Daily Harvest -- 2/12/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Feb. 12, 2016
- (Audio) Congress is still mulling over menu labeling requirements, a biotech deal, and cotton aid. Plus, more on honey producers and WOTUS in today’s Daybreak. Special note: Daybreak will resume on Monday, Feb. 22 after Congress returns from recess.
Agri-Pulse: McCarthy defends EPA on WOTUS, renewable fuels, pesticides
- EPA chief Gina McCarthy put up a stout defense at a House Agriculture Committee hearing today to charges that her agency is out of touch with the farming community, stating that she works closely with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and has "great respect" for USDA.
Agri-Pulse: Crop insurance industry faces continuing challenges
- If one headline could summarize the challenges confronting the crop insurance industry in 2016, it might be No Shortage of Critics, lamented Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director for congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation, in a speech to industry leaders today.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack, McCarthy called to Capitol Hill
- (Audio) Two members of the Obama administration were on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify before different House committees.
Reuters: Credit demand rises in U.S. farm economy as incomes fall
- Demand for bank loans, loan extensions and renewals is surging among U.S. farmers, and farm incomes are forecast to fall for a third year, as grain and livestock prices remain stubbornly low, according to reports from Federal Reserve Banks on Thursday.
Missouri Farmer Today: Missouri Soybean Association seeking remaining biodiesel fund payments
- Dan Engemann, director of policy with the Missouri Soybean Association, says the the Biodiesel Qualified Producer Incentive Fund has $9.6 million in deferred payments still owed to qualified biodiesel producers in the state.
Chicago Tribune: Oil rout to spark U.S. ethanol consolidation, Green Plains says
- The cheapest crude oil prices in 12 years could spark a wave of ethanol industry mergers in 2016, Green Plains Inc., a producer of the biofuel, said Thursday.
NorthJersey.com: Gas manufacturing company stays in New Jersey after tax cuts
- A company that manufactures gases, including helium for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, is moving its headquarters after getting tax credits to stay in New Jersey.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack: Congress must resolve GMO labeling dispute
- The biotech labeling negotiations led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack broke down over whether GMOs had to be disclosed on food labels or whether it would be enough to ensure that electronic disclosure would be adequate to serve consumers, he says.
Statesman Journal: Oregon Legislature drops GMO crop issue
- A bill to restore local control over genetically engineered crops was gutted and replaced Thursday with language that will require labels on genetically engineered fish sold in Oregon.
NPR: Citrus In The Snow: Geothermal Greenhouses Grow Local Produce In Winter
- The greenhouse uses very little energy, almost entirely pushing fossil fuels out of the picture, and keeping energy costs down to about $1 a day. Energy costs can make or break a greenhouse in parts of the country with cold winters.
Reuters: Exclusive: Kroger in Bid to Acquire Fresh Market-Sources
- Kroger Co., the largest supermarket chain in the United States, is seeking to acquire Fresh Market Inc., a U.S. specialty grocery retailer that has been exploring a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.
MarketWatch: Kellogg Says Cereal Sales Will Rise in 2016
- Kellogg Co. said its U.S. cereal sales will rise this year and that a cost-cutting initiative helped it post a narrower fourth-quarter loss – signs of early progress in the breakfast company's rebuilding effort.
NBC Southern California: Slaughterhouse Owner Gets Prison Time for Uninspected Meat
- Jesse "Babe" Amaral Jr. of Rancho Feeding Corp. was the last of four defendants to plead guilty in what prosecutors say was a scheme to process cattle USDA veterinarians rejected for having cancerous eyes.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Russia issues temporary ban on U.S. corn, soybeans
- Russia says it will ban U.S. corn and soybeans beginning next week after the country's inspectors said they confirmed contamination in some shipments last month.
Agri-Pulse: Some ag issues still linger with TPP
- Many in agriculture have thrown their full weight behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but some are still deciding if the pact is in the best interest of their industries.
Bloomberg: Zimbabwe Says It Won’t Accept GMO Corn for Drought Relief
- Zimbabwe will inspect all corn imported as emergency food aid to check that it’s not genetically modified, agriculture minister Joseph Made told lawmakers.
RT News: 800 Greek farmers storm Agriculture Ministry in Athens, police deploy tear gas
- Police in Athens have used tear gas to disperse a rally of farmers protesting against pension austerity measures as they were pelting the Agriculture Ministry with stones. A larger protest demonstration is due to start later Friday.
USA Today: Thai farmworkers in Israel suffer labor abuses
- About 3,500 farms employ 22,000 Thais, who make up 95% of agricultural workers in Israel, and farmers frequently exploit them as a cheap labor force.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
DTN The Progressive Farmer: Rotational Grazing Benefits Environment: Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing Reaps Benefits, Lowers Carbon Footprint
- Ruminants, particularly beef cattle, are perceived by many as a climate change issue since they produce methane through rumen fermentation, a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG).
Forbes: Why Aren't More Outdoor Companies Donating Money To Conservation?
- (Opinion) Conserving our fish and game and wild spaces is, obviously, important to us sportsmen and women. It’s also the lifeblood of companies that make and sell products for sportsmen and women.
Washington Post: The solution to climate change that has nothing to do with cars or coal
- Of all the components of the recent Paris accord on climate change, the one that probably got the least attention but could have the most immediate potential involves the world’s forests.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Pew Research Center: 5 facts about Mexico and immigration to the U.S.
- From 1965 to 2015, more than 16 million Mexicans migrated to the U.S. in one of the largest mass migrations in modern history. But over the past decade, Mexican migration to the U.S. has slowed dramatically.
Bakersfield Californian: Lawsuit alleges union access to farms violates owners' constitutional protections
- In a legal challenge to unions’ longstanding access to farmers’ private property, a conservative public interest law firm filed a federal lawsuit this week against California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board — an action that may have repercussions for new rules under consideration by the state.
Bakersfield Californian: Paramount facing fines in August pesticide drift
- Paramount Farming’s West Valley division is facing potential fines of $25,200 to $180,000 for a pesticide over drift incident that sickened 36 solar farm construction workers near Lost Hills last August.
New York Times: Oregon Standoff Ends as Last Militant Surrenders
- A standoff fed by big ideas about the role of government came down Thursday morning to the grievances and fears of one troubled young man, and the tense but successful efforts of his sympathizers and F.B.I. agents to coax him to surrender, ending the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon.
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