Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Rhode Island fined $2M for problems with its benefits system

Aug. 25, 2019 1:22 PM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The federal government is fining Rhode Island about $2 million for problems with the state's benefits system. WPRI-TV reports the problems stem from the botched rollout of a computer system for benefits programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service found...

USDA: Crop insurance covers irrigation tunnel collapse loss

Aug. 23, 2019 5:23 PM EDT

GERING, Neb. (AP) — Farmers in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming left without a way to water crops following the collapse of a massive irrigation tunnel in July will be covered by federal crop insurance. That word came Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which determined that the cause of...

Editorials from around New England

Aug. 23, 2019 9:24 AM EDT

Editorials from around New England: CONNECTICUT Pot legalization: Unreliable in many ways The Republican-American Aug. 22 As if Connecticut didn't already have enough reasons to resist the temptation to legalize - and tax - recreational marijuana sales, the Pew Charitable Trusts offered another this week. As...

Maine ag commissioner let down by USDA's blueberry aid snub

Aug. 21, 2019 12:31 AM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's agriculture commissioner says it's "highly disappointing" the federal government won't include the state's blueberry growers in a program designed to provide payments to farmers hurt by trade disruption. Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner...

Arkansas farmers didn't plant on 1.3 million acres this year

Aug. 19, 2019 9:12 PM EDT

LIITLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — This spring's heavy rainfall and flooding left 1.3 million acres (0.526 million hectares) of land unplanted in Arkansas. Lawrence County farmers saw nearly 74,000 idled acres (29,947 million hectares), the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Jerry Morgan is one of the county's...

Federal rule could end Colorado food assistance for families

Aug. 19, 2019 6:47 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — A proposed federal rule could end food assistance for about 33,000 people in Colorado, including 11,000 children, a report said. Potential regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture could terminate free or reduced-price lunches and lower the food stamp earnings limit by thousands of...

45 Mississippi counties primary ag disaster areas

Aug. 19, 2019 6:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has named 45 Mississippi counties primary natural disaster areas because of freezing, flooding, flash flooding and excessive rain. Producers who had losses from those causes since Jan. 15 may be eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency loans....

Town now owes $170,000 on USDA loan to former fire district

Aug. 19, 2019 1:12 PM EDT

BARRE TOWN, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont town is on the hook for about $170,000 of a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to a fire district since absorbed by the town. The Times Argus reports that the USDA has contacted Barre Town officials about a loan Websterville Fire District received in the 1990s. The...

Annual USDA rabies bait drop designed to stop rabies spread

Aug. 19, 2019 10:16 AM EDT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Wildlife officials in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are continuing a yearslong effort to stop the spread of rabies by distributing an oral vaccine targeted at raccoons across the three states. Low-flying aircraft dropped the vaccines in Vermont and New Hampshire last week. This...

Recent editorials published in Nebraska newspapers

Aug. 19, 2019 10:01 AM EDT

Omaha World Herald. August 15, 2019 No easy answers for residents in this flood-damaged Nebraska village The waters have receded, but this year's catastrophic flooding continues to take its toll on many Midlands communities. The situation is presenting residents of Winslow, a village in Dodge County, with a...