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May 2018

NASS Surveys Provide U.S. Agricultural Supply Data for Trade

With May being World Trade Month, it is worth noting that the source of data to determine the U.S. supply of crops and livestock is America’s farmers and ranchers who fill out surveys from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These statistics feed directly into the monthly World Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE), which shows how much food, feed, fuel, and fiber are available or expected to be available around the world throughout the year. These data are available free of charge to anyone who wants them and are widely regarded as the gold standard.

Protecting the Military from Flying Foes

For over 75 years, USDA scientists have been developing ways to protect the U.S. military around the world from powerful adversaries—mosquitoes and other biting arthropods that cause disease. Their work began in 1942 in a small USDA field laboratory in Orlando, where scientists made key discoveries about new chemicals for controlling these pests. At the time, the most effective repellents lasted only 2 hours, and the U.S. military needed a repellent that could protect for 10 hours.

Food Allergies: Helping Schools Prepare to Respond

Did you know that the month of May has been designated National Allergy Awareness Month? While many of us are sneezing our way through the pollen season, we should also remember many people are affected by food allergies every day.

Food Allergy Awareness and Action

May is Allergy Awareness Month and a great time to learn more about food allergies and how to keep those with allergies safe. For 2 percent of adults, and 4 to 8 percent of children in the United States, food allergies are a continuous concern. For these individuals, the immune response their body produces to normally safe items — in this case food — can lead to serious illness and even death. About 90 percent of allergic food reactions are caused by eight foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.

Food Safety Tips during Ramadan

Ramadan is observed by more than 1 billion Muslims around the world. This holy month is a time of fasting and prayer for the followers of Islam, who abstain from food and drink each day from dawn until dusk. The end of Ramadan is marked with a celebration known as Eid al-Fitr, which stands for “breaking of the fast.” The celebration involves lavish dinners, which include delicacies and large dishes of lamb, chicken, omelets and salads.

FNS Provides a Helping Hand to Puerto Rico Residents

At USDA our mission is a vital one: to reduce hunger and increase food security by providing children and low-income people access to food, a nutritious diet and nutrition education. And that mission was put to the test in 2017, in the aftermath of a trio of devastating hurricanes that slammed into Texas, Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Regionalization Plays a Key Role in Facilitating U.S. Agricultural Trade

It’s World Trade Month and a good time to consider a few of the ways that USDA helps advance trade. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plays a vital role in the free flow of agricultural trade by keeping U.S. agriculture free from pests and diseases and certifying that millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries' entry requirements. Likewise, APHIS works to ensure all imported agricultural products shipped to the United States meet our requirements to prevent pests and diseases from harming U.S. agriculture. Last year the United States exported over $138 billion of agricultural products and imported over $120 billion.