#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.

Dicamba on trial: Internal docs show Monsanto, BASF prepared for drift complaints prior to dicamba launch

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - For years, Monsanto and BASF have been blaming alleged crop damage from the weed killer dicamba on other factors, including weather, other pesticides and applicator misuse. 

But on the first day of a civil trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in Cape Girardeau on Monday, internal company documents presented in opening arguments showed that both companies were warned about the herbicide’s potential to damage other crops. Documents also showed the companies prepared for complaints about the weed killer prior to the new genetically modified crop systems being released. German agribusiness companies Bayer and BASF face allegations in a civil lawsuit that they created circumstances that damaged millions of acres of crops by dicamba in order to increase profits from a set of new dicamba-related products offered for sale beginning in 2015. A trial of the lawsuit, originally filed in November 2016 by southeastern Missouri peach farmer Bill Bader, began Monday and is expected to last two to three weeks.

Controversial pesticide use sees dramatic increase across the Midwest

Farmers have been using the weed killer glyphosate – a key ingredient of the product Roundup – at soaring levels even as glyphosate has become increasingly less effective and as health concerns and lawsuits mount.

California jury rules $2 billion verdict against weedkiller Roundup

A California jury made an unprecedented $2.055 billion ruling in favor of a married couple who claimed a pesticide made by agrichemical company formerly known as Monsanto caused their cancer. Alva and Alberta Pilliod filed the case on Aug. 14, 2017, against Monsanto alleging the repeated use of the pesticide Roundup and its key ingredient glyphosate since the 1970s caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Livermore, Calif. couple were awarded $1 billion each in punitive damages and $55,206,000 in compensatory damages, the Associated Press reported.