Three Farm Belt states get a quarter of coronavirus relief money

Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin, strung across the Farm Belt from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, have collected one-fourth of USDA’s coronavirus relief payments, said a weekly update on Monday. Some $5.36 billion has been disbursed, at an average $14,684 per producer, from the $16 …

Farmland values constrained by falling income, pandemic

Farmland values across the Midwest and Plains are steady or lower than they were last June under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic and fears of declining farm income, said the largest U.S. farm management and real estate sales company. (No paywall)

Iowa expands offer of hog disposal aid

Although the state has the money to pay for disposal of 600,000 hogs stranded by packing plant slowdowns, Iowa producers have applied for payments to cull a comparatively small 43,897 head so far. So the Iowa state Agriculture Department offered on Tuesday to pay for the cost of disposal of …

Feenstra defeats anti-immigrant King

State Sen. Randy Feenstra, who ran as “pro-Trump effective conservative,” easily defeated nine-term Rep. Steve King, a promoter of white identity politics, in the Republican congressional primary in northwestern Iowa on Tuesday. The victory should assure Republicans of holding the seat in the …

Primary election may be decision day for divisive Steve King

Incendiary Rep. Steve King survived the closest election of his career in 2016 by defeating Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3 percentage points. He faces a potentially tougher race in the Republican primary election on Tuesday, against four challengers who say they are just as conservative as King without his tinge of white extremism.

As U.S. hog backup tops 2 million head, Iowa says it will help pay for carcass disposal

The persisting coronavirus slowdown at pork plants has stranded 2 million hogs on the farm with no buyer, and the backlog is growing, said economist Steve Meyer on Wednesday, suggesting that some farmers will be forced to destroy their animals. In Iowa, the state announced a program to help farmers cover the cost of carcass disposal. (No paywall)

As meat plants reopen, Iowa, South Dakota, Pennsylvania and Nebraska are coronavirus leaders

As many as 18 percent of workers in meat and poultry plants are infected with the coronavirus in Iowa and South Dakota, while Pennsylvania and Nebraska account for one-quarter of the Covid-19 cases nationwide, said CDC scientists and state public health officials. The CDC released the report as Smithfield Foods, one of the giants of the meat industry, began to reopen a hog plant that was a coronavirus hot spot three weeks ago.(No paywall)

Iowa leaders ask federal indemnities for hog culling

Farmers across the nation may be forced to kill 700,000 hogs a week because of coronavirus closures and slowdowns at slaughter plants, said four Iowa leaders in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Monday. Led by Gov. Kim Reynolds, the elected officials asked for federal indemnities to help the farmers stay in business.

Across the country, a call grows for moratoriums on huge livestock farms

As the number of massive livestock farms balloons in states like Iowa, Maryland, and Nebraska, communities are scrambling to figure out how to control the pollution and waste produced by thousands — or tens of thousands — of animals. In some places, officials have opted to ban the mega-farms altogether, and the idea of a moratorium on the biggest animal farms is gaining support in local governments, statehouses, and even in Congress. (No paywall)