USDA Deregulates Dicamba-Tolerant Traits

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced “determinations of nonregulated status for Monsanto Company’s (Monsanto) soybeans and cotton that are resistant to certain herbicides, including one known as dicamba.” Monsanto officials say the decision to deregulate Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans and Bollgard II® XtendFlex™ cotton “will provide farmers with more consistent, flexible control of tough-to-manage broadleaf weeds.” …

Monsanto, USDA, weeds

AFBF President Surprises Vilsack with Branding Iron

Cindy Zimmerman

American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman presented Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack with a special gift Monday to recognize his support of farmers and ranchers. Noting that a Texas cowboy phrase denoting loyalty to the ranch is “ride for the brand,” Stallman gave Vilsack a specially-made “US AG” branding iron. “Mr. Secretary, thank you for riding for the brand for …

AFBF, Audio, USDA

Farm Bureau Town Hall with Secretary Vilsack

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack held an informal town hall-style meeting with members of the American Farm Bureau on the floor of the IDEAg trade show Sunday in San Diego. On a circular stage with AFBF president Bob Stallman, Vilsack took questions from members on a variety of topics, including the proposed Waters of the US rule, transportation, trade, and biofuels. …

AFBF, Audio, USDA

Ag Coalition for Cuba Launched

Cindy Zimmerman

More than 25 companies and organizations launched the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) in Washington Thursday to liberalize trade and re-establish Cuba as a market for U.S. food and agriculture exports. Among the speakers who introduced the new coalition were a list of lawmakers from a variety of states, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and representatives …

Audio, Exports, Government, Rice, Trade, USDA

Agriculture May Benefit From Cuba Relations

Cindy Zimmerman

The White House announcement Wednesday that the United States will begin the process of normalizing relations with Cuba brought positive responses from the agriculture industry. “Throughout history, agriculture has served as a bridge to foster cooperation, understanding and the exchange of ideas among people,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement. “I have no doubt that agriculture will continue …

AFBF, Ag Group, ASA, NFU, Rice, Soybean, Trade, USDA

More Renewable Energy Means Healthier Forests

John Davis

Harvesting biomass from forests is not only helping those forests’ health, it’s helping the country achieve energy independence. This news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) has removed 200,000 tons of biomass that could have been a fire risk and was turned into biofuels. “This initiative helps to retrieve forest residues that …

Biofuels, biomass, USDA

Specialty Crop Growers to Get Better Insurance

John Davis

Growers of fruits, vegetables and other specialty crops will get some better protection courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This USDA news release says the agency will now provide greater protection from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. “These new …

Insurance, USDA

USDA Chief Economist to Retire

Cindy Zimmerman

The chief economist with USDA is retiring at the end of the year after 30 years of federal service. “No one has a higher level of credibility on issues impacting the agricultural economy than Dr. Glauber,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement. “Farm country and, truly, the country as a whole have been extraordinarily well served by Joe …

USDA

2014 Census of Horticulture Underway

John Davis

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started 2014 Census of Horticultural Specialties. This news release says the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the survey that will provide a comprehensive picture of the horticultural sector of the U.S. economy, along with offering detailed production and sales data for the U.S. floriculture, nursery and specialty crop industries, including greenhouse food …

Agribusiness, USDA

Smart Ag in the 21st Century

Cindy Zimmerman

“Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century” is the theme for the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum to be held from Feb. 19-20, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va. USDA has announced that the forum’s plenary speakers and sessions will take a global, modern look at different aspects of today’s agriculture industry. Among the highlights, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack …

Biotech, Government, USDA