USDA Tag

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has begun mailing its first Hemp Acreage and Production Survey to 20,500 producers across the nation. The hemp survey will collect information on the total planted and harvested area, yield, production, and value of hemp in the United States. Survey recipients are asked to reply online or by mail by October 25, 2021. NASS will publish the survey results February 17, 2022, on the NASS website and in the NASS Quick Stats searchable database....

USDA has a new online tool to help ranchers document and estimate payments to cover feed transportation costs caused by drought, which are now covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP). The new ELAP Feed Transportation Producer Tool is a Microsoft Excel workbook that enables ranchers to input information specific to their operation to determine an estimated payment. ELAP now covers feed transportation costs where grazing and hay resources have been depleted. This includes places where drought intensity is D2 for eight consecutive weeks or drought intensity is D3 or greater....

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a 15-member volunteer advisory board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, meets twice each year in a public forum to discuss and vote on recommendations to the USDA. USDA notes that the open meetings allow for public input on topics of interest to the organic community, and resulting standards support farmer and consumer confidence in the integrity of the USDA organic seal. The public comment days for the Fall Meeting are October 13-14, 2021, followed by the public meetings October 19-21, 2021. The meeting Zoom links, agenda, proposals, discussion documents, and Federal Register notice...

USDA announced the recipients of more than $6.6 million in grants and cooperative agreements awarded through the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. USDA is awarding $4.75 million for 10 Planning Projects and 11 Implementation Projects, as well as $1.92 million for 24 pilot projects to develop and implement strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program will support activities such as operating community gardens and nonprofit farms, increasing food production and access in economically distressed communities, providing job training and education, and developing business plans and...

USDA announced that it will award $18.6 million in grants to provide training, outreach, and technical assistance to historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers in 21 states through the 2501 Program. Descriptions of the 29 funded projects are available online. The Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (The 2501 Program) helps socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, foresters, and veterans who have historically experienced limited access to USDA programs and services. ...

USDA is investing $4.7 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers. The partnerships will support participation in Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs, including those that are part of USDA's Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. USDA is funding 56 proposals, covering all states and territories, to assist historically underserved farmers and ranchers in accessing FSA programs. ...

USDA announced that nine projects to improve the oversight capacity of the organic industry will receive $1.73 million in funding. Projects will support and expand the pool of qualified inspectors, reviewers, and other professionals who oversee organic production. The funded projects provide support across the human capital pipeline, from initial workforce development to creating resources for existing professionals. Specifically, the funded projects will support creation of training and educational programs, recruitment strategies, mentorship opportunities, inspector apprenticeships, and professional development resources. A list of recipients is available online....

Small-scale farmers, food processors or distributors, or farmers markets financially impacted by Covid-19 can now apply for up to $20,000 to recover costs related to the pandemic. The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is helping food producers access these dollars through the USDA’s Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program. Applications are now open until Nov. 22, 2021....

USDA announced the projects that will receive more than $146 million in funding through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. This investment is part the third installment of NIFA grants within its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems program, designed to improve plant and animal production and sustainability, and human and environmental health. These grants are available to eligible colleges, universities and other research organizations. Descriptions of the 15 funded projects are available online. They include projects focused on agrivoltaics, crop diversification, hemp as an aquaculture feed, algae as a livestock...

USDA announced that it is planning for another $100 million from the American Rescue Plan Act that will be used to furnish loan guarantees to help leverage additional funding for expanding meat and poultry processing capacity and financing other food supply chain infrastructure. According to USDA, the loan guarantees will help start-up or expand entities in our food supply chain that aggregate, process, manufacture, wholesale or distribute food; address supply chain bottlenecks; and increase the resiliency of the food supply chain. USDA is preparing to issue a notice soon to announce eligibility requirements and the application window. ...

If you’re a small-scale farmer, food processor or distributor, or farmers market and have been financially impacted by Covid-19, you may be able to access up to $20,000 to recover costs related to the pandemic. NCAT is helping food producers access these dollars through the USDA’s Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program. Applications will open in early October. Producers should get prepared for the application period now....

A new report from USDA Economic Research Service documents a growing market for chicken products raised without any antibiotics. The Market for Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics, 2012–17 says that household expenditures for classic, processed, and sausage products labeled as "raised without antibiotics" grew substantially during the study period. The report also notes that the chicken labeled as being raised without antibiotics commanded higher prices per pound than conventional chicken products. The authors point out that "[t]hese findings suggest there is significant consumer interest and market opportunities for production practices between conventional and organic."...

At the United Nations Food Systems Summit, USDA highlighted planned investments and several steps it has taken to advance the goals of ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food systems. For example, USDA announced the formation of the Coalition of Action on Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation, a global, multi- sector coalition that will accelerate the transition to more sustainable food systems through agricultural productivity growth that optimizes the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability. USDA also announced that it plans to invest $5 billion from the American Rescue Plan...