Agriculture

Wisconsin Doesn’t Have a State Cheese, and Some Lawmakers Think That’s No Gouda

Colby, a cheese created in Wisconsin, could be the state’s first official cheese under a proposal under consideration in the legislature. But some lawmakers have reservations.

The Hemp Boom is Over. What Now?

Farmers facing low hemp CBD prices are storing their plants and hoping to someday sell them for a higher price.

Environmentalists Make Long-Shot Attempt to Ban New Factory Farms

It’s becoming clear that some lawmakers no longer see factory farming as a nuisance, but an emergency, as the industry's operations degrade water quality and cause other problems.

Corporate Concentration in the U.S. Food System Makes Food More Expensive and Less Accessible for Many Americans

COMMENTARY | Consolidation has placed key decisions about the nation’s food system in the hands of a few large companies, giving them outsized influence.

Farmers Can be Isolated and Unsure How to Seek Support. One State is Trying to Help.

Farmers in Wisconsin can access a 24-hour hotline, free counseling and, soon, virtual support groups. It's all part of a state-funded wellness program focused on the agricultural community.

USDA Makes New Move in Broad Effort to Bring Innovative Tech to America’s Farmers

The agriculture-focused agency wants public input on potentially disruptive ideas that could be ready to be implemented.

Parts of Iowa Still Reeling From Powerful Storms, as State Battles Rise in Coronavirus

A derecho with winds over 100 mph struck the state last month, causing widespread damage and coming on top of the pandemic.

States and Counties Mandate Covid-19 Testing for Farm Workers

A handful of states and counties are requiring Covid-19 testing for farm and food-processing workers after several clusters of positive cases were traced back to agricultural facilities.

States Warn Residents About Unsolicited Seed Packages Sent From China

People have received the mysterious shipments in at least 22 states. The seeds could pose threats to the environment and agriculture. Federal authorities are investigating.

State Fairs Are the Latest Casualty of Covid-19

At least 15 states have canceled their annual fairs due to public health concerns amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while others are moving ahead with modified, pared-down events.

City Compost Programs Turn Garbage Into ‘Black Gold’ that Boosts Food Security and Social Justice

COMMENTARY | Municipal composting programs, if executed on a large scale, can reduce food waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote better stewardship of our soil.

Trump’s Food Aid Program Gives Little Funding to the Northeast, Where Coronavirus Hit Hardest

New York and New England have the most COVID-19 cases but received the second-lowest funding of any region. Maine can’t get any shipments because none of the selected contractors serve the state.

Wedding Planner, Caterer, 'Brand Builder': Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers

Contractors with no experience in food distribution are looking for suppliers on Facebook while some food banks scramble to find desperately needed deliveries.

States, USDA Launch Programs Help Farmers Sell Excess Produce

With restaurants and schools closed, farmers lost their traditional markets for fresh produce. New state and federal programs hope to connect excess supply with the demand, including at food pantries across the country.

Too Much Food at Farms, Too Little Food in the Stores

Faced with a supply chain disrupted by the coronavirus, agriculture departments and farm bureaus are striving to connect farmers with food banks and potential buyers.

Agriculture Secretary Tells Farmers Not to Count on Future Farm Trade Bailouts

President Trump previously signaled that more money to subsidize farmers for trade losses could be doled out.

Farm Subsidies Favor South, Irking Other Regions

U.S. farming subsidies were worth as much as $14.5 billion in 2019.

Food Stamp Rules Would Eliminate Benefits for 4 Million, Reduce State Autonomy

Recent changes pushed by the Trump administration are expected to result in about 10 percent of recipients losing benefits. Another 500,000 children would lose access to free or reduced-price meals at school.

Invasive Insect That Sucks the Life Out of Crops Is Spreading

The spotted lanternfly is damaging Pennsylvania vineyards and threatening other farm goods and trees. Researchers are looking at a fungus and tiny wasps as options to kill it.

Dreaming Big for a Risky Hemp Crop

Many first-time hemp growers don’t have buyers.