Opinion: The top agricultural story of 2020 is…

In a normal year we would be debating several worthy agricultural stories as the most important. We certainly would be taking a hard look at the continuing dicamba herbicide saga. 2020 saw the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit de-register dicamba formulations in the middle of the growing season from Bayer AG, Corteva, and BASF because of shoddy regulatory control at the Environmental Protection Agency:

Opinion: OSHA and Big Meat should be investigated over COVID-19 response

Last month our worst fears were confirmed after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a pair of COVID-19 safety violation related fines against Big-Meat giants China WH-group owned Smithfield Foods and Brazilian-owned JBS. Mismanagement at Smithfield’s meat packing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota resulted in almost 13-hundred COVID-19 positive tests. Four plant workers died. JBS is equally culpable. At the JBS USA plant in Greeley, Colorado 290 workers tested positive for COVID-19. Six have died.

Opinion: COVID-19 exposes weakness in U.S. food system

As COVID-19 unrelentingly spread across the U.S. this summer it has become abundantly clear that our agricultural system – from farm to fork – can't handle a pandemic. The novel corona-virus exposed huge cracks in food processing and delivery that must be addressed by Congress.

USDA Beef inspectors

Confidential coronavirus outbreak data shows undisclosed incidents at prisons, workplaces, schools, meatpacking plants across Illinois

Newly obtained confidential statewide data shows that coronavirus outbreaks in workplaces, schools and prisons are driving Illinois’ rising cases — and many of these outbreaks have never been made public.