Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Wyoming expects below normal spring runoff this year

Jan. 12, 2021 4:43 PM EST

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Most rivers in Wyoming will be at below-average levels this spring, a report said. The report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that the North Platte River, which runs through Casper, will be at less than half of its average where it enters the Nebraska...

Illinois, US team up to manage, sustain vast forest lands

Jan. 9, 2021 11:05 AM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Federal and state land managers have signed an agreement to cooperate on caring for vast forest lands in Illinois. The agreement signed this past week was between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. It establishes a...

COVID-19 subsidies could mean high income levels for farmers

Jan. 9, 2021 1:01 AM EST

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota farmers could have what many would consider a successful bottom line for 2020, a fact that’s, ironically, thanks to COVID-19. Net farm income is expected to reach just shy of $120 billion in the U.S., its highest point since 2013 and a more than 43% increase...

Maine to continue combating pest despite feds deregulation

Jan. 7, 2021 12:53 PM EST

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine forestry officials will continue to monitor for an invasive forest pest in the state despite new guidance from the federal government. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has long made efforts to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, which is...

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2018 file photo, potatoes run down a conveyor belt at Brett Jensen Farms outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho. U.S. officials have released a new plan involving methods to deal with a microscopic pest in southeastern Idaho that threatens the state's billion-dollar potato industry that supplies a third of the nation's potatoes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture late last week released the final rule that sets out criteria for killing off pale cyst nematodes and reopening quarantined fields to production.. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, File)

US issues new rules for Idaho potato field quarantines

Jan. 4, 2021 3:27 PM EST

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials have released a new plan involving methods to deal with a microscopic pest in southeastern Idaho that threatens the state's billion-dollar industry that supplies a third of the nation's potatoes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture late last week released the final rule...

In this Oct. 27, 2020 image, Cristal Franco, center, arranges bags of food to be delivered to families in need at a food pantry in Ajo, Arizona. When COVID-19 emptied the shelves of Ajo's lone grocery store, the Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture stepped in to help. It runs a pantry that has distributed more than 20,000 boxes to about 2,000 families. (Katherine Sypher/Cronkite News via AP)

Arizona town teams up to fight COVID-19 food insecurity

Jan. 4, 2021 10:18 AM EST

AJO, Ariz. (AP) — On an early autumn morning, the whitewashed churches of Ajo are quiet, and the town square is still. The only sounds are dump trucks rumbling by, headed for border wall construction sites to the south. But inside the Ajo Farmers Market & Cafe, the atmosphere is buzzing. It’s...

Editorial Roundup: Iowa

Jan. 4, 2021 10:01 AM EST

Fort Dodge Messenger. Dec. 30, 2020. Keep Bill Northey at USDA. Here’s a great way for Joe Biden to show bipartisanship The deep divisions between our two major political parties have made it difficult for Congress to function. All too often, needed policy decisions are left unmade because lawmakers find...

Mississippi county: Beaver dams could cause roadway flooding

Jan. 3, 2021 10:58 AM EST

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — Officials in part of the Mississippi Delta say beaver dams in creeks and other bodies of water could lead to flooding on roadways during the rainy winter season. Leflore County road manager Jerry Smith said it's important to break up dams "because if you leave some there and we get...

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2020 file photo, a farmer discs over a corn field on at a farm north of Woodward, Iowa. The corn was damaged beyond salvage by the recent derecho. Thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income, U.S. farmers are expected to end 2020 with higher profit than 2019 and the best net income in seven years, the Department of Agriculture said in its latest farm income forecast. Farmers faced challenges throughout 2020 that included the impact of trade disputes; low prices that drove down cash receipts and weather difficulties. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP File)

Federal checks salvage otherwise dreadful 2020 for US farms

Dec. 31, 2020 2:37 PM EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income, U.S. farmers are expected to end 2020 with higher profit than 2019 and the best net income in seven years, the Department of Agriculture said in its latest farm income forecast. Farmers faced challenges throughout 2020 that...

This photo provided by The Nature Conservancy shows a prescribed fire sweeping through longleaf pines in 2019 at The Nature Conservancy's Calloway Preserve near Fort Bragg, N.C.  An intensive effort in nine coastal states from Virginia to Texas is bringing back longleaf pines -- armor-plated trees that bear footlong needles and need regular fires to spark their seedlings’ growth and to support wildly diverse grasslands that include carnivorous plants and harbor burrowing tortoises.  (Margaret Fields/The Nature Conservancy via AP)

Restoring longleaf pines, keystone of once vast ecosystems

Dec. 30, 2020 10:36 AM EST

DESOTO NATIONAL FOREST, Miss. (AP) — When European settlers came to North America, fire-dependent savannas anchored by lofty pines with footlong needles covered much of what became the southern United States. Yet by the 1990s, logging and clear-cutting for farms and development had all but eliminated...