oil refiners and their supporters in the Senate to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Last week, a small group of oil-state Senators submitted a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler asking him to waive the 2021 RFS standards to prevent increased use of renewable fuels AND to “account for the unprecedented collapse in demand for gas, diesel, and jet fuel.
RFA President Geoff Cooper says it looks like the focus of the oil industry’s RFS avoidance strategy is shifting from ‘small-refinery waivers’ to ‘all-refinery waivers.
**The Trump Administration announced the USDA is investing $596,000 to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in the state of Washington.
This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.
Whidbey Telecom will use the ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-premises network to connect underserved residents and businesses to high-speed broadband internet.