The U.S. government expects to spend $191 million to pay chicken and turkey farmers for birds lost to avian flu, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday as he called for Congress to consider a disaster program for poultry producers similar to that for other livestock farmers.
A bird flu that resulted in the deaths of 48 million chickens and turkeys has finally waned, but industry officials and government researchers will gather this week in Des Moines to discuss next steps if the virus returns this fall or next spring.
Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100 percent effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday.
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is getting $6 million in federal grants to improve Internet service on its northeastern Minnesota reservation.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’s not ready to declare the Midwest bird flu outbreak over. While no new cases of the H5N2 virus have been detected over for over a month, Vilsack told The Associated Press on Monday that the threat hasn’t passed.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been meeting with Minnesota turkey producers to hear their concerns about the bird flu outbreak, and says she plans to speak with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack soon to discuss the federal response to the crisis.
The federal government this fiscal year is providing $4 million in technical and financial assistance to help Midwestern farmers and ranchers improve the health of honeybees.
Farmers can start as early as next week on signing up for new safety net programs that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said replaces the much-criticized direct payments with government payouts based on the risks farmers face.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is hoping for an election-season bump on an issue he’s tried to build into a cornerstone of his campaign: agriculture.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits Minnesota to launch a new pilot project offering farmers incentives to take steps to reduce water pollution from their operations. The USDA describes the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program as the first of its type in the nation.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says federal officials have pledged money to restart the wolf trapping program in Minnesota.
The federal Agriculture Department is making up to $10 million available to enroll land in the Red River Valley watershed into its Wetlands Reserve Program.
Ending current subsidies for the corn ethanol industry would cost jobs and make America more dependent on foreign oil, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.