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

At least two million animals have already reportedly been culled on farm, and that number is expected to rise. Approved methods for slaughtering poultry include slow suffocation by covering them with foam, or by shutting off the ventilation into the barns.

JBS — the leading processor of beef and pork in the United States — to increase wages for workers by $4 per hour and further strengthen safety measures for employees in these plants, including 2,000 workers in Marshalltown, Iowa.

As many as a million Californians live in poor rural farmworker communities with tap water fouled by decades of agricultural pollution. Now, COVID-19 shortages are making it hard for them to find bottled water.

“All I know is, this is crazy to me, because I can’t see all these people going back into work,” said Donald, who works at Tyson’s Waterloo, Iowa, facility. “I don’t think people are going to go back in there.”

Donald asked to be referred to by his first name only. He is currently recovering after testing positive for the virus.

“I’m still trying to figure out: What is he going to do, force them to stay open? Force people to go to work?” he asked.

And now for something non-COVID-19:

An AI-powered robot that can distinguish weeds from crops and remove them could eventually be used as an alternative to chemical insecticides.

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