No Progress on US-China Biotech Issues

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack were among those who participated in a Thanksgiving week session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington last week, the last one for the Obama Administration. The talks resulted in some progress in the areas of intellectual property protection, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and information …

International, trade, USDA

Vilsack Visits with #NAFB16

Kelly Marshall

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made his final appearance at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention of his eight years in this office. “First of all, I want to thank the broadcasters here today,” Vilsack started his remarks to a standing room only crowd. “I think all of you have done and continue to do a great service, particularly …


Accepting Applications for USDA Conservation Grants

Kelly Marshall

The USDA is accepting proposals for projects designed to provide new conservation opportunities.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing up to $25 million for applications that encourage the development and adoption of conservation technologies in areas like conservation finance, data analytics and precision conservation. “Conservation Innovation Grants have played a critical role in developing and implementing creative new …

Conservation, USDA

Enroll Now for ARC or PLC in 2017

Kelly Marshall

If your farm is covered by the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC), now is the time to visit you local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for 2017.  Starting this month, the enrollment period will continue until August 1, 2017, says FSA Administrator, Val Dolcini. “FSA issued more than $7 billion in payments in October …

Crop Insurance, USDA

USDA Invests $1.7 Billion in Sensitive Ag Lands

Kelly Marshall

More than half a million Americans will receive payments for lands enrolled in the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  The USDA will issue nearly $1.7 billion through the program to protect almost 24 million acres of wetlands, grasslands and wildlife habitat for 2016. “We have seen record demand to participate in this important program,” said Vilsack. “Despite the current enrollment …


USDA Finalizes Conservation Easement Program Rule

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a final rule on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which was created in the 2014 Farm Bill to consolidate provisions in three previous conservation easement programs. The rule changes are designed to “make the program more flexible and responsive to the unique needs of farmers and ranchers in each region of …

Conservation, Government, USDA

ERS Releases Precision Agriculture Adoption Report

Kelly Marshall

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has released a report, Farm Profits and Adoption of Precision Agriculture. The report covers current trends in precision agriculture (PA), production practices and farm characteristics associated with adoption. The report also looks at corn data from 2010 to determine if PA practices lead to increased profitability. The report looked at three types of Precision …

technology, USDA

USDA Loans $25 Million for Water Quality in Iowa

Kelly Marshall

USDA’s Water and Environmental programs will help the City of Fairfield make enhancements to its wastewater facility that will improve the water quality in southeast Iowa. “The recent flooding in Iowa and other parts of the country has demonstrated just how important high-functioning wastewater systems are to our communities. Sanitary waste disposal systems and safe drinking water are vital not only …

USDA, Water Quality

Exports Offer Bright Spot in USDA Corn Report

Kelly Marshall

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its new corn forecast report and predicts that this year’s corn harvest will reach 15.057 bushels. Although this is down around 36 million bushels from last month’s estimates, it is still predicted to be another record crop. The World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report also lowered corn supplies for 2016/2017 from …

Ag Group, Corn, NCGA, USDA