Category Archives: Agricultural Exports News
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the selection of recipients for about $4.1 million in grants and cooperative agreements through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. These are the first-ever recipients of these grants and cooperative agreements.
“As the People’s Department, USDA supports and strengthens all types of agriculture, including the work being done by urban farmers and community gardeners,” Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey, says. “I look forward to seeing the innovations in urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices that result from the agreements, including in community composting and food waste reduction.”
Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach says, “The 578 applicants showcase the breadth of creativity in urban agriculture projects from nonprofits, tribal and local governments, and schools across the United States. We are excited to be a part of helping the selected projects improve their communities and support local agriculture and businesses.”
Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Competitive Grants
The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program supports a wide range of activities through two grant types, which are Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.
Activities include operating community gardens and nonprofit farms, increasing food production and access in economically distressed communities, providing job training and education, and developing business plans and zoning.
Priority was given to projects located in or targeting an Opportunity Zone, which is a census tract designation for low-income communities. USDA is awarding approximately $1.14 million for three Planning Projects and approximately $1.88 million for seven Implementation Projects.
Planning Project recipients:
- Center for Land Based Learning, California
- City of New Haven, Connecticut
- Feast Down East, North Carolina
Implementation Project recipients:
- Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light, Arkansas
- Association of Africans Living in Vermont, Vermont
- Common Ground Producers and Growers, Kansas
- Famicos Foundation, Ohio
- The Greenleaf Foundation, Georgia
- NY Sun Works, New York
- Parkside Business & Community in Partnership, New Jersey
Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Projects
Through Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects, USDA is investing approximately $1.09 million in 13 pilot projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction.
Priority was given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts, and collaborate with multiple partners.
Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project recipients:
- Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska
- City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
- City of Prescott, Arizona
- Boulder County, Colorado
- City of New Haven, Connecticut
- City of Gainesville, Florida
- Lake County, Illinois
- Douglas County, Kansas
- City of Paterson, New Jersey
- City of New York, New York
- Henderson County, North Carolina
- City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Prince William County, Virginia
The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established through the 2018 Farm Bill.
It is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture. Its mission is to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices, including community composting and food waste reduction.
USDA Risk Management Agency reports 57 Iowa counties were in the path of a derecho that struck the state and several others in the Midwest on Monday, August 10, 2020.
“Millions of acres of corn around the state were impacted by last week’s storm. The severity of the damage varies by field but some acres are a total loss and it will not be feasible for farmers to harvest them,” says Iowa secretary of agriculture Mike Naig. “I’ll continue to work with farmers, USDA and crop insurance providers to identify solutions as we approach a very challenging harvest season.”
Here's a look at the estimated damage to Iowa agriculture.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced changes for emergency haying and grazing of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This includes changes outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill that streamlines the authorization process for farmers and ranchers.
“FSA authorizes emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres under certain conditions to provide emergency relief to livestock producers in times of severe drought or similar natural disasters,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “These program changes will simplify the authorization process with an automatic trigger by severe drought designation, allowing livestock producers to quickly access much-needed forage.”
Previously emergency haying and grazing requests originated with FSA at the county level and required state and national level approval. Now approval will be based on drought severity as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
To date, 500 counties nationwide have triggered eligibility for emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres. A list by state and map of eligible counties is updated weekly and available on FSA’s website.
Producers located in a county that is designated as severe drought (D2) or greater on or after the last day of the primary nesting season are eligible for emergency haying and grazing on all eligible acres. Additionally, producers located in counties that were in a severe drought (D2) status any single week during the last eight weeks of the primary nesting season may also be eligible for emergency haying and grazing unless the FSA County Committee determines that forage conditions no longer warrant emergency haying and grazing.
Counties that trigger for Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) payments based on the U.S. Drought Monitor may hay only certain practices on less than 50% of eligible contract acres. Producers should contact their local FSA county office for eligible CRP practices.
Counties that don’t meet the drought monitor qualifications but have a 40% loss of forage production may also be eligible for emergency haying and grazing outside of the primary nesting season.
CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing Provisions
Before haying or grazing eligible acres, producers must submit a request for CRP emergency haying or grazing to FSA and obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Emergency grazing is authorized for up to 90 days and emergency haying is authorized for up to 60 days. Program participants must stop haying and grazing 30 days before the first freeze date in the fall based on the dates established for LFP.
Under the emergency grazing provisions, producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. The eligible CRP acreage is limited to acres located within the approved county.
For emergency haying, producers are limited to one cutting and are permitted to sell the hay. Participants must remove all hay from CRP acreage within 15 days after baling and remove all livestock from CRP acreage no later than one day after the end of the emergency grazing period. There will be no CRP annual rental payment reduction for emergency haying and grazing authorizations.
For more information on CRP emergency haying and grazing visit fsa.usda.gov/crp or contact your FSA county office. To locate your FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. For more disaster recovery assistance programs, visit farmers.gov/recover.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will prescreen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Fieldwork will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.