4:22 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

USDA Pays To Turn Dead Trees Into Biofuel


The U.S. Department of Agriculture starting a program that pays people to deliver dead trees to power plants that can convert them to biomass fuel.  Large swaths of Wyoming’s forests have been killed by pine beetle infestations and some say they pose a fire danger. Todd Atkinson with the Farm Service Agency says he hopes money will give people the incentive to harvest from more remote areas.

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1:27 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Stakeholders want screening for invasive plant species

Cheat Grass
Credit Aaron Domini

Stakeholders in the Rocky Mountain region are in unanimous agreement about what needs to be done about invasive plant species. That’s according to a new study published in the journal Bioscience.

They are common invaders—cheat grass, leafy spurge, salt cedar, yellow toadflax and spotted knapweed. Project leader and UW professor Edward Barbier says that what sometimes begin as attractive lawn shrubs purchased from local nurseries can escape, and proliferate, taking over land, choking out native plants and providing less than ideal grazing material for livestock.

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3:12 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Drought-induced hay shortage drives up prices

The USDA is predicting that this year’s hay crop will be the worst in decades because of the drought.

Platte County Extension Agent Dallas Mount says most Wyoming hay farmers are producing only half as much hay as usual, and some are producing none at all. He says that’s driving up prices.

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1:26 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Drought puts Wyoming in largest-ever natural disaster designation

The US Department of Agriculture has named more than 1,000 counties – about a third of all counties nationwide – to be natural disaster areas. The drought-driven designation is the largest the USDA has ever made.

In Wyoming, all but a small corner in the northwest part of the state is currently dry, with designations ranging from Abnormally Dry to Extreme Drought.  

Todd Even of the Farm Service Agency in Wyoming says that in some areas it’s estimated that more than fifty percent of range land or grass hay crop has been lost.

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6:59 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Native American Farmers And Ranchers May See Repayment Soon

Some Native American farmers and ranchers in Wyoming could be receiving checks and debt forgiveness in the coming year in the wake of a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It’s estimated that Native American farmers and ranchers lost over 770-million-dollars in revenue between 1981 and 1999, because the USDA denied them loans and services based on their race. Many Native Americans also lost their land in the process.

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7:32 am
Wed January 11, 2012

USDA to close two Wyo. offices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it plans to shutter four offices in Montana and Wyoming as part of a $150 million cost cutting measure that includes 259 closures nationwide.

The Food Nutrition Service office in Cheyenne, and the USDA Rural Development office in Park County will close, though FSN employees will continue to work from home.

The Food Nutrition Service office was the only one in the state. Food Nutrition Service is the source of the federal SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.