Daily Harvest -- 2/19/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Roberts focuses on putting producers first
- When Kansas Senator Pat Roberts holds his first hearing as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry next week, he will make a simple, yet symbolic change in the order that witnesses appear -calling on producers to testify ahead of the Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 24.
Agri-Pulse: West coast port issues exacerbating poultry ban
- (Audio) The ban on U.S. poultry imports by China and some other countries due to the discovery of high-path avian influenza in western states is definitely a concern, but the West Coast port situation is a bigger issue, according to USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse.
Agri-Pulse: Maine, Oregon, Michigan tops in enrolling SNAP participants
- The participation rate among people eligible for USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) jumped to 83 percent in fiscal year 2012 from 78 percent in the previous year, according to a department report.
NPR: Heaps Of Oranges Could Rot As West Coast Dock Dispute Drags On
- California citrus growers are caught in the middle of a labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping lines that could end with millions of pounds of rotten oranges.
The Hill: West Coast port shutdown could cost economy $2B a day
- A total shutdown of West Coast ports could cost the U.S. economy about $2 billion per day, the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers said Wednesday.
Reuters: Pressure mounts on shippers, union to settle West Coast ports dispute
- The U.S. labor secretary joined congressional leaders and three governors on Wednesday in pressing shipping lines and the dockworkers' union to settle a contract dispute that has led to months of turmoil clogging cargo traffic at 29 West Coast ports.
Bloomberg: Caterpillar Faces IRS Penalties, More Taxes on Swiss Parts Unit
- Caterpillar Inc. said the Internal Revenue Service has “proposed” tax increases and penalties of about $1 billion after examining its U.S. returns for 2007 to 2009, including a loss carryback to 2005.
Indianapolis Star: Senator: 'Right to Farm' could protect pot growers
- The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a "Right to Farm" amendment over objections from a senator worried about pot growers.
Reuters: Farmers disappointed by restrictions in proposed drone rules
- U.S. farmers hoping to use drones to locate lost livestock or monitor trouble spots in their fields were disappointed by what they say are overly restrictive commercial drone rules proposed Sunday by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Agri-Pulse: RFA's 20th National Ethanol Conference focuses on exports
- But in an Agri-Pulse interview just before launching the 20th annual Renewable Fuel Association (RFA) National Ethanol Conference here in Texas, RFA President & CEO Bob Dinneen insisted that the industry is fighting back aggressively - and successfully.
Wall Street Journal: Big Investors Place Energy Bets (For and Against)
- Major investors made striking bets with their energy holdings in the fourth quarter amid a collapse in the price of oil.
Wall Street Journal: Japan Looks to Ocean for Renewable Energy
- As an island nation, Japan controls large swaths of ocean territory, about the sixth-greatest expanse of any country in the world, according to government data. That is stark contrast to its relatively meagre land area, which ranks near the middle of list, in 60th place.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Associated Press: Slaughterhouse owner pleads guilty in tainted beef case
- A co-owner of a Northern California slaughterhouse at the center of a massive recall has pleaded guilty to processing cattle with cancer for consumption.
The Economist: Soft-drinks makers: Flat or fizzy?
- On February 10th, Coca-Cola announced that its profits fell by 55% in the fourth quarter of 2014. The next day, PepsiCo, Coke's rival, revealed that it performed only slightly better, with profits dropping by a quarter.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Sanctions Biting Into Russian Quest for More Meat
- In a country that became the world’s fifth-largest food importer as rising incomes boosted demand for chicken and pork, domestic producers now find it is too expensive to import new equipment and borrowing costs have doubled.
Wall Street Journal: Canada Says BSE-Infected Cow Was Born Two Years After Feed Ban
- Canada said Wednesday a beef cow confirmed to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy was born in March 2009, two years after the country enacted a ban on cattle feed containing animal proteins in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease.
New York Times: At Heart of U.S.-South African Trade Dispute, a Serious Game of International Chicken
- The 40,000 chickens — a few short weeks from becoming Valu-Paks at the supermarket — scratched their way toward the rows of water drips, eager for a little midday sip. Eyeing an open door, one bird made a vague attempt to wander away, before it was gently returned to the brood.
Bloomberg: McDonald’s Brings Back Tenders, Giving Boost to Chicken Industry
- McDonald’s Corp. is bringing chicken tenders back to its menu next month in a move that’s rippling through the poultry industry.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA deadline looms for conservation grants totaling $20 million
- Those interested in applying for up to $1 million in conservation or carbon credit project grant funding through USDA's Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program must submit their project pre-proposals by Feb. 24.
Yahoo: Train carrying 3 million gallons of crude still burning
- Oil from North Dakota's shale fields was still burning in West Virginia a day after a train carrying more than 3 million gallons of crude derailed in a snowstorm, shooting fireballs into the sky.
The Hill: In first for fish, Oregon chub removed from endangered list
- In a first for all fish, the National Wildlife Service removed the Oregon chub from the federal list of endangered and threatened animals.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Don't count on McConnell to make a deal on immigration
- The Kentucky Republican is under intense pressure from conservatives to hold the line against President Obama’s immigration actions, and he shows no signs of backing down.
New York Times: White House Struggles on Immigration Ruling
- President Obama’s lawyers, facing what could be months of delay on the White House’s immigration efforts, are struggling for a response to a Texas judge’s ruling that has imperiled one of the president’s potential legacy achievements.
Roll Call: Possible John Thune Challenger Emerges
- U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson’s resignation could mean Democrats have found a potential candidate to challenge Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., in 2016.
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