Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Maine rep joins push for USDA to keep school meal waivers

Aug. 11, 2020 2:15 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government must renew waivers for programs that increase access to school meals amid the coronavirus pandemic, Maine's Democratic congresswoman said. Rep Chellie Pingree joined more than 100 members of Congress in a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny...

Maine asking for help finding pesky forest bugs

Aug. 9, 2020 3:14 PM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine is asking residents to keep an eye on trees near their homes and neighborhoods for strange bugs. August is a peak time of the year to be able to observe invasive insects, which can do damage to trees in the state. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry...

USDA to buy $30M in shrimp to aid Gulf seafood industry

Aug. 9, 2020 11:09 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Gulf of Mexico seafood industry is getting help from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will buy $30 million worth of shrimp from Gulf Coast fishermen in an effort to stabilize the industry. The announcement comes after Louisiana and Mississippi...

Rural Maine water districts get federal help for improvement

Aug. 8, 2020 2:17 PM EDT

BRIDGTON, Maine (AP) — A pair of water districts in rural Maine areas is receiving nearly $5 million from the federal government to make upgrades. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing the money in the form of grants and loans to the Bridgton Water District and the Milo Water District. It's part...

Rice looking good in Louisiana and Mississippi

Aug. 8, 2020 12:04 PM EDT

CROWLEY, La. (AP) — Agriculture experts in Louisiana and Mississippi say the rice crop is looking good. “It’s a big contrast from last year,” Jeremy Hebert, AgCenter agent in Acadia Parish, said in a news release Friday from the Louisiana State University AgCenter. “Things...

Hawaii coffee farmers in jeopardy with no federal aid

Aug. 6, 2020 10:31 AM EDT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii's congressional delegation has continually urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its coronavirus relief program to include coffee farmers but the state's roughly $50 million coffee industry waits in a state of limbo. The $16 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program,...

West Virginia to get $14M from feds for water system updates

Aug. 6, 2020 4:14 AM EDT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive more than $14 million from the federal government to modernize water infrastructure in six rural counties, officials said this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement saying the money is part of a $462 million grant program for state's...

Governors conference planned for Maine will be moved online

Aug. 3, 2020 2:09 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A meeting of governors from around the country that had been scheduled to take place in Maine has been moved online to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. The Summer Meeting of the National Governors Association had been slated to convene Wednesday in Portland. The...

UConn receives $10 million grant to research poultry

Aug. 3, 2020 12:30 PM EDT

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn has been awarded a $10 million grant to research how to raise poultry for food without giving the birds antibiotics. The grant, announced Monday by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will fund a project led by Kumar...

Mississippi farmers can start applying for hemp license

Aug. 2, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi farmers or those interested in becoming farmers can start applying for hemp grower licenses. The Daily Leader reports the license application period began Saturday and runs through Oct. 31 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Industrial hemp has been promoted as a...