Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Wyoming ranchers sue federal agency over new tracking rules

Oct. 18, 2019 3:27 PM EDT

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming ranchers have sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture over new livestock tracking regulations. The Casper Star-Tribune reported Thursday that ranchers filed the Oct. 10 lawsuit claiming an April guidance document from the agency puts unnecessary and burdensome regulations on...

USDA investing in coastal Maine sewer improvements

Oct. 18, 2019 12:31 AM EDT

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine (AP) — The federal government's providing money for a project to upgrade aging sewer infrastructure in one of Maine's coastal communities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the Boothbay Harbor Sewer District will receive a $254,000 grant and $596,000 loan to replace about 2,000...

Some US farmers get a reprieve at end of challenging year

Oct. 17, 2019 4:54 PM EDT

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Many farmers in the Midwest and South whose planting this year was interrupted by wet weather are getting a reprieve, though a few Northern states have seen harvest prospects go from bad to worse. Minnesota and the Dakotas have seen snow and rain in recent weeks that have hampered an...

Trump rule may mean 1 million kids lose automatic free lunch

Oct. 16, 2019 4:37 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly a million children could lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches under a Trump administration proposal that would reduce the number of people who get food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an analysis that says as many as 982,000 children could...

'Nothing-burger': US-China truce leaves big issues for later

Oct. 14, 2019 3:56 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump heralded a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks, and markets rallied in relief over a de-escalation in tensions between the world's two biggest economies. But closer inspection suggests there isn't much substance, at least not yet, to the temporary truce Trump...

New Mexico forecast to lead US in pecan production in 2019

Oct. 14, 2019 12:49 PM EDT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is expected to lead the U.S. in pecan production this year as growers prepare for the upcoming harvest. The U.S. Agriculture Department's statistics service says production in the Southwest state is forecast at a record high 97 million pounds (nearly 44,000 metric tons)....

'Flash drought' brings dust and dread to Southern farmers

Oct. 10, 2019 2:57 PM EDT

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A furnace-like "flash drought" is intensifying as it blasts away the little moisture left across a vast swath of the South, wilting garden plants and raising alarm among farmers, according to a weekly report updated Thursday. Nearly 56 million residents are now living in drought...

Study to assess farm efforts to reduce phosphorus runoff

Oct. 8, 2019 7:09 PM EDT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — As Vermont works to reduce algae-causing phosphorus runoff into Lake Champlain as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nearly $2 million in federal funding will go toward a study to look at how farm efforts are working to improve water quality, U.S. Sen. Patrick...

US signs limited deal with Japan on ag, digital trade

Oct. 7, 2019 5:16 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Japan signed a limited trade agreement Monday, a deal that would win back benefits American farmers lost when President Donald Trump pulled out of a broader Asia-Pacific pact his first week in office. U.S. farmers have been operating at a disadvantage in Japan since...

Unions sue USDA seeking to halt new pork processing rule

Oct. 7, 2019 3:46 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The union representing workers at pork processing plants sued the federal government on Monday to challenge a new rule that allows companies to set line speeds and turn over more food safety tasks to company employees. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and...