Daily Harvest -- 2/19/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate Ag chairman endorses Rubio
- “I think he represents the best opportunity for Republicans to win in November, which is just absolutely crucial if we're going to turn the country back to our more traditional and constitutional principles,” said Kansas Republican Pat Roberts.
Agri-Pulse: White House seeks to speed Cuba opening with Obama visit
- As agricultural exporters look to the possibility of a new market in Cuba, the Obama administration is gearing up for a presidential trip to the Communist-run country next month.
Agri-Pulse: USDA expanding organic crop insurance
- USDA announced Thursday it will give farmers transitioning from conventional to certified organic production the option of purchasing expanded crop insurance coverage.
Reuters: U.S. farmers wary of buying new equipment as crop prices stall
- USDA estimates U.S. net farm income will be $54.8 billion in 2016, down nearly 55 percent from 2013. That means tough times for Deere & Co and rivals AGCO Corp, CNH Industrial NV and Claas KGaA mbH.
L.A. Times: A farmer and a former UCLA football player are running for Congress. Here's why you should pay attention
- Among the major Democrats running to fill the seat of outgoing California Democrat Lois Capps: a boisterous Latino Santa Barbara County supervisor favored by the party's establishment wing, the wonky mayor of Santa Barbara, and an actor-turned-hay-farmer running in the mold of Bernie Sanders.
Washington Post: The surprisingly huge energy footprint of the booming marijuana industry
- A new report, published by data analysis firm New Frontier, highlights the huge energy footprint of marijuana cultivation and outlines strategies to make production more energy efficient — a transition that the authors claim is not only good for the environment, but good for business, too.
Wall Street Journal: Energy Prices Steer Farmers Away From Manure Power
- Despite U.S. encouragement, development of farm waste-to-energy systems wanes.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Grand Forks Herald: Hoeven calls for nationwide GMO labeling standards
- U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., says the clock is ticking. At a biotech industry summit held Thursday at the UND Center for Innovation, he called for federal lawmakers to create labeling standards for genetically modified foods before a Vermont law doing the same goes into effect on July 1.
Reuters: Wal-Mart to create hundreds of fresh food manager roles
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc will create hundreds of management positions as part of a new program aimed at improving the fresh food sections at its U.S. stores, according to people familiar with the matter and a spokesman for the retailer.
Advertising Age: Campbell Soup Dives Into Food Funding
- The company, which has acquired a variety of food businesses to expand beyond its soup heritage, will be the sole limited partner in the new fund, Acre Venture Partners. Campbell is contributing $125 million to the project.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Grassley still optimistic about T-TIP
- (Audio) The Iowa Republican says he wants negotiations to continue, specifically to address issues associated with biotechnology.
Washington Post: Virginia becomes Cuba’s largest U.S.-based agricultural exporter
- Virginia’s exports to Cuba shot up to $42 million last year, allowing the commonwealth to leap past four other states to become the island’s largest source for U.S. agricultural products.
AP: North Korea implores its countrymen to build cars, grow food
- Even as North Korea is being threatened with new sanctions and more isolation for conducting a nuclear test and rocket launch, its ruling party announced new slogans to guide and inspire the nation ahead of a once-in-a-generation party congress scheduled for May.
N.Y. Times: Ontario Farmers Fight to Send a Herd of Ex-Cons Back to the Pen
- Livestock owners, locals and a few celebrities have spent over five years trying to reopen the farm at the Collins Bay Institution, a prison complex.
International Business Times: EU referendum: British farmers conflicted on whether to cut loose from the bloc
- After decades of generous subsidies from Brussels, some British farmers are starting to think the unthinkable – that they might be better off outside the EU.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Resistance to Bt corn prompts new EPA requirements
- (Subscriber only) EPA is imposing new requirements on biotech seed companies to ensure that farmers use a variety of practices, including crop rotation, to guard against rootworm resistance to Bt corn.
Des Moines Register: Why Scalia's death may hurt Iowa farmers
- The next Supreme Court justice could play a decisive role in key agricultural issues pertaining to water and land rights.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Thousands of Latinos stage pro-immigration rally at Capitol
- Bused in from across the state, some 20,000 Latinos amassed at the Capitol Thursday for a "Day Without Latinos" rally demanding a halt to bills that would limit local officials from issuing photo IDs and withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities.
NBCNews: Immigration Bulldog Luis Gutierrez, Latino Heavyweights Endorse Clinton
- Immigration bulldog Luis Gutierrez, Housing Secretary Julián Castro and other Latino heavyweights threw their support behind Hillary Clinton Thursday as the battle for Latino votes ahead of the Nevada caucuses has intensified.
AP: Transcript: Pope Francis on Donald Trump and Immigration
- The Pope discusses Trump's pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and deport 11 million people who are living in the country illegally.
Boulder Weekly: Sowing seeds of tolerance in the agriculture industry
- Dr. Noa Roman-Muniz, associate professor in the department of animal sciences and the extension dairy specialist at Colorado State University (CSU), has devoted her career to developing cultural sensitivity in the agriculture industry. “If you have a healthy and happy workforce,” she says, “you’re going to have animals that are well taken care of, and so you have healthy agriculture.”
Reuters: Ag tech investments double in 2015 despite U.S. farm slump: study
- Investments in agriculture technology startups surged to a record $4.6 billion in 2015 despite a steep drop in U.S. farm income and slumping profit at farm-affiliated companies such as machinery producers and seed makers, according to a study released on Wednesday.
CNN: Cliven Bundy indicted by grand jury
- Cliven Bundy and four others -- including his sons Ryan and Ammon, who led the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon -- were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, according to the U.S. attorney for Nevada.
HawaiiNewsNow: New farmers face obstacles to landing agricultural leases
- To secure a lease for land from the state Department of Agriculture, first-time farmers need to prove they can make a living working the earth.
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