The National Agriculture Statistics Service will collect survey results from produce packers and others to help fruit and vegetable operations preparing to meet new federal food safety requirements. The 2015 Produce Post-Harvest Microbial Food Safety Practices Survey marks the first time since 1998 that such a survey has been conducted. NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly encouraged operators to participate in the survey, noting that implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act might affect post-harvest businesses.

USDA announced this week $2.5 million grants for projects to educate new and underserved farmers on USDA Farm Service Agency programs. The available grants will be awarded to nonprofits and public higher education institutions that develop proposals to improve farmer education. Specifically, USDA wants a focus on topics such as financial training, value-added production, record-keeping, property inheritance, and crop production practices.