Big ag companies say business continues amid coronavirus pandemic

Farmers across the U.S. are prepping for planting season, amid concerns about how the Covid-19 pandemic could disrupt the supply chain, lead to labor shortages and influence price manipulation. Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, raised these concerns in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday. The letter discussed the need for farm laborers, as the State Department is not processing any non-emergency visas and the unique markets farmers are facing during the outbreak. First reported in December, there are now just over 229,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide as of Thursday morning - including more than 10,700 cases in the U.S. according to data collected by John Hopkins University.  

Since the highly-infectious respiratory illness was declared a worldwide pandemic on March 11, U.S. federal and state officials have made moves to limit its spread, including closing down schools, restaurants and bars, cancelling large events and encouraging people to practice ‘social distancing’ by keeping at least 6-feet away from others. 

Duvall wrote that social distancing could have a “significant impact on the processing plants that drive America’s supply chain.” These include meat packing plants, dairy processors, ethanol plants and others. He also raised concerns about farmers’ access to seed, fertilizer and chemicals. For now, even as grocery shelves empty across the United States amidst the coronavirus pandemic, food suppliers and retailers have promised there is plenty of food in reserve.

EPA fines Frontier Ag over Clean Air Act violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, reached a settlement Monday with Frontier Ag Inc. concerning three facilities in Kansas that were violating the Clean Air Act in Oct. 2018.

The largest single beneficiary of Trump’s tariff payments? An alternative farm lender.

The Trump Administration has paid farmers billions to offset losses from ongoing trade wars, but millions have also gone to an alternative farm lender.

Agrifund LLC, which does business as Ag Resource Management, or ARM, has received more trade mitigation money than anyone else, according to a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

A battle brews in rural Wisconsin over factory farms

A community divided. A local official accused of self-dealing. A top political appointee ousted from his job. In Wisconsin, a state where the footprint of agribusiness is growing, the question of how to regulate factory farms is a pressing topic from the town hall to the statehouse.

Public science for private interests: How University of Missouri agricultural research cultivates profits for industry

The partnership is emblematic of the broader system of industry-sponsored research that takes place in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and especially in the Division of Plant Sciences. Corporate money goes to MU professors on both ends of the research spectrum, from basic science to product testing.

Industry’s stake in the system is clear. Companies gain the expertise and credibility of renowned plant science experts , University Extension experts who Missouri farmers trust.

What’s not so clear is how the public benefits