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.

EPA considers change that could handicap states as they struggle to control dicamba damage

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering limiting a regulation states use to protect farmers and residents from plant damage caused by a controversial pesticide known as dicamba. The EPA announced Tuesday it’s re-evaluating how it reviews requests under section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). States and other local municipalities submit Special Local Needs (SLN) requests to the agency when additional considerations are needed for using a pesticide in a more localized area. In recent years, states have used this to rule to limit the use of dicamba, a chemical that has proven useful in controlling weeds resistant to other pesticides, but that has also damaged trees, non-resistance row crops and other sensitive plants. On March 1, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced that no dicamba could be applied to soybean fields after June 30.

USDA rural broadband investment tops $200 million in 2018

The USDA has announced plans for a pilot program to bring broadband internet to all of rural America.

The plan, which Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue calls a “proof of concept,” will provide $600 million dollars in grants and loans to internet service providers to bring connection to parts of the country that are too remote, underpopulated or expensive to serve.