KUNC     Tri States Public Radio

         

Farmers all over the world use tractors to apply herbicides like glyphosate to their fields. (Chafer Machinery/Flickr)
Farmers all over the world use tractors to apply herbicides like glyphosate to their fields. (Chafer Machinery/Flickr)

As you’ve probably heard, a well-respected group of World Health Organization scientists said glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s wildly popular Roundup herbicide and its generic cousins, is probably capable of causing cancer in humans.

Here are five things you should know.

(File: Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media)
(File: Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed changes on Tuesday to the rules that govern which farmers can receive government subsidies.

The goal is to cut off payments to people who claim they’re involved in the management of a farm, but aren’t doing much managing.

Farmers who own land, run cattle, or spend their spring planting corn can relax – the proposed rule change doesn’t impact their ability to collect up to a $125,000 a year in government subsidies.

The EPA wants to clarify what waterways it has authority over. Some say that could increase its reach on agricultural lands. (File: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)
The EPA wants to clarify what waterways it has authority over. Some say that could increase its reach on agricultural lands. (File: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

Farmers and ranchers from the Midwest and Plains states were among those who testified before the U.S. Senate agriculture committee Tuesday. Many objected to a proposed change to the rules on how the federal government oversees waterways.

Nearly a year ago, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change to the Clean Water Act that it says would clarify its authority over certain wetlands and streams. But Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who serves on the agriculture committee, says the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule has met strong opposition in farm country.

“I’ve heard a great deal of concern from farmers, businessmen, communities across Iowa regarding this rule,” Grassley said. “It’s apparent that WOTUS hasn’t clarified much at all. The only thing that citizens seem to be sure of is that it will grant the EPA much greater authority.”

Pages