ST. LOUIS — This week, federal regulators will begin holding hearings and assessing competition in the agricultural industry, according to The Associated Press.

Several Obama administration officials have said they are uncomfortable with the increasing control a handful of corporations have over the U.S. food supply. Christine Varney, who heads the Justice Department's antitrust division, said any time there's a lot of consolidation in an industry, it merits investigating.

U.S. Justice and Agriculture Departments regulators are scheduled to meet March 12 in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, for their first hearing on the issue. Later this year, four other hearings will be held later this year. The meetings are expected to examine competition in the seed, dairy, poultry, beef and crop industries.