No More Brazilian Beef for Now

Brian German Dairy & Livestock, Trade

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that fresh beef imports from Brazil have been suspended due to food safety and animal health concerns. Shipments will be suspended until the USDA is satisfied that the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture has taken the appropriate corrective actions. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting all the meat products coming …

If It Smells Like a Petunias or Shampoo, It Might Be a Pesticide

Dan Environment, Industry News Release

from USDA Agricultural Research Service A scent that petunias and snapdragons release to attract pollinators may be an environmentally friendly control for pests like the spotted wing drosophila fly (SWD) and the brown marmorated stink bug. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Aijun Zhang discovered the fragrant chemical methyl benzoate, which is also a popular ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and …


USDA Announces $20 Million for Jobs for Young People, Veterans

Dan Forestry, Industry News Release

USDA and partners committed $20 million in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps partnership agreements to provide 4,000 work opportunities for youth, young adults and veterans up to 35 years old, a move that will help the U.S. Forest Service accomplish mission-critical infrastructure and landscape restoration projects on the ground. The U.S. Forest Service is one of seventeen USDA Agencies. The …

USDA Reorganization Takes Shape

Dan Industry News Release

Perdue Names Leadership in Acting Roles Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue named three individuals who will take on leadership roles as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues the reorganization announced on May 11, 2017.  In accordance with a directive in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA created a new Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs as part of …


No USDA Nominees Until September

Dan Industry News Release

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told lawmakers this week he may be the lone political appointment at the Department of Agriculture until September, or later. Currently, 15 executive posts at USDA are vacant and await White House nomination. Perdue told the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee the names of nominees for six positions, including that of deputy secretary, have been sent to …


USDA to Speed Through GMO Labeling Rule

Dan Genetically Modified, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to finalize GMO disclosure standards within a nine-month time frame, what Politico calls a breakneck pace for any rulemaking. USDA in that timeframe will go from proposing the regulation to finalizing the rules. That includes a likely three-month comment period, revisions, and White House approval, a process that also takes about three months. A …


Critical Agricultural Water Resources Issues Funded

Dan Industry News Release, Water

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced 14 grants totaling more than $9 million to help solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. The grants are funded through the Water for Agriculture Challenge Area of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. …

cotton board

USDA Seeks Cotton Board Nominees

Dan Cotton, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations for candidates to fill 13 member and 13 alternate positions on the Cotton Board. The Cotton Board represents Domestic cotton producers and importers. Nominations are made by certified producer organizations (CPO) and certified importer organizations (CIO). The CPOs and the CIOs will caucus to nominate two qualified persons for each open …

rural development

Duvall Praises Selection of Hazlett for Rural Development

Dan Industry News Release

The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “Anne Hazlett brings a depth of experience on rural development issues that should benefit American farmers and ranchers and strengthen the rural communities they call home. Her background in rural issues in Indiana and her background in agricultural policy make her an ideal candidate to lead USDA’s …


Withdraw ‘GIPSA’ Rule, Say NPPC, Pork Producers

Dan Dairy & Livestock, Industry News Release

The National Pork Producers Council in comments submitted again urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withdraw a regulation related to the buying and selling of livestock. It also delivered to the agency comments from 630 pork producers and others in the pork industry, opposing the regulation and asking that it be withdrawn. The comments were on an interim final …

meat production

Meat Production Forecast Lowered in Latest WASDE

Dan Dairy & Livestock, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report was released last Friday, and in the Livestock, Poultry, and Dairy section, the forecast for total meat production for 2017 was lowered from last month but is raised for 2018. Beef production for 2017 was lowered primarily on lighter carcass weights which more than offsets higher …

pig pens mirror mat

Pig Pens: A Look at Mirrors and Mats

Dan Dairy & Livestock, Industry News Release

by USDA Agricultural Research Service What a pig sees when it looks into a mirror may help Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists improve livestock housing. Studying livestock behavior, stress and other well-being and production factors is the job of animal scientist Jeremy Marchant-Forde and his colleagues at the ARS Livestock Behavior Research Unit in West Lafayette, Indiana. Improving an animal’s environment …

farm school grant usda

USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards

Dan Education, Industry News Release

Projects Nationwide Chosen The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the projects selected to receive the USDA’s annual farm to school grants designed to increase the number of local foods served in schools. Sixty-five projects were chosen nationwide. “Increasing the number of local foods in America’s schools is a win-win for everyone,” said Cindy Long, Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs …

wasde report

USDA Releases Latest WASDE Report

Dan Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report released Friday offered no changes to U.S. corn ending stocks and increased the ending stocks estimate for soybeans. USDA increased soybean ending stocks for new crop soybeans to 495 million bushels, up from 480 million last month, and left new-crop corn ending stocks unchanged at 2.1 …


Critical Agricultural Research and Extension Projects Gains Support

Dan Industry News Release, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $4.8 million to support 17 research and extension grants that address critically important problems in U.S. agriculture. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. “America’s agricultural systems are constantly exposed to biological …


Eating Your Greens—Microgreens, That is!

Dan Fruits & Vegetables, Industry News Release

from USDA Agricultural Research Service Small edible plants called microgreens aren’t just tasty toppings for soups, salads, and sandwiches. They’re also healthful. According to results of an Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-led study, eating red cabbage microgreens helped mice moderate their weight and cholesterol levels despite a high-fat diet. Over the past several years, chefs have touted the taste, texture, color …

California walnut marketing order

California Walnut Marketing Order Referendum Scheduled

Dan Industry News Release, Nuts & Grapes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will conduct a referendum on a proposal from the California Walnut Board to amend the federal marketing order for walnuts grown in California. The proposal would provide the board with authority to borrow from a commercial lending institution. The referendum is scheduled for Aug. 7 through 18, 2017, and will gauge …

Secretaries Perdue and Zinke Stress Inter-Departmental Collaboration as Wildfire Season Approaches

Dan Forestry, Industry News Release

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan K. Zinke joined forces in Boise, Idaho at the National Incident Fire Command Center (NIFC) for a tour and briefing on the upcoming wildfire season. Following the events, the secretaries sent a memorandum to wildland fire leadership highlighting the importance of inter-departmental collaboration in protecting communities and managing public lands. In the …

nutrition facts panel

FDA Considering Nutrition Facts Panel Delay

Dan Industry News Release

The Food and Drug Administration is considering a delaying implementation of a revamped nutrition facts panel on retail goods. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the move would follow a request by industry groups that have asked the FDA to delay the new food labels by three years. The updated labels are scheduled to start being used by July of next …


USDA Political Appointment Nominees Expected Soon

Dan Industry News Release, Legislative

Nominees for The Department of Agriculture’s political post within the agency are expected within a month or so. Sources close to the Secretary have allegedly told Politico that Perdue has made his picks for key positions within USDA, and those picks could be announced in June. There are nearly a dozen political positions that require confirmation by the U.S. Senate, …