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Research and Science

Bookless Libraries: Treasures within the USDA Plant Collections

Have you ever wondered how new looking and different tasting types of apples or tomatoes come to be? Improvements in taste, size, and color are often the result of years of research and plant breeding efforts. Many times, plant breeders search for traits in older varieties of plants to create new varieties that could be useful today, but not widely grown.

USDA’s Economic Research Service and The Farm Foundation Collaborate on Rural Infrastructure Investment Research

The mission of USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food and rural America and produces objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making. Among its research activities, ERS is conducting research on the impacts of and returns to infrastructure in rural areas, and is cosponsoring a workshop with the Farm Foundation on these issues.

SNAP Households Acquire About as Many Calories as Non-SNAP Households, But Spend Less

Households can have similar food needs, but often have different budgets with which to meet them. These budget differences may help explain observed differences in food spending and diet quality. A new report from USDA’s Economic Research Service digs into this issue using household level data from USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) to estimate the number of calories acquired and the amount of money spent to get them.

Join USDA at the 5th USA Science and Engineering Festival

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a proud partner of the th USA Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF). USDA will be among more than 750 of the world's leading professional scientific and engineering societies, universities, government agencies, and high-tech corporations that participate in this interactive, hands-on celebration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Going Nuts for Calories!

We all love nuts, but we’re careful not to eat too many because of the high fat calories. Now, there may be less to worry about. In a series of studies, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) physiologists David Baer and Janet Novotny looked at how many calories of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are used by the human body. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as whether the nuts are raw, roasted, or ground, and how well they’re chewed.

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.