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...

Lawmakers push for federal aid to wild blueberry industry

Jul. 16, 2019 11:10 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's Congressional delegation is getting involved in a push to extend federal aid to members of the state's wild blueberry industry. Wild blueberries are an important crop in Maine, but the industry has struggled with low prices in recent years. Maine's delegation says the U.S....

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...

Colorado officials kill 1,662 geese to reduce population

Jul. 15, 2019 8:45 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — Colorado authorities rounded up 1,662 geese in an effort to reduce population numbers in city parks and lakes. The Denver Post reported Thursday that a state permit allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to corral and kill up to 2,200 Canada geese each year statewide. A spokeswoman says...

West Virginia sees jump in maple syrup production

Jul. 14, 2019 12:58 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A new report says West Virginia's maple syrup production has nearly doubled in the past year. According to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture, maple syrup production increased from 8,000 gallons in 2018 to 14,000 gallons during this...

A year after dealing with drought, farmers battle wet fields

Jul. 13, 2019 1:06 AM EDT

ABERBEEN, S.D. (AP) — While some have told Lannie Mielke that it's better to deal with too much water than not enough, he disagrees. Mielke lives south of Aberdeen between Brentford and Mellette. That farmland is near the James River. It's handling the water well enough. His livestock operation near Conde,...

Indiana seeks federal aid for 88 counties over crop losses

Jul. 12, 2019 4:37 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Eric Holcomb is seeking federal disaster aid for farmers across most of Indiana for crop losses caused by flooding and excessive rainfall during the planting season. Holcomb said Friday his request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks an agricultural disaster designation for...

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 —...

Federal grants expand video treatment for opioid patients

Jul. 11, 2019 7:11 PM EDT

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — Federal funding will enable Alpena Community College to step up its use of interactive video to treat patients dealing with opioid addiction in Michigan's northeastern Lower Peninsula. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $500,000 to expand telemedicine treatments at 25...

Maine calls for USDA to provide more support for blueberries

Jul. 10, 2019 11:25 AM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's agriculture commissioner is asking the federal government to use a new program to buoy the state's wild blueberry industry during a difficult time. Blueberry harvesters collected about 57 million pounds of the berries in 2018. That was down nearly 11 million pounds from the...