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

One worker was near the top of that slope, but couldn’t move for fear she’d send more grain down toward the other workers. A second worker had managed to position his partially submerged body to try to block more grain from covering the head of the stuck worker, who was already up to his neck in grain. After assessing the scene, Kurt Miller, a city of Sheboygan firefighter who was responding to his first grain silo rescue in a 15-year career, found a 5-gallon bucket nearby and had an idea. 

According to the court’s decision, the EPA overstepped its authority to grant the Holly Frontier and CVR waivers because the refineries had not received exemptions in the previous year. The court said the RFS is worded in such a way that any exemption granted to a small refinery after 2010 must take the form of an “extension”.

In a longer-term perspective, Bloomberg writers Alfred Cang, Javier Blas, and Isis Almeida reported last week that, “The [trade] dispute with Washington exposed Beijing’s vulnerability when it comes to food imports — especially the soybeans needed to feed its massive herd of livestock — and the Communist Party leadership will now do all it can to wean itself off the U.S. “‘Anytime you have a disruption in your supply chain, and especially with something as sensitive as food, they have to diversify their supply chain,’ said David MacLennan, chief executive of Cargill Inc., the world’s largest agricultural commodity trader. ‘I think they don’t want to be in the same position again of being overly dependent on one supplier.’”

Early this calendar year, the agency will issue a final decision for glyphosate registration. The EPA, along with every other regulatory body and science organization around the world, concluded the chemistry is not a carcinogen, he said. “We received a half million comments on our proposed decision from last year. We’re in the final stages of wrapping up and developing responses to those comments,” he said.

Five years ago, the owner of Missouri’s largest peach farm started noticing damage to his orchard. A year later, Bader Farms estimated a loss of more than 30,000 trees. 

A lawsuit filed by the farm in 2016 alleges Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, and herbicide maker BASF Corp. are to blame because the weed killer drifted from other fields. Both companies deny the allegations.

That suit, which seeks $21 million in damages, will be heard in federal court starting Monday in Cape Girardeau. It will be the first of several dicamba-related suits against the corporations to go to trial.

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