Agribusiness
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Discuss President Obama’s Blueprint for Economic Revitalization and Job Creation in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:30

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2012- This Friday, February 10, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a roundtable with Iowa agriculture and business leaders as well as Des Moines Area Community College faculty and students to discuss President Obama’s efforts to strengthen the Iowa economy. He will also discuss USDA’s efforts to support Iowa’s rural communities and agriculture sector.

 

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

9:45 a.m. CST

 

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a roundtable with Iowa agriculture and business leaders as well as Des Moines Area Community College faculty and students to discuss President Obama’s efforts to strengthen the Iowa economy.

 

WHERE: Des Moines Area Community College– Room 101

Building 3E

2006 South Ankeny Blvd.

Ankeny, Iowa 50023

 
New Plant Zone Hardiness Map Shows Temperature Shifts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:15

A new TV feature  is available on the USDA FTP site. The new TV feature can also be seen on USDA's YouTube channel and seen and downloaded as a video podcast.

FTP Download instructions:

The host: ftp://ocbmtcmedia.download.akamai.com

User name: usdanews

Password:  Newscontent1

Filename for TV Feature: PHZM feature

The new file is in QuickTime Movie (H.264 ), MPEG 4, MPEG2 and HDV.

YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/usda/

video podcasthttp://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/usda-down-to-earth-video-podcast/id461819504?uo=4

RSS feed: http://downtoearth.usda.libsynpro.com/rss

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have problems or suggestions.

Also, use this free ftp client if you have problems.

http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type+client

 

 

 

FEATURE – NEW PLANT HARDINESS ZONE MAP SHOWS TEMPERATURE SHIFTS

INTRO:  U-S-D-A's Agricultural Research Service has released a new plant hardiness zone map; the first one in twenty two years. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:55)

 

THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S NEW PLANT HARDINESS ZONE MAP SHOWS CHANGES OF FIVE DEGREES FAHRENHEIT WARMER PER HALF ZONE THROUGH MUCH OF THE NATION SINCE NINETEEN NINETY.

 

Dr. Peter Bretting, USDA ARS: We see a consistent shift. Especially in the eastern U.S. of about a half zone warmer than in the prior map.

 

WHY THE CHANGE? DOCTOR BRETTING SAYS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FACTORS.

 

Bretting: It’s based on more data from more weather recording stations. And they were processed by a special mathematical formula that takes into account features of the landscape, such as mountains, large bodies of water, urban areas, which cause sometimes heat islands. And it was recorded over a longer period, thirty rather than fifteen years.

 

THE MAP ALSO SHOWS WHERE PLANTS WOULD BE EXPOSED TO SEVERE WINTER CONDITIONS AND TEMPERATURES AND IS AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR GARDENERS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND SCIENTISTS.

 

Bretting: There are more than eighty million gardeners in the United States and many of them will use this as a reference as will landscape architects, plant breeders. The USDA Risk Management Agency will use these data for certain crop insurance parameters. One application is being able to forecast the spread of weeds or insects that might endanger agriculture.

 

AND THIS NEW MAP IS MUCH MORE ACCURATE THAN OLDER ONES.

 

Bretting: The precision is about a half mile square, which is because of the new computerized technology is more precise than the prior maps, which were e based on sometimes artistic renditions of where zones began or ended.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO ONLINE TO PLANT HARDINESS DOT A-R-S DOT U-S-D-A DOT GOV. FOR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE I’M BOB ELLISON

 
USDA Announces Latest Actions to Combat Fraud and Enhance SNAP Program Integrity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Browne   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:19

Strengthened Measures Help Fight Fraud in Nation’s Most Critical Nutrition Assistance Program

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2012 – USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today announced first quarter results for fiscal year 2012 in the effort to identify and eliminate fraudulent retailers from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). From October 1 through December 31, 2011, USDA staff took final actions to:

  • Sanction, through fines or temporary disqualifications, more than 225 stores found violating program rules; and
  • Permanently disqualify over 350 stores for trafficking in SNAP benefits (i.e. exchanging SNAP benefits for cash).

These enforcement actions are part of the Obama Administration's ongoing Campaign to Cut Waste and root out fraud and abuse in federal programs, including SNAP. While fraud is a relatively limited problem in SNAP – the violating stores represent less than ½ of one percent of more than 230,000 food stores authorized to redeem benefits – no level of fraud is tolerated. USDA's Food and Nutrition Service conducts ongoing surveillance and investigation, to find bad actors and remove them from the program. In fiscal year 2011, FNS reviewed over 15,000 stores, and permanently disqualified over 1,200 for program violations.

"I'm pleased to report today to American taxpayers the first quarter results of our anti-fraud efforts in 2012," said Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon. "Americans expect and deserve a government that ensures their hard-earned tax dollars are managed with accountability and integrity. We are committed to ensuring these dollars are spent as intended - helping millions of people in need through tough economic times until they can get back on their feet."

USDA is building upon strategies recently announced to further strengthen anti-fraud efforts in the retailer application process. To help reduce the number of disqualified stores that return to the program by falsifying information in their applications, USDA is announcing new measures to strengthen the program:

  • Increasing documentation required for high-risk stores applying to redeem SNAP benefits to better verify their identity and assure their business integrity. High-risk stores are those located at the site of a previous disqualification.
  • Verifying high-risk stores to confirm application information. High-risk stores are those located at the site of a previous disqualification. Store owners found to have falsified information with the intent to hide ownership or past violations will be charged, disqualified and may be liable for a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for as long as 5 years or both.
  • Continuing to notify state departments and federal agency partners about violators to better protect our public programs. This includes information on program recipients with suspicious transactions at stores known to be trafficking for further investigation by States.

In addition, USDA will soon publish a proposed rule strengthening sanctions and penalties for retailers who commit fraud in SNAP. USDA's new Fighting SNAP Fraud website (www.fns.usda.gov/fightingsnapfraud) will also help raise awareness of the issues and provide a direct portal to report suspicious activities.

"Fraud is not a static concept – we know that where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way," said Concannon. "That's why USDA is constantly striving to stay ahead of the curve. The comparison I frequently make is in the area of cyber security. The need for continuously updating information security measures is frequently noted in the private sector, because hackers and other bad actors are always looking for ways to exploit systems."

"However, it is important not to demonize SNAP participants and retailers when referencing fraud because the vast majority of people participating in the program, both retailers and SNAP participants, abide by the rules. Our goal is to eliminate fraud and we will continue to crack down on individuals who violate the program and misuse taxpayer dollars," Concannon noted.

Concannon announced new anti-fraud activities in December. Today's announcement continues the USDA's commitment to promote integrity in SNAP, in order to assure the public's confidence in this critical nutrition assistance program that serves over 46 million low-income and working Americans.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that in addition to SNAP include the National School Lunch Programs, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Summer Food Service Program. Taken together, these programs serve as America's nutrition safety net.

Program fraud complaints of any kind may be filed with the USDA Office of Inspector General; contact information is found at: http://www.usda.gov/oig/hotline.htm. Fraud may also be reported to the appropriate States. Phone numbers are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/contact_info/fraud.pdf.

#

 
Biodiesel Production Surpasses Requirements, Increases Optimism PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:04
Soy Biodiesel Helps America’s Advanced Biofuel Top 1 Billion Gallons  

ST. LOUIS (February 3, 2012) – Biodiesel became a one-billion gallon industry, setting an all-time production record last year. That’s thanks in part to its predominant fuel source: soy biodiesel. U.S. biodiesel production far exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 production requirement of 800 million gallons. In fact, production reached nearly 1.1 billion gallons, which surpassed the previous record of 690 million gallons set in 2008.

U.S. soybean farmers and their checkoff helped establish soy’s role in the biodiesel marketplace, originally looking for a new use of surplus soybean oil more than 20 years ago. Today, the soybean checkoff continues to support biodiesel through research and education efforts.

“As Americans, we have a need for an American fuel and the checkoff is seeing their investment start to come to fruition,” says Robert Stobaugh, soybean farmer from Atkins, Ark., and United Soybean Board farmer-director. “The checkoff marketing efforts at the state and national level helped soy become the primary source and we still have room for growth.”

The industry expects biodiesel production to grow even larger in 2012. And the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard requires it to meet 1 billion gallons again next year. As production continues to increase, diesel users will be able to find biodiesel more readily than ever before.

"Biodiesel is now more available and as it expands into metropolitan areas it will be easier for the rural areas to get a hold of it,” adds Stobaugh. “As our urban neighbors pick up the torch and carry it, we won’t have to ask for it – fuel suppliers will already have it.”

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unitedsoy
View our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard

###

 
Agriculture Child Labor Regulations Re-proposed PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 03 February 2012 15:03

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after the Department of Labor announced it would be re-proposing a portion of its agriculture child labor regulations.  Grassley has vigorously defended the opportunity for kids to work on family farms.  He has said that generations of Iowans have cut their teeth working on the farm, whether for their own family, or a neighbor’s farm, and that young people are a valuable part of farming operations.

“It’s good the Labor Department is rethinking the ridiculous regulations it was going to stick on farmers and their families.  What would be best for everybody involved is to scrap the whole thing and allow farm families to operate in a manner consistent with the rural living that allows children to learn and grow as part of a rural community.”

Here’s a link to the Department of Labor’s press release.

 
<< Start < Prev 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 Next > End >>

Page 123 of 162