The second highest bee loss in 15 years has reported by the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) in its 2020–2021 National Colony Loss and Management Survey, released on June 30. For the “winter” period of October 1, 2020 through April 1, 2021, approximately 32% of managed bee colonies in the U.S. were lost.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making improvements to crop insurance to better enable agricultural producers to manage risk on their operations. Specifically, USDA’s Risk Management Agency is adding new options for producers of dry beans, dry peas, and small grains, such as wheat, as well as making other adjustments that make crop insurance more accessible for organic producers and veteran farm families.
North Dakota agriculture officials are asking the federal government to give farmers and ranchers more flexibility in dealing with drought conditions that have parched the state. This week's U.S. Drought Monitor map shows exceptional drought, the worst of four categories, covers about 18% of the state. The next category, extreme drought, blankets another 46% of North Dakota. All of the state is in some form of drought.
While the ultimate human and financial toll of the 2021 heat wave won't be known for some time, we do know the toll taken by major heat waves and droughts over the past four decades. Here is a list of the costliest heat waves in the U.S. since 1980 based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All dollar figures have been adjusted for inflation.
MSU Extension agents will be assessing agricultural damage from early-June flooding until well into July, but preliminary estimates indicate losses could break records. The 2019 Yazoo Backwater Area flood caused $617 million in crop damage alone. It looks like the more recent flood will exceed those losses.
North Carolina produces an average of 40 to 50 million pounds of blueberries a year. Half of that production comes from Bladen County, where growers suffered a rare, unfortunate series of events. They first faced a severe early freeze. In early May, hail storms hit several southeastern counties, including Bladen. It was a critical time for the plants.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to aid recovery efforts for residents, farmers and ranchers affected by the devastation across the Southeast caused by Tropical Storm Claudette. USDA staff in regional, state, and county offices are ready to respond and are providing a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to affected communities and agricultural producers.
Northern Michigan's multi-million dollar cherry industry is on the decline. A new projection from the Michigan Department of Agriculture shows this season's crop is projected to be 5% lower than last year's harvest. An unusually warm spring, weeks of overnight frost and drought have caused damage to the cherry crop.
Depending on where you farm, you might have gotten just enough rain from those thunderstorms to put you back on track. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for one Owen County farming family. Matthew and Larry Wall are farmers of Hubbell Station Farms in Owen County, their family farm that has been around since the early 1820s.
An annual survey of beekeepers shows honey bees continue to die at high rates. Between April 2020 and this April, losses across the country averaged 45.5 percent according to preliminary data from the Bee Informed Partnership, a collaboration of researchers that has conducted the annual bee loss survey for 15 years.
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