Bees face yet another lethal threat in dicamba, a drift-prone weedkiller

While soybean farmers watched the drift-prone weedkiller dicamba ravage millions of acres of crops over the last two years, Arkansas beekeeper Richard Coy noticed a parallel disaster unfolding among the weeds near those fields. When Coy spotted the withering weeds, he realized why hives that produced 100 pounds of honey three summers ago now were… » Read More

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Where beef is more than dinner

In a slaughterhouse just south of the Oregon border in Macdoel, California, seven workers move, dance-like, around each other and the four beef carcasses on the kill floor. “Just on the other side of that panel, the animal’s knocked unconscious,” Prather Ranch co-owner Mary Rickert explains. “The throats are slit, they have to be bled… » Read More

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Dawn of the slow chicken?

Shrink-wrapped on Styrofoam trays, fried and tucked into a biscuit or made into sausages and cold cuts, almost all chicken has the same origin: It comes from Cornish Cross chickens—white-feathered, chubby-breasted, docile birds that weigh 5 pounds in as little as 5 weeks. It’s a super-fast growth rate—and it isn’t an accident. Americans eat more… » Read More

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The air they breathe

Rosemary Partridge has lived in Sac County, Iowa, for 40 years. She has watched the state’s agricultural landscape change, with large-scale hog farms taking over nearly all the land surrounding her home. The stink of the neighboring farms is “unbearable,” making her nauseous whenever she is outside. She and her husband, once cattle and crop… » Read More

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An invasive, elusive 20-pound rodent threatens California agriculture

Wearing chest-high waders, biologist Sean McCain tries to tiptoe to the edge of a marsh in California’s Central Valley. A biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, McCain squints as he searches the shoreline. “I don’t think they know we’re here yet,” he whispers. Then, excitedly, he points. “Is that one right there? I… » Read More

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What is the farm bill and why does it matter?

Every five years or so, Congress takes up a massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill, which covers everything from supporting farmers to ensuring that those short of food don’t go hungry. The cost of the bill is nearly $100 billion a year. Right now, Congress is in the middle of the farm-bill… » Read More

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These races will make or break the Blue Wave in farm country

President Donald Trump, who has recently been tossing out hats emblazoned with Make our Farmers Great Again! in John Deere green and yellow, brought his roadshow to Fargo, North Dakota, twice this summer. Both occasions were to stump for Kevin Cramer, who is running for Senate against Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp in one of the… » Read More

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Can Jess King flip the farmers of Lancaster County?

It has been — to put it lightly — a tough year for the country’s farmers. Low commodity prices and President Trump’s trade war have slashed farm income; for many struggling farms, these latest hits have pushed them to the brink of shutting down. Advocates say that a federal bailout designed to help farmers through… » Read More

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