Missouri meat processing plant workers cite unsafe COVID conditions

Meat processing workers at Smithfield Foods in Milan, Missouri, were raising concerns about their working environment even before nearly 600 employees of a Smithfield plant in South Dakota contracted COVID-19.

Smithfield shut down its South Dakota plant indefinitely Sunday, and some workers in Milan fear it’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus overwhelms their community, too.

Drought continues in the High Plains, while Midwestern farmers see rainfall extremes

In South Dakota, one of the nation’s top wheat producing states, nearly 75 percent of the spring crop is in poor to very poor condition, according to the report. In North Dakota, the nation’s second largest wheat producer, 40 percent of the spring wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition.

Cutting subsidies may plant financial doubt, make it harder to become a farmer

Congress and The President approved a nearly $1 trillion Farm Bill last week, effectively ending an uncertain period for the agriculture industry. While many farmers and ranchers are thankful that a bill has finally been passed, some believe the elimination of the direct payment subsidy program could hurt farmers' chances of getting a loan. Others believe the elimination may make it harder for new farmers to break into the agriculture business, as well.