Daily Harvest -- 1/27/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Wednesday, January 27, 2016
- (Audio) Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley talks Trump and China, and gives DuPont Pioneer reasons to stay in his state; direct marketing gets House Ag attention; and cattle producers are looking to grill CME chief on high-frequency trading. This and more in today’s Agri-Pulse Daybreak.
LA Times: Oregon occupation spokesman reportedly killed, eight other protesters arrested
- One person died and eight others were taken into custody Tuesday when authorities confronted an armed protest group responsible for a nearly monthlong occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon, officials said.
Bloomberg: Battle Over $200-a-Vial Bull Semen May Rock Dairy Farms
- To ensure his prime milk-makers produce daughters, a farmer in upstate New York is willing to pay as much as $200 a vial for bull semen that has been processed so that it only contains X chromosomes.
Wall Street Journal: As Wal-Mart Closes, Town Looks to the Future
- When the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Winnsboro, S.C. – a town of about 3,500 people – closes its doors on Thursday after 17 years as the town’s retail linchpin, a handful of locals are hoping there could be a silver lining for the community.
Agri-Pulse: Obama targets ‘dirtier energy’ in run-up to Senate energy bill debate
- (Subscriber only) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised an open amendment process for the Senate floor debate set to begin Wednesday on the bipartisan Murkowski-Cantwell Energy Policy Modernization Act, S. 2012.
Agri-Pulse: Senate to take up energy bill
- (Audio) This week, the Senate will consider a comprehensive energy bill for the first time since 2007.
Wall Street Journal: States Asks High Court to Delay EPA Carbon-Emissions Rule
- A group of 26 states on Tuesday filed a last-ditch request at the Supreme Court seeking the delay of a key Obama administration environmental rule to cut carbon emissions from power plants.
Wall Street Journal: Cheap Gas Pinches Power Generators
- The lowest electricity prices in more than a decade are testing the whole business model of independent power-generation companies.
Nasdaq: OPEC Members Defend Oil Output Strategy
- Some of OPEC’s key players defended their strategy of keeping the taps wide open, saying Tuesday that they are bracing for low oil prices to continue—perhaps until the end of the decade, by one estimate.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Pilot program to address food access among poor children
- The new pilot program will allow participating states to use Medicaid data to automatically certify students for free and reduced-price school lunches.
Yakima Herald: B.C. grower wants to sell genetically-engineered Fuji apple in U.S.
- Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) of Summerland, British Columbia, has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deregulate sales of their Arctic Fuji, which is genetically modified to reduce browning after slicing.
Washington Post: The surprising truth about the ‘food movement’
- (Opinion) Name a “food” topic – like local food, genetically modified organisms or farm subsidies – and people say they care about it. But ask them to name the topics they mull over routinely, and they aren’t likely to cite as many issues.
Wall Street Journal: A Foodie’s Meat Market Alternative
- Motivated by exotic cooking shows and envelope-pushing restaurants, meats once considered adventurous eating – like bison, venison and wild boar – are increasingly fair game at home.
The Seattle Times: More cases reported in deadly salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers
- Salmonella poisoning tied to cucumbers from Mexico has made nearly 900 people sick since last summer, including 26 in Washington state. Cases are still being reported, federal health officials said Tuesday.
Fox News: Lizard found in kindergartner’s salad becomes new class pet
- A central New Jersey elementary school science class has a new pet after a 3-inch anole was discovered in a kindergartner’s salad after being refrigerated for days. The lizard, dubbed “Green Fruit Loop,” came from Florida.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Froman talks up TPP in conference call; Colombia beef deal announced
- U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman took to the telephone on Tuesday afternoon to tout the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as summarized in a recent report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE). Later, Froman announced a deal that will reduce red tape on beef exports to Colombia.
New York Times: U.S. Eases Restrictions on Financing Exports to Cuba
- The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it was removing major impediments to contact between the United States and Cuba by lifting restrictions on American financing of exports to the island nation and relaxing limits on the shipping of an array of products, from tractors to art supplies.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
LA Times: Negligence by Southern California Gas Co. led to massive Porter Ranch-area gas leak, AQMD says
- The government agency that regulates Southern California's air quality sued Southern California Gas Co. on Tuesday, accusing the company of negligence in a massive gas well leak that has forced thousands to leave their homes.
LA Times: Water and Power: The problem with turf rebates
- (Opinion) Your guide to the California drought from the Los Angeles Times.
Great Lakes Echo: A sound strategy: blasting carp from the Great Lakes
- Researchers have found that complex sound – which sounds like white noise to humans – can deter 90 to 95 percent of the invasive Asian carp.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Cleveland.com: Labor-trafficking cases hard to find and investigate, prosecutors say
- The use – and abuse – of undocumented farm workers is prevalent across Ohio and rarely results in criminal charges, activists and prosecutors say.
Capital Press: Labor official offers paid sick leave advice
- A top official at Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries offered farmers advice on calculating sick leave wages for piece-rate workers.
The Atlantic: Why Is the Undocumented-Immigrant Population Dropping?
- The number of people living in the U.S. illegally has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, a new study finds, despite the campaign-trail rhetoric to the contrary.
Reuters: DuPont CEO sees ‘very little’ to concern regulators in Dow merger
- DuPont’s CEO said on Tuesday that there was “very little” to concern regulators about the company's pending merger with Dow Chemical Co. and that it was unlikely to have to make significant asset sales.
Nasdaq: DuPont Steps Up Cuts as It Swings to a Loss
- DuPont said it now plans to cut $730 million in expenses this year - $30 million more than last planned - that will eliminate about 5,000 jobs in an effort to improve profits and hasten integration with Dow, executives said.
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