Corporate Farming News

Corporate Farming: Who Owns the World’s Seeds?

This summer, agrochemical, biotechnology, and seed giant Monsanto revealed an interest in acquiring their Switzerland-based competitor Syngenta. Initial merger serenades were sternly rebuffed by Syngenta, and Monsanto’s interest turned into a $46.5 billion hostile takeover.

Family Farmers Win, Packers Lose

Last week the Nebraska legislature debated and killed LB 176 for the year!
 
The Bill, introduced by Senator Ken Schilz, would have lifted Nebraska’s ban on packer ownership of hogs. Increasing packer ownership of hogs relegates smaller, family farm producers to the role of residual suppliers, taking lower prices or even lesser contracts at virtually every turn.
 

USDA Farming Rule Creates New Loopholes

A draft rule issued by USDA aims to define what it means to be ‘actively engaged’ in farming. The proposed rule makes some important changes, but those improvements are immediately undermined by two new loopholes introduced in the rule.
 
The draft rule, somewhat unabashedly, only applies to farms that are large enough to “require” quadruple the statutory limit. You can abuse the rules, as long as you only abuse them up to $500,000 ($1 million if you’re married) each year.
 

It’s Time to Reform Crop Insurance

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we’ve heard from farmers across the Midwest and Great Plains about negative impacts of federally subsidized crop insurance for over a decade. A farm safety net is important to help family farmers mitigate risks, but there are real concerns with the current crop insurance program.
 

Unfair Treatment of Contract Chicken Farmers Ruffles John Oliver's Feathers

John Oliver reports what we already knew: Americans love the taste of chicken. The current deman requires 169 million chicks a week, which Oliver calls, "Warren Beatty numbers." Four big poultry companies use a system of contract farmers to meet this demand.  In spite of this HUGE demand, Oliver reports, a shockingly large number of these contract chicken farmers live at or below the poverty line.

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