USDA Unveils Agriculture Innovation Agenda

Brian German Agri-Business, USDA-NRCS

The Agriculture Innovation Agenda that was just announced by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, seeks to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture while increasing U.S. production by 40 percent by 2050.  The new initiative was announced during the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ag Outlook Forum last week and is designed to align department resources and programs to address the global demand on agriculture moving forward.

Agriculture Innovation Agenda

 “This agenda is a strategic, department-wide effort to better align USDA’s resources, programs, and research to provide farmers with the tools they need to be successful,” Secretary Perdue said in a news release. “We are also continually mindful of the need for America’s agriculture industry to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable to maintain our position as a leader in the global effort to meet demand. We are committed as ever to the environmental sustainability and continued success, of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers.”

The initiative will be comprised of three components which include developing a plan for synchronizing public and private research, integrating new technologies into USDA programs, and reviewing the productivity and conservation of USDA.  There will also be benchmarks put in place to help monitor progress made on addressing food loss and waste, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gases, water quality, and renewable energy.

“We know we have a challenge facing us: to meet future food, fiber, fuel, and feed demands with finite resources. USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda is our opportunity define American agriculture’s role to feed everyone and do right as a key player in the solution to this challenge,” said Secretary Perdue.

Through the program, USDA aims to enhance carbon sequestration through soil health and forestry and reduce nutrient loss by 30 percent by 2050 without any regulatory overreach.  The program also calls for enhancements to the biofuel industry and increases to the production of renewable energy feedstocks. The agenda will also be working toward lowering food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.

About the Author

Brian German

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Multimedia Journalist for AgNet West