Organic


House Ag Committee Questions USDA Regulation of GE Crops

January 21, 2011

On Thursday, January 20, the House Agriculture Committee held a “Public Forum” on USDA’s Biotechnology Product Regulatory Approval Process.  The Forum focused primarily on USDA’s regulation of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready (glyphosate herbicide resistant) genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa under the Plant Protection Act, which has been challenged by  organic and consumer organizations and farmers in federal […]

House Agriculture Committee Re-Organizes

January 18, 2011

As often happens following elections that shift the party in the majority, the new Republican leadership of the House Agriculture Committee reorganized the panel’s subcommittees. As we previously have reported, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) is the new Chair of the Full Committee, and former Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has been named Vice Chair. There are […]

CSP Conservation Enhancements and Practices Available for FY 2011 Sign-up

January 18, 2011

As we reported in a blog post earlier this month, USDA had finalized but not yet released the full list of conservation enhancements and conservation practices available for the FY 2011 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) sign-up.  This new information, which includes revisions to environmental benefit scores and the descriptions of the new enhancements, is now […]

NOP Announces Draft “Made With Organic” Labeling Guidance

January 18, 2011

On Thursday, January 13th, the National Organic Program (NOP), administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), published draft guidance on “made with organic” product labeling.  The guidance appears in the Federal Register and is open for public comment for the next two months. The document clarifies the acceptable wording for labels on products containing at […]

USDA Releases First 2011 Request for Applications for AFRI

January 7, 2011

On Friday, January 7, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released the first of seven 2011 requests for applications (RFA) for the Agriculture, Food and Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants program.  AFRI is the largest of the NIFA competitive grants programs, which also include smaller specialized programs for sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and […]

CSP 2011 Sign-Up Deadline Extended; New CSP Enhancements Approved and Scored

January 5, 2011

The application deadline to apply to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for 2011 has just been extended from January 7 until January 21, 2011.  The extension will provide a few more weeks for farmers and ranchers to consider whether to submit an application at their local USDA office. While CSP is a continuous […]

2011 Sign-up for EQIP Organic Initiative

December 20, 2010

On Monday, December 20, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 million in available funding for the 2011 sign-up of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative. The EQIP Organic Initiative, administered by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), provides financial and technical assistance to certified organic producers and producers transitioning to organic to […]

ERS Issues New Report on Organic Contracts

December 17, 2010

On Monday, December 13, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) published a new report, “The Role of Contracts in the Organic Supply Chain: 2004 and 2007,” examining the extent and rationale behind contracting in the organic sector. The report, which is based on data collected from nationwide surveys of certified organic processors, manufacturers, and distributors, found […]

USDA Releases Farm Emissions Calculator

December 16, 2010

On Wednesday, December 15, USDA announced the release of an updated and expanded online tool to help producers estimate on-farm carbon emissions and sequestration associated with their farm management practices. The COMET-VR 2.0 calculator, developed in collaboration with Colorado State University, can estimate the carbon sequestration and emission reductions associated with the implementation of conservation […]

Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill Released

December 14, 2010

(Updated Version — 12/15/10 — of Original Post) The Senate Appropriations Committee released the long-awaited omnibus, government-wide appropriations bill the afternoon of December 14.  The $1.1 trillion bill is a less than two percent increase over FY 2010, $26 billion less than what the Obama Administration requested in February, $18 billion more than the long-term […]

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