Daily Harvest -- 1/13/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Sec. Tom Vilsack on Open Mic
- (Audio) U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, discusses the current farm bill situation. In this wide-ranging interview, the former Iowa Governor also talks about SNAP funding, the beef checkoff, immigration reform, and finding a "21st Century" solution to GMO labeling.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Farm bill, appropriations at center stage
- Negotiations over a long-term farm bill are expected to continue this week while lawmakers also try to nail down an omnibus spending bill for federal departments, including the USDA.
Agri-Pulse: AFBF's Stallman calls for Congress to act on farm bill, WRDA, immigration
- American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman called on the over 5,500 members and guests attending the organization's 95th annual convention to hold their members of Congress accountable as they address three crucial issues: the farm bill, reliable water transportation, and immigration reform.
Agri-Pulse: No farm bill progress to report
- (Audio) Farm bill negotiations appeared to make no progress last week. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, noted that the dairy section of the bill remains a sticking point.
Agri-Pulse: Ag companies sue to block GMO disclosure bill in Hawaii
- Three of the world's largest agricultural companies filed a lawsuit to block a bill passed by the Hawaii County of Kaua'i regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops on an island where Dow, Syngenta, BASF and DuPont Pioneer test seed varieties on about 15,000 acres.
Wall Street Journal: The farm bill is stalled over Soviet-style price controls on milk
- A farm deal was expected last week but the conference committee stalled over a plan from Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson to replace something called the Milk Income Loss Contract.
Des Moines Register: Ethanol mandate seen safe from cut
- Congress is unlikely to muster enough support in 2014 to repeal or significantly roll back a controversial measure requiring ethanol to be mixed into the nation’s gasoline supply, lawmakers say.
Bloomberg: California’s Humane-Chicken Act Complicates U.S. Farm Law
- Now California lawmakers say the state’s stores can only sell eggs next year from hens raised in roomier quarters, and that’s got producers nationwide worried the law will cut into their profits.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: Uncapped Entitlement is Bad for Agriculture and Holding up the New Farm Bill
- As Congress heads into the home stretch of finalizing the long-awaited passage of a new 5-year farm bill, the issue of payment limit reform for farm commodity subsidy programs remains up in the air, holding up the completion of the House-Senate conference proceedings.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: Pig Virus Threatens to Bump Pork Cost
- A virus that kills young pigs is roiling the U.S. pork industry, boosting prices in the $9 billion hog-futures market and threatening to create more pain for food shoppers.
Washington Post: Florida citrus growers worry that deadly bacteria will mean end of orange juice
- The bacteria is spread by a tiny, invasive bug, also from China, called Asian citrus psyllid. It acquires the bacteria while feeding on the leaves of infected trees, then transmits it when feeding on healthy trees — akin to the way mosquitoes transfer malaria.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Leading From the Front on Free Trade
- America's commitment to free trade will be tested in 2014, writes Robert Zoellick in this opinion article. After years of indifference to trade policy, the Obama administration now has an agenda. Congress must decide whether the U.S. will lead in opening markets and creating fair rules for free enterprise in a new international economy.
Wall Street Journal: Seoul Affirms Interest in Joining TPP, But Says China Deal Comes First
- South Korea’s Trade Ministry made clear Monday that the country will prioritize bilateral free trade negotiations with China this year over the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Statesman Journal: Drone technology could transform agriculture
- Equipped with sensors or cameras, drones can take inventory, detect irrigation or fertilizer problems or spot pest and disease outbreaks — potentially saving farmers time and money.
Kansas City Star: Hops farming grows slowly despite brewers' demand
- Craft brewers eager to capitalize on the local food movement have created a strong demand for hops to flavor their all-local beers, but farms in most states have grown slowly because of high investment costs and limited knowledge of the plants.
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