USDA Updates Conservation Provisions for Highly Erodible Land and Wetlands

Clint Thompson USDA, USDA-NRCS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published its final rule on determining whether land is considered highly erodible or a wetland. This final rule follows a focused effort by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve consistency and use of science in making determinations. This follows an interim final rule that was published Dec. 7, 2018, after which …

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USDA Forecasting More Net Cash Farm Income for 2020

Clint Thompson Economy, USDA

A new forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes farm income across the country this year will be higher than it was in 2019. USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson has the new numbers. Johansson says USDA lowered its estimate of 2019 farm income. USDA notes direct government farm payments, including federal aid, are forecast at $37.2 billion, a …

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Registration Ongoing for UGA Cotton/Peanut Research Field Day

Clint Thompson Cotton, Georgia, Georgia Cotton Commission, Peanuts

By Clint Thompson Registration is ongoing for the University of Georgia Cotton and Peanut Research Field Day, scheduled virtually for Sept. 9. Those interested in learning more about two high value row crops can also register on the Georgia Cotton Commission website and the Georgia Peanut Commission website.  The field day will start at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at noon. …

USDA Launches Strategy to Continue Conserving the Gopher Tortoise and its Critical Habitat

Clint Thompson USDA-NRCS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has released its new 5-year plan to conserve the Southeast’s threatened gopher tortoise by focusing on the conservation and restoration of its key habitat, the longleaf pine forests. Acting NRCS Chief Kevin Norton told Southeast AgNet the fate of the gopher tortoise is linked to habitat quality, and efforts …

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More CFAP Funding Possible After Labor Day

Clint Thompson USDA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week hinted at more Coronavirus Food Assistance Program aid for farmers could be on the horizon. Perdue confirmed that the Department of Agriculture is considering “shortly after Labor Day” offering a second wave of CFAP relief during a press call. Funding for the next round of payments would come from the additional $14 billion Congress …

USDA/EPA Announce Next Generation Fertilizer Challenges

Clint Thompson Environment, USDA

On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States. The competition includes two challenges that seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of …

Investigating Farmers to Families Food Box Program

Clint Thompson USDA

The House Coronavirus Crisis subcommittee seeks data on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program from the Department of Agriculture. Committee Chair, Representative James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, made the request in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Clyburn cited concerns of “questionable contracting practices, a lack of accountability, and a failure to deliver food to many …

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USMEF Conducting Educational Webinars for Red Meat Exporters

Clint Thompson Beef, Exports/Imports, Pork

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has been conducting monthly, web-based educational seminars for staff of its member companies. As Joe Schuele reports, these seminars are providing instructions for properly documenting and executing shipments of U.S. beef, pork and lamb to international destinations.

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More Funding for Food Box Program

Clint Thompson USDA

President Donald Trump announced on Monday an additional $1 billion for the Farmers to Families Food Box program. The Department of Agriculture announced the program earlier this year, along with $3 billion in funding to help farmers and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the program, USDA purchases food from farmers, then local distributors pack and deliver the boxes to …