Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

USDA: 40% of transferred ag researchers to move to Midwest

Jul. 16, 2019 6:24 PM EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Department of Agriculture says fewer than 40% of the researchers whose jobs are being transferred from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City will make the move to the Midwest. The Kansas City Star reports that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in June that the USDA...

Tennessee ag agency wants to trace diseased rhododendrons

Jul. 16, 2019 5:57 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is warning homeowners about rhododendron plants infected with a pathogen that can kill a number of different plants, shrubs and trees. The department says anyone who has purchased a rhododendron from Walmart or Rural King since April should...

EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

Jul. 12, 2019 4:08 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm to bees and wildlife. Friday's EPA announcement —...

Fresh from the lab: Startups make meat that avoids slaughter

Jul. 9, 2019 7:18 PM EDT

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Uma Valeti slices into a pan-fried chicken cutlet in the kitchen of his startup, Memphis Meats. He sniffs the tender morsel on his fork before taking a bite. He chews slowly, absorbing the taste. "Our chicken is chicken ... you've got to taste it to believe it," Valeti says. This...

Invasive tick new to East Tennessee found on animals

Jul. 7, 2019 12:40 PM EDT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — There's a new kind of creepy-crawly to look out for in East Tennessee this summer. The invasive Asian longhorned tick, which can reproduce without mating, has been found on animals in Union, Roane and Knox counties. The parasite was first discovered about two years ago on sheep in...

Some big farms collect big checks from Trump aid package

Jul. 3, 2019 1:46 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When President Donald Trump's administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers struggling under the financial strain of his trade dispute with China, the payments were capped. But many large farming operations had no trouble finding legal ways around them, records provided...

Some big farms collect big checks from Trump aid package

Jul. 3, 2019 1:44 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When President Donald Trump's administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers struggling under the financial strain of his trade dispute with China, the payments were capped. But many large farming operations had no trouble finding legal ways around them, records provided...

How the Trump administration's 2018 trade aid package works

Jul. 3, 2019 10:17 AM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Trump administration's Market Facilitation Program is meant to compensate farmers for income they've lost due to the U.S. trade war with China. Data provided to The Associated Press from the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Freedom of Information Act gives some insights into...

Beagles sniff out snails in luggage at Atlanta airport

Jun. 29, 2019 3:14 PM EDT

ATLANTA (AP) — Two dogs, part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "beagle brigade," sniffed out two Giant African Snails in the luggage of a passenger arriving at Atlanta's airport from Nigeria. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the beagles, named Candie and Chipper, were alerted to the...

India tariffs threaten California almond industry

Jun. 27, 2019 8:30 PM EDT

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — Along large swaths of California's lush central valley, almonds in the fuzzy hulls of tree leaves blow in the wind on thousands of acres of orchards. Thousands of miles away in India, customers browse the nut sections of busy street markets and grocery stores in search of the best...