Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2020 file photo, a cornfield damaged in the derecho earlier this month is seen on the Rod Pierce farm near Woodward, Iowa.  Crop loss estimates from a rare wind storm that slammed Iowa in August have increased by more than 50%, a new report shows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday, Oct. 10 that the number of crop acres that Iowa farmers are unable to harvest has grown to 850,000 from estimates last month that 550,000 acres were lost because of the storm, known as a derecho. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Report: Iowa’s derecho crop losses increase by more than 50%

Oct. 10, 2020 12:31 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Crop loss estimates from a rare wind storm that slammed Iowa in August have increased by more than 50%, a new report shows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that the number of crop acres that Iowa farmers are unable to harvest has grown to 850,000 (343,983 hectares)...

US agency mourns murdered Mexico plant safety inspector

Oct. 9, 2020 8:18 PM EDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it mourned the murder of a Mexican employee of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services. Prosecutors in the northern border city of Tijuana said Edgar Flores Santos was killed by drug traffickers who may have mistaken...

Ivanka Trump, right, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, left, speak with a farming family during a visit to the North Carolina State Farmers Market in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

USDA head cited for breaking law by backing Trump reelection

Oct. 8, 2020 3:37 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog agency has concluded that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated the law in advocating for the reelection of President Donald Trump during an August visit to North Carolina. The Office of Special Counsel called on Perdue to reimburse the government for costs...

President Donald Trump gestures as he steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Check's in the mail? Trump doling out aid before election

Oct. 1, 2020 4:34 PM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — It's almost as if he's writing a personal check. In recent days, President Donald Trump has promised millions of Medicare recipients that — thanks to him — they'll soon be getting an “incredible” $200 card in the mail to help them pay for prescriptions. He's...

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,...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

Sep. 22, 2020 9:26 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sweeping bipartisan vote that takes a government shutdown off the table, the House passed a temporary government-wide funding bill Tuesday night, shortly after President Donald Trump prevailed in a behind-the-scenes fight over his farm bailout. The stopgap measure will keep federal...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Democrats unveil temporary funding bill to avert shutdown

Sep. 21, 2020 4:54 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats controlling the House unveiled a government-wide temporary funding bill on Monday that would keep federal agencies fully up and running into December. The measure would prevent a partial shutdown of the government after the current budget year expires at the end of the month,...

FILE - In this July 11, 2018, file photo, a field of corn grows in front of an old windmill in Pacific Junction, Iowa. The federal government said Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, it would give farmers an additional $14 billion to compensate them for the difficulties they've experienced selling their crops, milk and meat because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File )

USDA plans additional $14B for farmers reeling from virus

Sep. 18, 2020 2:29 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government said Friday that it will give farmers an additional $14 billion to compensate them for the difficulties they have experienced selling their crops, milk and meat because of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released details of its...

Food banks: USDA program helped but better ways to meet need

Sep. 7, 2020 9:31 AM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As she inched ahead in her rusty Chevy pickup, Brianna Lordz bemoaned that engine problems had prevented her from making it to the last few drive-up produce giveaways organized by a Des Moines food pantry. But Lordz managed to coax her old truck to a former Sears parking lot, where...