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CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has launched the Veterans and Heroes to Agriculture program.

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Farming is a stressful job, even in good times. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic turmoil have only added to farmers’ stress.

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I've kept a daily journal since sometime in 1994. These volumes conclude around 2012 when I started publishing enough to realize that the flow had reversed direction. The idea was to use these journals — someday — as story material for columns like this one. So  — what am I still saving them…

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The scene is our backyard which fronts the North River. Across the river is nearly impenetrable, uninhabited jungle floodplain. Our section of the river isn't visible from the sparsely traveled private road that skirts the opposite side of the property. The other 2 sides are obscured by over…

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WASHINGTON — USDA’s Farm Service Agency will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the c…

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STAUNTON, Va.  — In May, Farm Credit of the Virginias launched a service initiative distributing a total of $6,500 to essential institutions serving its rural communities across its footprint spanning Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland.

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WASHINGTON — The Farm Service Agency has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

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The next time you snack on almonds, add blueberries to your smoothie or eat pumpkin pie, thank a pollinator and thank farmers, ranchers and private forestland owners who work hard to create and maintain their habitat.

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WASHINGTON — USDA’s Farm Service Agency has begun accepting nominations for county committee members.

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The reader may recall that as part of my “retirement” occupation, I’ve been filling in for Mexican tractor drivers so that they can go home for extended visits. It’s for fun, a source of writing material and a chance to explore new countryside and machinery up-close.

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“By Dam” will be this week’s mystery phrase but a little more about that later.

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CHARLESTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting the June Agricultural Survey.

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MORGANTOWN — Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

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CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is mandating all imported commercial swine arriving in West Virginia related to COVID-19 be processed upon entry into the state.

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WASHINGTON — USDA’s Farm Service Agency will broaden the use of the Disaster Set-Aside loan provision, normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside.

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A few years ago, I met an older gentleman at the Village Faire at Opequon (aka Frog Eye) near, Winchester, Va. This fine fellow, R. Preston Pulliam, was instantly fun to talk with, articulate, humorous and insightful. He was in the business of selling real estate, specializing in historic pr…

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WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has targeted $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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My business relationship with the couple that owns this tractor began, as I recall, when their GMC horse van broke down in front of Payne’s Biker Bar in Leesburg, Va.

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CHARLESTON — The production of meat animals in West Virginia during 2019 totaled 147.2 million pounds, up about 1 percent from 2018.

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MORGANTOWN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency will open signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program contract.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started making payments through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus to agricultural producers who suffered eligible losses because of drought or excess moisture in 2018 and 2019.

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WASHINGTON — Producers signed a record 1.77 million contracts for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2019 crop year, which is more than 107 percent of the total contracts signed compared with a 5-year average.

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Just the mention of the Long tractor (as in the story Gateway to Faquier, 12/28/11) brings forth a variety of commentary and opinions: “It was the worst tractor ever made — it was the best tractor ever made — it was part of a Communist plot to encourage collective farming — it was made in It…

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MORGANTOWN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency is now accepting new or modified proposals from state governments for its State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative.

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Bet the title fooled you. Many readers likely presumed that I was about to review Nora Kimble’s book by that name. Well, no, that’s going to take a while. It’s a thick book, to be precise it’s 702 thousandths of an inch thick not including the covers. (Precise enough?) Of that 702, I’ve mana…

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I spoke with a fellow who told me that there were “volumes and volumes” published on the theory of evolution. Apparently his point was that due to their sheer mass, these volumes prove Darwin's theory to be correct.

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Farm Credit of the Virginias will deliver patronage dividends to its customer-owners totaling $35 million in April.

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CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has received certification of approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for the plan submitted regarding the regulation of industrial hemp.

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RIPLEY — Since 2017, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture has made significant improvements to the WVDA Commodity Distribution Center located in Ripley.

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MORGANTOWN — The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program applications to be considered for funding this year is June 5.

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When I plunked down $50 for my current 1970 Ford Old Black Truck in 2004, I was told that its automatic transmission was dysfunctional. "Good engine, good body...bad trans" was the slogan that the previous owner repeated over his 4th Milwaukee’s Best Ice at 10 in the morning. The carburetor …

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MORGANTOWN — More than 3.4 million acres have been accepted into the general Conservation Reserve Program signup recently completed, the first general signup enrollments since 2016.

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CHARLESTON — Corn plantings in West Virginia are expected to total 56,000 acres, up 8 percent, or 4,000 acres from 2019, and up 22 percent or 10,000 acres from 2018.

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I exist in cargo-cult anticipation of 2 things.