Entries tagged with: Usda

2015 N. American potato production increases

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that North American potato growers, United States and Canada, increased production in 2015 by 1.4 percent compared to 2014 production numbers. Production in 2015 totaled 550.4 million cwt., compared to 542.8 million cwt. in 2014. U.S. production increased 0.8 percent, and Canadian production increased 4.2 percent in 2015. For more information, visit the NASS website.

2015 potato production up, according to NASS

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2015 crop production report forecast an increase of 4.9 million cwt. in U.S. fall potato production, compared to the 2014 total of 403.7 million cwt. NASS predicts the 2015 fall production total to be 408.6 million cwt. The report indicates a slight yield decline, from 434 cwt. per acre in 2014 to 432 cwt. per acre in 2015. For more information on 2015 crop production, go to the NASS…  » Read more

Syngenta scientist named to USDA Hall of Heroes

Mary-Dell Chilton, a distinguished science fellow at Syngenta, was honored as an inductee into the USDA Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C. with USDA secretary Tom Vilsack presiding. Established in September 2000, the USDA Hall of Heroes recognizes those that have had a lasting impact on agriculture and related programs. Chilton’s work with plant biotechnology led her to produce the first transgenic plant in 1983 and demonstrated that plant genomes could be altered more precisely…  » Read more

AMS presents GroupGAP webinar

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) specialty crops inspection division will present a webinar on GroupGAP, a new certification option for the Good Agricultural Practices audit program. The webinar will be Thursday, Nov. 12, from 2-3 p.m. EST. The webinar is free, but registration is required and space is limited. To register for the webinar, visit this website. For more information on GroupGAP, visit this AMS website.

APHIS deregulates Simplot’s Generation Two Innate potato

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service  (APHIS) has deregulated J.R. Simplot Company’s second generation Russet Burbank Innate potato. The second generation of Simplot’s Innate potato contains four traits: 1) reduced bruising and black spots; 2) reduced asparagine; 3) resistance to Late Blight; and 4) enhanced cold storage capability. Simplot’s Innate potato varieties are genetically engineered using genes from wild and cultivated potatoes. Simplot is waiting completion of EPA registration and Food and Drug…  » Read more

USDA announces additional 800,000 acres in CRP

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that an additional 800,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land may be enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) under certain wetland and wildlife initiatives. The voluntary CRP allows USDA to contract with agricultural producers for periods between 10 and 15 years. Participants establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides participants with rental payments…  » Read more

Drought emergency declared in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state declared a drought emergency at a press conference on May 15. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reported that 11 long-term measurement sites were snow-free for the first time since measurements were recorded. The NRCS report for Washington state water supply stated that May 1 SNOTEL readings were 17 percent of normal, which continues to be an all-time low. “We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack…  » Read more

USDA forecasts 2015 spring production down

The USDA crop production report released on May 12, 2015, predicts that spring potato production will decline 11.2 percent compared to 2014 production. The report estimates 2015 spring potato production to be 20.07 million cwt., 2.54 million cwt. less than the 2014 production of 20.61 million cwt. Bruce Huffaker’s North American Potato Market News reports that the 2015 forecast would be the smallest spring potato crop since the USDA started keeping separate spring potato production…  » Read more

Idaho growers file federal lawsuit

A group of Idaho potato growers have filed a federal lawsuit challenging “certain agency actions” governing pale cyst nematodes (PCN) by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho in Boise. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. Among the actions of relief sought is an immediate end to the quarantine…  » Read more

Simplot’s Innate potatoes receive FDA safety clearance

The Food and Drug Administration has completed its evaluation of J. R. Simplot’s genetically engineered Innate variety potatoes and has concluded that the potatoes “are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts” in this press release. Simplot’s Innate varieties of Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic will be available in limited quantities in 2015 in the fresh and fresh-cut markets. A second generation of Innate potatoes are currently under review by the USDA and…  » Read more

USDA announces SCRI funding available

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the availability of more than $66.5 million in funding for research and Extension activities.             The grants will be funded through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) and the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. Both programs are funded through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).             SCRI pre-applications are due March 30, 2015 and full applications are due July 2, 2015. For more information see…  » Read more

IOM recommends white potatoes in WIC program

The National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that the USDA allow white potatoes be an eligible vegetable in the USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).             At the request of the USDA the IOM is undertaking a comprehensive review of the food packages used in the WIC program.             In the first of three reports, the IOM committee evaluated the 2009 regulation that excluded white potatoes from…  » Read more

APHIS and PPQ release 2015-2019 plans

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released its 2015-2019 (PPQ) strategic plan along with its Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 2015-2019 strategic plan.             Among the APHIS goals is one to “protect plant health by optimizing our (APHIS) oversight of GE organisms.”             To read the APHIS strategic plan visit this website. To read the PPQ strategic plan visit this website.

USDA names members to USPB

The USDA appointed 19 new members to the U.S. Potato Board (USPB) and reappointed 14 members to the USPB for three-year terms beginning March 1, 2015.             New USPB members are: Segundo Diaz, Alamosa, Colorado; Jeremy Arnold, Felt, Idaho; Kent Bitter, Shelley, Idaho; Jeff Harper, Mountain Home, Idaho; Dan Moss, Declo, Idaho; Dirk Parkinson, St. Anthony, Idaho; Kyle Lennard, Howe, Indiana; Jeff Edling, Becker, Minnesota; Gary H. Gray, Clear Lake, Minnesota; Leon J. Hapka, Argyle,…  » Read more

NASS reports increased 2014 production

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2014 crop report shows an increase of 2.8 percent in U.S. production of fall potatoes in 2014. Fall production totaled 406,195,000 cwt in 2014, compared to 395,275,000 cwt. in 2013. The national yield per acre for the fall was up in 2014 with 439 cwt., compared to 425 cwt. in 2013.             For more information visit the NASS website.

Simplot’s Innate varieties achieve federal milestones

The first two generations of the J.R. Simplot Company’s genetically engineered (GE) Innate potato varieties achieved individual federal milestones.Generation one received a determination of nonregulated status from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The APHIS document has been published in the Federal Register on and is available online. The first generation of Simplot’s Innate potatoes includes Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic. The three GE varieties were developed with the following traits:…  » Read more

Burdett joins USPB staff

Amy Burdett has joined the United States Potato Board (USPB) as its marketing operations director.             For the past 16 years Burdett worked at the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Her areas of trade expertise include Asia bilateral and regional affairs, trade policy development and enforcement and global commodity analysis.             Burdett will focus on market access issues, for all potatoes and products. She will oversee the seed potato export program and oversee the application…  » Read more

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 trade was…  » 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, Michigan and…  » 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