Trump declares flood disaster in Nebraska

Federal disaster assistance is available for recovery efforts in Nebraska following President Trump’s declaration of a major disaster in the state, said the White House on Thursday. The USDA said farmers and ranchers should contact their local USDA office to see if they qualify for assistance.

Cattle expansion slows in its fifth year

An expansionary phase in the U.S. cattle inventory, dating from 2014, is slowing, say USDA analysts, pointing to a financial pinch on the cow-calf ranchers who start the beef production cycle.

Tally for Trump aid to ag in trade war nears $9 billion

With the USDA purposely stretching out its purchases of food for donation, its outlays to mitigate the impact of trade war on U.S. agriculture will rise slowly in the months ahead. Roughly $8.8 billion has been spent since last fall with the bulk of it, $8.1 billion, on Trump tariff payments to …

USDA biotech rules nearing update, says undersecretary

The USDA soon will propose a modernized regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology, said Undersecretary Greg Ibach on Monday, the third attempt since 2008 to overhaul rules that were written at the dawn of genetic engineering. Ibach told a farm conference that he could not discuss the …

USDA moving ahead on agency relocations

A British consulting company will whittle down the list of potential relocation sites for two USDA research agencies in coming weeks with an eye to making a final recommendation after April, the USDA said on Wednesday.

Headed for the Heartland? Midwest, Plains dominate USDA semifinal list

A day after asking for $25 million in moving money, the USDA said on Tuesday that at least 67 sites, predominantly in the Midwest and Plains, are being considered for the new homes of two Washington-based research agencies. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue insists he has the power to move the agencies despite resistance from lawmakers.

To replace proposed food stamp cuts, USDA raises Harvest Box, again

The White House proposed a $19 billion cut in food stamps for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, achieving the 25 percent reduction in SNAP mainly by putting forward, once again, "America's Harvest Box" of canned and nonperishable food. The administration also proposed on Monday to apply SNAP work requirements more broadly and to include older Americans in them. Both ideas were rejected last year by lawmakers.

As USDA and FDA agree on oversight, aggies rail against ‘fake meat’

In a step that moves a new industry closer to commercial reality, the premier federal food-safety agencies agreed on Thursday on how to jointly regulate cell-based meat, a laboratory-grown protein that farm groups call “fake meat.” The FDA will oversee cell collection and growth, while the USDA will oversee harvesting and processing, and have final say over labeling.

USDA will proceed slowly on industrial hemp

The 2018 farm bill legalized industrial hemp production, but it is likely to be 2020 before the USDA produces the regulatory framework for the new crop, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.