Daily Harvest -- 2/11/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Your Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Feb. 11, 2016
- (Audio) Feral hogs raise foot and mouth disease outbreak fears; CFTC chief challenged on payment limits; White House opposes menu labeling bill; and Heritage Foundation lays out farm bill attack. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Farm policy aims to transfer money to farms, economist says
- The crop insurance and commodity programs authorized by the 2014 farm bill came under withering criticism here Wednesday by a panel of agricultural economists assembled by the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
Agri-Pulse: CME Group announces changes to livestock trading
- The markets for live and feeder cattle and lean hogs are in for some changes after industry representatives expressed concerns to CME Group officials about increasing market volatility.
Des Moines Register: Crop insurance pays off for farmers: study
- The report determined that farmers received an average of $2.20 in claims for every dollar they paid in premiums between 2000 and 2014.
DTN The Progressive Farmer: Zillow for Agriculture: Farm Real Estate Dives Into Digital Age
- Online real estate listings such as Zillow.com and Realtor.com revolutionized the housing market this century. Now technology promises to bring the same transparency to the $2.4 trillion farm real estate market.
Agri-Pulse: Lawsuits continue to challenge RFS
- Lawsuits challenging the Renewable Fuel Standard continue to add up, and the latest legal challenge comes from the petroleum industry.
Nasdaq: Dong Energy Sells U.K. Wind Farm Stake for $958 Million
- Denmark's Dong Energy has agreed to sell a 50% stake in a U.K. wind farm to the parent company of toy maker Lego and a Danish pension provider.
Reuters: Gamesa, Siemens Negotiating Final Terms of Wind Merger
- German engineering group Siemens and Spanish renewable energy group Gamesa are in final negotiations on a deal to merge their wind power assets, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.
Washington Post: What these Christians are giving up for Lent: Fossil fuels
- A new initiative in the United Kingdom is not only calling for Christian communities to band together in support of clean energy, but actually helping them get their own electricity that way.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: WIC funds will be used for lead testing in Michigan
- USDA will temporarily allow Michigan to use its WIC funds to test about 3,800 WIC participants who may have been exposed to lead during the ongoing drinking water crisis in Flint.
ABC News: Burger King's Next Conquest: Hot Dog King
- The Miami-based chain says it plans to put hot dogs on its menu nationally for the first time starting Feb. 23. It may seem like a jarring addition for those who know the chain for its Whoppers, but Burger King says its ability to flame-grill meat makes hot dogs a natural fit on its menu.
Market Watch: Whole Foods profit falls but still beat estimates
- Whole Foods Market Inc. said profit declined in its latest quarter as the natural-and-organic grocer continues to try to reinvigorate sales and manage costs.
Nasdaq: Aramark Profit Rises Amid Organic Sales Growth
- The Philadelphia company provides food to cafeterias and hospitals, beer at sports stadiums and uniforms to employees in a variety of industries.
Fortune: US Foods Files for an IPO
- US Foods, an Illinois-based foodservice giant with more than $23 billion in annual revenue, on Tuesday filed for an initial public offering.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Senate panel reviews need for new water infrastructure bill
- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee met Wednesday to review the status of the country's ailing water infrastructure system and to plan its response - another Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) - that panel members predict will receive congressional approval this year.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack, lawmakers urge end to Cuban trade embargo
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are encouraging stakeholders to keep the pressure on Congress to ease trade restrictions with Cuba.
New York Times: Zimbabwe Needs $1.5 Billion in Food Aid, Says Vice President
- Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Wednesday that over 70 percent of crops in the southern part of the country were wiped out by drought conditions brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon affecting southern Africa.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Feinstein's new drought relief bill seeks water storage, targeted releases
- A revised drought relief bill from a California lawmaker seeks to strike a balance between short-term needs and long-term goals.
Reuters: House Passes Bill Requiring EPA Actions on Lead-Laced Water
- The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday easily passed a bill (416-2) requiring federal environmental regulators to act faster when lead contamination is found in drinking water.
SF Gate: Latest: Flint mayor asks Obama to visit her city
- The mayor of Flint, Mich., is asking President Barack Obama to visit her city, where lead has contaminated the water supply, caused health problems and put children at risk for developmental delays.
New York Times: The Environmental Legacy of the Steel City
- While the Steel City has given way to more tech-driven jobs, in the 21st century its air quality still ranks among the worst in the country, according to the American Lung Association.
Washington Post: Amid boom in catch, debate rages over lobster license rules
- Members of the next generation of Maine lobster fishermen say they fear they will never get a license to fish for the valuable critters, but some longstanding lobstermen fear changing the rules could result in overfishing.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Market Watch: Pope Francis to stand with migrants at U.S.-Mexico border
- Pope Francis arrives in Mexico on Friday for a six-day visit that will end with a highly symbolic and potentially controversial act: the pontiff taking a stand on the fortified U.S. border to show solidarity with the migrants trying to cross it.
LA Times: Farm worker education promotes government trespassing, land rights group says
- A proposal by the state’s farm labor watchdog to gain access to fields so it can educate workers about their rights is running into strong opposition from growers, even before it has been written into regulation.
Agri-Pulse: John Block on Debt
- (Audio) Government programs not only survive, they thrive. They just get bigger.
Athens Banner-Herald: Meeting at UGA aims to develop women agriculture leaders
- Women from across the Southeast — and a few men — met in Athens this week to begin building a new generation of women agricultural leaders.
Geek Wire: Agriculture 3.0: How researchers are harvesting the power of robots and drones to reboot farming
- More than a century after machines began to transform farms, the industry is going digital with “agtech” and “precision agriculture,” and Washington state — with leadership from Washington State University in Pullman — is helping to show the way.
Venture Beat: Funding Daily: Smart gardening startup Edyn raises $2 million seed round
- Edyn built a smart gardening system that helps plant enthusiasts to “stay connected to [their] garden” by regularly monitoring the soil and water conditions, along with temperature and light exposure.
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