Judge allows DOJ to intervene in poultry price-fixing case
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in Chicago granted the Department of Justice’s request to stay discovery in a high-profile case that alleges collusion in the poultry industry. Durkin halted discovery in the case for three months, half the time DOJ had requested to protect its own grand jury investigation of the poultry sector.
For the second time, Nebraska has top U.S. farm district
Stretching from Wyoming to Iowa and larger in area than New York State, Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district is again the No. 1 farm district in the nation, with $16.6 billion in crop and livestock production, says the new edition of the Census of Agriculture.
U.S. corn crop could be smallest since 2012 drought
Based on surveys conducted ahead of USDA reports due for release today, analysts say corn plantings will total 86.7 to 87 million acres after a rainy and cold spring. That would be well below the 92.8 million acres that farmers had planned to seed.
Inside the movement to convert Iowa farmers into climate evangelists
A faith-based nonprofit group is mobilizing farmers across Iowa to become evangelists in the movement to battle climate change — and it is getting a welcome reception, according to the latest story, produced in collaboration with Mother Jones. The story, written by Brian Barth, says the Iowa branch of Interfaith Power and Light convened a series of meetings, aiming “to round up a 100-strong squad of farmers who are willing to speak publicly about agriculture as a climate solution” ahead of the 2020 presidential caucuses in Iowa.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Walmart’s grocery power (Institute for Local Self-Reliance): Walmart controls more than 50 percent of grocery sales in 43 U.S. metropolitan areas, finds a new report. In some places, that share is more than 70 percent.
‘Discrimination’ by chicken processor (ProPublica): A USDA investigator found “evidence of unjustified discrimination” in Koch Foods’ dealings with black farmers in Mississippi. The company denies any wrongdoing.
Dairy farmers flock to new program (USDA Radio): Some 5,300 dairy farmers have enrolled in the new Dairy Margin Coverage program since signup opened on June 17, and half of them say they’ll stay in the program for five years, said Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey.
Former lobbyist to lead Iowa natural resources agency (Des Moines Register): Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed adviser Kayla Lyon, a former lobbyist who represented farmers and agribusinesses, as director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which oversees air, water, and land regulations.
Dairy coalition pushes for regenerative ag (Ag Funder News): A group of food and agriculture companies led by Danone is aiming to remake the dairy industry globally through the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices.
Bills would expand farm-to-school efforts (Leahy): Companion bills, filed in the House and Senate with bipartisan sponsorship, would triple, to $15 million, the authorized annual funding level of the Farm to School program, which encourages the use of fresh, local foods in school meals.