Daily Harvest -- 1/12/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Des Moines Register: Farmland prices holding up despite falling crop prices, Fed says
- A plunge in farmland values resembling the 1980s decline “remains unlikely,” with a shortage of acreage for sale helping to support prices, a Federal Reserve economist said Monday.
The Advocate: Louisiana’s sugar cane farmers see decent yields in 2015 despite challenging weather conditions
- Louisiana’s 2015 sugar cane harvest was a wet, muddy mess, according to farmers and industry experts as the last of the state’s 11 sugar mills were finishing up grinding for the season.
Associated Press: First-Ever Federal Rules for Offshore Fish Farming Issued
- The first-ever federal regulations for large-scale fish farming in the ocean were issued Monday, opening a new frontier in the harvesting of popular seafood species such as red drum, tuna and red snapper.
E & E News: Biofuel groups sue Obama admin over RFS
- Seven pro-biofuel organizations are challenging U.S. EPA's latest mandates under the renewable fuel standard program, the first of what many observers expect will be a long legal battle over the legally mandated arrangement.
Des Moines Register: Iowa scientists help drive energy transformation
- The next big breakthrough could spawn new industries that drive not only Iowa's economy but also the U.S. and world economies. Think utility-scale batteries, wind turbines as tall as the state’s largest building, or technologies that remove or store carbon dioxide.
Scientific American: Oklahoma Earthquakes Raise Calls for Restrictions on Energy Firms
- Earthquakes in Oklahoma in the past week, including one of the strongest ever recorded in the state, have led to calls for the governor to make changes to oil and gas drilling regulations and reduce seismic activity scientists link to the energy industry.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Former activist explains his flip on anti-GMO stance
- (Audio) Mark Lynas was once a soldier in the fight against genetically modified crops, but in 2013, the British author and environmental activist changed his mind after reviewing the science behind the technology.
Agri-Pulse: The Dietary Guidelines: In Perspective
- (Opinion) The new Dietary Guidelines, after much concern, turned out to be the best to date.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Feds to pay Georgians $22 million in food stamp lawsuit
- The U.S. Agriculture Department will pay 48,000 Georgia households a total of $22 million in a lawsuit settlement stemming from the state’s problems with providing food stamps.
Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Denies Nestle, Cargill, ADM Appeal in Slave Labor Case
- The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider an appeal by three major companies seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging they aided and abetted child slave labor on cocoa plantations in Africa.
Reuters: Nestle signs $120 million deal with Seres for 'healthy gut' drugs
- Nestle is investing in U.S.-based Seres Therapeutics for a third time in a year, this time injecting $120 million to develop and commercialize medicines aimed at restoring a healthy bacteriological balance in the human digestive system.
ABC News: Blue Bell Says Ice Cream Safe Despite Potential Concern
- Blue Bell Creameries sought to reassure customers Monday that its ice cream in safe, even as the Texas company tries to determine whether listeria has again been found at one of its plants.
Washington Post: Why a food you have never heard of could be key to feeding the world
- The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, a global marketing effort promoting the legume’s promise in feeding a growing population.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Des Moines Register: Iowa lawmakers see trade opportunities in Cuba
- Two Iowa legislators have returned from a trade mission to Cuba struck by the country’s lack of infrastructure and basic public services that Americans take for granted.
BBC News: Madaya Syria: Aid convoy reaches besieged town
- The distribution of food and medicine will continue through the night to 40,000 people who have been trapped for six months by a government blockade and without aid since October.
ABC News: Romania to Get Help From World Bank to Access EU Funds
- The Romanian government said the memorandum of understanding will provide technical assistance for agriculture, rural development and the fishing industry to make them better equipped to absorb EU funds.
Radio New Zealand News: Farm hands working up to 70-hr weeks for little money
- Federated Farmers' data showed the average salary for dairy assistants in the last financial year was $40,570 per year and average workload was 46 hours per week.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Water lawsuit fate may rest with Iowa Supreme Court
- The Iowa Supreme Court will weigh in on legal questions that could be crucial in deciding whether Des Moines Water Works can seek damages from drainage districts in three north Iowa counties for nitrate-laden drinking water.
New York Times: California’s Water Politics
- (Opinion) If our regulators, agency leaders and politicians don’t get on the same page soon, a much higher cost and tighter supply of safely grown fresh food may make all of us think twice.
Washington Post: Coyote predation on the decline in Virginia
- Farmers in Virginia reported losing 24 percent fewer sheep and 24 percent fewer calves to coyotes in fiscal year 2015.
Des Moines Register: 5 best, worst things you can do for planet
- (Opinion) The five worst ways to you expand your carbon footprint and the five best ways to cut it.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Reuters: Central American immigrants scramble for options to deportation by U.S.
- Campaigns are going on in cities from Boston to Richmond, California, as activists, legal aid organizations and immigrant groups react to the United States government's recent announcement it would step up deportations of families that arrived since May 2014.
WUSA 9: Montgomery Co. slams immigration raids, refuses to cooperate
- Montgomery County, Maryland, leaders are offering a blunt warning to the Obama Administration: Local police will not cooperate with new immigration raids to deport women and children who have fled violence in Central America.
Capital Press: Washington AG opens probe into wage survey advice
- The Washington Attorney General's Office is investigating whether a farm labor contractor broke laws by suggesting answers to a wage survey.
Agri-Pulse: Spirits market trending toward craft, but big players still reign
- Consumers have favored small, craft distilleries as of late, but large and well-established brands of spirits are still holding their own in the market, according to a new report.
Agriculture.com: Dow AgroSciences Receives EPA Registration for Corn Herbicide
- EPA has approved Dow AgroScience’s Resicore herbicide, making it commercially available to farmers for the 2016 growing season.
Modern Farmer: How to Teach Your Cows a New Trick: Weeding
- For years, livestock educator Kathy Voth has been telling farmers and ranchers that cows can be trained to eat broadleaf “weeds” that can actually offer a more nutritious leaf-to-stem ratio than grasses.
Modern Farmer: Connecting Folks to Their Food: Farm Aid’s Homegrown.org
- Glenda Yoder, associate director for Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid, says since the organization’s founding in 1985 it’s evolved to include a “stronger alliance” with “eaters” – the people who support farmers by buying their agricultural products.
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