#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.

#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.