Daily Harvest -- 2/18/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Los Angeles Times: Small but powerful union is at center of port dispute
- The International Longshore and Warehouse Union represents 20,000 dockworkers, a fraction of the organized ranks of teachers, truck drivers or healthcare workers. But the port workers — who still queue up at hiring halls daily for work and spend years earning full membership — stand guard over a crucial chokepoint in the global economy.
Wall Street Journal: Drone Rules Cheered, but Not by All
- Long-awaited federal rules proposed for commercial drones should pave the way for thousands of U.S. businesses to fly the devices in industries like filmmaking, farming and construction, but drone proponents worried that limits in the regulations would stifle other possible uses like package delivery.
Washington Post: DuPont makes case against investor Peltz’s push
- The DuPont Co. is warning shareholders that billionaire investor Nelson Peltz has proposed a “high-risk” agenda for the company that would destroy shareholder value.
High Plains Journal: Lessons learned from farm bill debate
- Flinchbaugh discussed lessons learned from the three-year debate on the 2014 farm bill. He said the title for the talk probably should have been “lessons we should have learned” or “lessons we better learn.”
Bloomberg: Farmers Planting More Soy as Corn Ends Run as Profit King
- U.S. farmers from Louisiana to North Dakota are preparing to switch more land to soybeans as they seek to limit losses from a slumping corn market.
Agri-Pulse: Why state renewable energy mandates are in the crossfire
- (Subscriber only) Several states are pushing back against renewable energy mandates, but new research suggests that they may be making a mistake. Why renewables?
Argus Leader: Poet helps bring ethanol-fueled stoves to Haiti
- Sioux Falls-based Poet has started a partnership in Haiti to fight pollution and deforestation by replacing wood-burning stoves with clean, ethanol-fueled cook stoves.
USA Today: Warren Buffett dumps energy stocks
- Buffett revealed Tuesday his Berkshire Hathaway investment company has dumped its holdings in energy giants Exxon Mobil (XOM) as well as ConocoPhillips (COP). Given that Buffett says his favorite holding period is “forever,” seeing him unload major energy companies certainly doesn’t indicate that he sees things getting better anytime soon.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Reclaiming Puerto Rico’s Food Paradise
- From a food standpoint, Puerto Rico represents a twisted paradox. Thanks to its balmy climate and rich soil, it has the makings of a gastronome’s fantasy island, a place where all sorts of natural delights sprout from the land, sometimes without much need for human coaxing.
NPR: Hollywood Food Stylists Know: You Can't Film Styrofoam Cake And Eat It, Too
- In the parking lot of a small Los Angeles studio, food stylist Melissa McSorley is re-creating the dish that saved the day for the hero of a recent film. "The Cubano sandwich ... was the heart and soul of the movie Chef," she says.
Honolulu Civil Beat: Hawaii Senate Panel to Consider GMO Labeling
- The state Senate committees on Health and Agriculture will take testimony Thursday on a bill calling for the labeling of food with genetically modified organisms.
Bloomberg: Dear Chocoholics: You're Welcome. Love, the U.S. Government
- Following the well-trodden garden path of tomatoes, beans, and apples, the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, which represents high-end chocolatiers, growers, and retailers, has created an heirloom designation for cacao.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Grains council helps increase exports in 2014
- (Audio) The US Grains Council held its winter meeting last week in Costa Rica, where Chairman Ron Gray says it was a time to take a look back at last year and assess export opportunities.
Farm Futures: TPP negotiations entering 'end game'
- Last year’s Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations were marked by Japan’s unwillingness to lower tariffs and restrictions on key agricultural and auto markets, but the tide could be changing.
Foreign Policy: The Geopolitical Stakes of America’s Trade Policy
- Michael Froman: This century’s defining battle could be won or lost without a shot fired. As President Barack Obama’s National Security Strategy makes clear, the rules-based system we have led since World War II is competing against alternative, more mercantilist models.
Washington Post: Why Sen. Klobuchar felt like a celebrity on Cuba trip
- Klobuchar is the lead sponsor of a bill to end the 53-year-old trade embargo with Cuba, which made little news here but was splashed across the front pages in Cuba, she said. So prominent was it that when she walked down the streets, Cubans recognized her.
Reuters: U.S., Cuba to meet February 27; senators see path for end to embargo
- The United States and Cuba will hold a second round of talks in Washington next week aimed at restoring diplomatic relations, the State Department said on Tuesday, as U.S. Democratic senators visiting Havana said there may be enough support among Republicans to lift a trade embargo on Cuba.
Reuters: Pelosi traveling with lawmakers to Cuba
- U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is traveling to Cuba on Tuesday with a delegation of congressional Democrats, Pelosi's office announced.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Tiny Oregon minnow is first fish removed from endangered species list due to recovery
- A tiny minnow that lives only in backwaters in Oregon's Willamette Valley is the first fish to be formally removed from Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer in danger of extinction, officials said Tuesday.
Capital Press: Ranchers critical to sage grouse conservation, report shows
- The partnership between USDA and more than 1,100 ranchers across 11 Western states to restore sage grouse habitat and keep the species off the endangered species list has wrought many success stories over the past five years.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Justice to appeal court order blocking Obama immigration action
- The White House says the Justice Department will appeal a federal judge's ruling that temporarily blocked President Obama's executive action on immigration.
New York Times: Dealt Setback, Obama Puts Off Immigrant Plan
- One day before hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants were to begin applying for work permits and legal protection, administration officials on Tuesday postponed President Obama’s sweeping executive actions on immigration indefinitely, saying they had no choice but to comply with a federal judge’s last-minute order halting the programs.
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