United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture known as the Agriculture Department, is the U. S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally. 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance; the current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue. Many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Activities in this program include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month.
USDA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where it is committed to working with other agencies to ensure these mainstream benefits are accessed by those experiencing homelessness. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both the domestic and world markets, it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved nonprofits; the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation. Early in its history, the economy of the United States was agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds and animals for import into the United States. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State.
He began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for "the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes." Ellsworth's interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, statewide reports about crops in different regions, the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth was called the "Father of the Department of Agriculture."In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status, the agriculturalist Isaac Newton was appointed to be the first such commissioner.
Lincoln called it the "people's department." In 1868, the Department moved into the new Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, D. C. designed by famed DC architect Adolf Cluss. Located on Reservation No.2 on the National Mall between 12th Street and 14th SW, the Department had offices for its staff and the entire width of the Mall up to B Street NW to plant and experiment with plants. In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was defeated in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. On February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, other subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans; the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners, contributed to the education of the rural youth, it was revealed on August 27th, 2018 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture would be providing U. S. farmers with a farm aid package, which will total $4.7 billion in direct payments to American farmers. This package is meant to offset the losses farmers are expected to incur from retaliatory tariffs placed on American exports during the Trump tariffs.
The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Animal Damage Control (
Mexico the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States. Covering 2,000,000 square kilometres, the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity, the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana and León. Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of five cradles of civilization and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain.
Three centuries the territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes; the Mexican–American War led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century; the Porfiriato was ended by the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system as a federal, democratic republic. Mexico has the 11th largest by purchasing power parity; the Mexican economy is linked to those of its 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement partners the United States. In 1994, Mexico became the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it is classified as an upper-middle income country by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country by several analysts.
The country is considered both a regional power and a middle power, is identified as an emerging global power. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking fourth in the world for its biodiversity. Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. Mexico is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G8+5, the G20, the Uniting for Consensus group of the UN, the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico and surrounding territories, with its people being known as the Mexica, it is believed to be a toponym for the valley which became the primary ethnonym for the Aztec Triple Alliance as a result, although it could have been the other way around.
In the colonial era, back when Mexico was called New Spain this territory became the Intendency of Mexico and after New Spain achieved independence from the Spanish Empire it came to be known as the State of Mexico with the new country being named after its capital: the City of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl tetl and nōchtli and is thought to mean "Among the prickly pears rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggests the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain; the suffix -co is the Nahuatl locative, making the word a place name. Beyond that, the etymology is uncertain, it has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Mexica, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihco means "place where Huitzilopochtli lives".
Another hypothesis suggests that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for "moon" and navel. This meaning might refer to Tenochtitlan's position in the middle of Lake Texcoco; the system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco formed the center, had the form of a rabbit, which the Mesoamericans pareidolically associated with the moon rabbit. Still another hypothesis suggests that the word is derived from Mēctli, the name of the goddess of maguey; the name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the letter x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative, represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative during the 16th century; this led to the use of the variant Méjico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and most other Spanish–speaking countries, México was the preferred spelling. In recent years, the Real Academia Española, which regulates the Spanish l
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable; the young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato and does not belong to the nightshade family, but both families belong to the same taxonomic order, the Solanales; the plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between yellow, red, brown and beige, its flesh ranges from beige through white, pink, yellow and purple. Sweet potato cultivars with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh. Ipomoea batatas is native to the tropical regions in the Americas. Of the 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importance—some others are used locally, but many are poisonous.
The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants under the name tuberous morning glory, used in a horticultural context; the sweet potato is called a "yam" in parts of North America, but is botanically distinct from the botanical yams. Although the soft, orange sweet potato is called a "yam" in parts of North America, the sweet potato is distinct from the botanical yams, native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca, is called a "yam" in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. Although the sweet potato is not related botanically to the common potato, they have a shared etymology; the first Europeans to taste sweet potatoes were members of Christopher Columbus's expedition in 1492. Explorers found many cultivars under an assortment of local names, but the name which stayed was the indigenous Taino name of batata.
The Spanish combined this with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato. In Argentina, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic the sweet potato is called batata. In Mexico, Chile, Central America, the Philippines, the sweet potato is known as camote, derived from the Nahuatl word camotli. In Peru, the Quechua name for a type of sweet potato is kumar, strikingly similar to the Polynesian name kumara and its regional Oceanic cognates, which has led some scholars to suspect an instance of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. In New Zealand, the original Māori varieties bore elongated tubers with white skin and a whitish flesh. Kumara is popular as a roasted food served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. In Australia, shops will label purple cultivars as "purple sweet potato" to denote the difference to the other cultivars. About 95% of Australia's production is of the orange cultivar named'Beauregard' from North America, known as "sweet potato". A reddish-purple cultivar,'Northern Star', is 4% of production and is sold as "kumara".
The origin and domestication of sweet potato occurred in either South America. In Central America, domesticated sweet potatoes were present at least 5,000 years ago, with the origin of I. batatas between the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela. The cultigen was most spread by local people to the Caribbean and South America by 2500 BCE; the sweet potato was grown in Polynesia before western exploration as the Ipomoea batatas, spread by vine cuttings rather than by seeds. Sweet potato has been radiocarbon-dated in the Cook Islands to 1400 CE. A common hypothesis is that a vine cutting was brought to central Polynesia by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back, spread from there across Polynesia to Easter Island and New Zealand. Divergence time estimates suggest that sweet potatoes might have been present in Polynesia thousands of years before humans arrived there, although other reports dispute this. In response to a major crop failure, sweet potatoes were introduced to Fujian province of China in about 1594 from Luzon.
The growing of sweet potatoes was encouraged by the Governor Chin Hsüeh-tseng. The sweet potato was introduced to Japan, in the early 1600s. Sweet potatoes became a staple in Japan because they were important in preventing famine when rice harvests were poor. Sweet potatoes were planted in Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshimune's private garden, it was introduced to Korea in 1764. The sweet potato arrived in Europe with the Columbian exchange, it is recorded, for example, in Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book, compiled in England in 1604. The genome of cultivated sweet potatoes contains sequences of DNA from Agrobacterium, with genes expressed by the plants. Transgenes were observed both in related wild relatives of the sweet potato, in more distantly related wild species. Studies indicated that the sweet potato genome evolved over millennia, with eventual domestication of the crop taking advantage of natural genetic modific
Ipomoea carnea, the pink morning glory, is a species of morning glory. This flowering plant has heart-shaped leaves that are 6 -- 9 inches long, it can be grown from seeds which are toxic and it can be hazardous to cattle. The plant is of medicinal value, it contains a component identical to a sedative and anticonvulsant. A glycosidic saponin has been purified from I. carnea with anticarcinogenic and oxytoxic properties. One selection of I. carnea,'Inducer', has been used as a rootstock for inducing flowering of sweetpotato cultivars which otherwise prove reticent to produce flowers. Another common name is "bush morning glory", but in temperate North America, that refers to I. leptophylla. In Brazil, I. carnea is known as canudo-de-pito "pipe-cane", as its hollow stems were used to make tubes for tobacco pipes. It thus became the namesake of Canudos, a religious community in the sertão of Bahia, over which the War of Canudos was fought 1893–1897. Media related to Ipomoea carnea at Wikimedia Commons'Inducer' cultivar in the USDA Germplasm System
Ipomoea aristolochiaefolia is a species of plant in the Convolvulaceae family of the genus Ipomoea. It is endemic to parts of South America. Global compendium of weeds
The term cultivar most refers to an assemblage of plants selected for desirable characters that are maintained during propagation. More cultivar refers to the most basic classification category of cultivated plants in the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. Most cultivars arose in cultivation. Popular ornamental garden plants like roses, daffodils and azaleas are cultivars produced by careful breeding and selection for floral colour and form; the world's agricultural food crops are exclusively cultivars that have been selected for characters such as improved yield and resistance to disease, few wild plants are now used as food sources. Trees used in forestry are special selections grown for their enhanced quality and yield of timber. Cultivars form a major part of Liberty Hyde Bailey's broader group, the cultigen, defined as a plant whose origin or selection is due to intentional human activity. A cultivar is not the same as a botanical variety, a taxonomic rank below subspecies, there are differences in the rules for creating and using the names of botanical varieties and cultivars.
In recent times, the naming of cultivars has been complicated by the use of statutory patents for plants and recognition of plant breeders' rights. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants offers legal protection of plant cultivars to persons or organisations that introduce new cultivars to commerce. UPOV requires that a cultivar be "distinct, uniform", "stable". To be "distinct", it must have characters that distinguish it from any other known cultivar. To be "uniform" and "stable", the cultivar must retain these characters in repeated propagation; the naming of cultivars is an important aspect of cultivated plant taxonomy, the correct naming of a cultivar is prescribed by the Rules and Recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. A cultivar is given a cultivar name, which consists of the scientific Latin botanical name followed by a cultivar epithet; the cultivar epithet is in a vernacular language. For example, the full cultivar name of the King Edward potato is Solanum tuberosum'King Edward'.'King Edward' is the cultivar epithet, according to the Rules of the Cultivated Plant Code, is bounded by single quotation marks.
The word cultivar originated from the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with characteristics that arose in cultivation, presently denominated cultigens. This distinction dates to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, the "Father of Botany", keenly aware of this difference. Botanical historian Alan Morton noted that Theophrastus in his Historia Plantarum "had an inkling of the limits of culturally induced changes and of the importance of genetic constitution"; the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants uses as its starting point for modern botanical nomenclature the Latin names in Linnaeus' Species Plantarum and Genera Plantarum. In Species Plantarum, Linnaeus enumerated all plants known to him, either directly or from his extensive reading, he recognised the rank of varietas and he indicated these varieties with letters of the Greek alphabet, such as α, β, λ, before the varietal name, rather than using the abbreviation "var." as is the present convention. Most of the varieties that Linnaeus enumerated were of "garden" origin rather than being wild plants.
In time the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with variations, cultivated increased. In the nineteenth century many "garden-derived" plants were given horticultural names, sometimes in Latin and sometimes in a vernacular language. From circa the 1900s, cultivated plants in Europe were recognised in the Scandinavian and Slavic literature as stamm or sorte, but these words could not be used internationally because, by international agreement, any new denominations had to be in Latin. In the twentieth century an improved international nomenclature was proposed for cultivated plants. Liberty Hyde Bailey of Cornell University in New York, United States created the word cultivar in 1923 when he wrote that: The cultigen is a species, or its equivalent, that has appeared under domestication – the plant is cultigenous. I now propose another name, for a botanical variety, or for a race subordinate to species, that has originated under cultivation, it is the equivalent of the botanical variety except in respect to its origin.
In that essay, Bailey used only the rank of species for the cultigen, but it was obvious to him that many domesticated plants were more like botanical varieties than species, that realization appears to have motivated the suggestion of the new category of cultivar. Bailey created the word cultivar, assumed to be a portmanteau of cultivated and variety. Bailey never explicitly stated the etymology of cultivar, it has been suggested that it is instead a contraction of cultigen and variety, which seems correct; the neologism cultivar was promoted as "euphonious" and "free from ambiguity". The first Cultivated Plant Code of 1953 subsequently commended its use, by 1960 it had achieved common international acceptance; the words cultigen and cultivar may be confused with
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may allow selfing; some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization. Flowers are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds. In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to bring beauty to their environment, as objects of romance, religion, medicine and as a source of food; the essential parts of a flower can be considered in two parts: the vegetative part, consisting of petals and associated structures in the perianth, the reproductive or sexual parts. A stereotypical flower consists of four kinds of structures attached to the tip of a short stalk.
Each of these kinds of parts is arranged in a whorl on the receptacle. The four main whorls are as follows: Collectively the calyx and corolla form the perianth. Calyx: the outermost whorl consisting of units called sepals. Corolla: the next whorl toward the apex, composed of units called petals, which are thin and colored to attract animals that help the process of pollination. Androecium: the next whorl, consisting of units called stamens. Stamens consist of two parts: a stalk called a filament, topped by an anther where pollen is produced by meiosis and dispersed. Gynoecium: the innermost whorl of a flower, consisting of one or more units called carpels; the carpel or multiple fused carpels form a hollow structure called an ovary, which produces ovules internally. Ovules are megasporangia and they in turn produce megaspores by meiosis which develop into female gametophytes; these give rise to egg cells. The gynoecium of a flower is described using an alternative terminology wherein the structure one sees in the innermost whorl is called a pistil.
A pistil may consist of a number of carpels fused together. The sticky tip of the pistil, the stigma, is the receptor of pollen; the supportive stalk, the style, becomes the pathway for pollen tubes to grow from pollen grains adhering to the stigma. The relationship to the gynoecium on the receptacle is described as hypogynous, perigynous, or epigynous. Although the arrangement described above is considered "typical", plant species show a wide variation in floral structure; these modifications have significance in the evolution of flowering plants and are used extensively by botanists to establish relationships among plant species. The four main parts of a flower are defined by their positions on the receptacle and not by their function. Many flowers lack some parts or parts may be modified into other functions and/or look like what is another part. In some families, like Ranunculaceae, the petals are reduced and in many species the sepals are colorful and petal-like. Other flowers have modified stamens.
Flowers show great variation and plant scientists describe this variation in a systematic way to identify and distinguish species. Specific terminology is used to describe their parts. Many flower parts are fused together; when petals are fused into a tube or ring that falls away as a single unit, they are sympetalous. Connate petals may have distinctive regions: the cylindrical base is the tube, the expanding region is the throat and the flaring outer region is the limb. A sympetalous flower, with bilateral symmetry with an upper and lower lip, is bilabiate. Flowers with connate petals or sepals may have various shaped corolla or calyx, including campanulate, tubular, salverform or rotate. Referring to "fusion," as it is done, appears questionable because at least some of the processes involved may be non-fusion processes. For example, the addition of intercalary growth at or below the base of the primordia of floral appendages such as sepals, petals and carpels may lead to a common base, not the result of fusion.
Many flowers have a symmetry. When the perianth is bisected through the central axis from any point and symmetrical halves are produced, the flower is said to be actinomorphic or regular, e.g. rose or trillium. This is an example of radial symmetry; when flowers are bisected and produce only one line that produces symmetrical halves, the flower is said to be irregular or zygomorphic, e.g. snapdragon or most orchids. Flowers may be directly attached to the plant at their base; the stem or stalk subtending a flower is called a peduncle. If a peduncle supports more than o