Legislation could block relocation of USDA offices

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On February 14, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1) introduced H.R. 1221, the Agriculture Research Integrity Act of 2019, to block the relocation of two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offices out of the National Capital Region. Secretary Sonny Perdue announced his intent to move the offices in August 2018, in order to place USDA resources closer to many stakeholders who live outside of the region and attract staff with training and interests in agriculture who may otherwise be discouraged by Washington D.C.’s high cost of living. However, the relocation would affect approximately 700 employees currently at the USDA offices, some of whom may choose to find new jobs rather than move to a different city.

President signs farm bill into law, setting national agriculture policy for next five years

Natural gas pump

President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) into law on December 20, following months of drawn-out negotiations in the House and Senate. The legislation, commonly referred to as the “farm bill,” modifies and extends some of the major programs for land conservation, food and nutrition assistance, trade promotion, rural development, research, forestry, horticulture, and other programs within the Department of Agriculture (USDA) through fiscal year 2023.

House Agricultural Committee approves farm bill package

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The House Committee on Agriculture voted 26-20 to advance the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2), commonly referred to as the “farm bill,” which was introduced by Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX-11). With authorization of the Agricultural Act of 2014 lapsing at the end of September, the massive farm bill package approved by the committee authorizes programs across the USDA including sections on commodities and trade, loans and insurance, conservation and forestry, research, nutrition, and rural development.

Prominent Pesticides Escape Into the Environment

A silent spring and a summer without honey? Current events have renewed interest in science that informs us about the health of our environment. In EARTH Magazine's May cover story, read about efforts to track where and how certain pesticides are making their way offsite, staying in the environment for longer than previously thought, and potentially endangering beneficial species like honey bees and aquatic invertebrates.

Spring has Sprung! Is the #Soil in Your Raised Bed Healthy?

Raised vegetable beds for wheelchair access.
As we emerge from winter, and start planting for the summer the Soil Science Society of America published some tips - from the soil scientist perspective - for your perfect raised bed garden. Have you considered if your raised bed garden will a permanent or temporary structure? When was the last time you assessed your garden's soil health? These tips will give your plants room to grow, and keep your harvest safe from soil contaminants! 
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