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Research and Science

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.

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.