Daily Harvest -- 2/13/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers step up pressure to end port slowdown
- A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to put the House on record urging President Obama to step in and end a labor dispute snarling West Coast ports if there isn't an agreement soon.
Agri-Pulse: USDA offers REAP funding
- (Audio) USDA this week announced new funding under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the 2014 farm bill. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said more than $280 million is now available to install renewable energy systems or create improvements in rural areas.
Agri-Pulse: NCBA approves MOU at record-breaking gathering
- (Video) After a great year in the cattle industry, the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio broke attendance records as cattlemen from across the country gathered to discuss what lies ahead. In this video, NCBA CEO Forrest Roberts and Past President Bob McCan discuss one of the key happenings of the convention, the NCBA approval of the beef checkoff MOU.
Wall Street Journal: Farmland Values in Parts of Midwest Fall for First Time in Decades
- Farmland values declined in parts of the Midwest for the first time in decades last year, reflecting a cooling in the market driven by two years of bumper crops and sharply lower grain prices, according to Federal Reserve reports on Thursday.
Kansas City Star: Falling ethanol prices concern producers and corn growers
- At prices that low, profits have evaporated for ethanol producers. If producers slash output in response to weaker profit margins, they will use less corn and already depressed corn prices could fall even more. More than a third of the nation’s corn supply is used to make ethanol.
International Business Times: Apple Inc. And Google Inc. Sign Major Renewable Energy Deals As Wind And Solar Energy Costs Plunge
- Apple Inc. and Google Inc. have separately announced two major renewable energy projects this week to demonstrate their commitment to fighting climate change. But the deals do more than cast a green glow on the California tech giants -- they also show that solar and wind power are increasingly good financial bets for energy-intensive corporations.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Dems give mandatory GMO labeling bill a second try
- Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut along with Rep. Pete DeFazio, D-Ore., held a press conference today to reintroduce a mandatory GMO labeling bill that will face stiff opposition in a Congress controlled by Republicans.
Agri-Pulse: Oubreaks linked to raw milk on the rise, CDC says
- Outbreaks linked to raw milk have increased sharply as the unpasteurized product has grown in popularity, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wall Street Journal: Pilgrim’s Pride Sees Chicken Demand Outpacing Production
- Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. expects a boom in the U.S. chicken industry to go on as restaurants’ and grocery stores’ demand for poultry outpaces meatpackers’ efforts to boost production.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: CFTC chairman outlines priorities for 2015
- House Agriculture Committee members questioned Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Timothy Massad today on the agency's 2015 agenda, including new regulations in the swaps market, end-user protection and cyber security.
Agri-Pulse: Bipartisan bill to end Cuba trade embargo introduced in Senate
- A bipartisan group of senators led by Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced legislation today to lift the half-century old Cuba trade embargo.
Reuters: EU heading for record barley exports, boosted by east Asia
- Low prices and fading competition have put European barley exports on track to hit a record, led by a strong flow of French shipments to China, analysts said.
The Hill: Trade advocates put numbers behind support for new pacts
- Trade advocates are digging deep into the numbers to make their case for approving trade promotion authority (TPA) and the Obama administration’s broader trade agenda.
Wall Street Journal: Japan's Abe Vows to Push Ahead with Reforms to Farm Lobbies
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to move ahead with his efforts to curb the power of Japan’s farm lobbies as he accelerates broader structural changes to revitalize the country’s economy.
The Hill: Senate bill would end Cuba trade embargo
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, introduced a bill Thursday that would pave a way for American companies to do business in Cuba.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Plains, Southwest headed for decades-long droughts, say climate scientists
- Imagine the 1930s Dust Bowl going on for decades. Researchers say that's what the Plains and Southwest could be in for later in this century because of climate change.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Los Angeles Times: Mexico and Wal-Mart launch initiative to improve lives of farmworkers
- The Mexican government and Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, have announced steps to improve the lives of the nation's farmworkers, two months after a Los Angeles Times investigation detailed labor abuses at Mexican agribusinesses that supply major U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants.
NBC News: Poll: Americans Put Lower Priority on Ending Obama's Immigration Actions
- As it stands, the mega-agency created after the nation's deadliest terrorist attack may be about to go without money because lawmakers can't come up a way to work out differences on how far the president should go to break the immigration logjam.
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