Millions of cards could be affected: Sonic Drive-In, a fast food restaurant chain with more than 3,500 locations across the United States, has apparently suffered a data breach that may have resulted in the theft of millions of payment cards. The company confirmed to SecurityWeek that it has launched an investigation, but it has not provided any information on the possible number of affected restaurants and customers. A security blogger reported on Tuesday that his sources in the financial industry had noticed a pattern of fraudulent transactions involving cards used at Sonic. According to the blogger, a cybercrime marketplace specializing in payment cards, called “Joker’s Stash,” is selling a batch of five million cards, at least some of which appear to come from Sonic. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Puerto Rico’s situation is worse than catastrophic: Puerto Rico’s situation has degraded from catastrophic, if that even seems possible. The electrical grid, always questionable has been destroyed and will largely have to be rebuilt from scratch. Roads are blocked or destroyed. The ports only partially open. Puerto Rico is bankrupt in a time when cash is desperately needed to begin the rebuild. The United States is sending aid, but unlike Texas and Florida, relief must be supplied by plane or boat. That means delay under the best of circumstances, but compounds the logistics nightmare, particularly for those people still isolated in rural areas. READ MORE

Orange losses as high as 70 percent: Hurricane Irma plundered Florida’s orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years. It could even be the knock-out blow for a product — orange juice — that has been slipping in popularity among Americans, although the beverage still ranks as the country’s favorite fruit drink. The most recent estimates of the widespread damage to Florida’s orange trees put the statewide losses as high as 70 percent.READ MORE

Trump’s immigration policies weigh heavy on dairies: It’s no secret that immigrant labor powers U.S. dairies. For example, in Idaho it’s estimated that 85 to 90 percent of dairy workers in the state are foreign born. More unnerving, the U.S. Department of Labor suggests that half to 70 percent of all U.S. farm laborers–including those outside of dairy–are undocumented. The uncertainty around the future of immigration policy is seen in dairy-heavy regions all over the U.S., including in the Magic Valley of southern Idaho, home to more than 400,000 dairy cows and numerous processing facilities, including Chobani’s mammoth yogurt plant. A recent Politico article shed light on the impact a potential crackdown on immigration could have on this region. Trump won Idaho handily but now faces supporters uncertain of the future created by their own votes. A promising bill will be introduced shortly to Congress that would revise the current H-2A program for seasonal workers. Regardless of the outcomes of these bills or other initiatives, it’s clear that immigration reform is critical to the future of the dairy industry. READ MORE

Extremely dry conditions threaten corn and soybean: Key corn- and soybean-growing states face extremely dry conditions. About 15 percent of corn and soybean production areas are experiencing drought, USDA reports. “There is a vein that covers the Dakotas, and now there is increasing drought areas in Iowa,” says Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, adding that the areas in moderate drought are getting worse. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Nearly half of Puerto Ricans lack clean drinking water: Puerto Rico’s electricity systems are badly damaged after Hurricane Maria, and nearly half the U.S. territory’s residents lack drinking water following the storm, the U.S. Defense Department reported Tuesday. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is “slowly restoring power to customers,” according to the most recent update, but 80 percent of the island’s electricity transmission lines and 100 percent of its distribution system are damaged. Transmission lines move electricity across long distances, while distribution lines deliver it to homes and businesses. Only 11 of the island’s 69 hospitals have fuel or power. And 44 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents are still without clean drinking water, the Pentagon said. READ MORE

ANIMAL HEALTH

VFD overview: On Jan. 1, 2017, many antibiotics used in U.S. animals shifted from over-the-counter status to being available only under veterinary oversight through the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule. With several months of implementation complete, this is a good time to evaluate your process to ensure you continue to stay in compliance. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Backlash over stuffed cow: An abattoir-style restaurant in Australia is facing an online backlash over an installation of a stuffed cow hanging from its ceiling. Etica, a pizza place in Adelaide, South Australia, has the taxidermied eight-year-old heifer suspended from the ceiling by her hind legs. READ MORE

And anger over artwork: New York’s Guggenheim Museum said it will not include three works in an upcoming exhibition after they sparked the ire of animal rights groups. The exhibition, “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,” included three works that critics said promoted cruelty to animals–including one called “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” which reportedly included footage of pit bulls on treadmills. READ MORE

Man gets jail for Tyson bomb threat: A Virginia man was sentenced to seven months in prison after pleading no contest to charges that he made bomb threats against the Tyson Foods plant in Temperanceville, Va., in February 2016, according to the news website Delmarvanow.com. READ MORE

Did you say a gunman dressed as a Coca-Cola bottle? A gunman “dressed as a Coca-Cola bottle” yesterday robbed a Kentucky restaurant, police report. Investigators say that the suspect stuck up a Rally’s restaurant in Henderson just before 7 AM Monday. The robber, armed with a handgun, stole over $500 from the closed eatery, which was only staffed by a manager (who was not injured during the robbery). READ MORE