Daily Harvest -- 2/17/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA hopes to have details on livestock disaster signup soon
- (Audio) Aid to livestock producers impacted by drought and blizzards will soon be on its way. USDA Under Secretary Michale Scuse says the programs will be open for sign-up within the next 60 days.
Washington Post: ‘Soft lobbying’ war between sugar, corn syrup shows new tactics in Washington influence
- Sugar companies’ investments in this nonprofit group, detailed in newly released internal documents, are part of a growing strategy used by corporate interests seeking to influence Washington policymaking.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Is Chipotle waging a war it can't win?
- (Subscriber only) In its latest attempt to differentiate itself from other Mexican fast food chains, Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to launch a video series the company says “satirically explores the world of industrial agriculture.”
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Gregg Doud, Pres. Commodity Markets Council
- (Audio) Doud questions the lack of agricultural understanding at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the range of initiatives that could redefine hedging and contracting in the United States and Europe.
Politico: Joe Biden draws GOP fire for trade delay remarks
- Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Friday that a bill to advance the U.S. trade agenda was not going to pass for a while, prompting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to pounce on the comments as evidence of weak leadership from the White House on the economy.
New York Times: Trade Pact With Asia Faces Imposing Hurdle: Midterm Politics
- President Obama’s ambitious trade agenda appeared to fall further victim to election-year politics on Capitol Hill on Friday when Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in a closed-door retreat with House Democrats, said he understood why they would not grant Mr. Obama the crucial authority he needs to conclude large trade deals with Asia and Europe.
The Hill: A personal touch on trade?
- President Obama needs to personally engage with lawmakers if he is to move his trade agenda through Congress, according to a former top administration official.
Chicago Tribune: U.S., Japan eye gap over agriculture, autos at trade talks
- The United States and Japan will aim to find common ground on sticking points such as agriculture and autos at the next round of negotiations on a Pacific Rim trade pact, the U.S. Trade Representative said on Saturday after top-level talks.
Reuters: Cargill to reject for export crops with new GMO Syngenta corn trait
- Cargill Inc, the top exporter of U.S. grain and oilseeds, on Friday said it will reject crops containing a new genetically modified Syngenta AG corn trait that are delivered to its grain elevators for export contracts.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Nation needs better preparation for droughts, climate change, lawmakers told
- The nation must invest in improving resilience to the impact of climate change and to extreme weather events such as wildfires, droughts, flooding, tornadoes, and snow storms, lawmakers were told recently.
New York Times: Obama Announces Aid for Drought-Stricken California
- President Obama arrived in the heart of California’s parched farmland on Friday afternoon to offer tens of millions of dollars in federal assistance to the state, where the lack of rain and snow this winter has led to the severest drought in its modern history.
Wichita Eagle: Farm bill puts grasslands in focus
- The recent bill authorizes up to 24 million acres for enrollment in the program. That’s down from 32 million from the 2008 farm bill. The reduction will take place over the five years of the current bill.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: McCain Presses for Immigration Overhaul This Year
- Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) Sunday rejected the notion that an overhaul of immigration laws is off the table this year.
New York Times: Water-Cleaning Technology Could Help Farmers
- Financed by the Panoche Water District with state funds, the $1 million solar thermal desalinization plant is removing impurities from drainage water at half the cost of traditional desalinization, according to Aaron Mandell, a founder of WaterFX.
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