Need to catch up? Here are some food, agriculture and farm stories you might have missed this week.
1. Farm bill implementation rolling. About "75,000 to 80,000" producers have already made their farm program election, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday. He urged producers to avoid the March rush. Farm Progress
2. Dollar (grocery) store. Companies like Kraft are looking at non-traditional merchandising channels for smaller-portioned food products; demand for fresher products likely to come. Business Insider
3. Coconut 'milk.' There's a "coolness factor" that comes with ordering dairy alternatives, blogger says after Starbucks' menu addition. USA Today
4. Potential labor deal. The Pacific Maritime Association has made an "all-in" contract offer to ILWU in efforts to break shipping gridlock on the West Coast. Feedstuffs
5. Downhill slide? Food sales growth through CSAs and at farmers markets is declining, but it's maybe not a bad thing. NPR/Harvest Public Media
6. End of an era. CME Group announced this week plans to shutter most of its futures trading pits in Chicago and New York this summer. Farm Futures
7. Meth fueling cattle thefts. Methamphetamine addicts are selling stolen livestock to pay for their drug habits, Oklahoma officials say. Reuters
And your bonus:
Or, thieves could cut out the middle man and get straight to the end product. Case-in-point: "brisket bandits" make off with thousands in meat from San Antonio eateries. (All while the Cattle Industry Convention is in town.) USA Today
How cool is this?!