alabama disaster declaration

Disaster Declaration Sought for South Alabama Counties from USDA

Farmers were already in dire need of relief from several weeks of large rainfall totals where rain has saturated fields in central and southern Alabama.  To add insult to injury, Tropical Storm Cindy dropped additional extensive rainfall across the region this week. Widespread flooding in South Alabama along with localized flooding in central Alabama have created multiple problems for Alabama …

If It Smells Like a Petunias or Shampoo, It Might Be a Pesticide

USDA Agricultural Research Service A scent that petunias and snapdragons release to attract pollinators may be an environmentally friendly control for pests like the spotted wing drosophila fly (SWD) and the brown marmorated stink bug. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Aijun Zhang discovered the fragrant chemical methyl benzoate, which is also a popular ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and …

young

USDA Announces $20 Million for Jobs for Young People, Veterans

USDA and partners committed $20 million in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps partnership agreements to provide 4,000 work opportunities for youth, young adults and veterans up to 35 years old, a move that will help the U.S. Forest Service accomplish mission-critical infrastructure and landscape restoration projects on the ground. The U.S. Forest Service is one of seventeen USDA Agencies. The …

reorganization

USDA Reorganization Takes Shape

Perdue Names Leadership in Acting Roles Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue named three individuals who will take on leadership roles as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues the reorganization announced on May 11, 2017.  In accordance with a directive in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA created a new Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs as part of …

september

No USDA Nominees Until September

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told lawmakers this week he may be the lone political appointment at the Department of Agriculture until September, or later. Currently, 15 executive posts at USDA are vacant and await White House nomination. Perdue told the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee the names of nominees for six positions, including that of deputy secretary, have been sent to …

usda

USDA to Speed Through GMO Labeling Rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to finalize GMO disclosure standards within a nine-month time frame, what Politico calls a breakneck pace for any rulemaking. USDA in that timeframe will go from proposing the regulation to finalizing the rules. That includes a likely three-month comment period, revisions, and White House approval, a process that also takes about three months. A …

agricultural

Critical Agricultural Water Resources Issues

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 14 grants totaling more than $9 million to help solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. The grants are funded through the Water for Agriculture Challenge Area of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm …

counties

Five Counties in Georgia Designated as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Florida

In response to a request from Dianne Westmoreland, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Acting State Executive Director in Georgia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Baker, Decatur, Grady, Mitchell and Thomas counties in Georgia as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in Brooks, Calhoun, Colquitt, Dougherty, Early, Miller, …

hurricane

Hurricane Season Begins

Federal Program Protects Public Safety While forecasters are predicting an active hurricane season this year, workers are finishing repairs from Hurricane Matthew. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, (NRCS) has provided $1,487,887 for Putnam, Volusia, and Seminole counties to remove debris in canals, ditches, and streams to prevent flooding homes, businesses, roads, and utilities.  Another $769,523 will fund stabilizing streambanks in …

rural development

Duvall Praises Selection of Hazlett for Rural Development

The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “Anne Hazlett brings a depth of experience on rural development issues that should benefit American farmers and ranchers and strengthen the rural communities they call home. Her background in rural issues in Indiana and her background in agricultural policy make her an ideal candidate to lead USDA’s …