Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 2/6/2015
Here's your daily summary of top news from and other national and regional headlines from across the country. Do you know of someone who should also be on our list? Please ask them to click here.


Agri-Pulse: Crop insurance premium subsidies in the bull's eye
Link - President Barack Obama's 2016 budget proposal includes cuts to crop insurance, but for the first time in several years the focus is on cutting farmer premiums rather than directly targeting cuts at crop insurance companies. On average, about 62 percent of the premium paid by farmers is subsidized by the federal government.

Agri-Pulse: Majority of farmers yet to sign up for ARC or PLC
Link - (Audio) Farmers still have until the end of March to choose between Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they’ve had over 3,000 farm program learning sessions.

Agri-Pulse: Vilsack points to Farm Bill achievements on first anniversary
Link - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided an update on implementation of the 2014 farm bill, signed by President Obama almost one year ago, saying that the legislation has provided investments that are creating jobs, driving long-term economic growth and helping rural communities.

Sacramento Business Journal: Port slowdown creating 'devastating' impact on agriculture, logistics
Link - An ongoing labor dispute embroiling ports across the West Coast has taken a bite out of agricultural trade across California's Central Valley. Some in the food and logistics industry fear a permanent loss of overseas business.

New York Times: Lawmakers Aim to Protect Farm Animals in U.S. Research
Link - Farm animals used in federal experiments to help the meat industry would receive new protections against mistreatment and neglect under legislation introduced on Thursday by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both houses of Congress.


The Gazette: Colorado GOP advances rollback of renewable energy mandate
Link - Colorado Republicans pushed one of their top priorities through the Senate on Thursday — rolling back renewable energy mandates for rural areas.

New York Times: Low Energy Prices Offer Opening for Subsidy Cuts
Link - Even with oil rebounding in recent days — including a 6 percent rise on Tuesday for the global Brent crude benchmark — the price is down nearly 50 percent from its peak last year of just over $110 a barrel.

Trade Only Today: House bill aims to reform Renewable Fuel Standard
Link - A bill that would help ease ethanol mandates was introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.


Agri-Pulse: Hamburg leaving as FDA chief
Link - Margaret Hamburg, who has run the Food and Drug Administration since 2009, is stepping down with a number of key food safety and nutrition issues still to be resolved.

Washington Post: How outgoing FDA chief oversaw food, drugs and tobacco
Link - During her tenure the FDA undertook major efforts to improve food safety, regulate tobacco and improve reviews of drugs.

Wall Street Journal: Brisket Was Cheap and Delicious; Now It’s Expensive and You Have to Wait in Line
Link - Brisket’s sudden popularity is driving prices to record highs, upsetting some barbecue traditionalists who say the runaway demand for the humble cut of beef is getting out of hand.

Bloomberg: World Food Prices Slide to Lowest Since 2010 as Grain Costs Drop
Link - Food prices extended a slide to the lowest since 2010 as grain costs tumbled amid ample world supplies, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.


Agri-Pulse: Ryan says TPP can be concluded without Japan, Canada
Link - House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan says the U.S. should complete a Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations --without the participation of countries who think U.S. standards in the negotiations are too high.

Agri-Pulse: Ag groups urge Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority
Link - Dozens of agricultural and food groups sent a letter to every member of Congress today asking them to introduce and approve legislation renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which sets consultation and notification requirements for a president to follow throughout the negotiation process for trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Reuters: Lawmaker says Japan, Canada must cut tariffs under trade pact
Link - Canada and Japan must open their markets to farm imports under a Pacific trade pact, the chairman of a U.S. congressional committee responsible for trade said on Thursday, adding that any country that cannot meet the deal's goals should drop out.

Bloomberg: South Africa Sugar Industry Seen Losing $81 Million From Drought
Link - Drought in South Africa’s main sugar-producing region may cost the industry about $81 million, a growers’ association said.

ICTSD: Doha Round: Farm Exporters Question US Subsidies as Trade Talks Resume
Link - US farm subsidies could exceed proposed new WTO limits by as much as US$3.6 billion, a new paper from a dozen agricultural exporting countries has said.


Reuters: Resource pressures could spark conflicts with global impact - report – TRFN
Link - 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.

CBS: Iowa train derailment leads to ethanol leaking into Mississippi River
Link - Railroad officials said Thursday it's unclear how much ethanol has leaked into the Mississippi River from a train that derailed a day earlier in eastern Iowa, but that they were working to monitor the environmental impact and offload fuel from the train.

Washington Post: California authorizes oilfield dumping into drinking water
Link - Regulators in California, the country’s third-largest oil-producing state, have authorized oil companies to inject production fluids and waste into what are now federally protected aquifers more than 2,500 times, risking contamination of underground water supplies that could be used for drinking water or irrigation, state records show.


The Economist: Let the states decide
Link - Fixing America’s broken immigration system is as urgent as ever. America is generous in issuing visas for relatives of those already there, but economic migrants face huge barriers.

Politico: House and Senate Republicans clash on immigration
Link - The back-and-forth speaks to the growing tension between House and Senate Republicans over their attempts to push back against Obama’s executive actions deferring deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants.


Washington Post: DuPont names 2 new directors as it faces proxy fight
Link - The DuPont Co. has named two new independent directors with experience in corporate turnarounds as it faces a proxy fight and breakup calls from activist investor Nelson Peltz.

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