USDA wants ideas about how to better enforce 90-day limit on food stamps

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has long spoken out against the “permanent lifestyle” of able-bodied adults who receive food stamps. Now the USDA is asking how it can more stringently enforce its 90-day limit on benefits to those who work fewer than 20 hours a week.

Corn vs. soybean race for U.S. dominance could be a squeaker

The contest between corn, the longtime leader, and soybeans to be the most widely planted U.S. crop may be closer than initially thought, said USDA chief economist Robert Johansson, speaking at the agency’s annual Ag Outlook Forum.

Perdue doubles down on support for SNAP Harvest Box program

At the annual USDA Ag Outlook Forum, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue doubled down on his support for the recently proposed “Harvest Box” food stamp program. Perdue provided some elaboration on his vision for the program but offered little evidence of growing support. (No paywall)

Sustainability think tank pushes mushroom-beef burger

With beef production accounting for nearly half of all land use and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, the World Resources Institute is touting what it calls a better burger.

Food inflation forecast lowered

U.S. food prices will rise a scant 1.5 percent this year, continuing a three-year run of below-normal food inflation rates, said a USDA forecast, pointing to grocery store prices that are at a near standstill.

Employee alleges years of sexual harassment at USDA

At a USDA event for Black History Month last week, Rosetta Davis took the stage to describe her experiences of sexual harassment and retaliation during her 16 years working for the agency.

Wisconsin toughens its time limit for food stamp recipients

According to Gov. Scott Walker, “Wisconsin continues to lead the way on welfare reform,” including legislation that requires more of its residents to work more hours per week, or spend more time in job training, to receive food stamps for more than 90 days.

Strong public support for menu labeling and Nutrition Facts

Four out of five Americans support the federal requirement that chain restaurants list calorie counts on their menus. An even larger majority — 87 percent — say the Nutrition Facts label is useful, said the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Commerce Department authorizes anti-dumping duties on imported biodiesel

Biodiesel makers in Argentina and Indonesia should face anti-dumping duties of up to 277 percent on their shipments to the United States, ruled the Commerce Department in a case brought by domestic producers.

Report touts upside, refutes downside of hedgerows

A two-year study by University of California researchers says that hedgerows, the strips of vegetation along the edges of fields, take up so little space that they are not a shelter for rodents or a source of food-borne pathogens.