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Despite Rising Demand, U.S. Doesn’t Do Enough to Support Organic Transition

by Colin O’Neil, Agriculture Policy Director, Environmental Working Group

transitionMore and more Americans want to avoid toxic pesticides on the foods they are buying and feeding their families. But the U.S. invests too little in growing more organic food. As demand for organic food continues to rise, American food companies and retailers are forced to rely on imports.

We think this should change. That is why we released a report advocating for Congress to reduce obstacles to organic transition through modest changes in the next farm bill and launched our Plate of the Union campaign with Food Policy Action Education Fund. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Lacking in Organic Meat Processors

organic meat processingA report from the Organic Farming Research Foundation says the United States lacks enough organic meat processors. In the National Organic Research Agenda Report, the group concluded that although sales of U.S.-produced organic food exceed $6 billion annually, federal funding into organic production has not kept pace. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic Farmers Group Growing

certified organic farmersThe Organic Farmers Association is gaining momentum, according to Politico. The group, organized by the Rodale (roh-dale) Institute, has formed a steering committee and will hold leadership elections early next year. The panel includes 12 voting seats for certified organic farmers and seven non-voting seats for organic farm organizations. The Rodale Institute says the organization has “several hundred members” that it is asking about their lobbying priorities and expects to be active in farm bill discussions. Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Moyer said the startup group gained support last year from organic watchdogs who opposed the Organic Trade Associations’ stance on GMO labeling legislation. Moyer also said many of the farmers he’s talked to are against the Agriculture Department’s organic checkoff program, but the Organic Farmers Association has not yet taken a position on the checkoff issue.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.

Eating Habits

eating habits
Everett Griner talks about how our eating habits have changed in today’s Agri View. Hear Everett’s report and learn more.

UNH Research: Organic Pesticides Help Manage Cabbage Aphids on Brussels Sprouts

cabbage aphids

Brussels sprouts infested with cabbage aphid, which can render most sprouts unmarketable.

Severe infestations of cabbage aphids can virtually destroy a crop of Brussels sprouts, making them unmarketable. However, new research from the University of New Hampshire shows that organic pesticides can be effective in managing the pests.

The research was conducted by Becky Sideman, a researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and extension professor of sustainable horticulture production, and her undergraduate student Talia Levy. Levy studied the issue of aphid infestations of Brussels sprouts for her senior thesis. The research was conducted at the UNH Woodman Horticultural Research Farm, a facility of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. Read the rest of this entry »

Rising Demand for Organic and Non-GMO Grains Outpaces U.S. Production

demand gmo
Rising demand for organic and non-GMO foods led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports last year. A new report by CoBank says U.S. production of non-GMO crops has risen, but domestic production for organic corn and soybeans remains well short of current U.S. demand. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic Welfare Rule Delayed

organic welfare
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it is delaying implementation of a controversial new rule on animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry. Read the rest of this entry »

USDA NASS Conducting Certified Organic Survey

certified organic livestockThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2016 Certified Organic Survey to gather new data on certified organic crops and livestock commodities in the United States. This effort is critical to help determine the economic impact of certified organic agriculture production in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump Reportedly Taps Perdue as Ag Secretary

trump

Perdue


President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly picked former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be Agriculture Secretary under the incoming administration. While the USDA landing team has yet to confirm the nominee, multiple media outlets attributed a senior transition official as saying Trump will nominate Perdue to the post.

The American Farm Bureau strongly endorsed the nomination of Perdue following the news. Read the rest of this entry »

Conaway Disappointed in Organic Animal Welfare Rule

conaway organic

Conaway


Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service release of its new organic animal welfare standards. Read the rest of this entry »

USDA Strengthens Integrity of the Organic Label

organic label
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced a final rule that strengthens the integrity of the organic label by clarifying production requirements for organic livestock and poultry. The final rule establishes a level playing field for organic producers, bolsters consumer confidence in the organic label, and ensures that all organic animals live in pasture-based systems utilizing production practices that support their well-being and natural behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

Another ‘Midnight’ Regulation Dumped On Farmers

regulation
In another poke in the eye to agriculture, the Obama administration tomorrow will issue a regulation that adds animal welfare standards to the nation’s organic food production law. The National Pork Producers Council will work with the Trump administration and Congress to repeal yet another “midnight” regulation. Read the rest of this entry »

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