Though genetically-modified varieties are prohibited in organic production under USDA rules, there are no regulations in place to protect farmers against accidental contamination from the pollen of GM corn.
The USDA's recently announced changes to the inspection process are driven in part by food safety concerns and government spending constraints. But there’s also just the need to account for modern times.
A devastating drought has left pockets of the Midwest even drier than in the Dust Bowl years. Farmers battle dust storms that darken, but many have been able to hang on thanks to modern farming methods.
Growing Influence, part 3: The 2014 Farm Bill pumped billions in new money into the crop insurance program. During the bill's drafting process, many crop insurance industry groups spent a total of tens of millions of dollars to lobby the bill.