USDA announces new innovation initiative

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USDA announces new innovation initiative

Photo courtesy USDA.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has unveiled the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda. 

He says the department-wide initiative will align resources, programs, and research to better position America’s farmers and ranchers to meet future global demands.  “Here’s what we’re going to do,” he says.  “Stimulate our innovation so that American agriculture can work toward the shared goal of increasing agricultural production by 40 percent while cutting the environmental footprint by half in US agriculture by 2050.”

Perdue told attendees at the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum the department has set benchmark goals to stay accountable and the targets will help measure progress toward meeting the food, fiber, fuel, feed, and climate demands of the future.  “You know that it’s progressive and we’re going to have annual types of trends of where we are in providing data to the industry and to the world to know we’re serious about this and serious about making these goals,” he says. 

Some of the benchmarks include:

  • Reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent in the US by 2030
  • Enhancing carbon sequestration through soil health and forestry, leveraging the ag sector’s renewable energy benefits.
  • Reducing nutrient loss by 30 percent nationally by 2050.
  • Increasing biofuels production efficiency and competitiveness to achieve market-driven blend rates of 15 percent of transportation fuels by 2030 and 30 percent of transportation fuels by 2050.

Perdue announced the Agenda at USDA’s 2020 Ag Outlook Forum this morning. 

AUDIO: Secretary Perdue, Ag Innovation Initiative

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