Ag News: USDA’s ASF Vaccine / Meatpacking’s Role in COVID Spread
**California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed climate legislation that includes $1.1 billion in spending over two years to support sustainable agriculture practices.
The program includes investments for soil management, crops and methane reduction efforts for livestock.
Funds would also go toward replacement of agricultural equipment to reduce emissions and to offer financial incentives and technical assistance for farm conservation.
**USDA's Agricultural Research Service announced one of its vaccine candidates can prevent and protect against African swine fever.
Specifically, the vaccine shows effectiveness against the current Asian and European strains.
The findings also show that a commercial partner can replicate experimental-level results and prevent the spread of the virus.
The onset of immunity was revealed in approximately one-third of the swine by the second week post-vaccination, with full protection in all swine achieved by the fourth week.
**A study from USDA's Economic Research Service shows the role meatpacking plants played in the spread of COVID-19.
The ERS study found meatpacking-dependent counties observed nearly ten times more COVID-19 cases in early May of 2020, compared to other manufacturing-dependent counties.
BUT, by July, the difference completely disappeared, driven by a reduction of cases in meatpacking counties.
The study found evidence of large differences between meatpacking communities and a comparison group during the initial outbreak, which disappeared following workplace safety precautions.