**Beekeepers across the U.S. lost nearly 41% of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April this year.

That’s according to early results of the latest survey from the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership.

growingproduce.com reports, the annual loss represents a slight increase over the annual average of 38.7%. However, winter losses of 37.7%, were the highest reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9% higher than the survey average.

**The USDA is expecting storm-ravaged farmers to file more than $1 billion in prevented-planting claims for fields they could not plant this year due to heavy rains and flooding and could exceed the previous high of 10-million acres.

USDA undersecretary, Bill Northey tells Agri-Pulse, the Risk Management Agency has paid roughly $151 million in prevented-planting claims related to flooding for this crop year.

The USDA is encouraging farmers to plant cover crops where they couldn’t plant commodity crops and those will be eligible for tariff payments.

**The EPA has extended the public comment period to August 15th on a draft revised method for assessing pesticide risk to endangered and threatened species.

According to farmprogress.com, under the Endangered Species

Act, federal agencies are required to determine whether their actions may affect listed species and their designated critical habitat and biological evaluations are the first step in the consultation process to protect listed species and their habitats.

Submit your comments at www.regulations.gov.

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