Deputy Secretary Harden examines Pacific Northwest cherries on sale at the Jiangnan Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market in Guangzhou.
U.S. agricultural exports are a bright spot in our economy – the past five years represent the strongest in history for agricultural trade. We export everything from soybeans and dairy to specialty products and fresh produce, all adding up to revenue and jobs back home in the United States. On a recent trip to China, I was able to see the wide range of products we are exporting, met with Chinese importers of American agricultural products and visited USDA staff working to get U.S. products into the Chinese market.
China is the largest market for American agricultural products, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all foreign sales of U.S. exports. These exports include bulk commodities like soybeans, cotton and wheat, but a wide variety of specialty items are also bought, like ginseng and Washington cherries. The diversity of American agricultural products represented in China was very impressive, as well as the innovative ways U.S. products are being used overseas. Read more »
Maryland isn’t chicken to talk about its agriculture – it ranks 8th in broilers sold in the USA. Check back next Thursday as we spotlight another state’s results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will highlight new Census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture results are out, and it is clear that here in Maryland, we have a little bit of everything. Although our state is small, the geography is diverse, providing suitable environments for a variety of agricultural commodities. From the Atlantic shore, to mountainous terrain, and from a diversity of livestock to an array of crops, Maryland truly is America in miniature.
In the Free State, about 69 percent of land in farms is cropland. We have 435,646 acres of corn for grain, 1,936 acres of oats for grain, 475,615 acres of soybeans for beans, and 210,354 acres of wheat for grain. In fact, 31.5 percent of the total market value of agriculture products sold comes from grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas. We also have almost every fruit and vegetable in the Census. The sandy environment near the shoreline is conducive to growing watermelons, of which we have 3,278 acres; and, the higher altitudes provide opportunities for producing grapes and peaches, of which we have 681 acres and 999 acres respectively. Read more »
Jorge Dubcovsky, professor of plant sciences at the University of California–Davis (pictured), and fellow UC Davis researcher Clark Lagarias uncovered a key determinant in the time it takes wheat to flower. Their discovery could lead to further research that would allow wheat growers to produce greater yields to feed the world’s growing population. Their work is published in this month’s edition of edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Photo courtesy of Jorge Dubcovsky.
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.
That handy chart on the back of seed packets tells backyard gardeners when it’s time to plant based on where they live. Things get a bit more complicated, however, when your goal is to feed the world.
Researchers at the University of California–Davis have unlocked a long-held secret into how wheat determines when it’s time to flower. This information is critical to wheat growers because flowering marks the transition between the plant’s growing period and the reproductive stage when the actual grain is created. Equipped with this knowledge, breeders can develop better adapted varieties to help growers maximize yield. Read more »
Jorge Dubcovsky, professor of plant sciences at University of California–Davis, is co-winner of the 2014 Wolf Prize in agriculture. Photo courtesy of Jorge Dubcovsky
During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA researchers are improving the lives of Americans in ways you might never imagine. Today we look at USDA support for a researcher striving to improve wheat through developing better disease resistance, nutritional value, and yield.
One of America’s most renowned agricultural researchers, a man who has already collected two of the USDA’s top honors, has now earned international recognition with the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. The Wolf Foundation began awarding six prizes – agriculture, the arts, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, and physics – in 1978 to recognize outstanding scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples.
Jorge Dubcovsky, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California–Davis and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute–Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation investigator, is sharing the Wolf Prize with Leif Andersson, from Uppsala University in Sweden. Dubcovsky’s previous awards include USDA’s National Research Initiative Discovery Award and the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award. Dubcovsky will receive the Wolf Prize June 1 at Knesset Israel (the Israeli Parliament) from Israeli President Shimon Peres. Read more »
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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Most Americans have never heard the name Norman Borlaug—and that’s ironic, considering that he is hailed around the world as one of the greatest Americans ever.
Compared to storied politicians, creative industrialists, brilliant inventors, or military heroes, Borlaug’s accomplishments have never been the topic of discussion at the dinner table — he merely set the world’s table. But what a table. The simple Iowa farm boy is credited with saving a billion people around the world from starvation and malnutrition. Read more »
Chris and Tracy Adams with their daughters Ashley and Abigail.
Similar to the old adage, when Chris Adams married the wife, he married the family – and the family farm. Lucky for him, he loves farming and enjoys working with his in-laws to manage the 4,000-acre farm of soybeans, wheat and corn. Now it’s his full-time job, working with his brother-in-law to raise fields of commodity crops each year. But recently, Chris and Tracy Adams, and the rest of the family, began experimenting with farming at a much smaller scale.
They built a seasonal high tunnel, a greenhouse-like structure that produces a plentiful supply of strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and peppers. High tunnels are made of plastic or metal pipe and covered with sheeting, typically made of plastic. Unlike greenhouses, they require no energy to heat, instead relying on natural sunlight to create favorable conditions for growing vegetables and other specialty crops. Read more »