Latest News




Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that than soybean crops that are not planted near pollinator habitat, according to a press release. The study compared soybean fields with wildflower seed mixes planted adjacent to them to fields with habitat at least a kilometer distant from them. Fields with habitat nearby had more species of bees. The researchers also found that bees in the soybean fields located far from pollinator habitats were often leaving the soybean fields to visit flowers completely outside of the study area. Bees in soybean fields that were adjacent to the pollinator habitat were less likely to leave the study area.




A study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology by University of California, Davis, scientists shows that farms with surrounding natural habitat experience the most benefits from wild birds. According to study results, when farms are surrounded by natural habitat, wild birds are less likely to carry foodborne pathogens and eat crops. Although the study ranked birds on whether they were likely to provide costs or benefits to farms, it also revealed that most species could bring either costs or benefits, depending on how the farm landscape was managed. The presence of natural habitat was the single most important factor in determining birds to be a net benefit.




Texas A&M AgriLife scientists are involved in a project that is exploring the performance of guar as a rotation crop with wheat. The study's long-term goal is to increase and stabilize guar production in the United States and increase the sustainability of wheat cropping systems in the Southern Great Plains region. Guar is a legume, which means its roots can associate with Rhizobium bacteria in the soil to convert atmospheric nitrogen into fertilizer for the plant and soil. It's adapted to the semi-arid conditions of Texas and is among the most drought-tolerant crop plants, with relatively low water use. This project is focused on quantifying the performance of guar, developing improved varieties that can reduce the need for fertilizer on other crops in rotation and shorten the season, and identifying the best inoculant to use with guar.




USDA is and other support to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. USDA Rural Development will make $150 million available in grants to fund startup and expansion activities in the meat and poultry processing sector. USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will provide another $40 million for workforce development and training, and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide $25 million to offer technical assistance to grant applicants and others seeking resources related to meat and poultry processing.




Wall Meat Processing in Wall, South Dakota, took the initiative to begin a farm to school program that brings local beef to South Dakota schools, reports Tri-State Neighbor. South Dakota Beef to Schools officially launched in 2019, and now 14 South Dakota school districts participate the program. Although the pilot program ran on producer donations, now producers have the option of donating or selling at market rate. School food service buyers appreciate the opportunity to purchase nutritious, local meat and are sometimes able to adjust budgets to prioritize local purchasing even when it's more expensive.




A team of Arizona State University researchers is looking for about their nutrient management practices. The first 100 participants will be provided with a free soil test for their participation. The survey is confidential and should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.




According to the), the value of hemp production nationally was $834 million in 2021. Data gathered through the 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production Survey indicated that planted area for industrial hemp grown in the open for all utilizations in the United States totaled 54,152 acres. Area harvested for all utilizations totaled 33,480 acres. The value of U.S. hemp production in the open totaled $712 million. Meanwhile, the value of production for hemp that was grown under protection in the United States totaled $112 million, grown in an area that totaled 15.6 million square feet. Floral hemp production was estimated at 19.7 million pounds, hemp grown for grain totaled 4.37 million pounds, hemp grown for fiber was estimated at 33.2 million pounds, and hemp grown for seed was estimated at 1.86 million pounds.




University of Michigan Extension has released , a publication intended to assist beginning farmers in better understanding and demonstrating management experience. The publication explores what sets management experience apart from knowledge gained as a farm laborer and reviews how you can gain experience regardless of whether you currently work on a farm or are starting a new business. Management experience can be required to access services and to gain eligibility for some USDA programs. This bulletin is part of Michigan State University's Beginning Farmers DEMaND (Developing and Educating Managers and New Decision-makers) series. This series of publications is designed to help beginning farmers learn about financial and business management strategies that will assist them in developing into the next managers and decision-makers on the farm.




A new Land Stewardship Project (LSP) on southern Minnesota farms utilizes striking photos, inspiring quotes, and humor to get across the benefits of utilizing cover cropping, managed rotational grazing, no-till, and diverse rotations to build resilient, biologically healthy soil. The campaign was inspired by the eight farmers who sit on the group's Soil Builders' Network steering committee. "Part of the message we're trying to get across is that building healthy soil is not only good for the land and a farmer's bottom line, but is a fun way to take control and build resiliency when it comes to raising crops and livestock," said Shona Snater, who directs LSP's soil health program. One eye-catching and humorous sign, which was posted in collaboration with Practical Farmers of Iowa, features a farmer's bare legs and the phrase, "Don't Farm Naked: Plant Cover Crops."




USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in more states during the past week. It was confirmed in a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Kentucky, a mixed backyard flock in Virginia, and in non-poultry flocks in New York and Maine. Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit, available online.




Compostable molded pulp packaging products are becoming increasingly popular, but the recycled newspaper that has traditionally been used to make them is becoming less available. Oregon State University researchers explored whether apple pomace, the waste left when juice is extracted, could be . The research also explored using other fruit and vegetable processing byproducts. The researchers concluded that fruit pomace could be a feasible source of fiber for packaging, and they also explored additives that would make the packaging more water-resistant while still being compostable.




Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) and the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) are working together to. They have an online survey open through March 7, 2022. The questionnaire aims to understand how Native veterans are involved in food production and agriculture; the financial, business, and technical needs of Native veterans and Native food entrepreneurs; and how to connect Native veteran farmers, ranchers, fishers, and growers more seamlessly with NAAF grantees to realize the vision and mission of NAAF. American Indian or Alaska Natives who are veterans or currently serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to complete the survey. The first 200 Native farmer veterans to complete the survey will receive a limited edition co-branded FVC/NAAF challenge coin.