U.S. Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

Partial Recall: Product Contamination Coverage Has Its Limits

In disputes over the scope of liability coverage, courts must often draw a line between (1) providing insurance against errors that harm others and (2) broadly guaranteeing the work product of the insured. The problem is...more

USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable...more

Seeds Worth More than Gold

Plant Breeders are Learning the Value of Protecting Their Inventions - Agricultural espionage: it’s not exactly the stuff of John le Carré novels. But recently a Chinese woman was charged in a plot to steal U.S. corn...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Advocates of GMO labeling vow to continue fight even after electoral...more

President Obama Announces $300 Million Investment In Emerging Manufacturing Technologies

On October 27, 2014, President Obama announced new plans to strengthen the manufacturing sector. One of the listed plans involved the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space...more

USDA Proposes Amended Guidelines For Biobased Products For Federal Procurement

On October 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed to amend the regulations for the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products under USDA's BioPreferred Program. As explained in the Federal Register...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Commentator says “food addiction” is a misleading term that should not be...more

“Why Biobased?” Report Released by USDA

On October 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released "Why Biobased?," a report that comprehensively synthesizes findings from the existing government, academia, and non-governmental organizations on...more

$91 Million Loan Guarantee To Louisiana Biofuel Plant

On October 3, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA reached an agreement with Silicon Valley Bank to provide a $91 million Biorefinery Assistance Program loan guarantee to Cool Planet for a biofuel plant in...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends - Food and Beverage Alert (US): October 2014

School Nutrition Association responds to critical article, sets forth its views on healthy lunches. The School Nutrition Association, which represents school cafeterias across the nation, responded on October 7 to a New York...more

Biobased Mulch Added To USDA National Organic Program

USDA has amended the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances maintained by the National Organic Program (NOC) to allow biodegradable biobased mulch film to be used in organic production with restrictive...more

USDA awards $68 million for energy projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $68 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The latest round of awards under the agency's Rural Development arm's Rural...more

Growing Michigan - Third Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals - U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill -...more

Rural Business-Cooperative Service Announces Solicitation Of Applications For The Advanced Biofuels Payment Program

On September 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an initial notice announcing the timeframes to submit applications for participation in the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program. Applications for...more

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Improving Broadband Access in Rural Areas

The U.S. House Agricultural Committee's subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, recently held a hearing to examine ways to improve and expand broadband in rural areas and to coordinate future investments...more

Secretary Vilsack Confirms Administration Support For Biofuel Production Level

Last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at a biofuel industry conference and addressed concerns raised over the likelihood that the final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule would...more

USDA Invests $68 Million In 540 Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Projects

On September 18, 2014, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. This is the most recent in a series of USDA actions designed to help...more

USDA Awards Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC $105 Million Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guaranteed a $105 million loan through Bank of America, N.A. to help Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels build a plant in McCarran, Nevada that would convert municipal waste into renewable...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

Vermont AG defends the state’s GMO statute. On August 8, the Vermont attorney general filed a motion to dismiss a case brought by food trade groups against the state’s newly enacted statute requiring GMO foods be...more

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grants To Support The Bioeconomy

On August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Agency is investing $25 million to support 247 businesses throughout the country under the Value-Added Producer Grant program (the program). The...more

USDA Issues BioPreferred Rule

On August 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule on "Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement." A copy of the rule is available online. The rule is effective on...more

DOE Joins “Farm To Fly” Initiative

DOE will reportedly join the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "Farm to Fly" initiative to help promote the development and use of sustainable aviation biofuels. Under the initiative, USDA, Boeing, and the Air Transport...more

USDA Issues Report On Greenhouse Gases

On July 31, 2014, USDA issued a report on greenhouse gases. According to USDA's press release, the Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory report "for the first time,...more

USDA Awards Funds To Promote Development Of Rural Wood-To-Energy Projects—15 States To Benefit

On July 15, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grant awards to support the development of wood energy projects. According to the press release, the federal funds will leverage more than $4.5 million in...more

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