Farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota have made a lot of progress over the past week in getting their crops of wheat and corn in the ground. 
As of Sunday, 94% of the expected U.S. corn crop had been planted, including 81% in North Dakota and 93% in Minnesota, according to USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report
Farmers in both states got off to a late start in planting this spring due to wet conditions. A week ago, only 56% of North Dakota’s corn crop and 59% of its spring wheat had been seeded. 
As of Sunday, 97% of the spring wheat crop has been planted nationwide, including 74% of North Dakota’s. 
Keep in mind: Much of the winter wheat crop in key Plains states remains in bad shape. Some 82% of the Texas crop, 55% of the Colorado crop, 49% of the Oklahoma crop and 41% of the Kansas crop are rated in poor to very poor condition. 
House Ag members face primary challenges
Several members of the House Agriculture Committee are trying to stave off challengers today as seven states hold primaries.  
In one of the most noteworthy races, California Rep. David Valadao is running against two GOP challengers, including Chris Mathys, an Army veteran and ranch owner. He's attacking Valadao for voting to impeach Donald Trump in January 2021. The district leans Democratic, so a Valadao loss would make it even more difficult for the GOP to hold the seat
In South Dakota, GOP Rep. Dusty Johnson is running against Taffy Howard, a state legislator who's going after the two-term incumbent for voting to certify the 2020 presidential election results. 
By the way: Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is running in the GOP primary for Montana's 1st District seat. The state is gaining a House seat and incumbent Rep. Matt Rosendale is running in the new, more agricultural 2nd District. 
APHIS to evaluate impacts of high-path program

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will have to re-examine the way birds are euthanized after contracting high-path avian influenza, under a settlement with three animal protection groups.

The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and Mercy For Animals had sued the agency in 2020, claiming APHIS had not adequately analyzed the environmental impacts of killing or burying millions of birds.

The groups are hoping APHIS will take seriously a suggestion they made in 2015, to condition indemnification for poultry growers on reduction in stocking density and shifting to cage-free, low stocking density production.

An environmental impact statement must be completed within about two and a half years, according to the settlement between the groups and APHIS.

Indo-Pacific pact countries only need to sign up for one priority
Fiji is the latest country to sign up for the Biden administration’s proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and the sandy archipelago nation will now have to begin deciding which of the four pillars in the pact that it wants to participate in.
Just like the other 12 nations that have signed up, Fiji will be able to be an IPEF member even if it only wants to participate in one pillar, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Monday. The four pillars are trade, decarbonization, supply chain and anticorruption.
Tai, speaking on a webinar hosted by the Washington International Trade Association, said she hopes that all of the IPEF preparatory work will be done by the end of the summer and separate negotiations on the pillars can begin.
USTR: IPEF still won’t have tariff reduction deals ‘at this time’
There’s been a lot of consternation in the ag sector about the Biden administration’s decision to not include tariff reduction negotiations as part of IPEF, and Tai was questioned about that during the Monday webinar.
Why, Tai was asked, did the Office of the USTR include the phrase ‘at this time’ when specifying that tariff-cutting market access deals would not be considered in IPEF? Did that mean they could be included later?
In her response, Tai used the phrase again to answer: “I think it’s just a fact that we do not have tariff cuts on the table at this time.”
Southeast WOTUS roundtable set for today
Another "waters of the U.S." regional roundtable is slated for today, this one focused on issues in the Southeast.
Organized by Cahaba Brewing in Alabama, the fifth of the 10 roundtables will feature robust representation from environmental groups, including the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Southern Environmental Law Center. 
Bramble Hollow Farm, a pastured poultry and pork operation in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, also will be represented on the panel, which can be viewed starting at 10 a.m. EDT.
USDA offering WIC waivers to negate impacts of formula shortage
The Agriculture Department hopes to ease the impacts of the infant formula shortage by waiving some requirements of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The department has already approved over 250 state WIC waiver requests after Abbott recalled powdered baby formula produced in its Sturgis, Michigan, plant. The agency plans to waive more using authority recently granted to it through the Access to Baby Formula Act, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate on May 19 and was signed by President Biden two days later. 
Take note: Abbott restarted formula production at its Sturgis facility last Friday, but FDA Commissioner Robert Califf has warned it could take at least two months to replenish supplies of infant formula. 
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