Daily Harvest -- 2/18/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Cook: Trump, Sanders won't win nominations
- (Audio) Earlier this week, political analyst Charlie Cook told members of the U.S. Grains Council that some of the most polarizing presidential candidates currently in the race have a slim chance to end up on the November ballot.
Agri-Pulse: TPP, tax reform should be on Congress's to-do list
- (Audio) But John Block doesn't see Congress moving quickly in this election year.
Durango Herald: Bill aims to help smaller farmers, producers sell homemade foods
- Colorado lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a measure that aims at making it easier for smaller farmers and producers to sell homemade foods to consumers.
FERN's Ag Insider: Des Moines Case Has ‘Changed the Conversation’ on Water Quality
- Food & Environment Reporting Network’s Kristina Johnson spoke with Neil Hamilton, director of the Agricultural Law Center at Iowa’s Drake University, to learn more about the suit. Hamilton has written extensively about the case for the Des Moines Register and AgLaw.
AP: USDA plans to change food stamp rules
- Retailers that accept food stamps would have to start stocking a wider variety of healthy foods or face the loss of consumers under proposed rules announced by the Agriculture Department on Tuesday.
Scientific American: 17 Governors Agree to Pursue Clean Energy Goals
- The announcement by 17 governors to jointly pursue clean energy goals was perhaps most noteworthy in what it did not include—any mention of climate change.
Bend Bulletin: Oregon House passes bill to help grow hemp industry
- Lawmakers approved a major overhaul of the state’s fledgling hemp industry Tuesday, raising the likelihood that farmers will begin producing the once-illicit cannabis plant for the first time in decades.
Jasper County (S.C.) Sun Times: Solar farm headed to Jasper
- A New York-based energy development company has been working with state and county officials on turning an 80-acre site into a cluster of solar panels that sell power to utilities.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Senate ag leaders seeking compromise on GMO preemption bill
- Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee are working on a possible compromise bill that could head off state GMO labeling requirements, the first of which is set to take effect in Vermont this summer.
Agri-Pulse: FDA pressed on security of food records
- Key House Republicans are demanding to know how well the Food and Drug Administration is securing proprietary information it collects from food producers under new food-safety regulations.
Agri-Pulse: FDA to test corn, soybeans for glyphosate residues
- The Food and Drug Administration plans to begin testing corn and soybeans for glyphosate residues, the agency confirmed today.
Washington Post: Parmesan cheese is not what it seems
- Parmesan cheese advertised as 100 percent parmesan appears to be including wood pulp and other cheese, unbeknownst to us.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
N.Y. Times: China’s Deal Makers Have Disappointed
- Most of the country’s big overseas takeovers to date have fared poorly. Large bets on oil, mining and finance were victims of terrible timing. Though more recent deals like the China National Chemical Corporation’s $44 billion takeover of Syngenta look less cyclical, real challenges remain.
Food Navigator: French, German authorities weigh in on glyphosate
- Glyphosate cannot be classed as a probable carcinogen but its use in formulations could be a cause for concern, says the French food safety authority while the German safety body has called for scientific professionalism to spare consumers unnecessary confusion.
KSBW: Sam Farr discusses what new trade deal means for Central Coast agriculture
- Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., was in Moss Landing, Calif., selling the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal to local businesses.
The Northland Age (New Zealand): Bleak forecast for dairy farmers
- Financial broker OMF is warning the average New Zealand dairy farmer is likely to lose $140,760 this season, with next year looking just as grim.
The Hill: Farm groups plow into trade fight
- Agriculture interests including producers of beef, chicken, grain and corn have emerged as some of the biggest backers of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), giving Obama powerful allies as he seeks to win votes for the agreement.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
ABC30: Almond blooms attracting a swarm of bee bandits
- The almond bloom is creating a buzz in the valley and also attracting a swarm of thieves. Dozens of beehives have been stolen in Fresno County and it's hurting the industry.
Washington Post: Scientists just discovered where the Earth is most sensitive to climate swings
- New research published Wednesday in the journal Nature reaffirms that key regions of the globe that have been a source of major climate worry to researchers — such as the Amazon rainforest and the forests of the global north — are exquisitely sensitive to swings in climate. And it also identifies some new and similarly vulnerable ecosystems that will bear very close watching.
Quad City Times: Branstad's water quality initiative advances
- The Iowa House Agriculture Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to keep alive Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to fund water-quality improvements by extending a school infrastructure tax.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Wisconsin dairy farmers worry about losing Latino workers
- Some Wisconsin dairy farmers are worried about having enough workers to milk their cows Thursday as Latino immigrants attend a "A Day Without Latinos" rally at the state Capitol in Madison.
National Catholic Reporter: At U.S. border, Pope Francis pleas for mercy, conversion toward migrants
- Standing less than a football field away from the southern side of the U.S.-Mexico border, Francis launched anew the biblical cry of Jonah Wednesday -- heart-wrenchingly pleading for mercy and conversion of hearts towards migrants who he said suffer "grave injustices."
HuffingtonPost: Sandra Day O'Connor Says Obama Should Get To Replace Justice Scalia
- Sandra Day O'Connor, the retired Supreme Court justice appointed by a Republican president, said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama should get to name the replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Capital Press: Young farmers in the West face additional barriers
- Young farmers are already a scarcity, with only 1,220 young principal farm operators joining the U.S. producer ranks between 2007 and 2012, according to USDA.
Reuters: Italy’s mafia harvests big gains from agriculture
- Italy’s mafia has infiltrated huge swaths of the country’s agriculture and food business, earning more than 16 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in 2015 from the industry, according to a study released on Wednesday.
FedScoop: Nuclear Regulatory Commission CIO heads to Agriculture agency
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission CIO Darren Ash announced in an email obtained Wednesday by FedScoop that he would be moving to the Farm Service Agency next month. He will replace Lawrence Gross Jr., who departed last year to join the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
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