‘Farmer Protection Bureau’ – May 8, 2019

Think tank proposes ‘farmer protection bureau’ to battle ag consolidation

America’s family farmers increasingly are out-muscled by large agribusinesses in trying to make a living, says a new report by the Center for American Progress. The authors called on Congress to even the fight by enforcing antitrust laws and blocking anti-competitive mergers in the food and agriculture sector.

In Missouri, lawmakers are poised to eliminate local regulation of CAFOs

A controversial pair of bills moving through the Missouri legislature would eliminate local ordinances that regulate industrial animal farms in the state, or make it impossible to enforce those ordinances. And Missouri isn’t the only state where local control over CAFOs is dwindling.

Farmer sentiment darkens as China hopes fade

A Purdue University gauge of farmer confidence plunged by 18 points, its largest drop since the start of the Sino-U.S. trade war, amid rising doubts that a resolution is near.

As the oceans warm, the seafood we eat will have to change

Americans eat only a small number of sea creatures—namely salmon, shrimp and tilapia. But the world’s warming oceans are shifting undersea ecosystems in a way that will force us to expand our minds and palates, reports Ben Goldfarb’s latest story, published with EatingWell.


Farm labor shortage continues (Philly.com): In Pennsylvania, farms face a labor shortage resulting from increased deportations and raids under the Trump administration. The state’s mushroom growers are particularly short-handed.

ERS exodus (Politico): Economists at USDA’s Economic Research Service are exiting en masse, fearing retaliation for their research findings and frustrated with the Trump administration’s efforts to relocate the agency outside of D.C.

The swelling veggie burger bubble (Bloomberg): It seems like everyone wants a bite of the veggie burger market these days—enthusiasm for faux meat burgers is swelling among fast food chains and meat manufacturers.

Trump, GOP senators discuss immigration (FERN’s Ag Insider): President Trump discussed “a potential plan that would secure the border, protect and raise wages for the American worker and move toward a merit-based immigration system,” said a White House spokesman. The bare-bones description of the meeting did not mention agricultural labor.

North Dakotans split from NAWG (NDGGA): The North Dakota Grain Growers Association, representing one of the largest wheat-growing states in the nation, withdrew from membership in the National Association of Wheat Growers after three years of dispute.

U.S. terminates tomato deal with Mexico (Commerce): As it promised 90 days ago, the Commerce Department terminated a 2013 “suspension agreement” with Mexico because of complaints by Florida growers of tomato dumping; cash deposits will be collected on imports while negotiations continue for a successor agreement.

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