Food stamps a target as House GOP moves toward budget plan

House Republicans are expected to caucus today to discuss a budget package that reportedly increases military spending while cutting domestic programs. The food stamp program is commonly mentioned as a target in government-wide cuts to domestic spending that could total $150 billion over 10 years.

Interior: Time to delist the Yellowstone grizzly

The grizzly bear will soon be delisted as an endangered species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, according to a statement from the Department of the Interior. The area around Yellowstone National Park covers more than 20,000 square miles of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

A narrow winner in 2012, Heitkamp ponders her political future

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who won election in 2012 by 2,936 votes, “is staring down an exceedingly difficult reelection campaign in a state where President Donald Trump is beloved,” says Politico in a story headlined, “North Dakota’s last Democrat?”

Shortsighted cuts threaten organic industry, says Rep. Pingree

Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree, with firsthand experience as an organic farmer, says the Trump administration’s proposals to cut USDA funding for organic agriculture programs “seem especially foolish and shortsighted” and that the integrity of the USDA “certified organic” seal must be protected.

USDA suspends fresh beef imports from scandal-marred Brazil

In less than four months, USDA inspectors rejected 1.9 million pounds of fresh beef from Brazil, a worrisome 11 percent of shipments from that country during that time. Now Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has suspended all Brazilian beef imports, saying, “My first priority is to protect American consumers.”

Study casts doubt on food waste ‘facts’

Nearly every article on food waste includes these stats: 40 percent of food in this country, worth $165 billion, is wasted each year. But a study from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Applied Economics says that those numbers are only estimates and may actually be inaccurate.

Northern Plains may feel effects all year from scant spring rains

Spring and early summer are the wet season for the northern Plains, a cattle, wheat, and corn-growing region, so the dry start to this year’s growing season could have a lasting impact, says the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor.

‘We will rebuild rural America,’ says Trump, starting with broadband

In his first trip to Iowa since taking office, President Trump was introduced to high-technology, big-data dependent agriculture and said his $1 trillion infrastructure plan will expand broadband access in rural America. "We will rebuild rural America," said the president, with a prosperous farm sector as the lever for economic growth in rural communities.

Vermont’s approach to farm pollution seen as a national model

From Vermont’s Lake Champlain to rivers in California, waterways are being overloaded with nutrient pollution running off farms. But Vermont took an approach to cleaning up its waterways that could well serve as a model for other states, especially now that the federal government is in regulatory retreat in the Trump era, writes Paul Greenberg in FERN’s latest story with Eating Well magazine.

Forecast: A ‘dead zone’ the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico

Heavy rainfall in May washed the equivalent of an estimated 2,800 rail cars of nitrogen fertilizer down the Mississippi River and will create the third-largest fish-killing "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico in 32 years of monitoring, say federal scientists. They forecast a low-oxygen dead zone of 8,185 square miles, about the size of New Jersey.