Food supply issues

Back in March, the coronavirus started triggering infection hotspots in and around meatpacking plants, sickening and killing workers. As local public health authorities pushed giant meat conglomerates to close infected facilities, industry executives warned that doing so was “pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” as Kenneth M. Sullivan, CEO of Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, declared in a April 12 press release.

#AgAlerts: Coronavirus; carbon; EU farm program and trade deal

The USDA announced today that 14 states have received waivers to “congregate feeding” requirements. To date, Washington, California, Maryland, Alaska, Utah, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Maine, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia have all received waivers.

#AgAlerts: AI; milk monopoly; farm bankruptcies

Not good news for the dairy farmers. After Dean announced it had filed for bankruptcy, Dairy Farmers of America said it was in “advanced discussions” on an acquisition. A merger would all but guarantee lower income for farmers.

Opinion: Jury still out on whether Costco’s chicken experiment will fly

Costco sells its rotisserie chicken at the back of its stores at a loss to lure customers into the story to buy other things. Up until now those chickens by and large have come from Big Ag poultry producers like Tyson, Pilgrims Pride, and Perdue. But Costco is now bringing chicken production in house.

Russian, U.S. farmers face similar challenges

The U.S. and Russia are two of the world’s top grain-producing countries and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Russia will provide 22 percent of the world’s grain exports by 2021. But how, exactly, do farmers in each of these countries provide food for the masses? We visited two areas to find out - The Rostov region, one of Russia’s largest grain and oilseed producers, and Central Illinois, home to one of the largest grain and oilseed production companies in the world.