Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Wisconsin mink industry warned of outbreak in Europe animals

Jun. 29, 2020 1:28 PM EDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin animal health officials are cautioning the state’s mink producers about the dangers of the coronavirus following outbreaks among animals on several farms in Europe, spurring renewed calls from animal rights activists to ban the fur trade. There are no confirmed cases...

President Donald Trump listens during a news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump signs memo to aid US lobster industry

Jun. 24, 2020 6:20 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is directing the Department of Agriculture to provide U.S. lobster fishermen with financial assistance to make up for lost income from Chinese tariffs. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday calling on the agency to make...

Apple growers seek to change relief aid eligibility criteria

Jun. 17, 2020 4:38 PM EDT

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Apple growers in Washington state have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reconsider its eligibility requirements for direct payments through the coronavirus food assistance program. The U.S. Apple Association and 11 grower groups, including the Washington Apple Commission and...

Meatpacking rebounds but high prices and backlogs to persist

Jun. 11, 2020 3:00 PM EDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Meat production has rebounded from its low point during the coronavirus pandemic when dozens of plants were closed, but experts say consumer prices are likely to remain high and it will take months to work through a backlog of millions of pigs and cattle, creating headaches for...

Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry worker Patrick Minor pulls a package of ground pork out of a cooler during a pantry stop, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. As food banks have struggled to meet soaring demand from people suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus outbreak, it has been especially troubling to see farmers have to bury produce, dump milk and euthanize hogs. Now some states are spending more money to help pay for food that might otherwise go to waste, the U.S. Agriculture Department is spending $3 billion to help get farm products to food banks, and U.S. senator is seeking $8 billion more to buy farm produce for food banks. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Efforts underway to get food from US farms to the needy

May. 25, 2020 11:03 AM EDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — As food banks have struggled to meet soaring demand from people suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been especially troubling to see farmers have to bury produce, dump milk and euthanize hogs. Now some states are providing more money to help pay for food that...

FILE - In this April 20, 2020, file photo, a farmer is silhouetted by the setting sun as a field is planted near Walford, Iowa. U.S. farmers across the nation leaned more heavily upon the federal government last year to finance their agricultural operations amid low commodity prices and trade disputes, and more of the money they borrowed from taxpayers is now delinquent. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, File)

US farmers leaning more heavily on government loan programs

May. 21, 2020 8:35 PM EDT

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — Farmers across the nation leaned more heavily upon the federal government last year to finance their agricultural operations amid low commodity prices and trade disputes, and more of the money they borrowed is now delinquent. Although the U.S. Agriculture Department said it has...

FILE - In this May 7, 2020, file photo, workers leave the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Logansport, Ind. Federal recommendations meant to keep meatpacking workers safe as they return to plants that were shuttered by the coronavirus have little enforcement muscle behind them, fueling anxiety that working conditions could put employees' lives at risk. Major meatpackers JBS, Smithfield and Tyson have said worker safety is their highest priority. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Meatpacking safety recommendations are largely unenforceable

May. 21, 2020 9:38 AM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal recommendations meant to keep meatpacking workers safe as they return to plants that were shuttered by the coronavirus have little enforcement muscle behind them, fueling anxiety that working conditions could put employees' lives at risk. Extensive guidance issued last month by...

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, wears a mask as she speaks with employees following a tour of Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Laurel, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Ivanka Trump tours launch of USDA's family food box program

May. 15, 2020 3:27 PM EDT

LAUREL, Md. (AP) — Billions of dollars worth of fruit, vegetables and other farm products that might have gone to waste because of the coronavirus pandemic will instead be delivered to food banks and nonprofit organizations that help the needy under a new Agriculture Department program. Agriculture...

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2012, file photo, Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy, arrives at the Keep Memory Alive 16th Annual

Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy dies from coronavirus at 75

May. 9, 2020 3:24 AM EDT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, the duo whose extraordinary magic tricks astonished millions until Horn was critically injured in 2003 by one of the act’s famed white tigers, has died. He was 75. Horn died of complications from the coronavirus on Friday in a Las Vegas hospital,...