Daily Harvest -- 2/3/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Senate on verge of farm bill passage
- The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday night on a procedural motion to move the legislation to a final vote on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed a cloture motion Thursday that requires 60 votes for passage, and the votes are widely expected to be there.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS
- (Audio) Even though he is pleased with changes made to enhance crop insurance, Roberts explains why he continues to have long-standing concerns about the commodity title and is likely to vote against the Agricultural Act of 2014 this week.
Agri-Pulse: Missouri Democrat tells why he voted for the farm bill
- Over 100 Democrats in the House voted against the farm bill last week mainly because of cuts in the nutrition program, but almost 90 voted in favor despite those cuts. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., explains why he thought this farm bill represented the best opportunity for compromise.
Agri-Pulse: Monsanto adopts privacy standards for farm data use
- The Climate Corporation, a farm-focused software and insurance developer bought by Monsanto last year, announced policy guidelines it will use when collecting information from individual farmers, stressing that the data is the property of the farmer.
National Journal: Why Is the Farm Bill Finally Ripe for Passage?
- Why, after three years of hearings and conflict—four, if you count the initial hearings when the Democrats were still in charge of the House—is the Agriculture Act of 2014, as it is formally known, finally about to become law?
West Hawaii Today: Organic farming tax breaks mulled
- Puna makai Councilman Greggor Ilagan has introduced a bill that would give certified organic farms a break on their property taxes. The legislation would lower the tax assessment for the farms from as much as $4,000 per acre to $420 per acre for nondedicated agriculture land.
Imperial Valley Press: Closure devastating: All aspects of Valley ag industry will feel impact
- Brawley’s National Beef Packing Co. said it was closing its doors, and the men and women in that room needed to find a way to get the company to stay. One of Imperial County’s largest industries was on the line, and the largest private employer in the county was set to let go of 1,300 workers.
The Hill: Stabenow defends farm bill provisions
- Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) offered a defense of controversial aspects of the farm bill, in an appearance on C-Span's Newsmakers airing Sunday.
New York Times: No Help for Farm Bill From Miffed Kansans in the House
- When a new five-year farm bill, which authorizes nearly $1 trillion in spending on farm and nutrition programs, came up for a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the entire Kansas congressional delegation voted against it.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Roll Call: A Better Way Forward for Food and Agriculture | Commentary
- Dan Glickman, Gary Hirshberg, Jim Moseley and Emmy Simmons say despite the fact that American agriculture owes much of its past success to a world-class public research, education and extension system, federal and state support for that system has been allowed to stagnate.
NPR: Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules
- Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. And that means the existing food safety system, which relies heavily on support from federal agencies, can't ensure that marijuana-infused foods are safe.
New York Times: We Need G.M.O. Wheat
- There is not a single acre of genetically engineered wheat being grown commercially in the United States. Wheat farmers have suffered as a result, as have consumers of bread and pasta, who have been paying higher prices than they might have because fewer and fewer acres are planted in wheat.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Financial Times: US trade deals remain on track, says Froman
- (Subscriber only) America’s top trade official has sought to reassure European and Asian negotiating partners that the White House can overcome rising dissent in Congress as it tries to keep momentum behind two of the world’s most ambitious regional trade agreements.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: U.S. cattle herd falls to smallest since 1951
- The U.S. cattle herd as of Jan. 1 was the smallest since 1951, USDA said today in a report. The inventory was 2 percent below a year earlier and marked the seventh straight year of decline, as a persistent drought ravaged pastures and pushed feed prices higher, prompting ranchers to cull herds.
Agri-Pulse: State Department releases impact statement on Keystone pipeline
- The State Department released an environmental impact statement for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project that supporters of the project lauded as an endorsement to begin the contentious project.
Sacramento Bee: California farmers brace for drought, unemployment
- Amid California's driest year on record, the nation's leading agricultural region is locked in drought and bracing for unemployment to soar, sending farm workers to food lines in a place famous for its abundance.
New York Times: Parched, California Cuts Off Tap to Agencies
- Responding to one of the worst droughts in California’s history, state officials announced on Friday that they would cut off the water to local agencies serving 25 million residents and about 750,000 acres of farmland.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Republicans say immigration deal is far from certain, push ‘security first’ approach
- Republicans stressed a “security first” approach to immigration reform Sunday but said the prospects for a deal this year are far from certain, in part because of distrust of the Obama administration.
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