Madelyn Beck

Compared to the 89 millions acres of soybean in the U.S., the hemp industry is still meager at 25,000 acres, but experts expect that will quickly change now that President Donald Trump has signed the 2018 farm bill.

That’s because after nearly a century of heavy state and federal restrictions, hemp has been removed from the list of controlled substance and reclassified as an agricultural commodity — one that a burgeoning market has its eyes on.

As harvest wrapped up this year and the leaves turned brilliant shades of red and yellow, two of the world’s biggest agribusinesses, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Smithfield Foods, announced they were pairing up on projects with environmental nonprofits.

On top of a second round of payments to farmers as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s trade relief program, the agency is trying to ease the impact by purchasing surplus food and distributing it to food banks and other hunger relief groups.

A Missouri farmer has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges after he charged customers more than $140 million for conventionally produced grain sold as certified organic.

Updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 with Trump signing legislation — The long-awaited final version of the farm bill was unveiled Monday night, and it hews somewhat closely to the previous piece of massive legislation — aside from legalizing hemp on a national level. 

The U.S. meat industry is gigantic, with roughly $200 billion a year in sales and growing. But the industry faces emerging threats on two fronts: plant-based meat substitutes and actual meat grown in labs.

Harvest Public Media

Is there a way to match older farmers who want to retire, with young people hoping to get started in farming ? That's the topic for a panel discussion on Monday in Davenport, called News and Brews, sponsored by the Illinois Newsroom collaborative and Harvest Public Media.

Harvest Public Media

People who live next to large livestock operations sometimes sue their neighbor over strong manure smells and air quality issues. But a successful lawsuit in North Carolina showed how to go after meat companies instead. 

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