**Shipping alcoholic beverages by mail. That’s the intent behind a bill introduced last week by U.S.

Representative’s Dan Newhouse, of Washington state, and Jackie Speier, of California.

The House co-sponsors introduced the USPS Shipping Equity Act, a bipartisan bill that would end the Prohibition-era ban preventing the Postal Service from shipping adult beverages.

Newhouse says the Act would give rural producers another option for shipping alcoholic beverages, increasing market access and business investment in our communities.

**The latest U.S. Drought Monitor isn’t offering any good news for the West.

According to www.thepacker.com, drought still covers the entire state of California, with areas of exceptional drought expanding in the southern and eastern Sierra due to very poor snowpack.

Snowpack runoff is forecasted to be well below normal and reservoir storage levels at Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville are 48% and 41% of average, which is bad news for farmers who need irrigation this year.

www.thepacker.com/news/produce-crops/californias-drought-situation-so-dire-growers-are-plowing-under-fields?mkt

**The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has invested $14.5 million in two key programs awarded through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

NIFA awarded $8.6 million for 18 Economics, Markets and Trade projects, and $5.9 million for 12 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics projects.

NIFA invests in and advances ag research, education, and Extension across the nation. In 2020, NIFA’s total investment was nearly $2 billion.