Ag News: Hurricane Sally Relief and China Testing Meat Imports
**Farmers and forest landowners in four Florida Panhandle counties can begin applying for additional Hurricane Sally assistance through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
Enrollment for the Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program began Monday and runs through March 4th.
The Florida Department of Agriculture encourages eligible producers in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties to apply.
**The USDA is allocating more than $70 million to support 383 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies.
Universities, states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
**Despite guidance from international health organizations stating that imported food shipments are an UNLIKELY source of COVID-19 transmission, the Chinese government implemented sample testing procedures last summer at ports of entry.
U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president Joel Haggard says these new requirements have recently, to some degree, slowed movement of pork and beef products INTO China, but they’re entering their peak meat buying season leading up to the Lunar New Year so these obstacles should have less impact moving forward.