Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

USDA: South Dakota leads nation in unplanted acres

Aug. 17, 2019 1:42 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says South Dakota farmers were unable to plant more than 3.8 million acres this year, the highest number in the nation. KSFY-TV reports the tally includes 2.8 million unplanted corn acres and nearly 851,000 acres for soybeans. The USDA says total...

Thousands of IPS students lose snacks due to funding misuse

Aug. 17, 2019 9:56 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Thousands of Indianapolis Public Schools students are losing regular snacks of fresh fruit and vegetables after the district learned it had misused federal money. IPS spent about $600,000 last year on produce for more than 10,000 students. But The Indianapolis Star reports the U.S....

Leader of largest US organic food fraud gets 10-year term

Aug. 16, 2019 9:24 PM EDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A judge on Friday sentenced the mastermind of the largest known organic food fraud scheme in U.S. history to 10 years in prison, saying he cheated thousands of customers into buying products they didn't want. U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams said Randy Constant orchestrated a...

Free meals for all at 77 Atlanta public schools

Aug. 16, 2019 8:38 AM EDT

ATLANTA (AP) — Students in 77 Atlanta public schools are getting free breakfast and lunch, no matter their family income. News outlets report the no-cost meal service is expanding from 60 schools to 77 this year. All school's using the district's food service are eligible. The U.S. Department of...

USDA: Ohio has its worst weather-prevented planting season

Aug. 14, 2019 5:22 AM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers show Ohio farmers have been hit with the state's worst weather-prevented planting season on record. The Columbus Dispatch reports the data released this week shows Ohio had the highest rate nationally of acreage on which insured farmers were...

Farmers use tech to squeeze every drop from Colorado River

Aug. 13, 2019 8:26 PM EDT

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A drone soared over a blazing hot cornfield in northeastern Colorado on a recent morning, snapping images with an infrared camera to help researchers decide how much water they would give the crops the next day. After a brief, snaking flight above the field, the drone landed and the...

Animals rights complaint details dog deaths at Johns Hopkins

Aug. 13, 2019 7:39 AM EDT

BALTIMORE (AP) — An animal rights group has filed a federal complaint against Johns Hopkins University researchers over a lab experiment in which nine dogs had to be euthanized after spinal surgeries. The Baltimore Sun reports that Stop Animal Exploitation Now wants the U.S. Agriculture Department to...

Agreement stops cyanide trap use on Wyoming public land

Aug. 12, 2019 12:03 PM EDT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to stop using a certain cyanide trap to help control predators on 10 million acres (4 million hectares) of public lands in Wyoming. In a court-approved agreement resulting from a lawsuit brought by wildlife advocacy groups, the U.S. Agriculture...

Southern Indiana REMC gets $15.5M federal loan for upgrades

Aug. 12, 2019 5:52 AM EDT

CORYDON, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana REMC is receiving a $15.5 million federal loan to upgrade its network. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that Corydon-based Harrison REMC will use the financing to connect 1,445 new consumers, build 78 new miles (126 new kilometers) of distribution...

Grants, loans for water-related improvements in 3 counties

Aug. 12, 2019 5:01 AM EDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee congressman David Kustoff's office says the U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving more than $16 million in grants and loans to three rural counties for water-related improvements. The West Tennessee Republican said Friday that the department is investing $13.7 million in...