Daily Harvest -- 1/31/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA will buy dairy products to thwart any price collapse
- (Subscriber only) Most of the controversy over dairy policy during farm bill consideration surrounded proposals to prevent recurrence of the cost-price squeeze that decimated dairy farmers in 2008 and temper the volatility of dairy markets in recent years.
Agri-Pulse: House members pass farm bill despite differences
- (Audio) The House passed a new farm bill by almost 100 votes this week. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., noted that the bill represents a compromise—something rare in Washington. He commented specifically on the dairy provisions include in the bill.
The Hill: Reid sets up Monday farm bill vote
- Reid filed cloture on the House-passed amendment to H.R. 2642 — the $956 billion conference committee farm bill — setting up a vote for Monday at 5:30 p.m. If at least 60 senators vote to end debate, the Senate will then proceed to a vote on final passage.
Reuters: Farm bill removes subsidies for biofuel blender pumps
- Lobbyists opposed to mixing more ethanol in gasoline scored another victory on Wednesday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a farm bill with a provision removing subsidies for biofuel blending pumps in rural areas.
Washington Post: Farm bill contains farmers market program that food advocates for poor see as hopeful
- Buried in more than 900 pages of the new farm bill is a small nationwide program that will allow low-income families to double their food stamp benefits at farmers markets.
Wall Street Journal: Strassel: So God Made a Farm Bill
- A famous speech about those who toil in the fields gets an update by WSJ opinion writer Kimberley Strassel.
New York Times: The Farm Bill Could Have Been Worse
- The editorial board says the most important reform in the bill is the elimination of direct payments to farmers, which provided cash subsidies in good years and bad, whether crop prices were high or low.
Des Moines Register: Humane Society criticizes pork group on animal welfare response
- The head of the Humane Society of the United States said the pork industry has been reluctant to embrace more humane treatment practices for animals despite growing interest from consumers, producers and the food industry to use them.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Group criticizes British court ruling on use of 'Greek Yogurt' label
- The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) criticized today a United Kingdom appeal court's ruling declaring that only yogurt made in Greece could be labeled as “Greek Yogurt” in England.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Politico: John Boehner blasts Barack Obama on trade
- House Speaker John Boehner jabbed at President Barack Obama on trade policy Thursday, accusing the president of doing too little to get his own party to clear the way for a pair of blockbuster deals that Republicans already support.
Washington Post: Obama’s free-trade plan may face a hurdle in his own party
- Mr. Reid has never supported trade promotion authority, and he has never been much for free-trade deals, either. He has nevertheless permitted such legislation to move through the Senate in the past, and he stopped short of an explicit threat to block it this time.
New York Times: Obama and G.O.P. Facing Opposition to Trade Pacts
- This week, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, came out against fast track, also known as trade-promotion authority, just a day after Mr. Obama had pushed for the two trade deals in his State of the Union address.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Bloomberg: U.S. Cattle Herd Shrinking to 63-Year Low Means Record Beef Cost
- The cattle herd in the U.S., the world’s largest beef producer, probably fell to the smallest in 63 years, a Bloomberg survey showed. More than 80 percent of Texas, the biggest producing state, is still abnormally dry, and ranchers such as Weldon are struggling to recover.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Politico: House leaders sell immigration blueprint
- The House Republican leadership is trying to sell their colleagues on a series of broad immigration principles, including a path to legal status for those here illegally. Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team introduced the principles at their annual policy retreat.
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