**U.S. potato retail sales declined from April through June compared to last year, but beat sales for the same period in 2019.

According to IRI figures published by Potatoes USA, potatoes sales during that period fell 10.5% in value and 15.5% in volume.

But, www.thepacker.com reports, compared to 2019, consumers spent $317 million more on potatoes during that period and bought 53 million more pounds.

www.thepacker.com/news/retail/potato-sales-see-dip-compared-year-ago-levels?mkt

**The Senate has confirmed agricultural law expert Janie Hipp, who promised to be “a big voice “ in dealing with cattle prices and biofuels, as USDA general counsel.

According to www.agriculture.com, she’s the first of President Biden’s nominees for top-tier executive posts at USDA to see a Senate vote.

Hipp told Senators she’s committed and will make cattle price transparency one of her top priorities.

www.agriculture.com/news/business/senate-approves-first-biden-era-executive-at-usda

**In a narrow vote, the House passed a package of seven fiscal 2022 spending bills to provide increases for climate measures and ag research while beefing up agencies that enforce environmental and labor regulations.

www.agri-pulse.com reports, during debate on appropriations, the House adopted amendments to increase field staffing at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and fund additional personnel for the department’s rural development programs.

Another amendment would expand eligibility for rural broadband assistance through USDA’s ReConnect grant and loan programs.

www.agri-pulse.com/articles/16238-house-passes-fy22-spending-bill-that-bolsters-ag-research-enforcement-agencies