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Agriculture Archive

Milestones in the Recreation Residence Program

Here are some of the milestones in development of the Forest Service’s recreation residence program, which allows private cabins on forest lands:

Growing Support for Renewable Packaging and Green Chemistry | Commentary

During a time when partisan politics rule the day, it is sometimes hard for pragmatic bipartisan efforts to cut through the clutter and get the attention they deserve. American workers in the emerging field of renewable chemicals are seeking a level playing field in federal policy, and they’re getting backing from a Democrat from New Jersey and a Republican from Texas.

Farm Bill Should Link Conservation Compliance to Crop Insurance | Commentary

Hugh Hammond Bennett, the father of the modern soil conservation movement, wrote in 1943: “Conservation farming put first things first by attending to the needs of the soil — by seeing to it that the starting-off place, the base, is put into sound health and kept that way. Any other approach, no matter what it may be, always has and always must lead eventually to agricultural disaster.”

It's Time to Rein In the Growth of Food Stamps | Commentary

You recall the great American famine of 2010, don’t you? Neither do I, but the outcry surrounding proposals by House Republicans to cut spending on food stamps back to slightly higher than 2010 levels suggests that there surely must have been one.

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Cutting Back on Food Waste Could Have Economic, Environmental Benefits

Clean your plate. It could save the planet.

U.N. Food Waste Stats Show Environmental Impact

The scale of the global food waste problem is almost as hard to grasp is it is to address.

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Can Congress Get Back to Governing?

Two pivotal conference committees could test the post-shutdown theory that now is the time for both parties and chambers to finally come to the table and resolve their differences.

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Lawmakers, Advocates Raise Concerns as SNAP Benefits Shrink

Millions of low-income people will see their purchasing power fall Nov. 1, regardless of the outcome of a larger fight between Democrats and Republicans over future policies and spending levels for the nation’s largest domestic food aid program.

SNAP Debate Likely to Grow Contentious

More than 20 percent of the population in seven states and the District of Columbia received some form of food aid in 2013 under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to a recent Department of Agriculture report.

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Obama Wants Immigration, Farm, Budget Deals

President Barack Obama scolded congressional Republicans on Thursday morning for shutting down the government and flirting with default, while hoping that the end to the episode would lead to budget, immigration and farm bills by the end of the year.

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Cranberry Growers Seek Visibility in Farm Bill, Dietary Guideline Debates

Cranberry farmers turned part of Union Station into a bog Tuesday in a bid by a growers’ cooperative to draw congressional attention to the tart fruit.

Debate Over GMO Labels Rolls On

Two decades after Robert T. Fraley pioneered Monsanto’s first genetically engineered crops, the public debate about the technology still rages.

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Safety of New Pesticide Technology Is Under Review

Scientists have found a way to use a trick of nature to increase crop yields, combat hard-to-kill pests, grow coffee beans with no caffeine and even save the honeybee.

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Shutdown or Not, Farm Bill Extension Expires on Oct. 1

One thing’s certain on Oct. 1: Congress will have allowed the nine-month extension of the 2008 farm bill to expire.

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Clash Over Nutrition Program Expected to Focus on Who Deserves Food Aid

Lawmakers can be expected to engage in a battle of images over deserving and undeserving food aid recipients when the revised nutrition title of the House farm bill comes to the floor, perhaps as soon as this week.

FDA OKs Arsenic Levels in Rice; Critics Not Convinced

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration assured consumers they could continue to eat rice cakes, rice pasta, brown rice dishes and other popular products in moderation, with no immediate effects from arsenic in the grain.

Rice Grows More Important to American Diets

We are what we eat, and rice increasingly is a part of the American diet. About half of the U.S. rice crop goes into foods eaten by Americans. Domestic demand for homegrown rice has steadily risen by about 1 percent each year since the 1980s.

Sugar-to-Ethanol Subsidies Are a Sweet Deal for Producers, Not Consumers | Commentary

This past week, the Agriculture Department bought more than 7,000 short tons of refined beet sugar from a private processor and sold it to an ethanol company — at a $2.7 million loss for taxpayers.

Oysters at Risk From Ocean Acidification, as Are Farmer Livelihoods | Commentary

The recent news about illnesses related to eating raw oysters is having big impacts on our nation’s shellfish farmers. It is a prime example of how a good year can quickly take an unexpected turn in the opposite direction. Shellfish farmers around the nation confront some of the same threats that land farmers face — unfavorable weather, predators, disease and varying market conditions — any one of which can ruin the harvest for the year.

The Supplement Industry's Hypocrisy | Commentary

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s bill to require the makers of dietary supplements to label their products accurately has the industry up in arms. This is rank hypocrisy. The supplement industry, along with the organic food lobby, does support labeling — but only when the products in question belong to competitors such as the producers of foods from genetically engineered plants, a situation in which the labels serve no useful purpose.

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