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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - May 21, 2021

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Phantom farms get PPP money, Bayer back in court over Roundup claims and Pennsylvania ag teacher wins national honor.

Need a quick catchup on the news? Here are seven agricultural stories you might have missed.

1. The Wheat Quality Council's 2021 Hard Winter Wheat Tour is underway in Kansas. On May 17, the day's estimated yield average was 59.2 bushels per acre, the highest measured since 53.4 bushels per acre in 2012. In 2019, the Day One estimate was 46.9 bushels per acre. – Kansas Farmer

2. The Paycheck Protection Program allowed millions of businesses to keep their doors open and has required a massive cleanup operation on the backend. The Small Business Administration's inspector general estimated in January that the agency approved loans for 55,000 potentially ineligible businesses and that 43,000 obtained more money than their reported payrolls would justify. Kabbage was among a band of online lenders that helped millions of borrowers and originated loans to phantom farms. – ProPublica

3. Bayer will ask a judge to give preliminary approval to a $2 billion settlement that would create a framework to resolve future claims that Roundup causes cancer. Bayer has committed up to $9.6 billion to resolve existing claims alleging that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The class settlement would address future claims. Bayer and lawyers representing consumers presented the deal Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco, who last year rejected a $1.25 billion proposal. – Reuters, Farm Futures

4. Cattle industry members came together May 10 to discuss challenges involved in the marketing of finished cattle. Beef producers are tired of seeing the costs of beef soar at the grocery store while the prices they are paid barely moves. The Biden administration views the pricing patterns in beef processing as evidence that concentration in the beef processing sector is having damaging effects on the supply chain and rural America. – BEEF, Yahoo Finance

5. A University of Nebraska-Lincoln team has taken a step toward identifying the biochemical and genetic basis for the large differences in corn and sorghum tolerating environmental extremes. – Nebraska Today

6. In Missouri, legislation that would limit individuals authorized to inspect animal agriculture facilities is headed to the governor's desk. However, bills designed to restrict foreign ownership of agricultural land and to limit the authority of some state natural resource commissions to set their own fee structure failed to advance in the state legislature. – Missourian

7. A food safety group and organic farmers appealed a court ruling that says USDA did not act unreasonably when it refused to prohibit the organic certification of hydroponic agriculture. The Center for Food Safety and others are appealing the decision of a California federal judge who disagreed with their claims that USDA is violating the Organic Foods Production Act. – Reuters

And your bonus.

Agricultural education teacher Krista Pontius of Pennsylvania won Live's Top Teacher Search. Pontius is also co-owner of Cocolamus Farms in Millerstown, Pa., an 85-head dairy. – American Agriculturalist

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