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USDA Looks to Conservation Finance to Deliver More Working Lands Conservation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the nation’s largest funder of conservation on private land. For decades, NRCS staff have worked hand-in-hand with America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and technical assistance, delivering valuable practices like cover crops, no-till, windbreaks, grazing management strategies and manure management facilities. Despite these efforts, less than ten percent of our nation’s working lands receive NRCS assistance in any given year. NRCS is constantly trying to close this gap, expanding the reach of its programs through innovative grant programs like the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) and the Alternative Funding Arrangement component of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP AFA). Moreover, in recent years, the agency has begun exploring conservation finance as a new tool to deliver support for a diverse array of projects, benefiting a larger percentage of farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners.

Agricultural Innovation Takes Shape in Great Lakes Region, Helping Solve Solutions Today for Challenges Tomorrow

If we plan to survive in the future, we must address today’s most pressing concerns in agriculture. Preparing the land to continue to meet food, fiber, fuel, feed, and climate demands is a tall order to fill for growing populations. USDA has aligned all its resources, programs and research to give farmers with the tools they need to help meet these challenges.

ARS Research Innovates to Reduce Food Loss and Waste: An Interview with Gene Lester

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency. More than 2,000 scientists at 90 research centers in the U.S. and abroad work to investigate solutions to agricultural challenges from farm to table. What are USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists doing to help reduce food loss and waste? This interview features insights from Gene Lester, ARS, National Program Leader for Product Quality and New Uses, and Biorefining/Bioproducts.

USDA’s Cutting-Edge Methods Help Deliver a Victory Against Asian Giant Hornet

After weeks of searching, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists–—using a radio tag provided by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and a trap developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service–— have located and eradicated the first Asian giant hornet (AGH) nest ever found in the United States. For months, WSDA had been trying to find the nest they knew must exist near Blaine, WA, because of AGH detections in the area. But finding the nest proved extremely challenging since the hornets build nests in forested areas, typically in an underground cavity.

Eat with Confidence

The Pesticide Data Program (PDP), part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), recently published its 2019 PDP Annual Summary (PDF, 10 MB). This yearly report found that nearly 99 percent of almost 10,000 samples of fresh, frozen and processed foods had pesticide residues below levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of these samples were of fruits and vegetables. This means you can eat with the confidence that your food is safe and nutritious for you and your family.