Deep freeze results in demand spike for natural gas

Agriculture

I’m Clinton Griffiths with today’s AgDay Minute.

Happening right now, natural gas prices are soaring due to the extreme cold and the snowstorm this week in the south. The low temperatures, putting stress on utility and natural gas providers with some asking customers to conserve energy during the cold snap. The cold also froze some natural gas pipelines, forcing Texas’s grid operator to cut power to more than 2-million homes. The Texas grid operator says widespread shortages of natural gas supplies to power plants and a decline in wind generation created the problem.

COVID-19 didn’t slow U.S. imports of fresh vegetables in 2020. In fact, the pandemic may have fueled demand. U.S. imports of fresh vegetables rose by 13-percent last year. That’s according to new statistics from USDA. The top imports were tomatoes and peppers. That’s followed by cucumbers, asparagus, and squash with asparagus the only top-five veggie seeing a drop in imports last year.

A new twist on an old favorite. Nestle says it’s making what it calls a vegan version of its iconic KitKat bar. It’s not known what the exact formula for the “KitKat V” but it will reportedly be non-dairy, and contain a rice-based alternative, in addition to sustainable cocoa. The company says it will be a plant-based option that delivers the balance between crispy wafer and smooth chocolate that people know and love.

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