Skip to main content

corn

At the Heart of The Buckeye State

Ever wonder where Ohio’s nickname came from? Ohio is commonly referred to as “The Buckeye State” due to the prevalence of the Ohio Buckeye, named Ohio’s official state tree in the 1950s. According to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the name refers to the tree’s nuts and their resemblance to the eye of a deer. But don’t eat these nuts! NRCS warns that all parts of the Ohio Buckeye are toxic to humans and livestock. Luckily there are many other things we can eat that come out of this great state.

Looking Ahead to the 2020 Crop Season, What to Expect from NASS Numbers

With the 2020 growing season about to begin for major field crops such as corn and soybeans, we’d like to walk through the surveys and data used during a complete season of field crop estimation. As a way to help you prepare for the 2020 data releases, we’ll explain in a series of articles the sources of data NASS incorporates into estimates as well as the timing and intention of the data as a way to let you know what to expect and how the data can be useful in your work.

Corn is America’s Largest Crop in 2019

Despite an unusually wet spring followed by an unusually cool June, America’s corn farmers planted even more than they did last year. U.S. farmers have planted 91.7 million acres of corn in 2019, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That’s about 69 million football fields of corn and 3 percent more corn than last year, far more acres than the next largest crop, soybeans.

Nation’s Wettest 12-Month Period on Record Slows Down 2019 Planting Season

The contiguous United States recently completed its wettest May to April period on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA/NCEI). From May 2018 to April 2019, an average of 36.20 inches of precipitation fell across the Lower 48 states, 6.25 inches above the 20th century mean. In fact, it was the nation’s wettest 12-month period on record, regardless of which months are chosen.

Abundant Supplies are Forecast for the Coming Crop Year in the U.S. and Around the World

It’s a new year at USDA, at least for those of us forecasting agricultural commodity markets. Every May, the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) in the Office of the Chief Economist releases USDA’s initial projections of the markets for the crops and livestock that will be produced and harvested in the new crop year. WAOB develops USDA’s official forecasts by coordinating Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees (ICECs) to compile the latest and most comprehensive information and intelligence available from across USDA agencies. On May 10, USDA released its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report with these estimates for the 2019/20 crop year. The report also includes updated information on the 2018/19 and previous marketing years, but the early assessment of the “new crop” is a focal point of the May report.

Harvest Time: Celebrating Native American Heritage and Traditional Foods in FDPIR

Autumn is a time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for, as we enjoy the harvest of nature’s bounty during gatherings with family and friends. In Indian Country, culture and tradition are sustained through shared meals with family and the community. Traditional foods are a powerful way for each new generation to connect with and honor its history and its ancestors, and participants in USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) have access to more traditional foods than ever this year. November, Native American Heritage Month, is an especially fitting time to celebrate the addition to FDPIR of bison, blue cornmeal, wild rice, and wild salmon – foods that not only nourish a body but sustain a culture.

In collaboration with the FDPIR community, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Food and Nutrition Service have been working to identify culturally relevant foods to procure and offer through FDPIR, a program that provides healthy food and nutrition education to an average of 92,500 income-eligible individuals living on or near reservations across the United States each month. The food package offers more than 100 domestically sourced, nutritious foods, including a variety of meat, poultry, fish, dairy, grains, and fruits and vegetables. In both fiscal year 2015 and 2016, USDA received an additional allocation of $5 million dedicated to traditional and locally-grown foods. This fund, authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill and subject to the availability of appropriations, has allowed the exploration of new culinary opportunities for FDPIR.

Celebrating American Agriculture: All USDA Foods are Local to Someone

March is National Nutrition Month. Throughout the month, USDA will be highlighting results of our efforts to improve access to safe, healthy food for all Americans and supporting the health of our next generation.

Fish and fowl, sowing and reaping, nutrition and agriculture… certain words and concepts naturally go hand in hand, and March is a month to celebrate both the foundation and purpose of the American food system. With March designated as National Nutrition Month and March 15 as National Agriculture Day, the time is ripe to reflect on healthy eating goals and to express gratitude for the farmers, fishers, and ranchers who provide the foods to fuel our nation.

USDA’s Food Distribution Programs work at the intersection of nutrition and agriculture. Each year, USDA purchases more than 2 billion pounds of food worth nearly $2 billion from American farmers and distributes the food to schools, food banks, Indian Tribal Organizations, disaster feeding organizations, and other charitable institutions and feeding organizations. The programs benefit both ends of the food chain by supporting local agriculture and the economy while also providing a nutrition safety net for vulnerable Americans.

High Five: NIFA-Funded Research Improves Agriculture

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invests in agricultural sciences that turn research into action by taking groundbreaking discoveries from laboratories to farms, communities, and classrooms.  Scientific advances that result from NIFA-funded research – more than $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2015 – enhance the competitiveness of American agriculture, ensure the safety of the nation’s food supply, improve the nutrition and health of communities, sustain the environment and natural resources, and bolster the economy.  The following blogs are examples of the thousands of NIFA projects that impact the lives of Americans every day.

USDA Programs Help Ease Transition to Farming, One Vet at a Time

Located three miles east of Vale, South Dakota, on Cox Farms, Cox Sweet Corn is produced by veteran Kyle Cox, who left the Army after 12 years to return to the family farm.

In 2013, Cox separated from the Army to begin his family’s future in agriculture. With 700 acres, the farm produces alfalfa, corn, and more than 2,000 head of cattle.  To help make the most of his agricultural opportunities, Cox took advantage of veteran-focused training funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  The training is part of USDA-wide effort to support veteran farmers.