Ag News: Off-Farm Income Down and Hydroponic Organic Lawsuit
**Along with roiling markets for farm products, the pandemic has cut off-farm income for many farm families.
Most farmers or ranchers supplement agricultural income with off-farm jobs, but nearly half of those who responded to a California Farm Bureau survey said they’d lost off-farm income due to the pandemic.
An agricultural economist calls off-farm income "critical" for small farms, and said many larger farms count on it, too.
**The Justice Department is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the USDA’s decision to allow hydroponic operations to be certified organic.
According thepacker.com, the lawsuit was filed in March by the Center for Food Safety and several organic growers.
On May 11th, the Justice Department asked the U.S. District Court’s Northern California District to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the court lacks jurisdiction and the Administrative Procedure Act doesn’t entitle the plaintiffs to a dismissal.
**A new report from American Farmland Trust shows how developing farmland puts food security, the environment and our way of life in jeopardy.
According to the report, millions of acres of America’s agricultural land were developed or converted to uses that threatened farming between 2001 and 2016.
The report’s Agricultural Land Protection Scorecard is the first-ever state-by-state analysis of policies that respond to the development threats to farm and ranchland, showing that every state can, and must, do more to protect ag resources.