Daily Harvest -- 1/21/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Moran to chair spending panel for USDA and FDA
- Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is taking over the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that writes spending measures for the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration.
DTN: Finances Grim After Failure to Economize
- Don't expect much farmer economizing in production costs in 2015, but it's not for lack of trying. Yes, growers can nickel-and-dime their remaining grain and soybean expenses, but most cannot recover the hundreds of dollars of gross income per acre that have vanished since 2012
Wall Street Journal: Obama Plan Reignites Tax Fight
- President Barack Obama’s plan for billions of dollars in tax increases and higher government spending, to be outlined in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, is reigniting familiar partisan debates about overhauling the tax code and how to best aid the middle class.
Agri-Pulse: Biodiesel industry aims to 'take back the RFS' in 2015
- After 17 months of uncertainty surrounding U.S. renewable fuels policy, industry leaders are expressing confidence that this year will provide an opportunity to move ahead into a more definite future.
Des Moines Register: Vilsack: Biofuel production unfazed by federal delays
- The next generation of biofuel production didn't take the hit industry leaders predicted with the delay of a federal mandate requiring ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation's fuel supply, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told The Des Moines Register's editorial board Monday.
Gigaom: Amazon to power cloud with wind farm in Indiana
- Following Amazon’s quiet commitment to use 100 percent clean energy for its AWS cloud, on Tuesday Amazon announced that it will support the construction and operation of a wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, which will provide power for its data centers.
FOOD & NUTRITION
NPR: How Your Food Gets The 'Non-GMO' Label
- Now many food companies are seeking certification for products that don't have any genetically modified ingredients, and not just the brands popular in the health food aisle. Even Cheerios, that iconic cereal from General Mills, no longer contains GMOs.
Capital Press: Governor seeks to expand Oregon’s GMO authority
- A bill introduced at the behest of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber would increase the authority of state farm regulators to create "control areas" for biotech crops.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Normal Cuba trade has to wait on Congress
- (Audio) The U.S. Treasury Department took steps last week to make agriculture trade with Cuba financially easier, but Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Darci Vetter says Congress needs to fully lift the embargo to move forward.
The Hill: White House targets Dems in trade blitz
- President Obama is tasking every member of his Cabinet to round up votes from Democrats for fast-track negotiating power, which would give Obama leverage to complete trade negotiations by preventing Congress from amending his agreements.
Reuters: France says Russia to lift ban on live pigs, some pork products
- Russia's veterinary services has agreed to lift a ban on French live pigs, offal and fat imposed a year ago after an outbreak of African swine fever in the east of the European Union, the French farm ministry said.
Capital Press: Bird flu infects third Washington flock
- A non-commercial 118-bird flock in Port Angeles, Wash., infected with highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza, was euthanized Sunday, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Bloomberg: EU Expects Russia to Lift Ban on Some Food Imports After Meeting
- Russia may resume imports of some banned food products from the European Union, according to the European Commission.
Reuters: Australia 2014/15 beef exports seen missing forecast as drought eases
- Australian beef exports are likely to fall short of official estimates in the year to June, with ranchers in the world's third-biggest supplier culling fewer cows as heavy rains revive pastures scorched by a prolonged drought, analysts said.
Los Angeles Times: U.S. and Cuba set to start work on opening diplomatic relations
- Acrimonious neighbors for 50 years, Cuba and the United States this week are expected to take the first concrete steps toward opening diplomatic relations and an entirely new relationship in trade, traffic and tourism.
Reuters: Special Report: For Islamic State, wheat season sows seeds of discontent
- As the season for wheat planting in Iraq wound down early last month, farmers in areas under the control of Sunni militant group Islamic State grew worried.
Financial Times: China funds become new force in global commodity trade
- China’s Shanghai Chaos investment fund is named after the pioneer of chaos theory Edward Norton Lorenz, who coined the term “butterfly effect” to describe seemingly random yet connected events.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
The National: Water budgeting pivotal in meeting Abu Dhabi’s growing population demands, environment chief says
- With the UAE capital expected to grow as much as three-fold in the next 15 years, the emirate of Abu Dhabi should resort to water budgeting rather than continuing to meet the rise in demand with more supply, a high-ranking government official has said.
National Geographic: Oil Spills Into Yellowstone River, Possibly Polluting Drinking Water
- The scenic Yellowstone River has suffered its second oil spill in four years, prompting truckloads of drinking water to be shipped into the eastern Montana city of Glendive. The latest spill is unlikely to affect Yellowstone National Park, about 350 miles upstream.
Bloomberg: El Nino Alert Abandoned as Australia Predicts Neutral Pacific
- The risk of an El Nino in coming months dropped after indicators eased for the event that brings drought to Asia and heavier-than-usual rains to South America.
The Iowa Republican: Bruce Rastetter Announced First-Ever Iowa Agriculture Summit
- Iowa entrepreneur and philanthropist Bruce Rastetter today announced the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit, providing a unique forum for potential and likely presidential candidates from both major parties to discuss issues of vital importance to the Iowa and national economies.
Live Science: New Farm Maps Offer In-Depth Picture of Global Agriculture
- Two new maps released Friday (Jan. 16) considerably improve estimates of the amount of land farmed in the world — one map reveals the world's agricultural lands to a resolution of 1 kilometer, and the other provides the first look at the sizes of the fields being used for agriculture, the researchers said.
News Observer: Past Times: A century ago, farm-life schools were model for rural education
- The farm life school is the latest protege of Superintendent of Public Instruction Joyner and he is intensely interested in his pet, which, now a baby, promises soon to be a vigorous adult.
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