The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension has reduced its fleet, bought out ranks of rural agents, and cut the number of positions across the state. Now farmers stand to lose access to 100 years of knowledge at a time when they need it most. Between 2007 and 2012, Lafayette, a county with just under 17,000 people, lost around 90 of its small and medium-sized farms (those under 1,000 acres). During that same five-year span, the county’s total farmland grew, with the average farm expanding by almost 40 acres. Since 2012, record harvests across the country have created an oversupply of product, and depressed prices for corn and soybeans—the backbone of Lafayette County’s farm economy.
Bayer AG won U.S. antitrust approval for its $66 billion takeover of Monsanto Co., clearing the last major regulatory hurdle to forming the world’s biggest seed and agricultural-chemicals provider after a nearly two-year review.
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Somie Park and Pam Dempsey |
At least 100 people died from gunfire over the past three years and at least 500 were wounded, according to data obtained from a sample of police departments of eight small cities in downstate Illinois. Here's a look at where gun violence occurs.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has been awarded the 2017 Peter Lisagor Award in the online category for the Best Investigative/Public Service Reporting for our story on migrant labor abuses in the field.
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Pam Dempsey, Dusty Rhodes and Somie Park |
At least 100 people died from gunfire over the past three years and at least 500 were wounded, according to data obtained from a sample of police departments of eight small cities in downstate Illinois.
Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren.
ByErin McKinstry/For The Midwest Center of Investigative Reporting |
They’re not making any more farmland. According to the USDA, the number of acres rented out has remained steady over the last 50 years, at around 40 percent.
The difference is the landowner is increasingly not the farmer next door or a landlord intimately involved in the farming operation.
Instead, many farmers rent from multiple owners who may have little to no connection to farming or the local community and who may own land strictly for investment purposes.
With the new planting season beginning, legal battles over dicamba are heating up in
federal and state courts.
Monsanto, BASF and DowDuPont are defendants in lawsuits initiated by farmers
seeking millions in compensation for crops they say were damaged last summer.
The plaintiffs have brought 14 cases in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri but, as a result of a February ruling, they will be heard together by a federal panel in St. Louis.
Meanwhile, a coalition of food safety, environmental and farming groups is asking the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rescind the Environmental Protection Agency’s conditional approval of the new version of Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide, known as
XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology.
An Indiana-based company has recalled more than 206 million eggs over reports of illness related to a strain of salmonella.
Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana, issued the voluntary recall Friday of eggs produced from its Hyde County, North Carolina farm after an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration traced the rare strain back to the farm.
Iowa is home to nearly one third of the nation’s hogs, with more than 22 million hogs at a given time.
Agriculture experts weigh in on the question of proper antibiotic doses for hogs in this IowaWatch Connection podcast.