Latest Agriculture and the environment News

Buckfield farm with 50 Jerseys is Maine dairy farm of year

Sep. 27, 2020 11:45 AM EDT

BUCKFIELD, Maine (AP) — A Buckfield farm with 50 Jersey cows has been named the top dairy farm in Maine for 2020. Lovell Family Farm is the winner of the Dairy Farm of the Year and Green Pastures award, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said in a statement. The farm began...

Nonprofit seeks to preserve open land in Burrillville

Sep. 26, 2020 12:42 PM EDT

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (AP) — A land conservation group in Rhode Island has launched a campaign to raise $2.2 million to save historic farmland from developers. The Burrillville Land Trust's campaign announced in the past week is meant to save the 150-acre Sweet Hill property in the town. The land used to be...

Maine's Common Ground Fair goes online this weekend

Sep. 26, 2020 12:16 PM EDT

UNITY, Maine (AP) — The show will go on for Maine’s annual celebration of rural living. But the show will be online. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground Country Fair is being held as a virtual event this weekend. The fair typically draws around 60,000 people...

Illinois joins pact to protect monarch butterflies' habitat

Sep. 26, 2020 9:26 AM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Four state agencies have signed a pact to protect monarch butterflies and other important pollinators whose numbers are dwindling. Representatives of the Illinois Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency signed onto...

Virginia farmers market aims to remain proactive in pandemic

Sep. 26, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The Blacksburg Farmers Market has mostly kept moving throughout the pandemic, but the people who run the long-existing institution are working to ensure that the operation continues to experience as few disruptions as possible. Fencing has been installed around Blacksburg’s...

FILE - In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a red-cockaded woodpecker looks to a biologist as it is released back into in a long leaf pine forest at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A bird declared endangered in 1970 -- the red-cockaded woodpecker, which taps pine sap to protect babies from snakes and gets its sons to help care for the next clutch of nestlings -- has recovered enough to relax federal protection, officials said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Feds: Relax protections for woodpecker endangered since 1970

Sep. 25, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird declared endangered in 1970 and surviving today in 11 states' scattered longleaf pine forests, has recovered enough to relax its federal protection, officials said Friday. But not all wildlife advocates agree. “The red-cockaded woodpecker has flourished to the point that...

Groups decry proposal to roll back Alaska forest protections

Sep. 24, 2020 8:51 PM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to exempt the country’s largest national forest from a ban on timber harvests and road building in roadless areas, a move conservation groups denounced Thursday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which the Forest Service falls,...

Two Mojave desert tortoises hide from the desert heat under a rock ledge in Red Cliffs Desert Reserve on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Utah. Biologists in southern Utah are surveying the damage left by a wildfire that scorched large swaths of land set aside for a rare tortoise habitat in southern Utah. (Joan Meiners/The Spectrum via AP)

Biologists survey wildfire destruction on tortoise habitat

Sep. 22, 2020 5:54 PM EDT

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — After the Turkey Farm Road Fire fried nearly 12,000 acres north of St. George, Utah, in mid-July, including large swaths of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area that was set aside in 2009 as habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise, biologists worried what they would...

Drought conditions in Maine qualify farmers for federal help

Sep. 22, 2020 12:51 PM EDT

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) — State authorities in Maine are encouraging farmers in the northern part of the state to contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture for assistance in the wake of the declaration of a drought disaster. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated Aroostook County, home to most...

Proposed San Diego fish farm could be first in federal water

Sep. 21, 2020 3:48 PM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A research institute in San Diego and an investment group in Long Beach have teamed up to propose what could be the first open-ocean fish farm in federal waters off the southern California coast. Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and Pacific6 Enterprise proposed the Pacific Ocean AquaFarm...