Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Pumpkin farms adapt to improve soil, lower emissions

Sep. 29, 2022 14:09 PM EDT

ATLANTA, Illinois (AP) — This Thanksgiving, your pumpkin pie might have a lower carbon footprint. On the central Illinois farms that supply most of the world’s canned pumpkin, farmers are adopting regenerative techniques designed to reduce emissions, attract natural pollinators...

Minnesota governor pushes back against food fraud criticism

Sep. 22, 2022 16:37 PM EDT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tim Walz pushed back Thursday against critics who say his administration should have done more to thwart what federal prosecutors have called a scheme to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud the U.S. government of at least $250 million. ...

More consumers buying organic, but US farmers still wary

Sep. 22, 2022 10:28 AM EDT

CHURDAN, Iowa (AP) — In the 1970s when George Naylor said he wanted to grow organic crops, the idea didn't go over well. Back then organic crops were an oddity, destined for health food stores or maybe a few farmers markets. “I told my dad I wanted to be an organic...

EXPLAINER: How alleged plot exploited pandemic to net $250M

Sep. 20, 2022 23:23 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Department of Justice has charged 48 people in Minnesota in what prosecutors have called a $250 million scheme to defraud a federal meals program. Prosecutors said just a fraction of the money went toward feeding kids, with the rest laundered through shell...

US: 48 exploited pandemic to steal $250M from food program

Sep. 20, 2022 22:55 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — United States authorities charged 48 people in Minnesota with conspiracy and other counts in what they said Tuesday was the largest pandemic-related fraud scheme yet, stealing $250 million from a federal program that provides meals to low-income children. Federal...

USDA to fund push to store carbon in New England forests

Sep. 15, 2022 10:55 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding a major push to try to store more carbon in New England's forests. The agency said Wednesday that the New England Climate-Smart Forest Partnership Project will include large commercial producers as well as small...

Bird flu forces egg farm to euthanize 3 million chickens

Sep. 07, 2022 15:38 PM EDT

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An outbreak of bird flu that has led to the deaths of 43 million chickens and turkeys this year across the U.S. has been found at a giant egg-laying operation in Ohio, state and federal agriculture officials said Wednesday. The case confirmed over the weekend in...

Deadly bird flu returns to Midwest earlier than expected

Aug. 31, 2022 18:01 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bird flu has returned to the Midwest earlier than authorities expected after a lull of several months, with the highly pathogenic disease being detected in two commercial turkey flocks in western Minnesota and a hobby flock in Indiana, officials said Wednesday. ...

Could be months before sanctuary reopens after bird flu

Aug. 30, 2022 18:37 PM EDT

It could be months before a Georgia animal sanctuary reopens after being closed by bird flu that killed wild vultures roosting there, part of an outbreak that has led to 40.3 million deaths in commercial and backyard flocks nationwide. A note on the Noah’s Ark website Tuesday said...

US asks farmers: Can you plant 2 crops instead of 1?

Aug. 30, 2022 11:08 AM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — There is only so much farmland in the United States, so when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last spring prompted worries that people would go hungry as wheat remained stuck in blockaded ports, there was little U.S. farmers could do to meet the new demand. ...