USDA Offers $90 Million in Competitive Grants

Kelly Marshall

The USDA will be making $90 million in competitive grants available to strengthen local food systems, develop market opportunities and support growers specialty crops. The grants will be run through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. “Over the past seven years, USDA …

Government, Local, specialty crops, USDA

Corn Up, Soybeans Down in #USDA Report

Cindy Zimmerman

The 2016 Prospective Plantings report out today from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows farmers expect to plant more corn and less soybeans this year. U.S. corn growers expect to plant 93.6 million acres to corn this year, the first increase in corn planted acreage since 2012 and, if realized, will be the third largest corn acreage since 1944. …

Audio, Corn, Cotton, Markets, MGEX, Soybean, USDA, Wheat

USDA Encourages Small, Healthy Changes in March

Kelly Marshall

The USDA has launched a challenge in honor of National Nutrition Month.  The MyPlate, My Wins Challenge encourages people to make a small, simple change towards a healthier lifestyle.  Teams or groups can join the challenge online and pledge to consume two foods from each of the My Plate food groups a day and be active twice a day for two …

Food, USDA

Former USDA Deputy Joins DuPont

Cindy Zimmerman

The mystery about why Krysta Harden resigned as USDA Deputy Secretary was revealed last week as Commodity Classic was getting underway in New Orleans. Harden has joined DuPont as vice president of Public Policy & Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), succeeding Linda Fisher who elected to retire last month. Harden will have responsibility for leading the company’s public policy and government …

Agribusiness, Dupont, Sustainability, USDA

NFU Convention Includes Address from Vilsack

Kelly Marshall

National Farmers Union (NFU) member, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, addressed the 114th Anniversary Convention this week.  He spoke about the uniqueness of American agriculture, asked Congress to act on the food labeling bill and encouraged increased trade with Cuba. “It is important to focus, not just solely on large-scale production agriculture, but it is important to continue to focus on diversifying opportunities …

Events, NFU, USDA

Vilsack Makes 7th Appearance at #Classic16

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appeared at every Commodity Classic since he was confirmed, making this year the seventh time he has addressed corn, soybean, sorghum and wheat farmers. “Farmers are the linchpin of this country. They are the heart and soul,” said Vilsack, who concentrated much of his remarks on the importance of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) for …

Audio, Commodity Classic, Corn, sorghum, Soybean, USDA, Wheat

Vilsack Makes 7th Appearance at Commodity Classic

Kelly Marshall

The 2016 Commodity Classic will play host to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.  In his seventh visit to the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show the secretary will give the keynote address during the General Session on Friday, March 4th. “Secretary Vilsack continues to be a strong voice for farmers and ranchers, and we are jazzed …

Commodity Classic, Events, USDA

USDA Secretary at #Ethanol Conference

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the National Ethanol Conference this week for the last time in the position he has held under President Obama for both terms. During his appearance, Vilsack announced some good news for the ethanol industry – new research showing significant improvement in ethanol production efficiency. According to the study, between 1991 and 2010, direct energy use …

Audio, Corn, Ethanol, RFA, USDA

USDA Designates $58.25 Million for Plant Pests, Disease

Kelly Marshall

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be designating $58.25 million from the 2014 farm bill to fund 434 projects that will help protect U.S. crops from plant pests and diseases. “Through the Farm Bill we are working with our partners and stakeholders to not only ensure the global competitiveness of our specialty crop producers but to …

pesticides, Research, USDA

Crop Insurance Takes Hit in Budget Proposal

Cindy Zimmerman

The Obama administration’s 2017 budget proposal includes reforms to the crop insurance program that would end up costing farmers more. Two specific changes are proposed – one would reduce subsidies for revenue insurance policies that insure the price at the time of harvest and the second would reform prevented planting coverage, including removing optional buy-up coverage. According to USDA, the …

Government, Insurance, USDA