China’s ban on poultry imports from the U.S., where flocks have been ravaged by bird flu, could give more Brazilian farmers a foot in the door of the biggest import market. A delegation from China’s quarantine office in Beijing left Brazil earlier this month after a 10-day mission to inspect potential new meat suppliers in four states. Brazil already supplies about half of China’s broiler-meat imports.

Starting in September farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to help conserve working grasslands, rangeland and pastureland while maintaining the areas as livestock grazing lands. The initiative is part of the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program. The CRP-Grasslands initiative will provide participants who establish long-term, resource-conserving covers with annual rental payments up to 75 percent of the grazing value of the land. Starting September 1st, the FSA will accept applications on an ongoing basis with those applications scored against published ranking criteria, and approved based on the competitiveness of the offer.