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Entries tagged with: Usda


Mexico reopens zone for U.S. fresh potatoes

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has resumed issuing phytosanitary certificates for the export of U.S. fresh potatoes into Mexico’s 26-kilometer zone bordering the U.S.             According to Mark Szymanski,National Potato Council director of public relations, these phytosanitary certificates being issued are based on import requirements from a 2003 agreement.             On May 19, 2014, the entire country of Mexico opened beyond the 26-kilometer zone for U.S. fresh potatoes. On June 9…  » Read more

2014 fall potato acreage increases

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) crop acreage report shows an increase of 13,500 acres of fall potato acres planted nationally compared to the 2013 total.             According to NASS, fall acres planted for 2014 totaled 955,400 compared to 941,900 in 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent.             However, Bruce Huffaker’s North American Potato Market News reports that NASS may be overcounting acreage in the upper Midwest, Maine and Colorado and undercounting in Idaho,…  » Read more

Marrone approved for USDA loan guarantee

            The USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan program approved Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) for a $10 million loan.             The funds will be used to expand  the MBI manufacturing plant in Bangor, Michigan.

Fresh potato ban in WIC program may be reviewed

The National Potato Council (NPC) reports that the U.S. House and  Senate appropriations committees may consider legislations to lift the current ban on fresh potatoes in the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).             The National Potato Council is asking members of the potato industry to write their representatives and senators to lift the current ban on fresh potatoes.             To send a message to Congress go to this NPC website.

APHIS approves Mexican fresh potatoes for importation

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will allow the importation of fresh potatoes from Mexico into the U.S. effective April 25.             As a condition of entry the potatoes must be in accordance with the following strictures: seed potatoes were certified; packinghouses are registered;  shipments are commercial; and chain of custody is verified.             In addition, the potatoes must be  washed and soil free; inspected internally and externally and certified free of…  » Read more

Public meeting to address CCPR agenda scheduled for April 10

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in conjunction with the EPA is sponsoring a public meeting to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and on draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 46th session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), which will be held in Nanjing, China from May 5-10. The public meeting will be held on April 10, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT, at the…  » Read more

USDA NASS census shows growing farm economy

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service released its preliminary results from the 2012 census of agriculture. The ag census is conducted every five years. The census revealed the value of agricultural products sold in 2012 to be $394.6 billion, an increase of $97.4 billion, or 33 percent, from 2007. Between 2007 and 2012, the per farm average value of sales increased from $137,807 to $187, 093. The $52,235 increase was the largest rise in census history.…  » Read more

Potato stock reports to resume

Following passage of its budget by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will resume publication of the potato stocks reports. The reports had been suspended due to sequestration. NASS will announce dates of publication for the reports when they are set.

NRCS predicts limited water supply for western states in 2014

A limited water supply is predicted west of the Continental Divide, according to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) National Water and Climate Center data in its first forecast of 2014. “Right now the West Coast is all red,” NRCS hydrologist Tom Perkins said in a USDA press release. “Early indications are it will be very dry in the western part of the West, but wetter as you travel east. There are some exceptions…  » Read more

APHIS reopens public comment period

In April 2013, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed a rule in the Federal Register to restructure regulations governing the importation of plants for planting.             APHIS has reopened the comment period for an additional 30 days for comments on their proposed framework for integrated pest risk management measures.             For more information on the proposed rule or to post a comment visit the APHIS website.             Comments will be accepted…  » Read more

PCN regulated acres in Idaho decrease

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced that approximately 2,279 acres of Idaho farmland have been deregulated from pale cyst nematode (PCN) regulation. The PCN-regulated acres are found in northern Bingham County and southern Bonneville County. Currently, regulated acres total 10,774, of which 2,300 acres are infested. Visit the APHIS site for more information about PCN.

National leafy greens agreement ended by USDA

A proposed national leafy greens marketing agreement has been terminated by USDA, the department announced Dec. 5. The national agreement was first proposed in 2009 by industry groups and had been in the regulatory pipeline since then. The official termination notice was published in the Federal Register. “Termination of the proceeding will allow USDA to discuss recent developments with interested parties, and consider the evolving needs of the industry and consumers,” said a statement on…  » Read more

PMA praises proposal for healthy student diets

Commending USDA steps to encourage students’ greater consumption of fruits, vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) submitted comments to the Child Nutrition Division of the agency’s Food and Nutrition Service in support of its proposed rule to strengthen nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools. Citing recent Produce for Better Health Foundation research finding less than 15 percent of children eat the recommended number of fruit servings and less than 20…  » Read more

Vilsack to stay as USDA secretary

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced he will remain in his post during the second term of Barack Obama’s presidency. “President Obama and I share a deep appreciation for rural America and its unlimited potential in the years ahead to feed a growing world population, revolutionize America’s energy, further protect our natural resources and create more jobs here at home,” said Vilsack in a statement released by USDA. “We will continue to urge Congress to…  » Read more

Pathogen test program will cease operations

After months of uncertainty over the future of the program, the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Microbiological Data Program, which tests produce for disease-causing pathogens like E. coli O157:H7, salmonella, and listeria, has officially gone into shutdown mode, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed last week to Food Safety News. Department officials told states that participate in the $4.5 million program to stop pulling produce samples on Friday Nov. 9 to “ensure an orderly shutdown of…  » Read more