Economic Research Service

Trump’s USDA relocated research agencies despite warnings of high staff attrition

In 2019, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the government would save $300 million over 15 years by moving two research agencies to Kansas City from the District of Columbia. However, congressional auditors now say USDA's selection process was flawed and disregarded estimates that up to 75 percent of employees would quit rather than move.

ERS report: Despite pandemic, U.S. food insecurity remained flat in 2020

One in 10 U.S. households were food insecure in 2020, the same level as a year earlier, the USDA's Economic Research Service reported Wednesday. The flat rate of food insecurity provided evidence that government and charitable programs during the Covid-19 pandemic tempered a rise in hunger despite the deep recession.

USDA ‘hiring at an extremely fast pace’ to rebuild ERS and NIFA

One-third of the jobs at two USDA research agencies are still vacant 18 months after their abrupt Trump-era relocation to Kansas City, said the chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the USDA budget on Wednesday.

Future of industrial hemp clouded by economic uncertainties

Challenges including competition for acreage, the threat of imports, and the necessity of building marketing networks "will determine patterns of development in the emerging U.S. hemp industry," said USDA economists in a report issued Wednesday.

Trump again proposes large cuts in crop insurance

Three weeks after President Trump boasted of protecting crop insurance in the 2018 farm bill, the White House proposed a 31 percent cut in the federally subsidized program on Monday. The cuts, part of the administration's budget package for fiscal 2021, were proposed — and rejected by lawmakers — in previous years.

USDA to move two agencies to Pennsylvania Avenue — in Kansas City

The USDA has a permanent home for two research agencies, four months after announcing they would move to “the Kansas City region” and weeks after employees began reporting to work at temporary quarters.

With relocation, ERS losing top expert on consolidation

Thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to move the agency out of Washington, the USDA’s Economic Research Service is losing its top expert on market consolidation at a time when declining competition in agriculture is under increased scrutiny from policymakers and government officials.(No paywall)

Different types of corn drive U.S.-Mexico trade

The United States and Mexico are among the world’s largest corn producers, and both are expanding production. A USDA report says that despite their geographic proximity, there are fundamental differences in the “corn economies” of the two countries.

Crop insurance costs could rise steeply with climate change

Climate change is expected to lower U.S. corn, soybean, and wheat production and drive up the cost of the federally subsidized crop insurance program. The increase could be as small as 4 percent or as large as 37 percent, depending on how much temperatures rise and whether mitigation efforts are effective, said a USDA report on Monday.

USDA expected agency relocation would drive away employees

With the USDA on the cusp of moving two research agencies to Kansas City, a senior official said on Thursday that massive staff turnover — so far, 250 employees have declined to leave Washington — is par for the course for cross-country relocations. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow offered a different take: “This is not a relocation. It’s a demolition.”

USDA says agencies are going to Kansas City regardless of staff refusals

Newly hired USDA employees will begin work in Kansas City on Monday as part of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to move two research agencies out of Washington. The USDA said it would use “an aggressive hiring strategy” to replace the 250 staffers who declined the offer to move halfway across the United States.

Landlord wants a chance to keep NIFA in Washington

The government has extended the deadline for bids from Kansas City real estate companies looking to house two USDA scientific agencies, while the current landlord for one of those agencies contests the relocation, reported Politico.

USDA tries to plug the holes as ERS staff flows away

The USDA is already recruiting employees to replace Economic Research Service staff workers who will not relocate to Kansas City this summer, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.

White House targets ag provisions in veto threat of mammoth funding bill

The U.S. House opened debate on a mammoth federal spending bill, including money for the USDA, on Tuesday under the threat of a presidential veto of the $322 billion bill. The White House said it opposed half a dozen USDA provisions in the bill, including language that would preclude relocating two research agencies to Kansas City and implementing a new inspection system for hog-slaughter plants.

‘Major underestimate’ of cost of relocating USDA agencies, says group

The USDA failed to follow federal guidelines when it determined it would save money by moving two research agencies to Kansas City, said a review by the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association on Wednesday.

USDA announces Kansas City region as new home of NIFA and ERS

In a highly anticipated announcement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday that the Kansas City region would be the new home of the agency’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Economic Research Service.

Perdue chooses new homes for two USDA research agencies

Ten months after he announced the initiative, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will meet with USDA employees privately Thursday and then announce to the public the new homes for two research agencies now sited in Washington.

House panel to vote on blocking relocation of two USDA agencies

If a House Appropriations subcommittee has its way, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue would be barred from moving two USDA research agencies out of Washington.

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