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U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Regional Drought Response, Hindered By Lack Of Farm Bill

Agricultural producers at a regional USDA meeting on drought complained to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack that lack of a farm bill is complicating response to the ongoing disaster. Vilsack was at the first regional drought response meeting held in Omaha on Tuesday,

"There is a uniform agreement here that we need a farm bill and we need the tools that a farm bill would provide in more comprehensively responding to a disaster circumstance

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David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images
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Drought Effect On Food Prices Yet To Come

The latest consumer price index shows a tiny hike in overall food prices last month.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Price Economist, Ricky Volpe says the drought won't effect prices for another two to three months

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Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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Beekeeper Survey Shows Drop In Colony Loss Last Winter

Bee keepers noticed a slow down in bee colony loss this last winter. Losses were around 20 percent as compared to 30 percent over the last few winters.

Agriculture officials say that's an improvement, but it's too soon to say if it's a trend toward bee colony health

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Steer Price Forecast, This Year And Next

Beef cattle prices are high right now, but not quite as high as had been expected.

U. S. Department of Agriculture  Outlook Chairman, Gerry Bange says beef processors are complaining of negative processing margins, so they aren't bidding as high for cattle

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Jeff T. Green/Getty Images
Jeff T. Green/Getty Images
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Agricultural Child Labor Law Open For Comment

Proposed changes to U.S. agricultural child labor laws are open for comment by the U.S. Department of Labor. Comments are being taken on a reinterpretation of the parental exemption.

Michael Hancock with the labor department says the changes identify areas in agriculture where children should not be employed such as operating certain heavy equipment or handling pesticides

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William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
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Chinese Demand For U.S. Meats Expected To Impact Market

China's growing middle class seems to have a growing taste for U.S. beef, pork and poultry.

William Westman, of the American Meat Institute suggests when China officially opens its market to the United States it will have a big impact on world markets

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USDA photo by Lance Cheung
USDA photo by Lance Cheung
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USDA Investigates Fake Letters

Fraudulent letters to agricultural producers have been circulating lately. They purport to be from the U. S. Department of Agriculture and ask for personal information, including social security number

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Cattle
Scott Olson, Getty Images
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Ag Update: Developments On The BSE And Trade Front

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to adopt world wide standards for the import of beef when it comes to concerns about BSE or what's commonly known as mad cow disease.

U.S.D.A, Chief Veterinarian, Dr

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Plant Hardiness Map, Online And Warmer

Plant hardiness zones have been adjusted and the map used to track what to grow and when has been updated. The new version of the USDA's Plant Hardiness Zone Map is now available on the web.

"The new map takes the form of an interactive geograph

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David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images
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Food Price Inflation Hits Consumers Hardest At The Grocers

With just days left until the end of 2011 the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that food prices this year went up about 3.5 percent. Ag Department Economist, Ricky Volpe, says prices for foods eaten at restaurants went up about 2 percent while foods bought at the grocery store shot up much more

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