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February 2018

USDA NASS Vegetables Summary: Your Passport to a Scrumptious California Tour

Get your foodie passport ready to tour scrumptious California veggie country! With over 970 thousand acres of harvested vegetables, melons, and strawberries, the just released USDA NASS places California at a whopping $7.85 billion in vegetable production – over half of the U.S. total of $13.8 billion. Where are all of these amazing crops grown? Let's take a trip through some of the most delicious and prosperous rural regions in the Golden State.

Soil Health Practices for Mitigating Natural Disasters

The that more than 25 million Americans – almost 8 percent of the population – were affected by major disasters in 2017. From severe flooding in Puerto Rico and Texas to mudslides and wildfires in California, major natural disasters in 2017 cost over $306 billion nationally. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, this is a new annual record.

Fall Armyworm: USDA Research Lends a Hand in International Pest Outbreak

USDA researchers tackle tough problems critical to American agriculture. Addressing how to nurture heathy soils, improve crop yields, or prevent livestock diseases, they carefully plan experiments and analyze data that can lead to better on-farm decisions and more productive practices. But even scientists can’t always predict how far their work will eventually go. Recently, USDA researchers in Florida have seen their work take on unexpected relevance in Africa with the outbreak of an invasive crop pest.

USDA Agencies Collaborate to Produce Trusted and Reliable Commodity Market Information

Since its inception nearly 100 years ago, USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum has provided analysis of the farm economy, including the short- and long-term outlook for agricultural commodity markets. Producing credible and reliable information about supply and demand conditions for all the major crop and livestock markets, along with the implications for prices, production and trade, is a year-round process that relies on expertise from dozens of highly-trained analysts spread across several USDA agencies, including USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

70 Years in the Last Frontier

From protecting people and their communities to growing food in high tunnels to restoring streams for salmon to protecting precious soils, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been investing in Alaska’s working lands for 70 years.

The NRCS’s commitment to agriculture in Alaska began on February 19, 1948, when the agency (then the Soil Conservation Service) set up shop in the city of Palmer, one of state’s centers of agriculture. Since that time, the NRCS in Alaska has been steadfast in its mission of helping people help the land.

How the Military Helps Protect Natural Landscapes

Home to the premier restricted military airspace for unmanned aircraft system training in the western U.S., Army base supports training for personnel from the Air Force, Marine Corps, and U.S. Border Patrol. But it also serves as an example of successful mixed-use wildlands conservation, including healthy forests and grasslands, sustainable water resources, rural communities and economies, wildlife habitat, and recreation and tourism.

Student Diversity Program Winners are Honored Guests at this Year’s Ag Outlook Forum

The next generation of agricultural leaders get to rub elbows with today’s ag decisionmakers at the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF) later this month. Twenty undergraduate juniors and seniors and 10 graduate students have been selected as winners of the 2018 Student Diversity Program. These students receive invaluable, hands-on experience through a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., capped off with the 94th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), USDA’s largest annual meeting, held Feb. 22-23 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

Good Forest Management Yields Wildlife Oasis

For Mike and Laura Jackson, many mornings begin with hot tea and birds. This particular morning, they spotted a mourning dove, a pileated woodpecker and many others. And the retired science teachers in Bedford County, Pennsylvania jot down the types and numbers of birds they see each day.

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