Daily Harvest -- 2/5/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Farm groups warn committees against crop insurance cuts
- The crop insurance industry and farm groups are trying to head off any attempt by congressional budget writers to cut subsidies for the coverage.
Agri-Pulse: Farming was focus at hearing on WOTUS
- (Audio) Agriculture was mentioned frequently in the joint hearing Wednesday in the House Transportation Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the proposed WOTUS rule.
Agri-Pulse: Still time in animal-welfare discussion for beef industry
- (Subscriber only) While several segments of the meat industry may already be seen on the losing side of the animal welfare perception battle, there may still be hope for beef.
Wall Street Journal: Settlement would pay an average of $4K to dairy farmers
- More than 7,000 Northeast dairy farmers stand to get an average of $4,000 in a proposed settlement with the cooperative Dairy Farmers of America to resolve antitrust allegations.
CNBC: Oklahoma sees meth addicts fueling surge in cattle rustling
- One of the oldest Wild West crimes, cattle rustling, has been making a comeback in Oklahoma in recent years, with major culprits being methamphetamine addicts selling stolen livestock to pay for their drug habits, officials said.
LA Times: (Opinion) Egg-laying hens in California win another court battle
- California’s egg-laying hens—and their advocates--won one more round today in the long legal battle over a new state law outlawing confining and inhumane battery cages.
LA Times: How Orange County's namesake was squeezed out—and is being squeezed in
- The scent of orange blossoms washes over visitors at Disney California Adventure Park as they soar above images of a grove. To see and smell the real thing in Orange County, people might need to stop by a place like George Key Ranch Historic Park.
The Hill: House passes regulatory reform bill
- The House on Wednesday passed legislation to require federal agencies to evaluate the full economic effects of regulations.
Agri-Pulse: Electric utilities to EPA: Not so fast with your Clean Power Plan
- (Subscriber only) Unless you want to join EPA in wading through 3.5 million comments on its plan to reduce coal-power-plant emissions, watch last week's three-hour (Stakeholder Perspectives on EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan) webcast.
Agri-Pulse: EPA releases final rule on pollution limits from new wood-burning heaters
- The Environmental Protection Agency's final rule to limit pollution from new wood-burning heaters calls for a two-thirds reduction in health-threatening sooty emissions.
Wall Street Journal: Analysts blow calls on oil
- In late November, as collapsing oil prices pummeled energy-company shares, a Raymond James & Associates analyst told investors that energy stocks were still a good bet.
Wall Street Journal: Oil-price drop darkens Suncor’s results
- Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s biggest crude-oil producer, reported an 81% drop in fourth-quarter profits on Wednesday as a result of slumping global crude prices and lower output at its oil sands mining operations due to unplanned maintenance.
Wall Street Journal: Weatherford International laying off 5,000 employees in first quarter
- Weatherford International, one of the biggest oil-field service companies in the world, will lay off 5,000 employees during the first quarter as it tries to cope with a sharp downturn in energy prices.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Fairlife: Milk products with higher protein and calcium, lower sugar
- A health and wellness startup is partnering with Coca-Cola's Minute Maid Division to distribute an innovative new milk product.
Reuters: U.S. FDA commissioner to stand down after six years: sources
- Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who for almost six years has overseen public health initiatives ranging from tobacco control and food safety to personalized medicine, disease control and drug approvals, is stepping down, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Progressive Farmer: NASDA Backs FDA as Biotech Labeler
- The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture on Tuesday passed a resolution to support "a national uniform labeling policy for foods derived from genetic engineering" and to reaffirm the Food and Drug Administration "as the authority in uniform food labeling."
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Trade chief 'senses end point' on Japan talks, Conaway says
- U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman delivered an upbeat private briefing to members of the House Agriculture Committee on the status of negotiations over a Pacific Rim trade agreement, said the panel's chairman, Mike Conaway.
Wall Street Journal: Why Oil-Hungry China Isn’t Reaping Benefits From Low Prices
- China – which gets 60% of its oil from abroad — is on its way to becoming the world’s largest petroleum importer, and is already there by some measures. So in theory it stands to be a huge beneficiary of plummeting oil prices.
Reuters: UK government to sell at least 40 million shares in wind farm investor Greencoat
- The UK government intends to place at least 40 million shares in Greencoat UK Wind Plc (UKWG.L), a fund that invests in wind farms, via an accelerated bookbuilding to be launched immediately, one of the bookrunners on the deal said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Successful liftoff for soil moisture mission
- After two previous failed attempts, NASA successfully launched its first Earth satellite on Jan. 31 - designed to detect soil moisture, improve climate and weather forecasts, track yields and help scientists more accurately account for how much carbon plants are removing from Earth's atmosphere each year.
New York Times: The Horrors of fishing with dynamite
- Some nations have clamped down on blast fishing, which is generally illegal, but it continues in areas where explosives are available and people are desperate.
Wall Street Journal: APP’s deforestation efforts make ‘moderate progress:’ environmentalists
- Environmental organizations gave a passing grade to Asia Pulp & Paper two years after it announced a policy to end forest clearing in its supply chain, but said that some deforestation continues and that many measures have yet to be implemented.
Reuters: Resource pressures could spark conflicts with global impact: report
- Illegal deforestation in Southeast Asia, conflicts over water in the Nile Basin and China's growing dependence on South American food are some of the resource challenges facing emerging nations with the potential to cause strife, a risk analysis group warns.
ABC News: With black bear population on rise, Florida may allow hunts
- With Florida's black bears rebounding from near extinction, clashes with humans are on the rise, and the state is considering a limited hunting season as part of the solution.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Ag coalition rejects E-Verify without broader measures to ease farm labor shortage
- A group representing agricultural employers across the country told Congress on Wednesday that broad legislation addressing the farm labor shortage is needed before implementation of a mandatory E-Verify system.
New York Times: (Opinion) PBS Series Explores ‘A New Wild’ Sustained, Instead of Wrecked, by People
- I encourage you to watch “Earth a New Wild,” a five-part series launching tonight on PBS that provides a powerful tour – from the Arctic to the Amazon — of vibrant, dynamic ecosystems around the planet that are thriving not despite the presence of humans, but in many cases because of the presence of humans.
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