Today’s quick hits, August 9, 2019

Monsanto tracked activists, journalists (Guardian): Seed and ag chemical giant Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, operated a “fusion center” to discredit journalists and activists who criticized the company and its Roundup weedkiller, at one point pondering “legal action” against singer and activist Neil Young.

Ketchup collapse (Bloomberg): Kraft Heinz shares hit a record low in the company’s short history this week as the Warren Buffet-backed food manufacturer reported declining sales.

Starting from scratch on six acres (Farm Journal): Gavin Spoor is still a college senior, but he became a first-generation farmer in 2016, starting on his own by renting six acres of land and borrowing machinery to plant and harvest a crop.

USDA okays drought-resistant soybean (Reuters): Bioceres, a biotechnology company in Argentina, said that the USDA has approved its drought-resistant soybean variety, developed jointly with U.S.-based Arcadia, but that it would wait for approval from China before it begins selling the seeds.

E15 meets a sales challenge (RFA): Sales of gasoline with a 15 percent blend of corn ethanol doubled in Minnesota during June — the first month that the summertime sale of E15 was allowed — proof, its backers say, that “the market is already reacting positively.”