Today’s quick hits, January 30, 2020

Most farm bankruptcies since 2011 (AFBF): The 595 Chapter 12 “family farm” bankruptcy filings in 2019 were the highest total since 2011, when there were 637 filings, said the American Farm Bureau Federation. Wisconsin, grappling with a dairy crisis, recorded 57 bankruptcies in 2019, its highest total in a decade.

Herbicide makers expected dicamba complaints (Midwest Center): Monsanto and BASF anticipated receiving thousands of complaints of damage to neighboring fields from newly approved dicamba, according to internal company documents presented in a lawsuit. The companies have consistently blamed weather, applicator error, and other pesticides for the occurrences.

States ask flexibility on hemp (NASDA): The USDA should modify its rules on cultivating industrial hemp to allow 30 days to harvest a field after submitting samples for testing and to allow a THC content of 1 percent before a farmer is branded as negligent, said the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

New lettuce investigation (Food Safety News): Health officials in Vermont and Nevada are working with federal agencies to investigate food-borne illnesses linked to lettuce served by a national restaurant chain.

Will coronavirus slow sales to China? (Reuters): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the outbreak of a new viral disease in China “is going to have some ramifications economy-wide, which we hope will not inhibit the purchase goal that we have for this year” under an agreement to de-escalate the trade war with China.