Daily Harvest -- 1/29/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Politico: House poised for vote on farm deal
- The House cleared the way for a Wednesday showdown vote on the new farm bill agreement, even as Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to dedicate a portion of the savings to help pay for extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.
The Hill: Farm bill gets it right on conservation
- Despite the polarized political climate and challenging budget times, this farm bill would be one of the strongest ever for conservation and forestry.
The Fresno Bee: Farm bill includes money for citrus disease research
- A provision in the farm bill apparently headed for passage this week is designed to tackle citrus greening, a bacterial disease that is devastating crops in Florida and considered a major threat to California farmers.
Ethanol Producer Magazine: Industry expresses optimism as RFS comment period closes
- The public comment period on the U.S. EPA’s proposed rule to set 2014 volume requirements under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) closes on Jan. 28 at 11:59 p.m. Already, more than 15,500 comments have been filed on the proposal.
Wall Street Journal: Farm Bill's Path Traces Power Shift in House GOP
- For House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), the bill's passage Wednesday would mark a double triumph, reasserting some control over the rebellious conservatives who have complicated his life and notching a rare policy victory in the bill's dairy-program overhaul, long an area of deep personal concern.
Washington Post: The $956 billion farm bill, in one graph
- This week, Congress will vote on a massive farm bill that will set the course of U.S. food policy for the next half-decade. The old farm bill expired in 2012, and its replacement (pdf) is 959 pages long, costing some $956.4 billion over 10 years.
Des Moines Register: Grassley unsure about his support for new farm bill
- Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said Tuesday he has not decided whether he will support the farm bill after his push to limit who can quality for farm subsidies and how much they could receive were “watered down.”
Wall Street Journal: A Bipartisan Taxpayer Raid
- The WSJ editorial board says although House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Senate counterpart Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., are advertising the bill's token savings and reforms, the real headline is how complete a victory this is for the entitlement and farm-subsidy status quo.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: A paper touting the benefits of organic milk for heart health may be overselling the drink
- Largely funded by the organic milk industry and published in December in the journal PLOS One, the study was heralded as evidence that organic whole milk has a heart-healthy fat profile, primarily because it contains higher omega-3 levels than conventional milk.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
The Hill: Obama presses for fast-track, new trade deals
- President Obama pushed for increased trade on Tuesday night to help U.S. business grow and hire more workers. Obama specifically pointed to small business owners who he said represent 98 percent of the nation's exporters.
Billings Gazette: Montanans split on trade agreement
- Asia-Pacific trade is crucial to Montana agriculture. More than 80 percent of Montana’s $1-billion-a-year wheat crop is exported to Asia-Pacific countries. For that reason, farm and ranch organizations like the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau Federation support the agreement and follow its progress closely.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Drought concerns persist for agriculture this year
- Drought conditions in the western and southern plains regions of the country could merge together later this year, persisting harsh conditions for agriculture, said Drew Lerner, president and senior agricultural meteorologist of World Weather, Inc.
New York Times: Genetic Weapon Against Insects Raises Hope and Fear in Farming
- Scientists and biotechnology companies are developing what could become the next powerful weapon in the war on pests — one that harnesses a Nobel Prize-winning discovery to kill insects and pathogens by disabling their genes.
Los Angeles Times: Cachuma Lake, a crystalline mountain resource, is disappearing
- The Central Coast lake, one of the area's most popular outdoor playgrounds, has become an emblem of California's crushing drought.
Bloomberg: California Farms Going Thirsty as Drought Burns $5 Billion Hole
- Near the confluence of the Merced and San Joaquin rivers, the heart of the California farm belt, Bob Kelley watches the driest year ever erode water supplies and prospects for the dairy business his family began in 1910.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Roll Call: Conservative Battle Cry on Immigration: Remember the Farm Bill
- Some Republicans feel they were steamrolled by the farm bill conference report — a five-year, $1 trillion bill that will see House action on Wednesday — and it is now giving them pause about passing immigration bills in the House.
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