Daily Harvest -- 1/15/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: Jan. 14, 2016: WOTUS and child nutrition
- (Video) The House of Representatives sent a message to the Obama administration on Wednesday with a vote of disapproval on the waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS), and in the Senate, key action on child nutrition reauthorization looks to be on the way.
Agri-Pulse: GAO faults USDA's initial response to deadly pig disease outbreak
- The Government Accountability Office has issued a report that criticizes USDA's response to the initial outbreaks of deadly Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD) in the spring of 2013, outbreaks that eventually killed millions of pigs.
Agri-Pulse: Farm concerns, trade policy surface in GOP debate
- Sen. Marco Rubio accused Sen. Ted Cruz of flip-flopping on critical agriculture issues, including crop insurance and ethanol, in a Republican presidential debate that also featured one of the sharpest exchanges to date over trade policy and China.
Wall Street Journal: Energy Sector’s Junk Bonds Continue to Suffer
- Losses are deepening in the market for low-rated energy debt, as investors fret anew that a prolonged slump in commodity prices and slowing economic growth will push many firms into default.
Reuters: U.S. Import Prices Plunge on Lower Petroleum Costs
- U.S. import prices tumbled in December for a sixth straight month as the cost of petroleum and a range of other goods fell further, suggesting a tame inflation environment could persist in the near term.
Albuquerque Journal: Solar is in, biomass energy is out — and farmers are struggling to dispose of woody waste
- More than trees have withered in California’s drought. The state’s biomass energy plants are folding in rapid succession, unable to compete with heavily subsidized solar farms, many of which have sprouted up amid the fields and orchards of the valley.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Associated Press: University Reviewing Study Touting Company's Chocolate Milk
- A study by the University of Maryland touting the benefits of a small company's chocolate milk is raising concerns about the potential conflicts-of-interest that can arise when food makers collaborate with schools on such efforts.
Vox: Why (almost) everything you know about food is wrong
- Today, our greatest health problems relate to overeating. People are consuming too many calories and too much low-quality food, bringing on chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
EurekAlert: Health warning labels may deter parents from purchasing sugar-sweetened beverages for kids
- Health warning labels similar to those found on tobacco products may have a powerful effect on whether parents purchase sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) for their children, according to a new study led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Fortune: Denny's Is The Latest to Vow to Use Cage-Free Eggs
- The cage-free hen house is getting crowded: Denny’s has become the latest restaurant operator to use egg sourcing it claims is a more humane treatment of animals.
Washington Post: Fried chicken sandwiches make their debut today at Shake Shack
- The Chick'n Shack makes its nationwide debut at Shake Shack today, meaning you can try this latest menu addition locally at the Tysons Corner, Union Station, F Street and Dupont Circle outposts starting at 11 a.m.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Ag industry mostly positive on TPP at ITC hearing
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement received a healthy show of support from the agricultural industry at a hearing Thursday before the International Trade Commission.
Agri-Pulse: Canada opposed to voluntary COOL in the US
- The new Canadian regime is opposed to any voluntary country-of-origin labeling program in the U.S. now that it's been decided the former U.S. trade law ran afoul, a Canadian official told reporters Thursday.
Agri-Pulse: Canadian, US ag officials talk TPP
- (Audio) After coming to an agreement last year, member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership must now drum up support for the deal in their own nations.
Reuters: French Duck, Geese Farmers Plan to Delay Rearing Due to Bird Flu
- French poultry producers will halt new duck and goose production for several months to contain a bird flu virus outbreak that has spread in the southwest of the country, the farm ministry said.
Wall Street Journal: Chocolate Makers Fight a Melting Supply of Cocoa
- Demand for chocolate is stronger than ever, especially now that more consumers in China and India are buying bars and bonbons long considered an unaffordable luxury. But cocoa production is down.
New York Times: As Aid Reaches Syrians, U.N. Chief Says Withholding Food Is a War Crime
- The head of the United Nations called for all sides to lift their sieges immediately and unconditionally “as a confidence-building gesture” ahead of peace talks scheduled for Jan. 25.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Use cheap loans to raise water quality, task force says
- A task force designated to find solutions to Iowa's water quality problems says the state should offer low-interest loans or grants for farm improvements tied to conservation efforts that could help clean up waterways.
Salt Lake Tribune: New Mexico to Sue EPA Over Mine Spill
- New Mexico plans to sue the federal government and the owners of two Colorado mines that were the source of a massive spill last year that contaminated rivers in Utah and other Western states, officials said Thursday.
Seattle Times: California Temporarily Curbing Water to Spare Vanishing Fish
- The federal wildlife service’s determination on Thursday means federal authorities will reduce water flows temporarily starting Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said.
LA Times: Brown defends delta tunnels as he rolls out tweaks to water plan
- Hoping to combat the idea that building the massive tunnels is simply a water-grab that would benefit Southern California, Gov. Jerry Brown reiterated that Bay Area cities derive large swaths of their water supply from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Chicago Tribune: Michigan governor asks Obama for emergency declaration in water crisis
- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has asked President Barack Obama to issue an emergency and major disaster declaration amid a drinking water crisis in Flint that began months ago.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Modern Farmer: American Farmers are Rapidly Retiring. Who Will Succeed Them?
- “Today, we’re seeing less and less young people entering the farming life. As a nation we have a huge challenge,” Victor Sahatdjian says in a video titled “Giving Voice to Young Farmers,” part of the “Farmers Speak,” series, produced by Clif Bar & Company.
New York Times: Pulled in 2 Directions, Marco Rubio Toughens on Immigration, a Little
- Nothing better captured the differences between the cultural mixing bowl Marco Rubio was born into in South Florida – and the white, rural, stridently conservative constituencies he is trying to win over – than when he started to talk about immigration.
Reuters: U.S. justices consider taking Obama appeal on immigration action
- The nine U.S. Supreme Court justices were due to meet privately on Friday to discuss whether to hear President Barack Obama's bid to revive his plan to shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation, a move that bypassed the Republican-led Congress.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Sonoma County grape growers launch effort to help their workers
- The main trade group representing Sonoma County vineyard owners and managers announced Thursday a campaign to improve the social plight of their workforce in the midst of a tight labor market.
Agri-Pulse: Farm Bureau elects new leader, sets policy at annual convention
- (Video) The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 97th Annual Convention brought crowds from across the country to Orlando to elect Georgia's Zippy Duvall as its president and set policy for the year ahead.
Missourian: Monsanto Plans $140 Million Cottonseed Processing Plant
- Monsanto says it plans to build a $140 million cotton-seed processing plant in West Texas, where nearly 40 percent of the nation's fluffy fiber is planted.
Sacramento Bee: Research identifies protein behind costly grape leaf disease
- Scientists at UC Davis have identified a key protein at the root of a disease likely ravaging California’s grapevines and costing the state’s wine and grape industry more than $100 million yearly.
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