EPA takes steps to allow continued use of pesticides linked to cancer, brain development issues in children

The Trump administration in recent days took steps toward continuing to allow the use of two popular pesticides linked to developmental issues in children. In both cases, the agency weakened its metrics for assessing human health protections. On Sept. 18, the EPA approved the continued use of atrazine, the second most commonly sprayed herbicide in the United States. Atrazine, whose main manufacturer is Syngenta, is banned in more than 35 countries, including the European Union, because of its links to human health, which include reproductive issues, an increased chance of birth defects, a loss of fertility in men and a potential to cause cancer.

#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.

High commodity prices, seed corn companies spur rise in irrigation in Illinois

Since the 2012 drought, the number of irrigation pivots in Champaign County has more than doubled. Brad Uken, the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, said that one of the driving factors behind the recent growth in irrigation has been seed corn companies moving toward growers that have installed pivots to help reduce the risk of losing their crops in a drought.