Daily Harvest -- 1/9/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Thune: Farm bill could hit Senate floor next week
- The farm bill could hit the Senate floor next week, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told reporters today in a teleconference. Thune said the dairy title has become the main point of contention for farm bill conferees, and implied it was holding up the rest of the bill.
Agri-Pulse: House Ag Committee member McIntyre to retire in 2014
- Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, a farm bill conferee and one of Washington's last Blue Dog Democrats, will not be running for reelection next year, according to numerous reports.
Agri-Pulse: Court to weigh injunction in Country of Origin Labeling case
- The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging a USDA rule requiring Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule for meat products.
Agri-Pulse: Report says RIN prices not cause for higher gas prices
- (Audio) Gas prices in 2013 averaged $3.49 a gallon, the lowest price since 2010. This is despite the fact that RINs increased from 7 cents per gallon to nearly $1.40 per gallon before declining again. Informa Economics did an analysis on RIN and gas prices last year.
Bloomberg: Dairy Policy Fight Delaying Farm Bill, Chairman Says
- A longstanding dispute over dairy policy is holding up an agreement between U.S. House and Senate lawmakers on a new farm bill, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas said.
Washington Post: Farm bill talks nearing conclusion with about $9 billion in food stamp cuts
- Negotiations are almost complete on a long-overdue farm bill that will set new spending levels for the federal food stamp program and add yet another wrinkle to the national debate over income inequality as Congress mulls how to help unemployed and low-wage workers.
Roll Call: Jobless Benefits, Farm Bill Hit Snags
- The most obvious place to find the money to offset extended jobless benefits, a demand of the GOP, may be in the bill that provides food stamps, but that plan will first require a to-be-determined deal on the farm bill.
Reuters: Rising U.S. gasoline demand offers EPA room to revise ethanol mandate
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised up its 2014 gasoline demand forecast for a fourth straight month on Tuesday, opening the possibility that a controversial cut in ethanol blending mandates could be eased.
The Hill: Senate passes bill easing restrictions on veterinarians
- Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced S. 1171, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow a veterinarian to transport and dispense controlled substances at a site other than their practice as long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Hill: Tuna firms spar over school lunch access
- The world’s largest tuna companies are making a splash in Washington with a fight over rules that keep some catches out of school lunches.
Los Angeles Times: Trans fats backlash pushes U.S. butter consumption to a 40-year-high
- Butter's growing popularity — consumption has risen 25% in the last decade — coincides with more understanding about the health hazards of its processed counterparts.
Reuters: Monsanto says biotech wheat moves closer to market
- Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, said Wednesday it was making good progress on development of an herbicide-tolerant wheat, pushing what would be the world's first biotech wheat a step closer to market.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: China relaxes GMO checks on US distiller grain imports
- Chinese quarantine authorities have sped up testing on imports of distiller's dried grains, suggesting they have relaxed checks on the corn by-product since rejecting some U.S. cargoes for being tainted with an unapproved GMO strain, traders said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA issues grants to lower pesticide risk to bees
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced almost half a million dollars in funding to three universities for projects to reduce pesticide use, particularly for efforts to lower risk to bees.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Boehner, Cantor Want Immigration Overhaul in 2014
- House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) both included an immigration rewrite among the top 2014 priorities they outlined during a closed-door meeting with the GOP ranks, lawmakers said after the gathering.
Agri-Pulse: USAID chief Shah featured speaker at Agricultural Outlook Forum
- Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will be one of the featured speakers at the USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum next month in Arlington, Virginia.
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