New legislation could make it easier for farmers to hire immigrant labor. If passed, it would be the first immigration legislation to do so since the 1980s. But some say it doesn't go far enough, while others claim it's too lenient on immigrants already working in the country.
ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The state's lack of investment in the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is putting citizens at increased risk of public health issues, according to a report released by a group of experts on Tuesday.
ByLeah Douglas/Food and Environment Reporting Network |
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.
Note: This story is embargoed for republication until Nov. 24, 2019
Efficient irrigation may produce more crops, but it doesn’t appear to preserve groundwater, according to a federal report released this week. Decades of irrigation has already depleted aquifers that many irrigated farms rely on, according to the report from the Government Accountability Office, and efficient systems appear to not help. Minus a few exceptions, GAO researchers found “there is no change in the amount of water farmers apply to a field with more efficient technology,” according to the Nov. 12 report.
ByClaire Hettinger / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Last week, we hosted a discussion regarding our pesticide drift sensor project. Twenty-five people from various industries including scientists from the University of Illinois, local public health officials, the Champaign County Farm Bureau, and environmental focus groups gathered at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department as we presented our findings from the project and asked for their input.
ByClaire Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
President Trump withdrew this week from the Paris Climate Agreement, a global effort to combat climate change. Earlier this year, Illinois Engagement Reporter Claire Hettinger attended the annual Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment Congress at the University of Illinois. This is what she learned about climate change.
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.
Critics of new proposed rules regulating how oil and gas refineries blend biofuels say the federal administration’s generous exemptions to large refineries have contributed to the shuttering of at least 10 ethanol plants since 2017.
In Washington D.C. Friday, President Trump announced that China and the U.S. had reached a tentative trade agreement. The announcement came at the end of a 13th round of trade talks between the two nations over 18 months. Though the president's statement was light on details, one promise brought cautious optimism to U.S. farmers and ranchers. Trump said the deal will include $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods heading to China, though no timeline was mentioned. More than 800 miles west of Washington D.C., Rich Guebert, a farmer in Ellis Grove, Illinois, hoped the rain would hold off long enough for him to finish harvesting corn.