Latest Agriculture News

200-pound tortoise is back home after escaping Alabama pen

Oct. 26, 2020 5:09 PM EDT

SARDIS CITY, Ala. (AP) — A 200-pound tortoise named Sparkplug that escaped from a pen in Alabama is back home after a journey across two counties and at least one soybean field. Sparkplug, a 60-year-old African spurred tortoise that lived in an enclosure in Etowah County, pushed its way out of the fenced...

Study: Lobster population healthy off Maine, poor in south

Oct. 26, 2020 12:27 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The American lobster population is in decent shape off of Maine and Canada, but continues to decline in southern New England, according to an assessment by an interstate regulatory group. The stock assessment released by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's American...

Pallets of various foods are stacked on shelves in the extensive warehouse at the Houston Food Bank Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Houston. It's the largest U.S. food bank and national food bank leaders say they don't see an end in sight to the demand. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Feeding Houston's hungry: 1M pounds of food daily for needy

Oct. 26, 2020 12:01 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — In car lines that can stretch half a mile (0.8 kilometers), workers who lost jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic and other needy people receive staggering amounts of food distributed by the Houston Food Bank. On some days, the hundreds of sites supplied by the country's largest food...

Government grant seeks to help small-scale meat processors

Oct. 26, 2020 9:22 AM EDT

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Department of Agriculture is offering COVID-19 relief grants to small-scale meat processors to help them cover costs of boosting capacity during the pandemic. The Skagit Valley Herald reports meat processing relief grants are available to processors with 250...

S.C. county's longest-serving volunteer firefighter retires

Oct. 26, 2020 12:01 AM EDT

WAMPEE, S.C. (AP) — James Hodge says he’s getting more sleep nowadays, even though he’s usually out of his house by 5:30 a.m. The school bus driver sleeps uninterrupted now, but for 40 years he was woken up in the middle of the night by a series of loud beeps. Within minutes he’d be at...

Strong year for North Carolina pecans

Oct. 25, 2020 12:47 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After several years of uncooperative weather, North Carolina pecan farmers say 2020 will bring a bumper crop. The Charlotte Observer reports that key reasons are plentiful rain and sunshine this year as well as the lack of any major storms. The state's prime pecan seasons starts...

Northern Michigan vineyards expect solid grape crop in 2020

Oct. 25, 2020 9:35 AM EDT

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Vineyard managers in northern Michigan are expecting a solid grape crop harvest, with one calling the quality of this year's grapes “exceptional.” Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery on Old Mission Peninsula, near Traverse City, is on track to finish picking grapes...

Storms extend Louisiana fisheries COVID-19 aid deadline

Oct. 25, 2020 9:30 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Damage from Hurricanes Laura and Delta has prompted Louisiana to extend the deadline for fisheries' workers and businesses to apply for help under a coronavirus pandemic program. Instead of ending Monday, the application period will now last through Nov. 23, the Louisiana...

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Crews vacuum 'murder hornets' out of Washington nest

Oct. 24, 2020 4:25 PM EDT

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) — Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States. The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant...

Rising temps will disproportionately affect Kansas farmers

Oct. 24, 2020 10:44 AM EDT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Growing corn and soybeans will become increasingly challenging for Kansas farmers as the climate warms, according to a recent Kansas State University study. The study found that drought and heat are currently the biggest reason for crop yield losses and expect that these losses will...