Policy & Politics

USDA Forecasts Lowest Food Price Increase Since 1992

Published Aug. 26, 2010

USDA forecasts that the consumer price index for food will increase just 0.5 percent to 1 percent this year, the lowest rate since 1992. In last month’s forecast, USDA pegged the food price increase at 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

USDA Implements New Crop Disaster Assistance Program

Published Dec. 28, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced that USDA has implemented the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program (SURE) in accordance with the 2008 farm bill. Vilsack also encouraged producers to visit their USDA Farm Service Agency county office beginning...

USDA Notice to Hispanic or Women Farmers and Ranchers

Published Jul. 20, 2011

Farmers and ranchers who believe that the United States Department of Agriculture has improperly denied them farm loan benefits between 1981 and 2000 because they are Hispanic or because they are women may be eligible to apply for compensation.

USDA Partners With IRS to Reduce Farm Program Fraud

Published Jan. 5, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on New Year’s Eve that the Agriculture Department is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reduce fraud in farm programs and streamline payment limits for family farmers.

USDA Plans Organic Farming Survey

Published Apr. 29, 2009

The Agriculture Department will make its first in-depth survey of organic farming this spring and will send an eight-page questionnaire to known organic farmers. The survey will ask which crops and livestock are produced, how they are grown and where they are sold.

USDA Re-Establishes Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

Published May. 21, 2009

USDA is re-establishing the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee to examine the full spectrum of issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions to USDA on how programs can be tailored to best meet the challenges of the industry...

USDA Targets $50 Million to Organic Farming

Published May. 8, 2009

USDA will target $50 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for a new initiative to encourage more organic agriculture production. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement Tuesday to USDA’s National Organic Standards Board.

Uses and Policy Considerations of Unmanned Aerial Systems/Drones in Agriculture

Published Jul. 11, 2013

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Unmanned Aerial Systems or “drone” technology is emerging in agriculture. They are used in military technology. Domestic uses of these aircraft are already underway and the Federal Aviation Administration is considering licenses for commercial use.

Vilsack Confident Congress Will Act on Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Published Dec. 30, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’s confident Congress will act early in the new year to extend the tax incentive for soy biodiesel, according to Brownfield. “We’re obviously encouraged by comments from congressional leaders that it’s their intention to take this matter—the tax extenders...

Vilsack defends federal farm payments

Published Oct. 15, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said federal farm payments have enabled Americans to have relatively cheap food and are needed to protect farmers from price drops. “Who benefits ultimately for all of this? I would argue that it’s not the 250,000 to 270,000 farmers who benefit from this...