Opinion: Bayer counting on the courts to save it from financial disaster

The never ending debate over whether Bayer's herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate causes cancer has taken another twist with the Environmental Protection Agency filing a friends of the court brief in Bayer's federal appeal to overturn a $25 million award to Edwin Hardeman, a groundskeeper who claimed spraying Roundup on poison oak and weeds for decades caused his non-Hodgkin's' lymphoma. Much is at stake for Bayer.  Thus far three glyphosate cancer cases have gone to federal trial with the German based company losing every time.  Given that Bayer faces at least another 42,700 lawsuits (with more likely being filed every day) you can imagine just how badly Bayer is in need of a win. In its court filing at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Bayer wrote the Hardeman appeal has the potential to shape how every subsequent Roundup case is litigated. 

Not to the future of Roundup sales and the value of the company.  Bayer acquired Roundup in its purchase of Monsanto in 2018 for $63 million.  Since then Bayer stock has plummeted about 23 %. Now we get the EPA – a noted glyphosate cheerleader – backing Bayer.  In its amicus brief with the appeals court Justice Department and EPA attorneys maintain:

“EPA approved the label for the pesticide/herbicide at issue here, Roundup, through a registration process that did not require a cancer warning. In fact, EPA has never required a labeling warning of a cancer risk posed by Roundup, and such a warning would be inconsistent with the agency's scientific assessments of the carcinogenic potential of the product. 


Opinion: Proposed WOTUS replacement a win for farmers

Taken to a legal extreme, Obama's WOTUS would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to define navigable waters as including farmland drainage ditches, seasonal streams, tributaries and even puddle-like depressions.

Opinion: Court correctly halts enforcement of Iowa ag gag law 2.0

U.S. District Court for the Southern District senior judge James E. Gritzner's preliminary injunction last month prohibiting the state of Iowa from enforcing a law making it a misdemeanor criminal offense against people using deception to gain access to agricultural production facilities for all practical purposes used the duck test.

The Ag Blazing Five for 2020 (and beyond)

It's that time of year again when your intrepid commentator whips out a divining rod, a scraying ball, a set of tarot cards and three marbles to prognosticate the most critical ag stories for 2020.

Opinion: There’s likely no repairing the tattered U.S. milk industry

Here is an indisputable fact ... at the end of the day the marketplace determines business success.  Especially when it comes to supply and demand of commodities. Have not enough supply and great demand and prices will go up.  Have just enough supply and great demand and prices will hold steady if not increase slowly.  

But have way way too much supply and dwindling demand and prices and sales will plummet rapidly.  And such is the case for the U.S. milk industry which for years have ignored supply and demand forces. 

Because the truth is there are too many milking cows in the U.S. while the American public have increasingly decided the answer to “Got Milk” is nope. The supply-demand imbalance reflects, in part, the management skill of U.S. dairy farmers. Way back in 1999 U.S. dairy cows produced an average of 17,763 pounds of milk a year.  

But thanks to better genetics and improved feed rations dairy cows produced an average of 22,775 pounds of milk annually by 2018.