USDA

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A bill before the Indiana House Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs would make more people eligible for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits.

Indiana’s $11 billion farming sector is hoping to benefit under President Donald Trump.

The new commander-in-chief has threatened some trade deals that agriculture relies on. But many in the industry hope his nominee to lead the Department of Agriculture will have a different take.

Sonny Perdue is a former Georgia governor and commercial farming veteran. His home state is known for cotton, peanuts and livestock, not corn and soybeans.

But Jane Ade Stevens, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Soybean Alliance CEO, says Perdue still has a background in cash crops.

There are at least four Indiana names rumored to be on President-Elect Donald Trump’s short list for Secretary of Agriculture.

Most of the Hoosier prospects to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture were on the Trump campaign’s agricultural advisory team.

Those prospects include Indiana State Agriculture Secretary Ted McKinney, seed corn farmer and former Congressional hopeful Kip Tom and Fair Oaks Farms CEO Mike McCloskey.

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Harvest season is beginning for corn and soybeans in Indiana.

The latest USDA numbers say 74 percent of Indiana corn is mature, and 15 percent has been harvested. That's a little better than average. Soybeans are slightly behind, with 9 percent harvested as of this week.

Cavale Doom / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cavale/

Indiana public health officials are hoping a handful of housing initiatives spearheaded by the USDA will eventually help recovering addicts in rural areas transition to healthier lives. But it may take a while for some solutions to arrive.

The USDA, through its rural housing services, makes thousands of Indiana homes available to low-income residents through guaranteed and direct loans. The agency also owns a number of foreclosed homes.

Ben Loehrke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benloehrke/

Things are looking up for the quality of this year's corn and soybeans in Indiana and around the Midwest.

That's according to the latest numbers from the USDA, which could be good news for farmers in a year with a bumper harvest in the forecast.

That would mean more supply for the same demand, which might cause lower prices at the grocery store -- but could also mean less money for farmers.

Why New GMO Labels Might Not Tell The Whole Story

Jul 25, 2016
Joe Hren/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Fabi Calvo pays pretty close attention to what’s in her food. She’s careful when she’s at the grocery store, not just because she’s allergic to milk, but because she cares about what she’s eating in general, something many of us can relate to.

Congress recently approved legislation that requires food labels to list genetically-modified ingredients or GMOs.

You would think it’s as easy as just looking on the packaging to see what’s in the food you’re eating. For example, the number of calories can clearly be seen on a nutrition label.

Ron Nichols/NRCS

Indiana's Farm Service Agency has officially run out of loan money for everyday farm operating costs. But Congress is stepping in to keep the FSA's real estate loans afloat.

The Farm Service Agency predicted it would run out of loan money by this month.

That was after low commodity prices and wet weather in 2015 made it tough for some farmers to pay their operating costs, or pay back their banks -- and more banks, in turn, asked the FSA to help with the debt.

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Indiana livestock producers and lobbying groups are objecting to a possible higher standard for animal treatment on organic farms.

Some worry the proposed federal regulations could be a gateway to higher costs for all farmers -- organic or not.

 

The proposed changes aim to make sure certified organic cows, chickens, pigs and other animals are raised and killed more humanely.

United Soybean Board

More wet weather didn't help Indiana farmers make up for lost time in planting corn last week -- and they weren't able to supplement with soybeans, either.

It could mean some big decisions for growers heading into summer.

Indiana planted just seven percent more of its projected corn acreage in the past week, according to the latest USDA numbers.

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