Lawsuits against seed-corn companies shed light on rising use of labor contractors

A two-year investigation by the Midwest Center of Investigative Reporting found, Monsanto and its counterpart in GMO corn production, DuPont Pioneer, have faced repeated allegations of labor violations over the past decade related to a growing use of farm labor contractors.

Here's a look at some of the complaints.

Monsanto, seed-corn companies continue use of contractors despite allegations of migrant labor abuses

A two-year investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found repeated allegations of labor violations over the past decade against Monsanto, its counterpart in GMO corn production, DuPont Pioneer, other seed companies, and the companies’ contractors.

A review of federal documents, lawsuits and Monsanto records – and interviews with advocates and experts – shows repeated allegations of broken recruiting promises, minimum-wage violations, improperly withheld pay and substandard living conditions in seed-corn production of Monsanto and Pioneer.

High commodity prices, seed corn companies spur rise in irrigation in Illinois

Since the 2012 drought, the number of irrigation pivots in Champaign County has more than doubled. Brad Uken, the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, said that one of the driving factors behind the recent growth in irrigation has been seed corn companies moving toward growers that have installed pivots to help reduce the risk of losing their crops in a drought.