USDA seeks feedback from Delaware farmers on 2017 crop production and supply levelsThe Delaware Department of Agriculture is urging farmers to participate in the two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS will survey nearly 400 farmers across Delaware to determine crop production and supply levels in 2017.
“As an $8 billion industry, agriculture plays a major role in Delaware’s economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse. “The information that our farmers provide is critical to helping everyone – from fellow farmers to lawmakers to extension professionals – make decisions that will impact our industry. It is critical that NASS has the most accurate data, so I urge Delaware farmers to participate in the June Surveys.”2017-05-23 10:00:31
Care is urged after red imported fire ants found in palm tree shipmentRed imported fire ants were detected during a routine check at a Sussex County business by the Delaware Department of Agriculture's Plant Industries nursery inspection team. A Hold and Control Order was promptly issued, and a treatment program to eliminate the fire ants is underway. "Buyers of tropical nursery stock - such as palm trees - should carefully inspect their plants for small, aggressive red stinging ants," said Stephen Hauss, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the Department of Agriculture. "We need these to be reported quickly and promptly to keep them from spreading or staying in Delaware over the winter."2017-05-22 11:42:02
Collaboration leads to largest round of Delaware farmland preservation in several years“I am proud to announce the largest round of Delaware farmland permanently preserved through the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Program in the last several years. This is a result of federal funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and funding from both New Castle County and Kent County,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse. More than 124,000 acres of Delaware farmland are now permanently preserved for future generations, with 3,039 acres of easements selected into the state’s preservation program.2017-05-18 09:56:23
Delaware Forest Service awards $58,409 in urban and community forestry grantsThe Delaware Forest Service's urban and community program has awarded $58,409 in grants to 22 municipalities, HOA's, and nonprofits to fund planting and management projects to improve tree canopy on public lands and open space in the First State. Over the past 10 years, the program has funded more than $1 million in community-based tree projects in Delaware.
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, Delaware's Urban and Community Grant Program is open to all municipalities, community associations, and certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations within the State of Delaware. Funds can only be utilized on public property owned by the municipality, HOA, or nonprofit organization. Grants can range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in one of two project categories: tree planting or tree management. All applications require a 50-50 cost-share match in either cash or in-kind services within program guidelines.2017-05-12 14:37:27
U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper celebrates "Delaware Arbor Day" at Dover Air Force BaseU.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper joined public officials and schoolchildren to observe "Delaware Arbor Day" at Dover Air Force Base, which celebrated its 25th Year as a Tree City USA. The last Friday in April is commemorated as Arbor Day in the First State, an occasion to encourage tree planting and highlight the numerous benefits that trees provide: cleaner air and water, natural beauty, valuable wood products and food, reduced storm water runoff, and improved property values. The ceremony also honored the winners of the Delaware Forest Service's annual school poster contest and included a ceremonial tree planting of an American holly (Ilex opaca), Delaware's state tree.2017-04-28 17:19:28
Delaware Department of Agriculture asks Delawareans to keep an eye out for hungry pestsTo protect our State, we are asking Delawareans to join us in the battle against invasive plant pest and diseases. If you suspect an invasive pest or disease, contact our Plant Industries section at (302) 698-4500. Get acquainted with the hungry pests that would like to dine in Delaware by visiting www.hungrypests.com. This April—Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month—we urge you to help stop the spread of these harmful pests.2017-04-12 09:10:05
New online tool to assess community tree canopy in DelawareThe Delaware Forest Service (DFS) has unveiled a new online tool that uses geographic information systems (GIS) software to help cities, towns, and neighborhoods to measure and increase their community tree canopy percentage. The link is: de.gov/treecanopy
Developed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture's GIS specialist Jimmy Kroon, the tool covers the entire First State: municipalities as well as homeowner associations and neighborhoods can assess their current level of tree cover as a starting point to explore opportunities to plant new trees and maintain their existing ones.
Merriken is Delaware's 2017 "Tree Farmer of the Year"Leslie Merriken received Delaware's 2017 "Tree Farmer of the Year" award for her extensive work in forestry conservation and education at the Delaware Forestry Association's annual meeting in Bridgeville. The honor recognizes landowners who practice exceptional management and promote sustainable forestry.
The American Tree Farm System was established in 1941 and is one of the oldest forest landowner organizations. Delaware's first Tree Farm was certified in 1959; today there are more than 200 Tree Farms covering over 20,000 acres.2017-03-24 09:32:30
Delaware announces new state apiaristThe Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today that they have hired a new State Apiarist, Meghan McConnell, a native of Millville, NJ. In her position, Meghan will be inspecting bee colonies, conducting surveys for the presence of honey bee parasites, and is responsible for securing samples of suspect colonies to determine suitable measures to control and/or eradicate disease. 2017-03-20 08:18:00
Eighteen Delaware sites awarded grants for urban agriculture and community gardensEighteen Delaware urban agriculture and community garden projects are receiving support through a second round of funding designed to strengthen communities and improve nutrition.
The partnerships that have developed at the local and state around urban agriculture and community gardening have really helped to transform Delaware communities. The grants awarded this year totaled $27,671.74, with $17,671.74 from Delaware Department of Agriculture. New Castle Conservation District pledged the additional $10,000 match for New Castle County sites.2017-03-15 09:44:57
Food safety certification course offered to potential on-farm food entrepreneursAgricultural entrepreneurs who want to produce certain foods in their on-farm kitchens can receive food safety training and become certified under Delaware law at an upcoming workshop jointly sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. The eight-hour “Food Safety for Entrepreneurs” program presented by Dr. Sue Snider of the University of Delaware will take place Saturday, March 25, at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 2017-02-20 07:56:59
Delaware to offer produce safety trainingFruit and vegetable growers who want to learn about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), developing food safety plans and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to attend several upcoming workshops.
On March 16 and 17, the “Delaware FSMA Produce Safety Alliance Training, Produce Food Safety Updates, and Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop” will be held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. The workshop will be from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Lunch will be provided and registration is free, courtesy of the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.2017-02-15 14:37:54
Delaware farmers' markets sales hit $2.9 millionDelawareans still value local foods and farm-fresh products as demonstrated by a strong 2016 farmers' market season with over $2.9 million dollars in direct sales, the Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today.2017-02-13 15:09:21