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Trump signs executive order to keep packers running, House Ag chair says government needs a plan and exports plummet in March.

Janet Kubat Willette, E-Content Editor

May 1, 2020

2 Min Read

Need to catch up on ag news? Here's 7 stories you may have missed.

1. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Josh Hawley of Missouri are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate consolidation in American meatpacking and processing for any anticompetitive behavior resulting from concentration. – Farm Futures

2. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson says the federal government needs a plan to address massive economic disruptions like those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He wants greater committee oversight of USDA's federal aid distribution to farmers and ranchers and its distribution of aid to food banks and food pantries.  – Roll Call

3. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday that meatpacking plants will reopen in a matter of "days not weeks," after President Trump signed an executive order mandating the plants keep operating even as workers fall sick from COVID-19 – The Hill

4. Key Compounds, a CBD company in Oregon, is suing Massachusetts hemp refinery Phasex Corp. in federal court for negligence and breach of contract stemming from a shipment of hemp extract that was seized for containing too much THC.  – Hemp Industry Daily

5. Exports of U.S. goods plummeted 6.7% in March, their most significant decline since the 2008 financial crisis. Shipments of American automobiles was down nearly 18% last month, while industrial supply shipments dropped 7.5%. Economic weakness is expected in the coming months. – U.S. News and World Report

6. More than two-thirds of the corn grown in the United States goes either to feed livestock or make ethanol, according to USDA. Both those industries are taking severe hits during the pandemic. Ethanol production has been cut nearly in half since February, while ethanol stocks have hit a record high.  – UPI

7. BigIron Realty reports online land auctions in recent weeks have met or exceeded sellers' expectations. On the seven tracts of land BigIron Realty sold in the past month in Nebraska and Kansas, there was a combined total of 232 bids from four states — with 14 states watching — and 41 different bidders. In North Dakota, average cropland values and cash rents have held steady.  – Nebraska Farmer, Dakota Farmer

And your bonus.

The story of the House of David barn in Benton Harbor, Mich., dates back to the early 1900s. In 1930, Mary Purnell built a 36-foot-by-141-foot dairy barn designed by William Wright. It was reported to be the largest dairy barn in the Midwest. It was ultramodern, having stanchions for 41 cows, four calf pens and two 150-ton silos. In 1999, Amy Hepler Briske drove past the dilapidated barn. Months later, it became hers and is now the Blue Dress Barn wedding venue. – Michigan Farmer

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