Daily Harvest -- 2/2/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak: Feb. 2, 2016
- Despite the opposition of Iowa's corn growers and ethanol producers, Sen. Ted Cruz eked out a win in the Iowa Caucus Monday night.
Agri-Pulse: State Ag officials need to speak up in D.C., industry leaders say
- The state officials who work most closely with farmers need to make their voices heard by federal regulators, industry leaders said Monday during a panel discussion at the kickoff of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture meeting in Washington.
NPR: Farm Subsidies Persist And Grow, Despite Talk Of Reform
- Savings projected from the last Farm Bill have turned out to be a mirage. According to new estimates for Farm Bill spending over the next few years released by the Congressional Budget Office, total government aid to farmers will swell to $23.9 billion in 2017.
Esquire: What Happens to Farmers' Interests After Everyone Packs Up and Leaves Iowa?
- Over the course of the campaign here leading up to the caucuses on Monday night, hardly any of the candidates talked about the issues facing Iowa's farmers, except in the context of the ethanol subsidy. We've heard more here about heroin abuse in New Hampshire than we have about the economic troubles that continue to bedevil Iowa's farmers.
Hoosier Ag Today: American Farm Bureau Announces Its 2016 Strategic Action Plan
- TPP, WOTUS, and protecting farmers’ ability to use biotech plant varieties and other innovative technologies are among the goals.
Agri-Pulse: Cruz overcomes ethanol opposition to win Iowa caucuses
- Ted Cruz carried the Iowa Republican caucuses in the first voting of the primary season, overcoming a vigorous effort to defeat him by the state's corn growers, ethanol producers and Gov. Terry Branstad.
AP: Market mostly lower after energy sector drop
- The stock market recovered from steep losses early to close slightly lower on Monday as investors looked past another steep drop in the price of oil and renewed concerns about economic growth in China and the United States.
OilPrice.com: Congress Looks To Pass Energy Bill for First Time Since 2007
- There are over 100 amendments to the bill, which could drag down the whole effort. The most high-profile of them is a push by Michigan lawmakers to include $600 million in federal funding for the Flint water crisis.
Christian Science Monitor: This is how it looks when Congress gets along
- Congress hasn’t passed broad-based energy legislation since 2007, but this year may well be different, in large part because of the efforts of the bipartisan bill’s managers, energy committee chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska and the ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington.
KFYRTV: Carinata Crop Insurance Now Available
- The Carinata crop is growing in popularity as more and more North Dakota farmers are growing it. This has led to the introduction of crop insurance for the Carinata by the US. Department of Agriculture.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Fosters.com (N.H.): Legislative committee tackling GMO food labeling
- (Opinion) A New Hampshire legislator says "it is only right that the legislature require the labeling of genetically engineered food so that people can make their own choices."
San Francisco Eater: This Week's Most Over-the-Top Super Bowl Food Stunts
- Presenting the stuntiest of all the Super Bowl food stunts.
NPR: Crazy For Jerky: An Ancient Trail Food Finds New Fans
- Americans have gone jerky crazy. We spent $2.8 billion on dried meat snacks last year, according to the market research firm IRI.
UC Food Observer: Sustainability through local food: Elliott Campbell Q&A
- UC-Merced professor talks about his study, which found "most areas of the country could feed between 80 percent and 100 percent of their populations with food grown or raised within 50 miles.”
AP: Official: Bird flu cases reminder of need for tracking rules
- Indiana's state veterinarian says a recent bird flu outbreak is a reminder of the importance of all buyers and sellers of poultry to follow state record-keeping rules.
N.Y. Times: Mandarin Oranges, Rising Stars of the Fruit Bowl
- Since expansion began in the late 1990s, California’s mandarin plantings have increased to 50,000 acres from 5,000. The state now harvests 92 percent of the nation’s mandarin crop, while Florida, troubled by citrus greening disease and obsolete varieties with seeds, has seen its share drop from 66 percent to 8 percent.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Key Japanese trade official resigns amid bribery scandal
- (Audio) But the effect on TPP prospects is expected to be negligible.
The Ecologist: Pandora's box: how GM mosquitos could have caused Brazil's microcephaly disaster
- In Brazil's microcephaly epidemic, one vital question remains unanswered: how did the Zika virus suddenly learn how to disrupt the development of human embryos? The answer may lie in a sequence of 'jumping DNA' used to engineer the virus's mosquito vector - and released into the wild four years ago in the precise area of Brazil where the microcephaly crisis is most acute.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: From buffer strips to federal bills, farmers need a stronger voice
- (Opinion) It is obvious that the state’s legislators and public-policy people are becoming more and more removed from their agricultural roots.
AgWeek: South Dakota attempting to establish nation's first agricultural wetlands mitigation bank
- The NRCS's wetland mitigation bank proposal would serve as a platform for farmers and producers to connect with conservationists to essentially trade wetlands credits.
AP: 2nd disastrous drought year for endangered California salmon
- Just 318,000 juvenile winter-run salmon survived last year, or 3 percent of nearly 10 million eggs, the National Marine Fisheries Service said Monday. That compares to just 5 percent survival the previous year — and 41 percent in 2011, just before California's drought set in.
USA Today: Lumber Liquidators sentenced in wood import scheme
- A federal judge on Monday sentenced Lumber Liquidators to $13.15 million in penalties and five years of probation after the company acknowledged it was guilty of illegally importing wood from forests that are home to endangered species
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
AFP: World's First 'Robot Run' Farm to Open
- A Japanese firm said Monday it would open the world's first fully automated farm with robots handling almost every step of the process, from watering seedlings to harvesting crops.
Albany Times-Union: Dubious math behind Andrew Cuomo's minimum wage proposal
- (Opinion) John Hand, a fruit and vegetable farmer in Greenwich, N.Y., says $15 an hour would make it impossible for him to compete with farms that can operate with lower labor costs. If the minimum-wage increase passes, food from upstate farms will be more expensive than food from Vermont and Massachusetts.
AP: Thai authorities say fishing industry crackdown intensified
- Thailand, which faces possible trade sanctions over abuses in its seafood industry, says it has accelerated its fight against human trafficking and unregulated fishing.
The Hill: Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., to retire
- Fincher, a farmer, is another member of the historic Tea Party class of 2010 to call it quits after six years in the House. Fellow 2010 class member Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) just announced he'll be retiring. Reps. Dan Benishek (Mich.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Robert Hurt (Va.), Rich Nugent (Fla.) and Scott Rigell (Va.) are also opting not to seek reelection.
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune: Get a slice of rural life with ‘Desperate Farm Wives’
- In April 2015, when Phyllis Ann Philipps put on her self-written and directed play, she didn’t know what to expect. What she got was a whole town turning out to watch the hijinks of a city lady living a country life.
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