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Follow the conversation on research and innovation efforts in the Department, the broader public-sector, and the private sector.

USDA Press Releases

USDA Releases Agriculture Innovation Research Strategy Summary and Dashboard

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its U.S. Agriculture Innovation Strategy Directional Vision for Research summary and dashboard that will help to guide future research decisions within USDA.

USDA Opens Registration for the 2021 Agricultural Outlook Forum

The 2021 Forum, themed “Building on Innovation: A Pathway to Resilience,” builds on USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda, launched earlier this year to align USDA’s resources, programs, and research toward the goal of increasing U.S. agricultural production by 40 percent while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050.

USDA Seeks Input on Ready-to-Go Technologies and Practices for Agriculture Innovation Agenda

To further the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), USDA today announced it is seeking public- and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture.

EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary in Orlando

"Americans are innovators and Kalera Produce is reinventing the way we farm."

U.S. Ag Chief Tours Orlando Hydroponic Company During Visit To Florida

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tours Kalera’s facility in Orlando, Florida, with company CEO Daniel Malechuk.

What the Future of Farming Looks Like to the Ag Secretary

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made a couple of stops in Florida last week to view how operations are faring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary Perdue visits sustainable produce farm to discuss innovation

Founded in 2015, Bowery Farms is working to deliver food of the future. The indoor produce farm is a leader in innovation, so Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited to see for himself.

Secretary Sonny Perdue: Thanking The American Farmer

Whether you shop at Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Kroger or any other grocery store, they all have one thing in common. Those aisles of beautiful, colorful fresh produce, lean meats, whole grain cereal, and everything in between all start with a farm, and probably a hard-working farm family.

Indoor farm in Maryland thriving amid pandemic catches eye of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

It's been a rough year for the agricultural community because of the coronavirus pandemic. Farmers have destroyed their own crops or euthanized their livestock due to a sharp drop in demand. Some farms were on the brink of bankruptcy even before the health crisis, and many may never recover from the financial ruin brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis.

THRIVE Innovation Series – USDA Innovation Imperative

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue joined SVG Ventures CEO John Hartnett today in a virtual (Zoom) fireside chat to discuss USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda and the current impact of coronavirus on American agriculture. The conversation is part of the THRIVE Innovation Series.

Embracing technology to feed a growing world

The United States shares a rich history of partnership and cooperation with our European friends. When we work together to solve the world’s economic and security challenges, everyone benefits.

Sonny Perdue: USDA Agriculture Innovation Agenda stakes out high goals for productivity, sustainability

Technology has made it easier than ever for consumers to know where their food comes from, but learning the story behind who is growing that food is not always easy. Farmers have a great story to tell, but sometimes the mainstream media overlooks farmers and paints a picture of American agriculture that is not accurate. It’s important for the public to know the truth about American agriculture.

Secretary Perdue Announces New Innovation Initiative for USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands.

NIFA’s Contributions to America’s Agriculture Research and Innovation

National Innovation Day was February 16th this year. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) directly contributes to America’s agriculture research and innovation, ultimately benefiting our farmers, ranchers, and foresters.

Setting the Stage for Innovative Research

We’re fortunate to have robust food, fiber, fuel, and ag-related industries in America. Our food is safe, nutritious, and plentiful.

Why the Trees Outside Forests Count

Windbreaks and other agroforestry practices provide a wide range of agricultural production and conservation benefits, helping farmers and furthering the goals of U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda.

USDA Engages Public for Input on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda

To further the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), USDA today announced it is seeking public and private sector input on the most important innovation opportunities to be addressed in the near and long term.

Data Say…Dairy Has Changed

Technology, science and marketing have transformed the dairy industry.

Trees and Shrubs Protect Crops and Generate Income for Farmers

Across the United States, farmers are taking innovative approaches to foster environmental stewardship and economic viability through a common conservation practice called the riparian forest buffer.

What They’re Saying

Growth Energy Champions Biofuels as Part of USDA’s Innovation Agenda

Today, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in response to a request for input on the agency’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), a new initiative to promote conservation and boost productivity in American agriculture. In her comments, Skor applauded the agency’s focus on expanding the use of low-carbon ethanol and other biofuel blends to reduce carbon emissions and protect air quality.

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) underscores state governments’ role in climate resiliency:

“NASDA members have agreed—climate resiliency and adaptation must be a priority to make a lasting impact for the nation’s farmers and ranchers. State departments of agriculture share Secretary Perdue’s goal of responsibly meeting future food and energy demands. The Agriculture Innovation Agenda’s (AIA) focus on the next generation of American production, innovation and entrepreneurship sends a clear signal to the agriculture community. Together we must seek creative partnerships and business models that effectively address the economic and environmental challenges facing rural America. NASDA members are committed to doing their part.”

America’s Corn Refiners Applaud USDA Innovation Initiative:

“We commend Secretary Perdue for today’s announcement. American agriculture and related industries lead the world in sustainable practices. With leadership like today’s announcement, we will continue to do so long into the future,” CRA President and CEO John Bode said today. “Corn refiners are committed to sustainability across all aspects of their business, from supplier partnerships, to operations, and by producing circular economy advancing products, such as recyclable and compostable plastics. Corn refiners represent the kernel of innovation”.

“We are striving to build on past success in reducing the overall carbon footprint of refined corn products. That will include advocating for research, policies and practices that support our producer partners attain the goals Secretary Perdue has announced. This is a movement that is well underway. Innovations, such as precision agriculture, coupled with improved practices, such as appropriate cover cropping, and prudent conservation efforts, such as pollinator habitat maintenance, are enabling America’s agriculture community to improve soil health, carbon retention, and water quality while feeding the world.”

Growth Energy Applauds Biofuel Targets in USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda

“We applaud USDA for setting these clear goals for E15 and E30, and Growth Energy’s members are ready to deliver ahead of their timetable,” said Skor. “Biofuels are a critical piece of meeting the demands of our future transportation needs while lowering our carbon footprint. Today’s recognition by USDA and Secretary Perdue’s unwavering support will help drive biofuel innovation in the coming years and decades. We look forward to continuing our longstanding working relationship with USDA to ensure that Americans across the country have expanded access to cleaner fuels like E15 and E30 at the pump.”

Corteva Agriscience Says Advanced Plant Breeding Shows Path to Greater Climate Resilience and Food Security

Corteva Agriscience Global Plant Breeding Leader Geoff Graham Speaks at 2020 USDA Outlook Forum focused on Innovation in Agriculture

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 20, 2020 — Corteva Agriscience Global Plant Breeding Leader Geoff Graham told attendees of the 2020 USDA Ag Outlook Forum that advanced plant breeding techniques and proven success in improving crop productivity in developed regions provides a road map to managing risk from food insecurity and climate volatility around the world. The USDA Forum is focused on Innovation in Agriculture and earlier today U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda. Graham’s remarks were made as part of a session track on managing risk and ensuring sustainability in production agriculture.

“Not only is agricultural productivity critical to meeting the demands of a growing population, it’s also a critical tool to combat climate volatility,” said Graham. “We have proven that innovative breeding technologies such as molecular markers, precision phenotyping, predictive analytics, biotechnology, CRISPR and digital tools can help agriculture better manage the challenges of extreme weather.”

USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre chaired the “Mitigating Production Risk” panel discussion during the Forum, which centered on the challenges that farmers and government decision makers face during growing seasons with extreme weather conditions. He noted that 2019 was one of the wettest farming years on record, while 2012 was one of the driest. Despite increased weather variability, overall crop yields continue to trend upward over time.

Graham said the almost seven-fold increase in average corn yields achieved in North America since 1920 means we’ve grown millions of additional bushels of grain without putting a corresponding number of acres into agricultural production. Yield improvements over the last century have increased productivity from an average of 25 bushels per acre to 170 bushels per acre. Further, he said if the top 20 world corn-producing countries improved their production levels to those found in the U.S. 20 years ago, it would be the equivalent of adding another 100 million acres of farmland.

“We’re producing more outputs with fewer inputs,” explained Graham. “But food insecurity and climate volatility do not impact the globe uniformly and we must also work to develop new cropping systems adapted to local conditions.”

“This will take all the tools in our toolbox, as well as open and transparent communication between the public, academia, governments and private companies,” Graham stated. “Independently, these technologies are just tools — but, collaboratively, they are solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

The panel also included remarks from former Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel and USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service Crops Branch Chief Lance Honig. Materials from the session are made available on the USDA website.


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