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Farmers can expect a paycut for the third year in a row, thanks mostly to an abundance of corn and soybeans. (File: Kathleen Masterson/Harvest Public Media)
Farmers can expect a paycut for the third year in a row, thanks mostly to an abundance of corn and soybeans. (File: Kathleen Masterson/Harvest Public Media)

This year will be another tight one for farmers, at least if the government’s predictions are correct.

Farm income will sink to its lowest point since 2009, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast. The USDA expects net farm income will drop 11.5 percent to $71.5 billion this year, which would mark the third-straight year of falling income.

(Courtesy USDA)
(Courtesy USDA)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture closed offices in five states, including Colorado, on Tuesday after receiving anonymous threats.

USDA received “several anonymous messages that are concerning for the safety of USDA personnel and its facilities,” according to a statement by Matt Herrick, the department’s director of communications.

The Agriculture Department closed facilities in these locations until further notice: Fort Collins, Colorado; Hamden, Connecticut; Beltsville, Maryland; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Kearneysville and Leetown, West Virginia.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, plans to hold hearings on the pending mergers of several large agricultural seed and chemical companies. (File: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, plans to hold hearings on the pending mergers of several large agricultural seed and chemical companies. (File: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee plans to examine proposed mergers among agricultural chemical and seed companies in a September hearing.

With Chinese chemical giant ChemChina in talks to buy Syngenta, merger discussions ongoing between Dow and DuPont, and Bayer and Monsanto apparently inching toward a deal, regulators and lawmakers are worrying about decreased competition and higher prices for farmers.

Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow are among the biggest global players in agricultural seeds and chemicals.

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