Daily Harvest -- 1/14/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Obama seeks to boost high-speed Internet in rural areas
- The Obama administration is launching a new push for expanding high-speed Internet service in rural areas and other underserved parts of the country.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack favors income tax reform to sell farmland
- (Audio) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack thinks some income tax reform could benefit both beginning farmers and people who have farmland to sell.
Farm Bureau: Farm Bureau delegates set public policy positions for 2015
- Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention today approved resolutions that will provide the organization grassroots authority to ask Congress to finish many measures that remain unsettled at the start of 2015.
National Journal: Temple Grandin: Animal welfare begins on the farm
- The big issues of animal welfare today are on the farm, not in the slaughterhouse, famed animal-care expert Temple Grandin told the American Farm Bureau Federation here Sunday as she accepted an award for her contributions to American agriculture.
Kansas City Star: Midwest lures California dairies with lower costs, wide open spaces
- Kansas, Nebraska and other Midwest states are pitching themselves as a dairy heaven, hoping to attract frustrated dairy owners and looking for a windfall of jobs and money in rural economies.
The Hill: New regs for Wednesday: Lead paint, food safety, fire safety
- Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for handling lead-based paint found in homes, standards for growing, harvesting, and storing food, and fire safety requirements at healthcare facilities.
Agri-Pulse: Keystone kicks of battles in Senate Energy Committee
- (Subscriber only) This year, as last year, the chair of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is championing Keystone XL pipeline legislation to end what she calls six years of Obama administration delay and force construction of the controversial project to carry thick Canadian tar sands oil to a Texas refinery for possible export.
Wall Street Journal: Oil continues to drop on global growth concerns
- Oil prices fell in Asian trade Wednesday on concerns about global growth and ahead of a weekly U.S. inventory report expected to show even higher oil supplies.
Wall Street Journal: Suncor cuts capital spending due to low oil prices
- Suncor Energy Inc. said it would cut its 2015 capital-spending program by 1 billion Canadian dollars ($837 million) in response to the sharp drop in crude-oil prices, but said it would move forward with major oil-sands and other expansion projects currently under construction.
Domestic Fuel: Ag secretary stresses biofuels support at AFBF
- Real farmers from around the country had a chance to ask Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack questions during an informal town hall-style meeting at the American Farm Bureau convention this week in San Diego.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Healthline: Farmville to table: How savvy millennials are revolutionizing agriculture
- Young, college-educated farmers who care deeply about the environment and providing nutritious food are the new face of American agriculture.
Associated Press: 5 things: Many back labeling of genetically modified foods
- Two thirds of Americans support labeling of genetically modified ingredients on food packages, even if they may not read them, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.
Yahoo: Chipotle suspends pork sales at a third of its U.S. restaurants
- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc said it would suspend pork sales at about a third of its U.S. restaurants, following a routine audit that revealed one of its suppliers was not complying with its animal-welfare standards.
Journal Star: LPS lunch scraps may fuel commercial worm farm
- The Nebraska Farmers Union has come up with a new twist -- let's call it a wiggle -- to recycle school cafeteria food scraps.
Brownfield: Grassley: Keep ‘environment’ out of diet recommendations
- Reports that the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines committee is recommending reduced meat consumption because of environmental concerns don’t sit well with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: AFBF says China's ban on U.S. poultry violates global trade rules
- The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) says China's ban on U.S. poultry and egg imports is a “clear violation” of international trade rules and will hurt American poultry and egg producers.
The Hill: Trade tops Ryan's Ways and Means 2015 agenda
- New House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Tuesday that giving President Obama expanded trade powers would be a top priority this year as the powerful panel seeks an avenue for faster economic growth.
Bloomberg: EU nations get flexibility over biotech-crop cultivation
- The European Union agreed to let its national governments go their own way on the cultivation of genetically modified crops in a bid to end years of regulatory gridlock that fueled trans-Atlantic trade tensions.
EurActiv: German Environment Ministry seeks unconditional GMO ban
- Germany’s Environment Ministry is hoping for a complete ban on green genetic engineering, but a Green party assessment warns that upcoming free trade agreements like TTIP and CETA could still bring genetically modified plants to the European market.
New York Times: Malawi floods kill at least 48, damage crops
- Malawi President Peter Mutharika has declared half the southern African country a disaster zone after torrential rains over the past few days killed at least 48 people and left around 70,000 homeless.
Wall Street Journal: Russia facing budget cuts on oil price, western sanctions
- Finance Minister plans 10% cuts across all sectors except military as revenue declines.
Reuters: UPDATE 1-China Dec soy imports hit record, up over 40 pct on month
- China, the world's largest soy buyer, imported a record 8.53 million tonnes of soybeans in December, up 41.5 percent on the month and 16.8 percent higher than the previous record set in December last year, customs data showed on Tuesday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Obama plans to issue new rules on methane emissions
- President Obama will use his executive authority to issue the first federal regulations to target emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to a person familiar with the plans.
ABC News: $340M in federal funds awarded to conservation projects
- Projects designed to cut down on fertilizer runoff, expand bird nesting areas and restore native grasslands are among those selected for funding under a new initiative that encourages conservation partnerships between government and private organizations, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
Idaho State Journal: Another wandering wolf arrives in southwest Oregon
- Another wandering wolf has found its way to the Cascades of southwestern Oregon, where OR-7 has established his pack after trekking thousands of miles in search of a mate.
The Hill: Food groups ask Obama to protect honeybees from pesticides
- Food groups are urging the Obama administration to protect honeybees from dangerous pesticides.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
ABC News: House takes broad aim at Obama on immigration
- House Republicans are taking broad steps to overturn President Barack Obama's immigration policies and remove protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as kids.
The Hill: Immigration fight will test GOP unity
- A push by House Republicans to reverse President Obama’s executive action on immigration has put their vulnerable Senate counterparts in a tough electoral spot.
Wall Street Journal: A breeder apart: Farmers say goodbye to the bull who sired 500,000 offpsring
- Toystory, a Wisconsin bull who set a record for semen production, was 2,700 pounds and sired an estimated 500,000 offspring. The famed bull died on Thanksgiving.
Modern Farmer: The world’s best (and weirdest) agriculture awards
- Many of the less glamorous industries have their own Oscars and agriculture is no exception -- there are literally hundreds of award ceremonies to honor those who have worked hard in the (ahem) field.
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