Shuttered offices, potentially high fertilizer costs: Here’s what the situation in Ukraine means for U.S. agriculture

As Ukraine continues to fight against Russian forces, experts warned of potential fallout for the U.S. agriculture industry. On Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and Russian troops stormed into the country. Reportedly, tens of thousands have died, and about half a million people have fled their homes, according to […]

The American Farm Bureau Federation claims it’s the ‘Voice of Agriculture.’ These groups beg to differ.

This story is a collaboration between Investigate Midwest and Watchdog Writers Group. The newsrooms are continuing to cover Farm Bureaus and their influence. Is there an aspect of the Farm Bureau you think is underreported or not getting enough attention? Please contact Sky Chadde, sky.chadde@investigatemidwest.org, or Madison McVan, madison.mcvan@investigatemidwest.org. The American Farm Bureau Federation calls itself the “Voice […]

The People Who Pick America’s Fruits And Vegetables Are Getting Older

The average age of farmworkers born outside the U.S. steadily increased from 2008 to 2019, while the average age of U.S.-born workers has stayed about the same over the same period.  Foreign-born farmworkers are on average 5 years older than their U.S.-born counterparts.  An analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Research Service attributes the […]

Popular Flea Collar Linked To Almost 1,700 Pet Deaths; The EPA Has Issued No Warning

Rhonda Bomwell had never used a flea and tick collar before. Pierre, her 9-year-old Papillon service dog, was mostly an indoor animal. Still, her veterinarian recommended she purchase one, so Bomwell went to the pet store near her home in Somerset, New Jersey, and selected Bayer’s Seresto collar. A day later, on June 2, 2020, […]

DOL Watchdog: OSHA’s Virtual Inspections During Pandemic Likely Led To Dangerous Workplaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s decision during the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct many inspections virtually — instead of onsite — risked worker safety, the U.S. Department of Labor’s inspector general concluded in an audit report released Tuesday. The report does not specifically mention OSHA’s enforcement at meatpacking plants, which quickly became COVID-19 hotspots last year, but […]

Industry Lobbying Left Nursing Homes Vulnerable In Pandemic

Published in collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Even before COVID-19, aides caring for elderly and disabled people in nursing homes often were overworked and underpaid, doing everything from changing linens to helping residents eat to physically rotating them to prevent bedsores. Ashley Ford often was one of four aides for as many as 42 residents […]

Reports On “Recovered” Covid-19 Cases Inconsistent And Incomplete

As Covid-19 surges again in the U.S., the high percentage of “recovered” cases might be cited as a sign that a vast majority of those infected quickly rid themselves of the virus. But the “recovered” statistics are incomplete, inconsistent and call into question the accuracy of any total number of recovered cases, according to a […]

Farmers’ Struggles With Mental Health Increase Amid Pandemic

CHAMPAIGN — Meg Moynihan knows what it’s like to struggle. In 2016 she and her husband, who own an organic dairy farm in Minnesota, found themselves without a processor, which turns farm milk into a consumer product. Their farm was too far a drive for too little milk, they were told. They didn’t find another […]

Controversial Herbicide Dicamba No Longer Legal, Federal Court Rules

Farmers can no longer spray the controversial pesticide dicamba over-the-top of genetically modified soybeans and cotton, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. Dicamba is a weed killer that skyrocketed in use in recent years after agribusiness giant Monsanto introduced genetically engineered soybean and cotton seeds that resist the herbicide. The ruling means […]

Processing Plant Hit With Covid-19 Under Scrutiny Since March

The meat processing plant hit with a coronavirus outbreak came under scrutiny by health officials in March before it was cited for being more than 90% out of compliance with infection control practices last week. Public health officials said they visited Rantoul Foods – which had 47 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of May 5 […]