Daily Harvest -- 2/13/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA publishes final rule on imports and BSE
- USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published a final rule amending import regulations for animals and animal products with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.
Agri-Pulse: Couple ordered to pay $1.4M for submitting bogus claims to FSA
- A federal judge has ordered an Iowa couple to pay almost $1.4 million in a civil judgement for submitting phony claims for loan deficiency payments to USDA's Farm Service Agency.
Agri-Pulse: Senate sends debt ceiling limit bill to Obama
- The Senate approved Wednesday, on a party-line vote of 55-43, legislation that would lift the nation's debt ceiling until March 2015 and avert a potential government default at the end of this month.
Agri-Pulse: New NCBA chief sees EPA 'overregulation' as biggest challenge
- (Subscriber only) Texan Bob McCan, who took over last week as NCBA president after serving a year as president-elect, promised to stay aggressive in backing office-seekers who agree with the association's positions on issues such as nutrient management and implementation of the Clean Water Act.
Bloomberg: Soybean Switch on U.S. Corn Farms Expanding World Surplus
- Farmers in the U.S., the world’s second-largest soybean grower, will boost planting by 5 percent to a record 80.391 million acres, a Bloomberg survey of 22 analysts showed.
Wall Street Journal: Falling Property Values Hint at Trouble on the Farm
- (Subscriber only) Despite the falling property values, agricultural analysts say a repeat of past farm-belt collapses is unlikely. Farmer income is expected to remain strong and debt levels are low, according to USDA figures.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Research needed to meet world food needs by 2050: IFPRI
- Countries around the globe must increase investment in agricultural research and irrigation and improve farm-management practices to feed a world population that's expected to swell by 2 billion people, or almost 30 percent, by mid-century, according to a new study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Politico: The plot to make Big Food pay
- Lawyers are pitching state attorneys general in 16 states with a radical idea: make the food industry pay for soaring obesity-related health care costs.
New York Times: Rival Industries Sweet-Talk the Public
- The corn refinery and sugar industries, bitter rivals in the manufacture of billions of dollars’ worth of sweeteners for sodas and other high-calorie foods, covertly funded dueling nonprofit groups in Washington in a multiyear effort to grab market share, while also stoking fears among consumers about possible health risks, court records made public in a federal lawsuit between the two parties show.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: China big topic at Grains Council meeting
- (Audio) One of the big topics of discussion at the U.S. Grains Council International Marketing Conference and Membership Meeting in California is China. The chairman of the council said they have been actively working on the recent situation with China rejecting shipments of U.S. corn.
Los Angeles Times: U.S. farm exports surge, helped by growing demand in developing world
- Between 2000 and 2013, American fruit, grain, meat and dairy sold overseas nearly tripled to $140.9 billion, making agricultural products one of the hottest exports in the last decade, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Wednesday.
The Hill: Pelosi comes out against fast track bill
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Wednesday that she doesn’t support a measure authored by two Republicans and former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus that would provide President Obama with ramped up powers to help smooth the passage of trade deals.
Financial Times: China scythes grain self-sufficiency policy
- (Subscriber only) China has given up one of its most sacred tenets and effectively abandoned its policy of being self-sufficient in grain as its population outpaces the ability to grow its own food.
The Hill: Obama heading back to Asia-Pacific for four-country tour in April
- President Obama is heading back to the Pacific Rim in April to visit several countries vital to moving his massive trade agenda and important to global security.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Democratic senators introduce bill to address growing drought problem
- Four senators introduced legislation (S. 2016) Tuesday to authorize $300 million in emergency funds for drought-relief projects to maximize water supplies for farmers and other consumers in California and Oregon.
The Hill: Senate passes bill for research on algae harm to fish
- The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require the administration to report to Congress on the harmful effects too much algae are having on fish.
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