#AgAlerts: EPA; trade deal; Bayer and disaster aid

The Trump administration has formally revised a proposal that would significantly restrict the type of research that can be used to draft environmental and public health regulations, a measure that experts say amounts to one of the government’s most far-reaching restrictions on science.

#AgAlerts: Rural roads; herbicides; climate

The Department of Agriculture is looking to halve the U.S. farming industry’s environmental footprint by mid-century in a target that includes several climate and clean energy goals.

Half of North Dakota’s Corn is still in the field. USDA calls it “on-farm storage”

ROLLETTE, ND - Driving through Rollette County, North Dakota in mid-January, there are places the corn can be seen popping out of snow drifts piling up on the edges of the field. Squares of brown, unharvested fields dot the otherwise white, flat landscape. That corn wasn’t supposed to be there at all. It should have been harvested by October. “USDA calls that ‘on-farm storage’,” Ryan Pederson said, laughing as he drove past his unharvested corn.

#AgAlerts: Slaughterhouses speed up; Roundup; labor trafficking

The new rule allows slaughterhouses to opt in to the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (inexplicably, NSIS), a “modernized” system that eliminates maximum line speeds and shifts some of the responsibility for removing sick animals from the processing line from USDA inspectors to plant employees.

As foreign investment in U.S. farmland grows, efforts to ban and limit the increase mount

Foreign investors acquired at least 1.6 million acres of U.S. agricultural land in 2016, the largest increase in more than a decade, according to the latest available federal data.

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that foreign investors control 28.3 million acres, valued at $52.2 billion. That area is about the size of the state of Ohio.