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Evening Edition | Tuesday, April 26, 2022

In this evening edition, read the latest about the first human infection of bird flu, conservation funding rejections, and the highest inflation rate at the supermarket since 2008.

Avian Influenza

China has recorded the first human infection with the H3N8 strain of bird flu, the country’s health authority said on Tuesday, but said the risk of it spreading among people was low.

The H3N8 variant has previously been detected elsewhere in the world in horses, dogs, birds, and seals but no human cases of H3N8 have been reported, said the NHC.

USDA Conservation Programs

Many farmers who apply for federal funding to assist in implementing voluntary conservation practices on their land – such as improving soil health or developing habitats for bees and other pollinators — are being rejected by their local USDA offices. 

According to a new report by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, “Payments for Pollution: How Federal Conservation Programs Can Better Benefit Farmers and the Environment,” that’s because in many cases limited budgets are being “misdirected to large, polluting operations while thousands of farmers are being turned away from contracts that could help them pay for conservation improvements and help their bottom lines.”

Rise of Grocery Prices

USDA economists said warfare in Ukraine and higher interest rates would affect food prices but in opposite ways.

Prices for meat, the biggest item on the grocery list, were forecast to rise by 6% this year compared with average meat prices during 2021 — double the usual increase of 2.9% a year.

Prices for dairy products were forecast to rise by 6.5%, fresh fruit by 6.5%, and cereals and bakery products by 6.5%. Fats and oils would climb by 8.5% this year, compared with the long-run average of 2.3% a year.

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