USDA Presents Climate Change Initiative

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

In a speech Thursday at Michigan State University, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack introduced “Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry”, an initiative that will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors. “American farmers and ranchers are leaders when it …

Audio, Climate Change, Government, USDA

Vilsack Flips Switch on New Solar Farm

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

On Earth Day, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack flipped the switch to symbolically activate USDA’s first solar array project in the National Capital Region. The 1.6 Megawatt (MW) solar farm, located at the George Washington Carver Center (Carver Center) in Beltsville, Maryland, is the largest solar array on federal property in this region. This project, which is part of a larger …

Solar, USDA

USDA: Number of Organic Producers Hits Record

John Davis Leave a Comment

The number of organic producers in the U.S. has hit a record. This news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says there are 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world. According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number …

Organic, USDA

USDA Official on the Road for Trade

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA officials have been on the road this year meeting with agricultural stakeholders around the country to talk about the importance of Trade Promotion Authority for the president in expanding international markets for U.S. products. USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Alexis Taylor was in California a few weeks ago and today she was in Florida. …

Audio, Trade, USDA

Ag Conservation Easement Funding Available

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Natural Resources Conservation Service chief Jason Weller have announced the availability of $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). “Conservation easements are an important tool to help these landowners and partners voluntarily provide long-term protection of our nation’s farmland, ranchland, wetlands and grasslands for future generations,” said Vilsack. …

Audio, Conservation, USDA

USDA Releases Prospective Plantings Report

Cindy Zimmerman

The much-anticipated 2015 Prospective Plantings released by USDA today shows declines expected in corn, wheat and cotton acres this year, with only a modest increase in soybean acreage. Corn planted area for all purposes in 2015 is estimated at 89.2 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the third consecutive year of an acreage …

Audio, Corn, MGEX, Soybean, USDA

USDA Extends ARC and PLC Deadlines

Cindy Zimmerman

*UPDATED* with audio below Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a one week extension for producers to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to make the decision, update yield history or reallocate base acres will now be April 7, 2015. “This is an …

Audio, USDA

Undersecretary Michael Scuse Addresses Ag Day

Chuck Zimmerman

The annual Celebration of Agriculture dinner at the USDA was an opportunity for many agricultural leaders and students to gather and hear about the work being done by the agency. Our keynote speaker, Michael Scuse, Undersecretary for Farm & Foreign Ag Services used the opportunity to highlight many of the accomplishments and programs of USDA The program also featured some …

Ag Day, Ag Group, Audio, Government, USDA

USDA Census Highlights Family Farms

John Davis

The family-owned label applies to the vast majority of farms in this country. The latest information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) agriculture census shows that these farms are the backbone of the ag industry, making up 97 of the farms in the U.S. “As we wrap up mining the 6 million data points from the latest Census of …

Agribusiness, USDA

Ag Secretary and EPA Chief at NFU

Cindy Zimmerman

The heads of both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency spoke to the National Farmers Union (NFU) convention in Wichita Monday. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $97 million in programs to support the continued development of farmers markets, farm to school efforts and rural economies and will also expand risk management tools for specialty crops and …

Audio, EPA, NFU, USDA