The first of a number of workshops that could affect those who use agricultural equipment to make a living was held recently in Iowa.
The workshops are a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice in order to examine competition and regulations in the agricultural sector. The first workshop premiered in Ankeny, Iowa, last week and featured U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"In my travels across the country, I hear a consistent theme: producers are worried whether there is a future for them or their children in agriculture, and a viable market is an important factor in what that future looks like," Vilsack said.
Discussion panels were held in order to examine competition in the seed industry and transparency in the agricultural market as a whole. Time was also allotted for public testimony.
A recent report from the New York Times noted that seed prices increased during last year's economic difficulties, which bothered many farmers. The paper said that the price of corn seed increased 32 percent, while soybeans increased 24 percent.
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