WSDA Accepting Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications

The Washington State Department of Agriculture received $4.65 million in federal Specialty Crop Block Grant funds in 2020. Project Manager Leisa Schumaker said the funds are made available as part of the Farm Bill to increase the competitiveness and demand of Washington’s specialty crops. “So there’s a lot of ways that they do this such […]

USDA Announces Expansion, Other Improvements to Hemp Crop Insurance

On Monday, the USDA announced the expansion of the pilot Multi-Peril Crop Insurance plan for hemp. The expansion and other improvements to the plan, will begin in the 2021 crop year. USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre said, “Hemp offers exciting economic opportunities for our nation’s farmers, and we are listening and responding to […]

USDA Highlights Risk Management Tools For Livestock Producers

USDA and the Extension Risk Management Education Program recently co-hosted a webinar focused on livestock risk management and what assistance is available for producers. “We have risk management agency within our mission area,” noted USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “We have several crop insurance tools. We call them cattle insurance. Cattle […]

USDA: Turkey Preparation Should Start Days Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and the USDA says now is the time to start preparing that big meal. USDA Food safety expert Meredith Carothers says one of the biggest problems she routinely see, deals with defrosting the holiday bird. While a popular technique, she says defrosting the turkey on your counter is […]

USDA Continues To Review Hemp Program Comments

The USDA has approved the hemp plans for half of the states in the U.S. and nearly 40 tribes. However, the USDA is also in the process of reviewing public comments for the U.S. domestic hemp production program interim final rule. “We’re interested to hear feedback on topics like disposal under mediation of non-compliant plants, […]

Progressives Fight Against Heitkamp as Possible USDA Boss

Progressives in agriculture appear to be making a push to prevent former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp from becoming Ag Secretary in the Biden administration. is reporting the conflict is ramping up as Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio has begun to campaign for the head of the $150 billion Department of Ag. Heitkamp’s name […]

Dairy Safety Net Enrollment Ends on December 11

The USDA is reminding dairy producers that the deadline to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage program for the calendar year 2021 is quickly approaching on December 11. The USDA’s FSA opened DMC signup back in October to help producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities. “2020 has been […]

Former Obama Ag Official Looks At Potential Biden USDA

What could the USDA look like under the Biden administration? A one-time member of the Obama Administration recently offered some insight into what the Department of Ag may look like in 2021 and beyond. Phillip Karsting, is the former Administrator of the USDA’s Foreign Ag Service under President Obama, as well as the former Interim […]

USDA: Farm Production Expenses Will Drop

The USDA said farm sector production expenses, including those associated with operator dwellings, are forecast to decrease by $4.6 billion to $344.2 billion in 2020 in nominal terms, which means not adjusted for inflation. That’s a 1.3% drop from the previous year. These expenses represent the costs of all inputs used to produce farm commodities […]

NRCS Rolls Out New Conservation Practice Standards

The USDA is out with its updated national conservation practice standards.  “We have currently a 170 conservation practice standards and they frame the technical standards and the specifications for the conservation work that we do individually with producers,” said Kevin Norton acting NRCS acting chief. “It’s kinda like building a house: you know, you have […]