Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

USDA program keeps extra COVID-era money for fruits, veggies

Nov. 17, 2022 19:27 PM EST

U.S. agriculture officials proposed changes Thursday to the federal program that helps pay the grocery bills for low-income pregnant women, babies and young children, including extending a bump in payments for fresh fruits and vegetables allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The...

Rising food costs take a bite out of Thanksgiving dinner

Nov. 17, 2022 18:19 PM EST

In early November, Hays Culbreth’s mother sent a poll to a few family members. She said she could only afford to make two sides for their group of 15 this Thanksgiving and asked them each to vote for their favorites. Culbreth guesses green beans and macaroni and cheese will make...

USDA says more than $200M will help meat processors expand

Nov. 02, 2022 17:43 PM EDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Agriculture Department announced more than $223 million in grants and loans Wednesday to help small- and mid-sized meat processing plants expand as part of a larger $1 billion effort to boost competition in the highly concentrated industry. The effort is...

Bird flu infects Iowa egg farm with 1 million chickens

Oct. 31, 2022 19:47 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials said Monday that another commercial egg farm in the state has been infected with bird flu, the first commercial farm case identified since April, when a turkey farm was infected. The latest case is in Wright County in north central...

Springfield mountain lion sedated, taken to Indiana refuge

Oct. 28, 2022 17:56 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A mountain lion that roamed residential neighborhoods in Springfield was sedated Friday and taken to an Indiana sanctuary that houses big cats, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said. The young male was tranquilized by staff with the U.S....

US agency to cover matching costs following New Mexico fire

Oct. 20, 2022 18:13 PM EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will waive cost-sharing requirements for New Mexico farmers and ranchers affected by the largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history. U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján on Thursday announced that the agency will cover cost...

New Mexico State project seeks more nutritious chile peppers

Oct. 19, 2022 19:07 PM EDT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — It’s no secret that chile is a popular and essential crop in New Mexico. Now researchers at New Mexico State University are working to develop more nutritious and better-yielding chile pepper varieties to improve overall productivity in the nation’s top...

USDA announces $1 billion debt relief for 36,000 farmers

Oct. 18, 2022 19:53 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government announced Tuesday a program that will provide $1.3 billion in debt relief for about 36,000 farmers who have fallen behind on loan payments or face foreclosure. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the farm loan relief program...

In Wisconsin, voters shrug off GOP candidate’s Jan. 6 tie

Oct. 16, 2022 10:49 AM EDT

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Derrick Van Orden was among the thousands of people who went to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” rally headlined by then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021. Afterward, Van Orden was photographed on or near the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, where rioters violently...

After Hurricane Ian, Florida citrus and agriculture struggle

Oct. 15, 2022 16:34 PM EDT

ZOLFO SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — The thousands of oranges scattered on the ground by Hurricane Ian’s fierce winds like so many green and yellow marbles are only the start of the disaster for citrus grower Roy Petteway. The fruit strewn about his 100-acre (40-hectare) grove in central...