Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Virginia Tech research is turning food scraps to bioplastic

Jan. 21, 2023 09:09 AM EST

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Breakthroughs in bioplastics could help break down two of the world’s most pressing problems at once, says a Virginia Tech professor researching to improve production of food-based, cost-effective, decomposable plastic. At Virginia Tech, Zhiwu ‘Drew’...

New USDA rule boosts "organic" food oversight, targets fraud

Jan. 19, 2023 16:34 PM EST

The Agriculture Department on Thursday issued new requirements for foods labeled organic, a move aimed at cracking down on fraud and boosting oversight. The rule strengthens enforcement of the USDA’s strict definitions of organic, which must rely on “natural substances and...

USDA climate-smart agriculture projects now top $3 billion

Dec. 12, 2022 13:49 PM EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government on Monday announced another $325 million for agricultural projects that are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The latest list of 71 recipients for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Climate-Smart Commodities program...

Rural voters 'in the trenches' on climate, leery of Biden

Dec. 10, 2022 00:13 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Drought in California meant Raquel Krach, a rice farmer and graduate student in the Sacramento Valley, planted very little. Using groundwater, she and her husband planted 75 acres this year to maintain their markets. The rest of the 200 acres she typically sows remained empty due...

USDA: Florida orange crop down 36% after twin hurricanes

Dec. 09, 2022 14:09 PM EST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Production of oranges in Florida this season is forecast to be down 36% from earlier estimates, in part a reflection of twin hurricanes that battered growing regions, according to U.S. Agriculture Department figures released Friday. The latest forecast...

Mississippi grain company's ex-CEO indicted on fraud charges

Dec. 06, 2022 19:08 PM EST

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — The former leader of a Mississippi grain storage and processing company has been indicted on federal and state charges, more than a year after the company filed for bankruptcy, prosecutors said Tuesday. John R. Coleman, 46, of Greenwood, Mississippi, is the...

Farmers of color sue government for promised federal aid

Dec. 06, 2022 11:22 AM EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government has illegally broken a promise to pay off the debts of a group of Black farmers, according to a class-action lawsuit. The group hopes to put pressure on officials to keep their word and to restore funding that was dropped after a group of white...

Feral hog control: 8 years, some progress, $2.5B damage/year

Dec. 02, 2022 11:14 AM EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Eight years into a U.S. program to control damage from feral pigs, the invasive animals with big appetites and snouts that uproot anything that smells good are still a multibillion-dollar plague on farmers, wildlife and the environment. These prolific hogs gone...

Senators announce rural development funding for WVa counties

Dec. 01, 2022 04:01 AM EST

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Nearly $10 million in federal assistance will support three rural development projects in West Virginia, U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito announced. The $9.8 million in funding will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural...

9,000 hens killed after latest Missouri case of avian flu

Nov. 28, 2022 13:03 PM EST

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nearly 9,000 laying hens in Webster County were killed after federal officials confirmed an outbreak of bird flu in the flock, state agriculture officials said. It is the 11th case of the highly contagious avian influenza in Missouri this year, involving...