#AgAlerts: Covid-19, slaughterhouses, dairy crisis, CARES

The dismal outlook for Wisconsin dairy farmers has worsened as they’re being warned that milk prices will continue falling, and more milk dumping could be necessary, if the federal government doesn’t start buying dairy products to offset COVID-19’s effect on the economy.

#AgAlerts: Property rights; food waste; livestock farm limitations; China

Neighbors could no longer formally complain about the smell of a chicken house, noise of a tractor or any other alleged nuisance on farms in Georgia that have been operating for at least a year under a bill proposed in the state House. Legislators are looking to balance the needs of the state’s top industry with the concerns of property owners who may be negatively affected by living near a farm. Under House Bill 545, property owners would lose the right to bring a nuisance suit, or a legal complaint about noise, odor or a similar issue, against an agricultural operation if the agricultural business has been operating for at least a year.

Chicken farming hobby highlights changing industry

Sonja Solomonson is in the minority of farmers who produce chicken and other poultry. She lives on a small farm with a small flock, while her competitors raise thousands of birds, contracted with one of the major agribusiness companies.

Five companies — Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms, Perdue Farms and Koch Foods — produce 61% of the chickens Americans eat, about nine billion per year, which doesn’t leave much room for alternative methods of farming birds.

Large animal feeding operations on the rise
Several states see shifts in animal production since 2011

The number of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have increased across the U.S. over the past six years - bringing the total operations just under 20,000, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. From 2011 to 2017, the United States saw more than 1,400 new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) established. That’s up 7.6 percent. Here's a look at the issue in maps and charts.

Mapping bird flu: the states hurting most

Highly pathogenic avian influenza – bird flu – has affected more than a dozen U.S. states and led to the slaughter of more than a billion birds. Poultry producers in Arkansas alone have had to kill more than 870 million broilers and about 30 million turkeys in attempt to control spread of the virus. In neighboring Missouri, producers have killed more than 440 billion broilers and about 11 million turkeys.