A roundup of news, reports, and research on agribusiness and related issues.

CAFOs have long been a hot-button issue in big farming states like Iowa and North Carolina. “In Iowa, there’s been like, 15,000 new CAFOs in the last eight years or something like that,” says Bob Martin, program director of Food System Policy at the Center for a Livable Future. “And they’re continuing to intensify in North Carolina, in broiler [chicken] CAFOs on the Eastern Shore [of Maryland] … they’re kind of moving unabated,” he adds.

A Carlisle farmer flipped the switch Thursday on a nearly 3-megawatt solar farm that he says will provide 90% of the energy needs for the 10,000 acres tends in Lonoke and Prairie counties. News of proposed solar projects, large and small, are cropping up around the state, Stratton said. “People see the value in it,” he said. “You have to look at it long term, with a payback [of the initial investment] of some seven to nine years for us.”

The Trump administration believes it can assuage farmer anger over its biofuels policy by agreeing to use more partial waivers for oil refineries, signaling a potential solution to a protracted battle between Big Corn and Big Oil, two key political constituencies in next year’s presidential election, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Extreme weather patterns associated with heat waves and droughts are raising the risks of simultaneous harvest failures of vital crops worldwide such as wheat, maize and soybeans, two studies published Monday found. This is pushing the world closer to the edge of potential food price spikes, associated social unrest and food shortages.

Brazil is shipping record amounts of corn this year, leaving a tight domestic market despite harvesting its biggest crop ever. Export demand boomed from countries including Mexico amid a trade dispute with the U.S., its biggest supplier, at a time when the spread of a pig disease in China prompted Brazilian meat producers to expand production, boosting local consumption.

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