Daily Harvest -- 1/4/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: AFBF head discusses year to come
- (Audio) Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman discusses accomplishments in the last session of Congress and identifies ominous challenges still facing the industry on Capitol Hill and in courtrooms across the country.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Brief foray into bipartisanship may end as House returns
- The House returns from the holiday break ready to send election-year political messages, starting with legislation that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. The measure is headed to the White House for a certain veto, but the point is to show voters what congressional Republicans could accomplish with a Republican president.
Agri-Pulse: A look at the big Ag issues of 2015 - and for the New Year
- Labeling dominates ag discussion in 2015, promises to remain an issue in 2016.
Agri-Pulse: Agriculture Trumped in the primaries
- (Opinion) So far, agriculture as a campaign issue has been trumped (literally) by high-profile controversies over immigration, national security, terrorism and personalities.
Wisconsin Public Radio: State sues over federal environmental, food stamp regs
- One of the lawsuits challenges EPA's new Clean Power rules imposing limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. In another case, state officials are taking on USDA's authority to bar the state from drug testing food stamp recipients. The state also has joined more than two dozen other states in challenging the WOTUS rule.
Christian Science Monitor: 'Ag-gag' laws head to court: So far, animal rights activists are winning
- A Wyoming judge has allowed a case to go forward challenging the state's two new data trespass laws, saying he had "serious concerns and questions about the constitutionality of various provisions."
N.Y. Times: Farmers Try Political Force to Twist Open California's Taps
- El Agua, created to give voice to Latino farmworkers, is bankrolled by more than $1.1 million from the Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest agricultural irrigation contractor, a state entity created at the behest of — and largely controlled by — some of California’s wealthiest and most politically influential farmers.
Radio Iowa: Survey shows very little Iowa farmland sold to new farmers
- Iowa State University extension economist Wendong Zhang oversees the survey. “About three-quarters of the land sold in Iowa is bought by existing farmers, so it’s more typical that Iowa farmers are buying Iowa land,” Zhang says.
Courthouse News Service: Judge Upholds Wetlands Fracking Permit in Louisiana
- In a blow to conservationists, a federal judge ruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not err when it green-lighted oil and gas exploration in wetlands near Abita Springs.
Public News Service (Va.): Critics of Dominion Coal-Ash Disposal Plans Cite Health Risks to Rivers
- Dominion has asked for Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permission to close the huge coal ash ponds at power stations on the James and Elizabeth rivers, and on a tributary of the Potomac.
FOOD & NUTRITION
N.Y. Times: We Need a New Green Revolution
- (Opinion) Today, farm production has stopped growing in the United States, and agriculture research is no longer a priority; it constitutes only 2 percent of federal research and development spending. And, according to the Department of Agriculture, total agricultural production has slowed significantly since the turn of the century. We need another ambitious surge in agricultural science.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Shot hole borer leaving wake of destruction
- Most avocado trees untouched, but groves with beetles can sustain serious damage.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Barge traffic hit by Mississippi River flooding
- (Audio) Historic floods are making their mark in several Midwestern states, but the impact could be felt on the grain market worldwide.
Carlisle Sentinel: 100 years of history at the Pennsylvania Farm Show
- The show will feature more than 300 commercial exhibitors, 13,000 competitive exhibits, thousands of sheep, swine, cattle, horses, goats and more, entertainment ranging from square dancing to rodeos, baking contests and a popular Food Court offering tasty Pennsylvania food. Admission remains free.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
CNN: Blizzard kills thousands of cows and threatens Texas dairy business
- The storm resulted in the loss of "hundreds of loads of milk" that were ready to be processed and many milk-producing cows weren't milked daily, according to Darren Turley, executive director of the Texas Association of Dairymen.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia Beach police investigating illegal hog farm
- Authorities described the farm's condition as deplorable but declined to be more specific. The pigs, discovered Tuesday behind a soybean field in the southern part of the city, were relocated to another farm.
Willamette Week: Oregon Groups Sue to Reinstate Protected Status for Gray Wolves
- Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity are suing to get the state to put wolves back on the state's endangered species list.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Yakima Herald: Yakima-based farmworker advocates ask for investigation over wage-rate survey
- The state Employment Security Department said last week that it found evidence in the survey results that some apple growers had been influenced by recommended answers aimed at keeping wages low from the Washington Farm Labor Association, WAFLA.
Washington Post: Give food production workers a seat at the table
- (Opinion) The Grocery Manufacturers Association should collaborate with unions and workers to include worker health and safety in their labeling initiative.
Washington Post: Armed activists in Oregon touch off unpredictable chapter in land-use feud
- The activists, led by rancher Ammon Bundy, set themselves up in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in remote southeastern Oregon, defying the organizers of a rally and march held Saturday in support of two local ranchers set to report to federal prison Monday to serve a sentence for arson.
Sacramento Bee: Donald Trump has already built a wall – between GOP and Latinos
- “The whole GOP base, they tend to attack most of our people,” said Nevada graphic designer German Maldonado, who came to this country from Mexico 25 years ago.
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