President Biden continues to resist calls to drop his re-election bid, but the eyes of the nation will be on his interview airing this evening on ABC.

Some House Ag Committee Democrats facing tough reelection races this fall are among the lawmakers raising concerns about Biden’s debate performance last week.

“About 50 million Americans tuned in and watched that debate. I was one of them for about five very painful minutes. We all saw what we saw, you can’t undo that, and the truth I think, is that Biden is going to lose to Trump,” said Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., to KATU News in an interview that will air Sunday.

Democrats have been pushed to respond to Biden’s shaky debate performance last week. 

Following a visit with farmers impacted by recent drought conditions, Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C., called Biden’s debate performance a “disaster,” but said it was not his place to tell him to “step out.”

“But, I can say this clearly. If he’s gonna stay in, he needs to step up,” Davis said to local reporters

Similarly, Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., told the Star Tribune Biden was the only one to decide whether he steps down, but she’ll be watching his campaign closely.

"I've been in touch with his campaign in the last couple of days; I've let them know what I need to see from the president," Craig said. "I need to see him out everywhere, talking unscripted, no teleprompter, and he needs to make sure that the American people have confidence in his ability to run for re-election."

Move over China: India, SE Asia to drive food demand growth

A new report from the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization puts a focus on some of the export challenges facing U.S. agriculture in the decade ahead.

The 10-year OECD-FAO Outlook notes that China’s role “in driving global food and agricultural consumption is waning” and that India and southeast Asia are going to be increasingly important to consumption growth from 2024 to 2033.

China is expected to account for just 11% of global consumption growth in the next 10 years, compared to 28% over the past decade. India and countries in southeast Asian countries are projected to account for 31% of global consumption growth by 2033 —a reflection of booming urban populations and increased incomes in those regions of the world, the outlook says.

Take note: Because of dietary restrictions, India obviously can’t replace China as a market for pork and beef. However, Joe Glauber, a former chief economist for USDA now with the International Food Policy Research Institute, says poultry and dairy consumption in India will likely increase. “The question is whether that growth will be met by imports or by domestic consumption [like what we saw in China].  If the latter, then we could see an increase in feedstuff imports,” he tells Agri-Pulse.

By the way: The outlook sees limited growth in ag production in North America and Latin America over the coming 10 years. “Growth will mainly be derived from productivity gains as the long-term decline in agricultural land-use is expected to persist, but tighter regulations related to environmental sustainability and animal welfare will place downward pressure on yield improvements,” the report says. 

Glauber says the U.S. share of global markets will decline in coming years, because producers such as Brazil “can more easily ramp up production to meet increased demand.”

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OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, is a group of 38 countries with market-based economies. 

Florida cucumber grower likely source in salmonella outbreak

Cucumbers grown in Boynton Beach, Florida are likely the sole source of a salmonella outbreak that has infected at least 449 people in 31 states and D.C., according to FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Originally, the agencies reported two separate salmonella outbreaks, but later combined these investigations because they shared several similarities. 

An onsite inspection of Bedner Growers Inc., which supplies Fresh Start Produce Sales Inc., found strains of salmonella in samples of untreated canal water used by the growers. This strain matched the type causing some of the illnesses in the outbreak. Additional types of salmonella were found in soil and water samples at the site, and the agencies are determining if these strains have also caused illness. 

Bedner Growers’ cucumber growing and harvesting is over and no product from the farm is on the market, meaning there is likely no ongoing risk to the public, according to the agencies. 

Congress returns to work next week

The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled markups next week on bills funding the EPA and the Interior, Labor and Agriculture departments.

The Interior-Environment bill will be marked up Tuesday, while the Labor and Agriculture-FDA bills are scheduled for consideration on Wednesday.

Also on tap on Tuesday: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee holds a hearing on the California Air Resources Board’s proposed locomotive rules, which would phase out older cars in order to achieve zero GHG emissions.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday on digital commodities, featuring Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Also Wednesday, Senate Ag’s rural development and energy subcommittee will hold a hearing “to examine the state of rural infrastructure, focusing on emergency response, recovery, and resilience.”

Rebekah Alvey and Philip Brasher contributed to today’s Daybreak.