USDA prepares more disaster and pandemic aid
Two USDA programs will dispense aid based on a farmer’s revenue losses from natural disasters or the pandemic, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday. “These new programs apply a holistic approach to emergency assistance — an approach not focused on any one disaster event or commodity but rather one focused on filling gaps in assistance for agricultural producers.”
What seed-saving can tell us about the end of the world
In fewer than 100 years, seed-saving, a practice that had always been essential to human survival, went from mainstream to something most of us are barely aware of, something happening at the fringes of our food culture — small farms, Native communities, survivalists. Yet all of a sudden, or so it can seem, this loss of agricultural diversity is being felt keenly, as climate change makes the need for experimentation with plant breeding at the local and regional levels important again.
Rural America is growing older faster than urban America
For the first time, more than one in five rural Americans is over the age of 65, said the Agriculture Department on Tuesday, and rural America is aging more rapidly than the rest of the country. The rural workforce is shrinking in number but becoming more racially diverse.
House ag panelists Costa and Harder win in California
Democratic Reps. Jim Costa and Josh Harder were projected as victors in two agriculture-rich House districts in California’s Central Valley as vote-counting continued a week after the mid-term elections. Costa and Harder serve on the House Agriculture Committee.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
‘The easiest committee’: Retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy, a 48-year member and a former chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he was told as newly elected senator that Agriculture was “the easiest committee to get on and the hardest to get off.” (Senate Agriculture)
Southern Cone, not cornucopia: The countries of the Southern Cone — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay — are net food exporters who could offset the effects of warfare in Ukraine on global food supplies, but it would be difficult in the face of drought, rising fuel and fertilizer prices and a history of export restrictions. (IFPRI)
Lake Erie pollution diet: Under a proposed consent order, the state of Ohio would have until next June to devise a plan to reduce nutrient runoff into western Lake Erie. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
Food waste piles up: Nations around the world have made little progress on the global pledge in 2015 to halve food waste by 2030; on a per capita basis, the United States, Australia and New Zealand are throwing away more food. (Reuters)
Billion-dollar broadband funding: USDA expects to make more than $1 billion in grants and loans in spring 2023 to expand rural access to high-speed internet, said a department fact sheet on the one-year-old infrastructure law. (USDA)