Daily Harvest -- 2/9/2016
Here's your daily summary of top news from www.Agri-Pulse.com
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Feb. 9, 2016
- (Audio) President Obama releases his 2017 budget proposal, which includes full funding for the 51-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund; USDA is expected to raise stocks forecast; and rice is a topic of conversation. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: USDA awards $20 million to fight citrus greening
- USDA announced Monday it will put $20.1 million toward research and extension projects that help producers fight citrus greening disease, which has affected more than 75 percent of Florida citrus groves.
Wisconsin Public Radio: FCC Gives Millions To Subsidize Rural Wisconsin Internet Improvements
- More than $570 million in government subsidies will help expand faster Internet service in rural Wisconsin through 2020.
Bangor Daily News: Feds award Maine $640,000 to boost rural economy
- Two Maine organizations will share $640,000 in federal grant money designed to help support entrepreneurs in rural areas and to explore ways to get investor money to early-stage natural resource businesses.
Utility Dive: Colorado utilities to test 5 rural, low-income solar models
- Colorado will embark on five new community solar projects aimed at serving low-income households. The projects will be in rural areas and are expected to generate a total of 579 kW.
Agri-Pulse: Energy bill still held up by Flint water debate
- (Audio) Work continues to get a bipartisan energy bill to the floor of the Senate after issues arose addressing the Flint, Mich., water crisis.
New York Times: The Renewable Fuel Standard
- (Opinion) CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, Joe Jobe, says “the Renewable Fuel Standard is working.”
CNBC: Chesapeake regains half of losses; says has no plans to seek bankruptcy
- Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States, plunged as much as 50 percent on Monday after multiple reports that it had hired restructuring attorneys.
Reuters: Canadian energy companies sell "jewels" to keep oil sands afloat
- Faced with record low prices for heavy crude, Canadian energy companies are sacrificing other parts of their business to keep higher-cost oil sands production going and safeguard the billions already invested in these multi-decade projects.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA rethinking testing program for raw milk cheese
- FDA is taking another look at its food safety testing program for cheese made with raw milk, after cheesemakers raised concerns that the criteria the agency is using may be limiting production of those cheeses without benefiting public health.
Reuters: For Sugar Tax Supporters, 2016 May Be the Sweet Spot
- 2016 could be the year of the sugar tax, as several large nations consider levies on sweetened food and drinks to battle obesity and fatten government coffers.
Wall Street Journal: AccelFoods Raises $20 Million Fund to Back Packaged Food and Beverage Startups
- Within the packaged-goods market, AccelFoods looks to invest in makers of allergen- and gluten-free foods, ethnic foods, and high-protein and nutritious snacks made from natural ingredients but which can be packed and consumed easily on-the-go.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Iran Hopes for Agricultural Boom Post-Sanctions
- Iran plans to turn itself into a major food exporter, hoping the lifting of sanctions will boost international trade and allow investment in the agricultural sector, an official in Iran's state grain buying agency said.
Reuters: France Asks EU for 'Market Regulation' to Help Struggling Farmers
- France wants new "market regulation measures" to help farmers hurt by low milk and pork prices and has submitted proposals ahead of a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers later this month, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday.
Xinhua: Italy's agriculture sector suffered another blow last week when police seized thousands of kilograms of green olives tainted by a toxic substance.
- Hundreds of millions of year-old olives were treated with copper sulphate to change the color of the old olives to bright green, making them look fresh. At least 19 people have been arrested in the case, with more arrests possible, according to police.
Huffington Post: How Morocco Is Harnessing Solar Power To Achieve Energy Independence
- Morocco is on the way to dramatically cutting its dependence on imported oil after successfully launching what will eventually become the world's largest concentrated solar plant, reducing carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Minnesota Public Radio: Sperm bank for bees generates a buzz in Fargo
- With honeybees under stress from pests, disease and pesticides, USDA officials hope to build a bee gene bank to store sperm and embryos, preserving bee genetics for future generations.
New York Times: Hoping to Lead Great Lakes Lampreys to Demise by the Nose
- For all the havoc that zebra mussels, Asian carp, round gobies and dozens of other alien species have wrought on the Great Lakes, those waters have never known a foe like the sea lamprey.
LA Times: Mercury, DDT and other contaminants in fish are at a four-decade low
- The researchers looked at nearly 2,700 studies of pollutants found in fish samples taken from around the world between 1969 and 2012. What they found was steady, significant drops in the concentrations of a wide range of contaminants known to accumulate in fish.
Washington Post: Economists keep saying we should put a price on nature. Now they’ve finally done it
- A group of scholars may have finally come up with a way to estimate the monetary value of natural resources.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: After recent ICE raids, sanctuary movement grows for immigrants here illegally
- At least three congregations in the Los Angeles area have vowed in recent weeks to offer refuge to Central Americans with deportation orders — joining what advocates say is a growing number of pastors, preachers and nuns across the country in reviving the sanctuary movement.
Wall Street Journal: The Thorny Economics of Illegal Immigration
- After Arizona passed a series of tough anti-immigration laws, Rob Knorr couldn’t find enough Mexican field hands to pick his jalapeño peppers, so he invested in mechanization.
Capital Press: Child care for farmworkers’ children studied
- The Washington Growers League and groups in Wisconsin and Texas are surveying farmers about child care for farmworker children and point to a Florida program that works well.
Phys.org: Scientists create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products
- Researchers at the University of Minnesota have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.
Hoosier Ag Today: AgReliant Genetics Launches Precision Agriculture Technology Platform
- AgReliant Genetics, the third largest seed corn company in North America, launched the beta version of its precision agriculture platform to the public Monday.
Washington Post: The places that support Trump and Cruz are suffering. But that’s not true of Rubio.
- These charts show the massive difference between Trump, Cruz and Rubio supporters. Rural areas and farming areas – for two – separate the candidates’ supporters.
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