Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 1/13/2015
Here's your daily summary of top news from and other national and regional headlines from across the country. Do you know of someone who should also be on our list? Please ask them to click here.


Agri-Pulse: More than half of dairy farms sign up for new subsidy program
Link - More than half of the nation's dairy farms have signed up for the new Margin Protection Program that was created by the 2014 farm bill to protect producer incomes from spikes in feed costs and collapses in milk prices, the Agriculture Department says.

Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $18 million investment to develop beginning farmers
Link - USDA is making $18 million available to assist in the education and development of the next generation of farmers.The funds are provided through the 2014 farm bill under the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) and will be administered by USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Agri-Pulse: Vilsack touts farm bill progress
Link - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA is aggressively implementing the 2014 farm bill through more than 556 events, 428 demonstrations of web-based tools and over 60,000 direct mail pieces.

Choices: The U.S. gestation stall debate
Link - The structural evolution of the U.S. swine industry, the legal framework underlying provisions of animal welfare in the United States, and adjustments in livestock and meat markets regarding animal welfare claims and protocols.

Wall Street Journal: Soybeans drop 3.6% after USDA supply report
Link - U.S. soybean prices tumbled 3.6% on Monday, marking their largest one-day drop for a front-month contract since August, as the Agriculture Department said the record 2014 harvest was even larger than expected and forecast higher supplies this year than analysts anticipated.

New York Times: Corn and soybean crops set records in 2014
Link - A cool summer allowed plants to mature under mostly favorable conditions. Low commodity prices mean many farmers will struggle to make a profit.

Missouri Times: Legislature to weigh $12 million in new agriculture tax credits
Link - The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and a cadre of other agricultural groups joined lawmakers from around the state today to tout new legislation aimed at incentivizing new farmers to invest in Missouri operations.

Argus Leader: Agricultural shippers benefiting from improved US railroads
Link - Agriculture producers who depend on freight trains to move their harvest have managed to avoid the major rail gridlock that plagued farmers across much of the Midwest last winter and into the spring.


U.S.A. Today: Senate begins debate on Keystone XL oil pipeline
Link - The U.S. Senate for the first time cleared a key procedural hurdle Monday, opening debate on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline bill despite a promised veto from the White House when it hits President Obama's desk.

Wall Street Journal: NY extends comment period on Constitution Pipeline
Link - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has extended the public comment period on permits related to the Constitution Pipeline and its Schoharie County compressor station.


Agri-Pulse: U.S. winter wheat seedings down 5 percent from year ago
Link - U.S. farmers have planted about 40.5 million acres of winter wheat for harvest in 2015, down 5 percent from a year earlier, USDA said today in a report.

Texas Tribune: Agriculture commissioner grants amnesty to cupcakes
Link - Newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is going for the gut. In his first official act as commissioner, Miller granted full amnesty to cupcakes. Cakes, pies, and brownies made the list, too.


Wall Street Journal: China bans imports of U.S. poultry amid bird-flu concerns
Link - Ban follows discoveries last month of strain of H5N8 influenza in wild birds and backyard flocks.

Wall Street Journal: Sheep farmers take hit as demand for hides falls
Link - Australian and New Zealand farmers are having a tough time selling lambskins as China’s tanneries face slowing demand for the products, particularly from Russia, and as Beijing cracks down on some chemical-intensive processing plants.

Economic Times: India, Israel sign pact for third phase of agriculture cooperation project
Link - India and Israel have signed a joint agreement to implement the third phase of the agriculture cooperation project for next three years.

CNBC: Food issues will not block EU-U.S. trade deal - German minister
Link - Disagreements about food safety and farming are not likely to stand in the way of a free-trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, Germany's farm minister told Reuters on Monday.

Progressive Farmer: No easy fix for COOL
Link - There doesn't seem to be an easy fix for the U.S. in getting around its Country-of-Origin Labeling problem with Canada.


Agri-Pulse: Share Your Views on EQIP and CSP
Link - The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting comments on new rules for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to bring these programs in line with the 2014 Farm Bill. 

Greenwire: Republican statehouse gains load the dice for anti-EPA bills
Link - Environmentalists are girding for an onslaught of new state bills to delay or kill U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan as state legislatures return to work beginning this week with Republicans now in control of two-thirds of the nation's legislative chambers. Nutrient-enriched desalinated water more feasible for agriculture
Link - CSIRO scientists say adding nutrients to desalinated water could make the water more financially attractive to farmers.

Virginia Tech program receives grant to improve agriculture in developing countries
Link - Virginia Tech has won a new $18 million grant for a program working to raise the standard of living of people around the world through environmentally sound agricultural practices. 


Agri-Pulse: Ag is an easy target for guest worker audits
Link - (Audio) Agriculture has a target on its back when it comes to guest worker regulations.

CNN: Graham: GOP 'playing with fire' on immigration
Link - Sen. Lindsay Graham warned his GOP colleagues against connecting funding for the Department of Homeland Security with an effort to undermine President Barack Obama's immigration overhaul.

Capitol Press: Sakuma attorney: Piece-rate pay rewards pickers
Link - Sakuma Brothers files its response to a lawsuit seeking piece-rate berry pickers be paid separately for 10-minute rest breaks.


New Jersey Times: Lights, camera, tractors: N.J. filmmaker focuses on farmers
Link - Kathleen Poliski wanted to share her passion and pride of agriculture in Salem County with others, so she created a new video production featuring local farmers.

Wall Street Journal: Oh, deer: It’s an antlered doe
Link - The star of the hunting season just ending is a type of deer so rare it may as well be called a unicorn.

Agri-Pulse: Agri-Pulse names Whitney Forman-Cook as associate editor
Link - Agri-Pulse is pleased to announce the appointment of Whitney Forman-Cook as an associate editor, based in Washington, D.C., effective Jan. 5.

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