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Stats to Spice Up Your Pumpkin Knowledge

As you are enjoying fall pumpkin treats, consider that every U.S. state produces pumpkins. However, the top five pumpkin producing states between 2016 and 2018 – Illinois, Texas, California, Indiana, and Pennsylvania – harvested about 40 percent of U.S. pumpkin acres, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. In 2018, Illinois harvested twice as many acres of pumpkins as any of the other top states.

Wood Waste Helps Keep the Lights on in Rural Communities

Perched at the edge of the Great Basin, the city of Susanville, California, has experienced high winds, heavy snowfalls, and wildfires that disrupt power supplied on the regular grid. Fortunately, the city’s 20,000 residents, as well as those in surrounding rural communities, aren’t left in the dark for long.

Giants Fans Can Find Solace in California, U.S. Agriculture’s MVP in Sales

It might not be the Giants’ year in baseball, but in U.S. agriculture, California is clearly the MVP in sales. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, California’s 70,527 farmers ranked No. 1 in agricultural sales with $45.2 billion; this accounted for nearly 12 percent of the U.S. total and was over $16 billion more than the No. 2 state. In addition, Fresno, Tulare, Monterey, Kern, Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties led all U.S. counties in sales. In fact, Fresno County’s agricultural sales were greater than 25 states.

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.

Illegal Marijuana Sites Can’t Hide from Science

The problem of illegal marijuana farms on national forests is, pardon the pun, growing. Although marijuana is now legal in California and other parts of the U.S., illegal marijuana growing is still a billion dollar industry with international tentacles.

Disaster Recovery: USDA Answering the Call

In early December, I gathered with a group of neighbors in a Puerto Rican community to watch work begin on a USDA project to protect a nearby bridge. Minute-by-minute, the sound of rumbling equipment grew louder as the excavators emerged from behind houses, rolled along the debris-covered horizon and worked along the river’s edge. I was glad to be able to see first-hand USDA’s disaster recovery work after Hurricane Maria, including this emergency watershed protection project to aid a southern Puerto Rico community.

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.

USDA Provides Disaster Nutrition Assistance in Northern California

In October 2017, 16 different wildfires throughout Northern California burned over 245,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 8,900 structures, forced 100,000 people to evacuate, and sadly, claimed 43 lives. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) took a variety of actions as part of a concerted effort among federal, state and local agencies to provide nutrition assistance relief to those most affected by the wildfires.