Farm bill season arrives: What’s the outlook for 2023?
WASHINGTON — Over the course of the next year, lawmakers on the U.S. House and Senate agriculture committees will draft a new federal farm bill that will shape food, farm, conservation and nutrition programs across the country for the next five years. The omnibus law that began 90 years ago as crop support legislation now […]
Record funding to reduce agricultural pollution expected to aid Bay cleanup
A surplus of dollars in Virginia’s coffers this year means record funding for state programs that help farmers pay for practices like streamside fencing that decrease the amount of pollution running into the Chesapeake Bay, but nationwide inflation could blunt some of the long-sought money’s impacts. The flood of funding is “phenomenal,” said James Martin, […]
No further bird flu spread in Virginia, but danger hasn’t passed, says state vet
Virginia has so far eluded widespread outbreaks of a highly pathogenic strain of avian flu, but the state veterinarian cautions poultry owners that they’re “not out of the woods yet.” State vet Charles Broaddus urged poultry owners “to continue implementing high biosecurity measures as an everyday practice” in a June 10 letter to industry members, […]
Virginia braces against avian flu after virus detected in Fauquier flock
Virginia farmers and agriculture officials are bracing themselves after a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza known as the Eurasian H5 type was detected in a flock of chickens and turkeys in Fauquier County this February. “We’re very worried,” said Hobey Bauhan, president of state industry group the Virginia Poultry Federation. An outbreak “would be […]
Virginia farm bankruptcies remained low in 2021
Farm bankruptcies in Virginia continue to be low as nationwide trends show a dramatic drop in every region of the U.S. between 2020 and 2021. The finding by the American Farm Bureau Federation, which was released in a market intelligence brief earlier this month, is based on records of Chapter 12 filings in federal bankruptcy […]
Chickpea seeds to be sent into space from Virginia’s Wallops Island
Chickpea enthusiasts aren’t satisfied with either the once-humble legume’s skyrocketing popularity in the U.S. or the construction of the largest hummus factory in the world outside of Richmond to fuel that growing appetite. No, chickpea boosters have their sights set on a far grander stage: space. On Saturday, chickpea seeds are set to be flung […]
USDA to send out $1.4 billion to boost rural economies in the states
WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the agency is investing $1.4 billion into rural economies through job training, business loans and the expansion of technical assistance. “It’s a good day for rural America,” Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, said during a call with reporters. Eight programs will dole […]
Virginia’s wine industry is expanding. Grape-growing hasn’t caught up.
Patrick Young knew he wanted to preserve his family’s farm in Mecklenburg County, a gently rolling estate once devoted to boarding and breeding horses. The challenge was figuring out how to make a living from it. Tobacco, once the area’s dominant crop, was no longer economically viable. That left Young, 36, searching for other options. […]
Part of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, funding scholarships at HBCUs
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges, including Virginia State University, and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in […]
In Southwest Virginia, farmers and brewers hope for a grain renaissance
ST. PAUL — On a quiet Thursday afternoon in St. Paul, a town of about 850 that sits on the banks of the Clinch River straddling Wise and Russell counties, Greg Bailey was filling a growler of Scotch ale. Beer has a colorful history in these parts. Once it flowed like water: so rowdy was […]
Livestock are a major part of Virginia agriculture. But there are fewer and fewer vets for farm animals.
For many years, Buckingham County, home to tens of thousands of cows, goats, sheep and hogs, had no veterinarians devoted to treating livestock. “There just was nobody in the county,” said Ivan Davis, a cattle operator and president of the Buckingham Farm Bureau. And, “when you need a vet, you need a vet.” Today, Buckingham […]
PETA seeks safety designation for stretch of Virginia road prone to hog truck crashes
PETA has asked the state Department of Transportation to designate a portion of State Route 10 in southeastern Virginia as a highway safety corridor due to what the animal welfare group and locals say is a high rate of crashes involving hog trucks. A safety corridor designation on the road between U.S. Route 58 in […]