Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration's resistance to addressing climate change is exacerbating the Department of Agriculture's mostly unsuccessful attempts to help farmers cope with extreme weather, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Farmers and ranchers are already reckoning with the impacts of climate change today in their businesses, making federal action (or inaction) on the issue especially relevant.

The state of play: USDA spends 0.3% of its $144 billion budget to help farmers respond to climate change, per Politico, describing the lack of effort as "a conspiracy of silence at lower levels of the department." Many officials fear they'll lose their jobs if they acknowledge climate change publicly.

  • A collection of 10 Climate Hubs, designed during the Obama era to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities deal with climate-related vulnerabilities, has been operating under-the-radar, with few resources and little staffing "to avoid sparking the ire of top USDA officials or the White House," Politico writes.
  • Farmers are still feeling the effects of the March "bomb cyclone," which brought blistering blizzard conditions to the Plains this year.
  • Wet conditions this spring meant 20 million acres could not be used for planting, according to Politico.
  • Weather-related events across the country "have converged to make the past year one of the worst for agriculture in decades," Politico writes.
  • Politico reports that new tools designed to help farmers respond to global warming are not typically promoted, and are tricky to find on the department's resource pages.
  • A recent Politico investigation found the department "routinely buries its own scientists’ findings about the potential dangers posed by a warming world."

Flashback: During President Obama's tenure, USDA changed what had been years of that agency deeming climate change "too politically toxic in the traditionally conservative agriculture sector," Politico writes. But now under the Trump administration, the issue has been largely repressed.

Between the lines: Earlier this year, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue blamed climate change on weather patterns, a stance that has trickled down throughout the department.

  • Rather than climate change, staff should hold "weather extremes" responsible for shifting patterns, Bianca Moebius-Clune, an official directing soil health at the Natural Resources Conservation Service wrote per emails obtained by The Guardian. "Instead of climate change adaptation, staff should consider using 'resilience to weather extremes/intense weather events: drought, heavy rain, spring ponding,'" Politico added.

The big picture: The National Climate Assessment, released by the Trump administration in late 2018, cites human-driven global warming for climate shifts, and it warns of catastrophic impacts.

Go deeper: Trump administration ignored internal report on climate change and migration

Go deeper

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.