Farmers To Families Food Box Program Reaches 50 Million Boxes Delivered

IARN — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday the Farmers to Families Food Box Program has distributed over 50 million food boxes. The Department of Agriculture program supports American farmers and families affected the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering food boxes to needy families. Perdue says the milestone is a “testament to everyone’s hard work” on the program.

The program supplies food boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat products and a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Distributors package the products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

The first round of purchases totaled $1.2 billion. The second round and current round aims to purchase up to $1.47 billion through August 31. The recently announced third round will use the remaining funds available to the program, up to $3 billion, and purchases will begin by September 1 and conclude at the end of October.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

China Asks For Packages From U.S. To Investigate Seed Mailings

IARN — Chinese officials have asked for mailed seed packages from the U.S. to investigate unsolicited mailings. In a daily briefing with media, a spokesperson with China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Tuesday stated China Post, China’s state-owned postal service, has contacted the U.S. Postal Service, asking it to send fake packages to China for investigation. The spokesperson noted China is a member of the Universal Postal Union, which prohibits plant seeds as imports, or in transit, for member countries. Read more

Prolonged Heat Welcomes Twospotted Spider Mites

IARN — The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates western Iowa still faces moderate drought conditions, while a section of west-central Iowa remains under the D2 level of intensity, or severe drought. Some of those areas have since received timely rains. Dryness, however, does not appear to be the only problem they face. Read more