#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.

#AgAlerts: CAFOs; Solar; Partial wavers

A roundup of news, reports, and research on agribusiness and related issues. Do factory farm bans have a political future? | Newfoodeconomy.com   

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.

#AgAlerts: Sugar shortage; small farmers; wheat’s falling numbers

The closing days of 2019 find small farms pummeled from every side: a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization and political polarization. It is the worst crisis in decades.

#AgAlerts: Atrazine; salmonella; Russian soybeans

According to a well-presented American Farm Bureau analysis released in October, U.S. farm income in 2019 will reach $88 billion, or the highest net farm income since 2014’s $92 billion, but it will still be a third lower than the record high in 2013.

#AgAlerts: AI; milk monopoly; farm bankruptcies

Not good news for the dairy farmers. After Dean announced it had filed for bankruptcy, Dairy Farmers of America said it was in “advanced discussions” on an acquisition. A merger would all but guarantee lower income for farmers.

#AgAlerts: New feed mill and meat packaging facilities; weather; plant-based meat taste

A roundup of news, reports, and research on agribusiness and related issues. Cargill opens expanded $34m feed mill at Texas site | Feednavigator.com   

A renovated Cargill feed production facility in Temple, Texas has gone live; it has been expanded to 70,000 square feet to address feed demand in the region. Inside the little-known world of flavorists, who are trying to make plant-based meat taste like the real thing | Washingtonpost.com

These new foods are the opposite of whole foods. Some nutritionists and food industry leaders are wondering if the food system is being led astray by foods that need their flavor and appeal inserted industrially. China trade deal in sight | Agweb.com

The Trump Administration said the U.S. aims to sign “Phase One” deal this month (possibly in Iowa).  China’s Xinhua News Agency said U.S. and China had reached a “consensus on principles” during Friday’s phone call. 

Rain, early snows delay U.S. harvest in latest blow to farmers | Reuters.com

The farmers just can't catch a break with the weather.