Daily Harvest -- 1/11/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Obama lays out post-2016 vision; House targets WOTUS vote
- Voters will get a glimpse of what's at stake in this fall's elections as President Obama makes his final State of the Union address and House Republicans force a vote to kill his rule re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Dr. Gary Adams, president and CEO of the National Cotton Council
- (Audio) In this interview, you’ll hear why the cotton industry is calling on a cottonseed designation from the USDA, what it thinks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and its concerns regarding USDA definitions.
Agri-Pulse: Meet the Lawmaker: Kurt Schrader, Oregon's 5th District
- (Video) Oregon Democrat Kurt Schrader, a veterinarian and an organic farmer, talks with Agri-Pulse about the agricultural climate on Capitol Hill, as well as the future of the organic/GMO conversation in Washington.
Agri-Pulse: Cotton decision a tough one, Vilsack tells Farm Bureau
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the American Farm Bureau Federation that it may take congressional action to provide cotton growers the new subsidies they are seeking.
Agri-Pulse: Rubio touts Iowa farm backing
- Leaders of Iowa corn and soybean growers are among some of the state's agribusiness leaders lining up behind Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential campaign.
Washington Post: Another setback for antibiotics
- (Opinion) Just in recent days, scientists sleuthing through huge databases unearthed a worrisome discovery: A mobile gene that can help bacteria resist antibiotics has spread to many more countries than previously realized.
Washington Post: I’m an Oregon rancher. Here’s what you don’t understand about the Bundy standoff.
- (Opinion) While I don’t agree with the occupiers’ tactics, I sympathize with their position. Being a rancher was always challenging and it has become increasingly difficult under the Obama administration.
Des Moines Register: Ethanol plant designer joins Ted Cruz on campaign trail
- The chief executive of an ethanol plant design firm stood side-by-side Thursday with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who has stated his opposition to a federal mandate that sets the minimum amount of ethanol blended into the nation's fuel supply.
Nebraska NPR: Growing Renewable Energy Resources To Farm With Fewer Fossil Fuels
- Some farmers are trying to cut back on the coal and gas they use to make our food system more energy efficient.
NPR: California Declares State Of Emergency Over Months-Long Gas Leak
- Gov. Brown has ordered the Southern California Gas Co. to identify a backup plan for stopping the leak if the current strategy — drilling relief wells, then filling the leak with mud and cement — doesn't work, and has initiated emergency regulations at gas storage facilities across the state.
Washington Post: Mr. Cruz is right about ending the ethanol mandate
- (Opinion) One reason for Cruz not to win the Iowa caucuses is his support for ending Washington’s ethanol mandate, which requires increasing amounts of biofuel be blended into the national gasoline supply.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Campbell to label for GMOs in break from industry
- The Campbell Soup Co. says it will start labeling its products for the presence of biotech ingredients, a landmark break from the rest of the conventional food industry.
Agri-Pulse: Campbell GMO labeling announcement could spur federal action
- Campbell Soup Company's decision to support mandatory GMO labeling received plaudits from labeling advocates, jeers from an anti-labeling industry coalition, and a more subdued response from the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Wall Street Journal: Sweet’N Low Closes Factory in Brooklyn
- After more than 70 years in Brooklyn, the maker of sugar-substitute Sweet’N Low said Friday it will cease local manufacturing and packing operations over the next year, meaning that some 300 people will lose their jobs.
New York Times: Chobani Ads Shift a Battle Out of the Yogurt Aisle and Into the Courts
- Chobani’s new ad campaign lists the differences in ingredients between its low-calorie yogurts and its competition’s. Just a day after the campaign started, Dannon sent a cease-and-desist letter to Chobani.
Reuters: Chipotle outbreak eyed by Justice Dept. consumer unit
- The U.S. Justice Department's consumer protection unit is looking into a norovirus outbreak at a Chipotle restaurant in California, in a sign that a recent probe launched by federal prosecutors in California is getting attention at Washington headquarters.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USTR's Vetter says delays in considering TPP may cost U.S. farmers
- Darci Vetter, the top agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, says the longer Congress waits to take action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the greater the potential loss for U.S. exporters and for the country's farmers and ranchers.
Agri-Pulse: Ag, government interests hoping for TPP approval in 2016
- (Audio) Agricultural and business interests are continuing their push for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, hoping to get the agreement through Congress sooner rather than later.
ABC Australia: Cotton farmers battle one of the worst cropping seasons on record after herbicide damage
- The future of cotton growing in Australia is hanging in the balance, as the industry battles one of the worst cropping seasons on record.
Associated Press: South Africa: Drought Leads to Failed Crops, Water Shortages
- The environmental effects of El Nino in southern Africa are expected to last until at least 2017, affecting the food security of 29 million people due to poor harvests.
U.S. News & World Report: Rise in food prices pushes China's consumer inflation up 1.6 percent in December
- The inflation rate was up from November's 1.5 percent, driven by a 1.5 percent increase in food prices. The price of fresh vegetables jumped 13.7 percent and fresh fruits went up 2.3 percent.
Reuters: Aid to be delivered to starving Syrian towns as early as Sunday
- Deliveries of rice, vegetable, flour, sugar, salt and canned food could start on Sunday or Monday to Syria. Medicine and baby formula – for the mothers of infants who are not lactating due of hunger – will also be sent in convoys across battle lines.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: AFBF President Stallman going out swinging at EPA 'overreach'
- Bob Stallman opened the final convention of his 16-year tenure as president of the American Farm Bureau Federation on Sunday with a passionate rallying cry against government regulations that he said were stifling farm production and innovation.
Des Moines Register: Column: Will Branstad's water plan lay an egg?
- (Opinion) You have to hand it to the governor: He knows how to make a splash. School district representatives, commodity group leaders and even Democrat Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have endorsed his idea.
LA Times: Demise of Klamath River deal could rekindle old water-use battles
- Tribes, farmers, hydropower interests and commercial fishermen all have fought over the 255-mile river, which winds from southern Oregon through Northern California to the Pacific Ocean.
Fresno Bee: Editorial: We need more urgency on sinking Valley
- (Opinion) Some parts of the Central Valley are sinking, and time is running out to make the hard choices to slow the overpumping of groundwater causing it.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Farmers Weekly: Farmworker housing tax rules update on the cards
- The government has requested input on an existing policy that makes farm employee housing provided as a part of their employment package tax exempt.
Bangor Daily News: New group aims to help veterans learn to farm
- Thanks to the newly chartered Farmer Veteran Coalition of Maine, residents who have served in the military can now find a fertile future in agriculture.
Seattle Times: Farm in a box: Shipping containers reused for fresh produce
- Freight Farms and other indoor agriculture companies are looking to meet the growing demand for high-quality, locally grown and sustainable produce by farming fruits and vegetables in non-traditional spaces such as warehouses, industrial buildings and shipping containers.
New York Times: A Start-Up That Aims to Bring Back the Farm-to-Vase Bouquet
- Unlike most flowers sold in the United States, Farmgirl's are grown domestically and most of its bouquets are wrapped in reused burlap coffee sacks donated by local roasters.
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