#AgAlerts: Coronavirus; carbon; EU farm program and trade deal

The USDA announced today that 14 states have received waivers to “congregate feeding” requirements. To date, Washington, California, Maryland, Alaska, Utah, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Maine, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia have all received waivers.

#AgAlerts: EPA; trade deal; Bayer and disaster aid

The Trump administration has formally revised a proposal that would significantly restrict the type of research that can be used to draft environmental and public health regulations, a measure that experts say amounts to one of the government’s most far-reaching restrictions on science.

#AgAlerts: Bailout; Mexico’s corn; climate, solar and farms

Based on a midyear survey, the USDA estimates there were 2.023 million farms in the nation in 2019, a tiny decline of 5,800 farms from the previous year. The change is more dramatic when the time frame is widened — there are 3% fewer farms now than there were in 2014, and the amount of farmland, 897.4 million acres, or 1.4 million square miles, fell by 1.3% during that five-year period.

#AgAlerts: Rural roads; herbicides; climate

The Department of Agriculture is looking to halve the U.S. farming industry’s environmental footprint by mid-century in a target that includes several climate and clean energy goals.

#AgAlerts: Climate change; pesticides; Gates Foundation Ag Center

Missouri agriculture officials are struggling to address a backlog of complaints from farmers who allege that dicamba-based herbicide drift from another farm has damaged their crops. The Missouri Department of Agriculture has about 600 pending pesticide investigations. Some of them date back to 2016, the year that Bayer-owned Monsanto began selling its dicamba-tolerant soybeans.

#AgAlerts: Property rights; food waste; livestock farm limitations; China

Neighbors could no longer formally complain about the smell of a chicken house, noise of a tractor or any other alleged nuisance on farms in Georgia that have been operating for at least a year under a bill proposed in the state House. Legislators are looking to balance the needs of the state’s top industry with the concerns of property owners who may be negatively affected by living near a farm. Under House Bill 545, property owners would lose the right to bring a nuisance suit, or a legal complaint about noise, odor or a similar issue, against an agricultural operation if the agricultural business has been operating for at least a year.

#AgAlerts: Silo rescue; biofuel waivers; ag trade; EPA; dicamba on trial

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.

#AgAlerts: Farmer suicides; unharvested corn; meatpacker rules; bees

For decades, farmers have been engaged in an epic battle of David vs. Goliath, farmer vs. meatpacker. Just a handful of companies—including Tyson, JBS, and Cargill—control over 80 percent of the meat market. These companies set the price farmers and ranchers receive for their animals, and often work together to ensure that they stay low.

#AgAlerts: Forever chemicals; change in the calorie count of nuts; Walmart’s meatpacking; the Salton Sea and food stamps

In 2018, 3M agreed to pay Minnesota $850 million to settle a case alleging the manufacturer damaged natural resources and contaminated groundwater by disposing of the chemicals over decades. Studies have associated certain PFAS chemicals with increased risk of cancer and damage to organs such as the liver and thyroid. The suit alleges that the defendants knew or should have known that the chemicals persist in the environment and do not degrade, that they would inevitably accumulate and build up in humans and animals, and that it is a potential or confirm carcinogen.