Ag News: ReConnect Application Deadline and Ethanol Recovery
**USDA’s Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl (So-CHEEL) Torres Small says they are extending the application deadline for the ReConnect Program funding to March 9.
The funds are for expanding high-speed internet to millions across rural America.
USDA is making $200 million available in ReConnect loans, $250 million in loan/grant combinations, $350 million in grants with a 25% matching requirement, and $350 million in grants with no matching requirements for tribes and socially vulnerable communities.
**In 2021, the U.S. ethanol industry “recovered substantially” from pandemic conditions, with ethanol and gasoline use approaching pre-COVID-19 levels in the second half.
According to last week’s ABF study, with higher demand and value, ethanol’s contribution to U.S. gross domestic product in 2021 was the second-highest ever.
The industry created $28.7 billion in household income, up 55% from 2020, and just over $52 billion to gross domestic product, up 50%.
**A broad area of surface high pressure resulted in little to no precipitation throughout the contiguous U.S. from February 8 to 14.
During this 7-day period, the most significant precipitation was limited to the Cascades Mountains, Upper Mississippi Valley, northern New England, and the Florida Peninsula.
Following December’s beneficial snowfall, a persistent area of high pressure anchored near the West Coast has led to drier-than-normal conditions since early January.