**Slower line speeds are now the rule at six pork processing plants under the new Swine Inspection System after a federal court ruling this year ordered packing plants to slow things down.

According to www.agweb.com, the Biden administration has until the end of August to file an appeal, which is being requested by the National Pork Producers Council.

The NPPC argues the ruling will quickly lead to increased pork industry concentration and packer market power.


**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the U.S. ought to diversify its sales to a broader range of markets by being less reliant on one or two countries and more reliant on a number of countries.

Vilsack tells www.agriculture.com, he believes there’s an over-reliance on China and a new trade agreement with Europe could take time.

Vilsack says he favors deepening our presence in Southeast Asia, and eventually Africa, working on opportunities in Central and South America, and making sure in-place agreements, like the USMCA, are followed through.


**When water supplies run short, homeowners should concentrate on keeping trees healthy.

A University of California specialist describes trees as “our most valuable landscape resource” because of the shade, cooling and other benefits they provide.

Other drought tips include irrigating landscapes in the morning, to reduce evaporation; using mulch; and controlling weeds that compete with other plants for water.

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