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)

Perdue puts his ‘Sonnyside’ on display as podcaster

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will release the first episode of his own podcast today — a chat with former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who describes how much President Trump “loves America’s farmers and ranchers.”

Dairy farmers may have to get big to survive, says Perdue

In a state losing two dairy farms a day, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday that it’s hard to make a living with a small herd of cows. The “economies of scale having happened in America—big get bigger and small go out,” Perdue said at a dairy show in Wisconsin, …

USDA proposes change in rules for greater sage-grouse

The USDA intends by this fall to put in place a revised land management plan for the greater sage-grouse, once a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Tougher SNAP rules may worsen food insecurity, per USDA analysis

A cost-benefit analysis by USDA says its proposal for tighter eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “may also negatively impact food security,” reported Politico. The USDA estimated 3.1 million people, or nearly 9 percent of SNAP recipients, would be …

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.

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.

USDA keeps its mouth shut about climate research

Since President Trump took office, the USDA "has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change," reports Politico on Sunday. In a lengthy piece, it said at least 45 studies produced by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) did not receive any promotion, including a groundbreaking report that rice loses its vitamins in a carbon-rich atmosphere.

Perdue and lawmakers compete in USDA relocation race

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue fired the starting gun for a sprint to move two USDA science agencies to Kansas City before opponents in Congress can stop him. In seven weeks, or possibly sooner, the first of the relocated employees are to report to work in their new offices, according to a USDA timeline, with the remaining 447 of them to be in place by Sept. 30.