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The Countdown to USDA’s August Crop Production Report

NASS surveyors measure corn plants on an Illinois farm to ensure an accurate crop production forecast.

NASS surveyors measure corn plants on an Illinois farm to ensure an accurate crop production forecast.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Has the weather and grain prices been on your mind lately? With the release of the August Crop Production report just days away, I know it’s been on my mind. While we’ve had record-breaking heat here in the nation’s capital, everyone’s eyes are on farm country waiting to see how the unpredictable summer weather is impacting the 2010 growing season. Read more »

African Ministers and Companies Come to Kansas City to Do Business

African ministers and entrepreneurs listen to translation as Under Secretary Jim Miller speaks about investing in the agricultural value chain.

African ministers and entrepreneurs listen to translation as Under Secretary Jim Miller speaks about investing in the agricultural value chain.

Last week I was in Kansas City to participate in the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum. AGOA seeks to strengthen the trade relationship between the United States and Africa by reducing tariffs on thousands of African products and providing technical assistance to boost African exports while stimulating economic growth and investment.  Each year, the AGOA forum alternates between Washington, D.C. and an African country host.  To celebrate AGOA’s tenth year, we decided to do something new, hosting the first half of the forum in Washington, DC and the second portion in Kansas City. Read more »

Recovery Act Broadband Award Helps a Kansas Family Owned Rural Telephone Company and Provides Broadband to Rural Residents

Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, stands in front of a mural highlighting milestones in his family's telecommunications business.

Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, stands in front of a mural highlighting milestones in his family's telecommunications business.

Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, displays the story of his family owned rural telephone company on the wall behind his desk.  The mural, painted by an area artist, highlights the advancement in telecommunications since the company was founded in the 1950’s by Robert’s grandparents.  The historical image also features two of the three generations of family ownership including his mother and grandmother who served as telephone operators in the early decades of the company. Read more »

USDA Business Programs Administrator Makes Recovery Summer Tour Stops and Addresses Financial Leaders in Nebraska

 

Administrator Canales, the Mayor and Library officials review the plans for the future Pawnee City Public Library. The building is being funded with USDA Recovery Act support.

Administrator Canales, the Mayor and Library officials review the plans for the future Pawnee City Public Library. The building is being funded with USDA Recovery Act support.

USDA Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judy Canales joined Nebraska Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul and staff earlier this month for Recovery Summer Tour stops in Pawnee City and the future Pawnee City Public Library. Read more »

Helping a Threatened Butterfly Recover in Oregon

 

The native violet, Viola adunca, which the NRCS Corvallis Plant Materials Center is growing for silverspot butterfly habitat.

The native violet, Viola adunca, which the NRCS Corvallis Plant Materials Center is growing for silverspot butterfly habitat.

The silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta) is one of two native Oregon butterfly species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Once found in coastal headlands from northern California to southern Washington, it has disappeared from all but a handful of grassland sites along the Oregon coast. Read more »

Invasive Plant Pest Awareness Month is coming this August

Written by Ed Curlett, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Are Japanese beetles eating your roses?  Ever hear of the Mediterranean fruit fly?  Is the Emerald Ash Borer infesting your backyard tree?  All of these insects are plant pests from another part of the world, and they can harm you, your garden, our U.S. crops and even fragile ecosystems. Read more »