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As foreign investment in U.S. farmland grows, efforts to ban and limit the increase mount

Foreign investors acquired at least 1.6 million acres of U.S. agricultural land in 2016, the largest increase in more than a decade, according to the latest available federal data.

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that foreign investors control 28.3 million acres, valued at $52.2 billion. That area is about the size of the state of Ohio.

DowDupont split off its agriculture business; here’s what to know about Corteva Agriscience

A new spinoff from DowDupont could mean fewer
seed and pesticide options for farmers, who are already facing mounting
challenges that include low commodity prices, poor weather conditions and a
growing trade war. On June 1, DowDuPont separated its
agricultural chemical and seed business into a standalone company called
Corteva Agriscience. Dow Chemical and Dupont Nemours, Inc. merged in 2017, and made $86 billion in sales last year. Its agriculture division provided pesticides and seeds to farmers, but the company also made paints, silicone and other chemicals in its material science and specialty products divisions. Before the merger, Dow offered more pesticide products to farmers, while Dupont sold more variety of seeds.

Knowing what’s safe to eat in game fish varies state to state in Midwest

The rainbow trout released into Prairie Lakes were fine to eat because they came from a hatchery. But trying to distinguish what fish to eat from one Midwest state to the next can be difficult, an IowaWatch/Cedar Falls Tiger Hi-Line investigation showed.

That’s because rules guiding what’s safe to eat vary in each state. Also, despite fish sampling by the states, knowing where to fish is hard because fish from only a few waterways where people fish are tested each year, the investigation showed. Anglers at farm ponds are on their own when it comes to the health of the fish they catch because the state’s natural resources department (DNR) does not sample fish in private water bodies for contamination.

For rural Missourians, access to quality health care is a nightmare

The status of health care in rural parts of Missouri paints a bleak picture for farmers who live and work in such a dangerous profession. On top of working under constant risk of injury and death, farmers have very few options when it comes to the types of care they can receive. And, when and if that care is available, patients can be billed exorbitant costs.

TAKEN: Despite reforms, burden still heavy on owners of seized property

The value of the property seized has totaled in hundreds of millions of dollars in property, cash, jewelry and real estate over the last eight years, according to an analysis of Illinois State Police data by the Midwest Center for Investigative Center.

Columbia power plant opts for “clean closure”

While Columbia has been proactive about cleaning up its coal ash — cinders that it used to spread on icy and snowy streets in the winter — it still gets 70 percent to 80 percent of its energyfrom coal-fired power plants in the Midwest, and most of that comes from the Sikeston Power Plant in southeast Missouri and the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois.

Residents concerned about groundwater pollution from coal ash ponds

For decades, coal ash has been stored in ash ponds, many of which lie in flood plains or in water tables where groundwater can flow through the ponds into nearby wells, aquifers or rivers. For many small communities across the nation, clean groundwater is an essential resource for drinking water.

On the farm, children face the risk of injury, death

About three children die from a agriculture-related incident every day, according to a 2018 factsheet from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, which holds child-injury prevention workshops and provides guidance for prevention programs and training to professionals.

A quarter of the deaths involved machinery, 17% involved motor vehicles like ATVs and 16 percent were drownings. Other causes include suffocation, electrocution, animals, being struck by a falling object and falling.