#AgAlerts: Losing farms; giant pigs; recovery from wildfires

Ford outlined how sustained low commodity prices now meant that the average farm income in 2017 was $43,000, and that the median farm income for 2018 was minus $1,500. This had pushed bankruptcies in the farm states across the Midwest, which sell half of U.S farm products, to the highest level in a decade.

Opinion: American farmers catching on to gaslighting gasbag

As Dave Dickey writes, gaslighting has become a White House weapon of choice in trying to convince individual American farmers all is well while they financially are suffering from the POTUS agricultural policy choices.

#AgAlerts: Water: unaffordable; contaminated; flooding results

A new report finds nearly half the residents of Martin County, Kentucky, cannot afford water service. Local activists with the Martin County Concerned Citizens are ringing alarm bells about water affordability as the beleaguered county faces another likely water rate increase in the coming months.

Seeking a Cure: The Quest to Save Rural Hospitals

A seven-state news investigation revealed plenty of problems facing rural patients but also a variety of creative attempts to solve them. The head of the National Rural Health Association puts it this way: “Everyone realizes we’re at a crisis point.”

Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. But it can also be a part of the solution.

The global food production system, which
includes agriculture, accounts for more than a third of manmade greenhouse
gases, according to an August report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change.

And while past focus has been on industries
such as fossil fuels and transportation, new attention is being put on
agriculture’s role in the climate change
solution. On September 18, a coalition representing 10,000 farmers and ranchers
delivered a letter to congress supporting the Green New Deal, a congressional resolution to
transition the United States to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

Farming, more than any other industry, might be the best hope for curbing climate change.

Opinion: Time for Tyson to be up front in chicken marketing

Lawsuits filed by the Organic Consumers Association and Food and Water Watch do not seek monetary damages. Instead, the non-profits want Tyson to cease pulling the wool over the public's eye when it comes to marketing chickens.

#AgAlerts: Slaughterhouses speed up; Roundup; labor trafficking

The new rule allows slaughterhouses to opt in to the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (inexplicably, NSIS), a “modernized” system that eliminates maximum line speeds and shifts some of the responsibility for removing sick animals from the processing line from USDA inspectors to plant employees.

Opinion: EPA chooses chemical companies over children’s health

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in August 2018 already ruled chilorpyrifos unsafe and ordered EPA to revoke food tolerances and take the pesticide off the market.

But that ruling was vacated in February after EPA requested a rehearing which ultimately ordered EPA in a writ of  mandamus to issue within 90 days a full and fair decision on the petitioner's objections.

I fully expect the justices over at the Ninth Circuit will leave little tolerance for EPA's decision to continue to allow Corteva to market chlorpyrifos.

Critics worry about food safety as federal meat inspectors face work overload, burnout

A nine-month investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found dozens of situations at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service where routine vacancies leave the remaining federal food inspectors vulnerable to burnout, work overload and other job hazards.

In several cases, employees in other roles are oftentimes forced to abandon their own job duties to cover the slaughter line inspections mandated for plants to operate.