Daily Harvest -- 2/4/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senators declare votes for and against farm bill
- (Audio) The Senate is expected to pass a farm bill, but some farm state senators have said they will vote against the legislation. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is disappointed farm payments limits are not in the bill.
Politico: Senate advances farm bill
- The final product represents a landmark rewrite of commodity programs, but even now, all eyes are returning to corn prices and three sets of numbers that will tell a lot about the topsy-turvy world facing the new law before spring plantings.
Washington Post: Farm bill on verge of passage after a long three years of haggling in Congress
- Congress is on the verge of dramatically overhauling federal farm and nutrition policies affecting a broad range of issues, from how food is packaged and sold to how the government helps poor people pay for their groceries.
Boston Globe: In Congress, a secret pork society
- The membership of the House and Senate Agriculture panels is public, but the intricate and ritualistic dealmaking that takes place within the fraternity’s Committee Room puts other secret societies to shame, writes former New Hampshire Senator John Sununu.
Associated Press: 5 things to know about the massive farm bill
- Cuts to food stamps, continued subsidies to farmers and victories for animal rights advocates. The massive, five-year farm bill heading toward final passage this week has broad implications for just about every American, from the foods we eat to what we pay for them.
Washington Times: Congress seeks to jack up fees on home heating oil in midst of frigid winter
- The fee — two-tenths of a cent on every gallon sold — was tacked on to the end of the 959-page bill, which is winding its way through Capitol Hill. The fee would last for nearly 20 years and would siphon the money to develop equipment that is cheaper, more efficient and safer, and to encourage consumers to update their equipment.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Cattle industry must change to meet needs of `Ground Beef Nation’
- The U.S. cattle industry needs to change the way it produces beef if it is to stay competitive in what has become a “ground beef nation,'' according to Don Close, an economist for the Rabobank Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory Group.
Reuters: Study finds deregulation fuelling obesity epidemic
- Governments could slow or even reverse the growing obesity epidemic if they introduced more regulation into the global market for fast foods such as burgers, chips and fizzy drinks, researchers said on Monday.
The Hill: USDA proposes new training standards for school nutrition professionals
- School food workers who manage and handle meals would face new education and training requirements, under the professional standards that the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Politico: President Obama, Harry Reid didn’t talk trade at meeting
- President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did not discuss their public rift on controversial trade legislation during a private meeting at the White House, Reid told reporters on Monday afternoon.
Associated Press: Groups: Meat Labeling Rules Could Start Trade War
- Meat and livestock groups upset that Congress opted in the new farm bill not to back off from mandatory country of origin labeling requirements are worried the issue could start a trade war with Canada and Mexico.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Associated Press: Freeze Cost Nearly a Quarter of Citrus Crop
- A week of freezing temperatures in early December wiped out nearly a quarter of California's $2 billion citrus industry, an industry group estimated on Monday.
San Francisco Chronicle: Kan. AG joins appeal of EPA regulation ruling
- Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined other states in appealing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed regulation of nutrients in runoff from farms and lawns.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Boston Globe: Calif. drought a cruel blow for laborers
- After 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.
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