Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack heads to Capitol Hill this week to testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee amid growing concerns about the global food supplies and soaring costs for fertilizer and other ag inputs.
Drought conditions that have been concentrated in the West and southern Plains are likely to spread in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota this summer, according to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook.
The Biden administration is looking to farmers to help alleviate global food shortfalls by planting winter wheat this fall on ground that’s coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program, but much of the acreage lies in states that are suffering from prolonged drought.
USDA has a daunting task as it seeks to pick the winners for one of the biggest ag lotteries ever: the $1 billion Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, whose first round of funding drew more than 450 proposals seeking $3 billion to $4 billion.
The Interior Department is doling out more than $240 million for repairs to aging water infrastructure in the drought-ridden West, one of the first investments with ramifications for agriculture in the $1.5 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted last year.