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Technology

SoilWeb App 2.0 Offers Valuable Soil Info on the Go

Have you ever wondered about the soil you are standing on, at any given spot in the United States? Curious about what soil type it is? How about if the soil is easy to dig? If the soil is ideal for supporting the weight of a house or a barn? Or simply, if it will help you grow better tomatoes?

Tech Professionals Use USDA Datasets to Address Water Management Challenges at the IoT World Hackathon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently took another step forward on its path to accelerate information technology (IT) modernization and improve how it designs agricultural services and interacts with agricultural producers. This spring, USDA joined technical experts, IT professionals, and application developers for the first hackathon at the 2019 Internet of Things (IoT) World Conference in Santa Clara, California.

New Web Page Makes Info on Agricultural Pests and Diseases More Accessible

Each year, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) must respond to new threats to America’s agricultural and natural resources often in the form of invasive species or emerging diseases. To raise awareness about these growing threats and our efforts to manage, monitor and regulate their impacts, we’ve launched the new Pests & Diseases web page.

Macro Trends in the U.S. Food System: A Q&A with Anne Effland, Senior Economist, USDA Office of the Chief Economist

What are the macro trends in food production and policy? In this blog, USDA Senior Economist Anne Effland gives an overview of how consumers are shaping the way food is grown and how USDA is supporting the evolving food system. Read more in the article Effland co-authored with Carolyn Dimitri in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.

Happy Birthday Amber Waves!

For the past decade and a half, ERS has been highlighting its research through its magazine, Amber Waves. As technology has evolved, so has Amber Waves, but the focus on bringing ERS’s latest agriculture and food research to readers in an engaging and user-friendly format has remained constant. In celebration of Amber Waves’ 15th Anniversary, we present a selection of its recent noteworthy stories and share its refreshed website.

Revolutionary Carbon Foam from Wood

Carbon foam — a stiff, porous structure formed from a web of carbon atoms — is the stuff of manufacturers’ dreams. The breakthrough material is strong but lightweight, non-flammable and able to maintain its performance at high temperatures, and capable of absorbing sound and radiation. This unique combination of traits means carbon foam is brimming with potential applications across military, aerospace, and commercial industries. It is ideal for aircraft and ship insulation, wall panels, stealth technology (to avoid radar detection) and more.

Reflecting on One Year of Innovation at Rural Development

Last year, Secretary Perdue created the Rural Development Innovation Center, a team devoted to partnership development, regulatory reform, data analysis, and risk management. With a mission of coordinating resources and providing creative solutions for our rural customer, the Innovation Center is designed to hard wire innovation into our program delivery. In recognition of the Innovation Center’s first anniversary, I’d like to share a few reflections on a year of transformation in Rural Development through innovation.