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Research and Science

A Proud History of U.S. Hops Creates Diversity in Ag, and Great Beers

Our third U.S. President and well-known home brewer, Thomas Jefferson would be proud. In 2017, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported that hop production totaled a record high 104 million pounds out of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Brewers of all sizes use this crop – worth $618 million in 2017 – as a flavorful ingredient and stabilizing agent in one of America’s favorite beverages: beer! With hop varietal names like Zeus, Cascade, and Eureka this powerful little flower has had brewers developing new flavors for years.

USDA NASS Vegetables Summary: Your Passport to a Scrumptious California Tour

Get your foodie passport ready to tour scrumptious California veggie country! With over 970 thousand acres of harvested vegetables, melons, and strawberries, the just released USDA NASS Vegetables 2017 Summary places California at a whopping $7.85 billion in vegetable production – over half of the U.S. total of $13.8 billion. Where are all of these amazing crops grown? Let's take a trip through some of the most delicious and prosperous rural regions in the Golden State.

Fall Armyworm: USDA Research Lends a Hand in International Pest Outbreak

USDA researchers tackle tough problems critical to American agriculture. Addressing how to nurture heathy soils, improve crop yields, or prevent livestock diseases, they carefully plan experiments and analyze data that can lead to better on-farm decisions and more productive practices. But even scientists can’t always predict how far their work will eventually go. Recently, USDA researchers in Florida have seen their work take on unexpected relevance in Africa with the outbreak of an invasive crop pest.

USDA Charts Course for Strengthening World Aquaculture

Charting a course ahead for the conservation and sustainable farming of freshwater and marine species is a chief focus of the first State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report that will contain subsections from 89 contributing countries, including the United States.

Food for Thought from USDA Nutrition Teammates

Frequent family meals have consistently been associated with better health outcomes in children. It should come as no surprise that USDA nutrition employees were one of the first groups within our Department to formally convene around our new USDA Strategic Goals. That’s why USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) hosted a first-of-its-kind USDA Intra-Departmental Nutrition Workshop Series. More than 70 staff from across the Department participated, with the goal of maximizing USDA nutrition-relevant agencies’ individual and collective abilities to ensure data-driven approaches to provide Americans with safe, nutritious, and secure food.

Opioid Crisis Affects All Americans, Rural and Urban

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s three people every hour.

As if the death rate wasn’t bad enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, and addiction treatment.

USDA Agencies Work Together to Eradicate an Old Foe: the Screwworm

Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.

Collaboration Across Agencies Supports Food Assistance Research

Who participates in federal food assistance programs, and how does participation affect their lives? Who doesn’t participate, and why not? Policymakers need high-quality data on such questions to make informed decisions about these programs, which affect millions of lives each year. That is why two USDA agencies are collaborating with the U.S. Census Bureau to produce research that sheds new light on the programs.