Latest Agriculture and the environment News

Maine's peak leaf-peeping weekend is on the way

Oct. 1, 2020 1:15 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The coming weekend could be the best of the fall for Maine's leaf peepers. Most of the state is experiencing peak fall foliage conditions, while coastal and southern Maine are showing moderate color change, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry said. ...

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, a sign promoting Native American participation in the U.S. census is displayed as Selena Rides Horse enters information into her phone on behalf of a member of the Crow Indian Tribe in Lodge Grass, Montana. A complete count of Montana’s households could come with a big reward: a second seat in Congress and millions of federal dollars annually. But the 2020 census deadline remains in flux, making it uncertain if census takers will finish counting the vast, rural state. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Montana presses to finish census, eyeing 2nd House seat

Sep. 30, 2020 5:28 PM EDT

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A complete count of Montana’s households could come with a big reward — a second seat in Congress and millions of federal dollars annually. But the 2020 census deadline remains in flux, making it uncertain if census takers will finish counting the vast, rural state....

Eggs of pesky invasive insect found in Maine

Sep. 29, 2020 6:11 PM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Agriculture authorities in Maine said Tuesday that the eggs of an invasive insect that could harm crops have been located in the state. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said egg masses of the spotted lanternfly have been found on trees in at least four...

Buckfield farm with 50 Jerseys is Maine dairy farm of year

Sep. 27, 2020 11:45 AM EDT

BUCKFIELD, Maine (AP) — A Buckfield farm with 50 Jersey cows has been named the top dairy farm in Maine for 2020. Lovell Family Farm is the winner of the Dairy Farm of the Year and Green Pastures award, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said in a statement. The farm began...

Nonprofit seeks to preserve open land in Burrillville

Sep. 26, 2020 12:42 PM EDT

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (AP) — A land conservation group in Rhode Island has launched a campaign to raise $2.2 million to save historic farmland from developers. The Burrillville Land Trust's campaign announced in the past week is meant to save the 150-acre Sweet Hill property in the town. The land used to be...

Maine's Common Ground Fair goes online this weekend

Sep. 26, 2020 12:16 PM EDT

UNITY, Maine (AP) — The show will go on for Maine’s annual celebration of rural living. But the show will be online. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground Country Fair is being held as a virtual event this weekend. The fair typically draws around 60,000 people...

Illinois joins pact to protect monarch butterflies' habitat

Sep. 26, 2020 9:26 AM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Four state agencies have signed a pact to protect monarch butterflies and other important pollinators whose numbers are dwindling. Representatives of the Illinois Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency signed onto...

Virginia farmers market aims to remain proactive in pandemic

Sep. 26, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The Blacksburg Farmers Market has mostly kept moving throughout the pandemic, but the people who run the long-existing institution are working to ensure that the operation continues to experience as few disruptions as possible. Fencing has been installed around Blacksburg’s...

FILE - In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a red-cockaded woodpecker looks to a biologist as it is released back into in a long leaf pine forest at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A bird declared endangered in 1970 -- the red-cockaded woodpecker, which taps pine sap to protect babies from snakes and gets its sons to help care for the next clutch of nestlings -- has recovered enough to relax federal protection, officials said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Feds: Relax protections for woodpecker endangered since 1970

Sep. 25, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird declared endangered in 1970 and surviving today in 11 states' scattered longleaf pine forests, has recovered enough to relax its federal protection, officials said Friday. But not all wildlife advocates agree. “The red-cockaded woodpecker has flourished to the point that...

Groups decry proposal to roll back Alaska forest protections

Sep. 24, 2020 8:51 PM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to exempt the country’s largest national forest from a ban on timber harvests and road building in roadless areas, a move conservation groups denounced Thursday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which the Forest Service falls,...