Daily Harvest -- 2/5/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate approves five-year farm bill, sending it to Obama
- The Senate approved today, on a 68-32 vote, a five-year farm bill (H.R. 2642), sending the sweeping legislation to President Obama for his expected signature. Forty-four Democrats were joined by 22 Republicans and two Independents to support the legislation, while 23 Republicans and, notably, nine Democrats voted against the bill.
Agri-Pulse: USDA has priority process for farm bill implementation
- (Audio) Even before the Senate passed the farm bill on Tuesday, Vilsack said USDA began a process of identifying items in each title of the farm bill that are a priority to get done. He said USDA will be focused on getting the disaster assistance programs running as soon as possible.
The Hill: Senate sends farm bill to Obama
- Conferees settled on cutting SNAP by $8 billion by requiring households to receive at least $20 per year in home heating assistance before they automatically qualify for food stamps, instead of the $1 threshold now in place in some states.
New York Times: Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers
- The long-stalled farm bill, which represents nearly $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years and passed on a rare bipartisan vote, 68 to 32, produced clear winners and losers. Over all, farmers fared far better than the poor.
The Detroit News: Obama to sign farm bill at MSU, White House confirms
- President Barack Obama will visit Michigan State University on Friday to sign the $956 billion farm bill and highlight agriculture’s importance to the economy after it received Senate approval Tuesday, the White House confirmed.
Associated Press: Senate sends farm bill to Obama
- The sweeping farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama Tuesday has something for almost everyone, from the nation's 47 million food stamp recipients to Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast.
Huffington Post: Not Your Father's Farm Bill
- In this op-ed, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., says instead of getting a government check even in good times, farmers will pay an insurance bill every year and will only receive support from that insurance in years when they take a loss.
Grand Forks Herald: Collin Peterson: Finally, a Farm Bill — and a good one at that
- In this op-ed, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee says he’s described the process as lunacy and Never-Never Land and have lamented being caught in Farm Bill hell. But I refused to give up and through it all, the Agriculture Committee members were able to work together and get the job done.
Washington Post: In Congress’s farm bill, the rich get richer
- The Washington Post editorial board opines that the 2014 farm bill is not a hard-won triumph for bipartisanship. This is a bill of, by and for the agriculture lobby, which, through sheer power and self-interested persistence, ground down reform advocates over three years.
FOOD & NUTRITION
NPR: How American Food Companies Go GMO-Free In A GMO World
- Farmers have embraced these novel proteins; they protect a growing cornstalk from some insects, or weedkillers. So, at almost any corn processing facility in America, this test would come up positive. But at Clarkson Grain, a positive test means rejection; the truck has to turn around and leave.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
The Hill: Hoyer 'not optimistic' about trade bills
- President Obama has made expanded trade authority a top priority of 2014, a position he emphasized in last week's State of the Union address. But Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat, said divisions in both parties would pose high hurdles to passage.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Los Angeles Times: Drought leaves dark cloud over California ranchers, growers
- Shortage of natural pastures has led some ranchers to sell crucial parts of their herds to slaughterhouses amid lofty hay prices. Growers are considering tearing out thirsty nut orchards and citrus groves.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Boehner unsure on immigration vote
- House Republican leaders have not decided whether to bring immigration legislation up for a vote in 2014 following their presentation of draft principles to members, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday.
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