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Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be issuing a second 60-day stay in the effective date of its final rule, published on December 23, 2016, to allow the importation of fresh lemon fruit from northwest Argentina into the continental United States. Continue reading

brazil beef global
A sanitary inspection bribery scheme in Brazil means less options for global buyers of beef. That could mean more opportunity to export U.S. beef to nations seeking to block imports from Brazil. Continue reading

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated $6 million to help aid farmers and ranchers recovering from recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Continue reading



Democrat David Scott, a U.S. Representative from Atlanta, Georgia, will introduce Sonny Perdue at his Senate Agriculture Committee confirmation hearing Thursday. The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper reports that Perdue has tapped Scott, an old friend from when Perdue was a Democrat, to make the introduction before Perdue gives testimony to the Senate panel in hopes of boosting Perdue’s bipartisan credentials. The two served as Democrats together in the Georgia Senate for eight years before Perdue switched to the GOP in 1998. Representative Scott is a senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, and plans to talk about his work with Perdue and what the former Georgia Governors appointment could mean for agriculture. Scott said of Perdue that “he’s the right person at the right time and the right place.” President Donald Trump announced Perdue as his nominee for Agriculture Secretary on January 19th. Depending on the hearing and confirmation process, it may not be until after the Easter Recess of Congress before the full Senate confirms Perdue.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.

Former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman speaking in Tokyo this week said the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can still serve as a guide for future trade agreements. Continue reading

pest diseases funding
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $11 million in available funding through the Minor Crop Pest Management Program (also known as Interregional Research Project or IR-4).

“The IR-4 funding allows NIFA to ensure that new, robust crop protection products are created,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These investments will lead to improved practices and profits for specialty crop producers.” Continue reading

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $11 million in available funding for projects that mitigate antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a growing public health issue that affects more than 2 million people annually. Funding is made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Continue reading

livestock producers
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a hearing to gather perspectives from key members of the livestock community as part of the committee’s hearing series on the next farm bill. Members of the committee heard from representatives of four major livestock producer groups who discussed the issues facing their respective industries as well as their priorities for the upcoming farm bill. Continue reading

National Ag DayRay Starling, President Trump’s special assistant for agriculture, reads the administration’s declaration of National Ag Day, before a gathering of ag industry representatives in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

Acting Agriculture Deputy Secretary Michael L. Young released the following statement:

national agriculture day
“Today is National Agriculture Day, set aside to pay tribute to the farmers and ranchers of our nation.  The work of American producers and growers ensures consumers in our country have plenty of safe food and a wide variety at a cost lower than much of the world.

“Through their efficiency, they are able to produce more food and fiber than is demanded in our country, generating a trade surplus in agricultural products for the United States.  As President Trump noted in the Presidential Proclamation declaring today National Agriculture Day, ‘American agriculture is the largest positive contributor to our Nation’s net trade balance, providing 10 percent of our exports and millions of jobs.’ Continue reading

vaccine bank
The U.S. pork industry’s top priority for the next Farm Bill is establishing a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank, the National Pork Producers Council told a House Agriculture subcommittee in testimony.

“If this country ever had an FMD outbreak, it not only would devastate my farm and the whole livestock industry but the entire U.S. economy,” said NPPC Vice President David Herring, a pork producer from Newtown Grove, N.C., who testified on behalf of the organization before the agriculture panel’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Continue reading

The House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition convened a hearing to examine the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) three commodity distribution programs: The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). Committee members heard from a panel of witnesses representing each of these programs who explained how the programs differ, interact, and work together to meet the nutrition needs of America’s most vulnerable citizens. Continue reading

meat imports
China is blocking meat imports from Brazil until the nation can provide more information about an investigation into a bribery scheme to release sanitary licenses for meat products. Continue reading

free trade
Japan and Germany over the weekend announced an agreement to work together on free trade. The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s removal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which included Japan. Continue reading

stabenow avian bird flu
Senate Agriculture Committee ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is asking the Agriculture Department to outline its avian influenza response. Continue reading


ARS agricultural engineer Paul Armstrong uses the “Post-Harvest Loss moisture meter” to check bags of stored maize in Ghana.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have developed a new way for farmers in developing areas of the world to determine the moisture content of their stored grain. Such determinations can help prevent losses due to insects, spoilage and mold growth that can render grain unfit for consumption.

Unlike in the West, farmers in underdeveloped countries use large bags rather than bins or silos to store grains like corn, according to Paul Armstrong, an agricultural engineer with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Manhattan, Kansas.

Together with Kansas State University colleagues, Armstrong developed a hand-held device that could provide a fast, low-cost way to check the moisture level in grain bags. The meter works by measuring the relative humidity and temperature of the air within the grain, two key parameters that are used to estimate moisture content, explains Armstrong, with the ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research. Continue reading

farm day
Farm Day in the City is this week! This annual event has been sponsored by the Kern County Farm Bureau since 1984. Over the years, this event has grown from being held at one school with several children in attendance to over 4,500 children at the Kern County Fairgrounds. The goal of the event is to acquaint children with agriculture and its importance in our community and state. Children in grades 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are invited from private, public, and home schools in Kern County. There is no cost to the schools and the entire program is funded through contributions and the Kern County Farm Bureau. Continue reading

Agriculture groups
Leadership from 11 major agriculture groups met with the White House last week to discuss trade issues. The meeting followed a series of written communications to the Trump administration from the groups under the banner of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, organized by the Corn Refiners Association. Continue reading

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary. The hearing Thursday, March 23rd, marks the next step in confirming Perdue to the President’s Cabinet. Continue reading

by Colin O’Neil, Agriculture Policy Director, Environmental Working Group

More and more Americans want to avoid toxic pesticides on the foods they are buying and feeding their families. But the U.S. invests too little in growing more organic food. As demand for organic food continues to rise, American food companies and retailers are forced to rely on imports.

We think this should change. That is why we released a report advocating for Congress to reduce obstacles to organic transition through modest changes in the next farm bill and launched our Plate of the Union campaign with Food Policy Action Education Fund. Continue reading

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