Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Thursday, June 20, 2019



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  • Opinion: USDA agencies team up to take on feral swine

    Lohr and shea
    A September 2006 outbreak of E.coli in 26 states that sickened more than 200 people and led to the deaths of three may have been caused by feral swine roaming on a central California spinach farm, according to a study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.
  • Opinion: Let’s be honest: Our tragic river management experiment has failed

    Twitter-transmitted pictures of spring 2019 in the Midwest have made my feed a stream of continuous heartbreak. Video after video of flooded fields and homes, stuck tractors, ruined crops, with pictures of tornado damage serving as the visual exclamation point to the slow-moving disaster that we’re living in the central part of the nation. We’ve have several hundred acres under water on our farm, our fields are dotted with wet spots and ruts, and we’re the fortunate ones, given what I see on my social media feed. It is a helpless feeling to watch as farmers and homeowners throughout the Midwest suffer from this disaster of historic proportions.
  • Opinion: A new Farm Bill beginning for tribal students

    Barry dunn
    Located deep within the farm bill is a provision that could have a profound impact in the future. Section 7120 establishes a new USDA program entitled “New Beginning for Tribal Students.”


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Washington Week in Review: June 20, 2019: Lighthizer heads to the Hill

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was on Capitol Hill not once but twice this week hoping to sell the administration's trade agenda and drum up support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase discuss his hearings and more in this week's video.

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Ag by the numbers

Harvested cropland declined by 2 million acres in 2018, coinciding with a rise in crop failuremajor uses of us cropland

The ERS Major Land Uses series defines “cropland used for crops” as comprising three types: cropland harvested, crop failure, and cultivated summer fallow. In 2018, cropland harvested declined to 312 million acres—the lowest recorded harvested cropland area since 2013 (311 million acres) and 2 million acres less than in 2017. A 2-million-acre increase in crop failure due to drought conditions in several crop-producing areas contributed to the 2018 decline in cropland harvested. Land used for cultivated summer fallow, which primarily occurs as part of wheat rotations in the semi-arid West, also increased by 1 million acres to 16 million acres, continuing the reversal, which began in 2017, of a long-term decline in this category. The area that was double-cropped (i.e., two or more crops harvested) held constant over the previous year at about 6 million acres. This chart uses historical data from the ERS data product Major Land Uses, recently updated to include new 2018 estimates and revised 2017 estimates.