Corporate Farming News

Growing number of concentrated animal feeding operations raises water quality concerns

At a time when people feel incredibly divided and polarized, some issues still resonate across the spectrum. In rural areas, these issues include eminent domain, farm profitability, and viable, vibrant rural communities. Another issue increasingly joining this group in Iowa is the widespread growth of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). A CAFO is defined as an agricultural enterprise where animals are raised in confinement, with a minimum of 1,000 animal units (which is 700 dairy cows, 1,000 beef cattle, 2,500 hogs, or 30,000 chickens) confined for 45 days per year.

America’s farmers and ranchers let down by USDA’s rollback of GIPSA rules

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today a rollback of two rules of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

Also today, Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue decided not to move forward with an interim final rule of the Farmer Fair Practices, and decided USDA will take no further action on a proposed regulation of the Farmer Fair Practices Rule. Together, these rules would have helped balance the relationships between producers and meat packing companies in highly concentrated livestock and poultry industries.

Corporate Farming Notes

Farmland owned by foreign interests on the rise

A recent report from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that foreign holdings of U.S. farmland doubled between 2004 and 2014. Foreign investors now control 27.3 million acres of farmland.

Among the leading foreign owners of domestic farmland is the Chinese firm Shuanghui. The same firm purchased pork giant Smithfield Foods in 2013. Shuanghui owns more than 146,000 acres of farmland in the U.S.

Help rural American farmers and ranchers by finalizing USDA rules

Farmers and ranchers have waited years for USDA to institute basic fairness protections in the contract poultry and livestock industry.

USDA seemed to be making progress last year, when it began accepting comments on three rules. The Center for Rural Affairs submitted comments to the Federal Register supporting all three rules and posted them to our website.

Tell Sec. Perdue to stop delaying fairness rules

The new Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has a big job ahead in running the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). One important opportunity he has is to bring greater fairness to contract livestock production. This would bolster economic growth in many of the rural communities that brought his boss, President Trump, to office.

Right now, Sec. Perdue is accepting comments on whether an important rule that would bring greater fairness to poultry and livestock production should take effect as originally intended or whether it should be delayed or stopped altogether.


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