Daily Harvest -- 2/20/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: EPA official addresses ethanol industry
- (Audio) The man responsible for the EPA proposal to lower obligations under the RFS addressed members of the renewable fuels industry this week. He said one of the most disappointing things he has heard is that the EPA no longer supports the development of biofuels.
Agri-Pulse: Egg Producers, Humane Society end joint effort on ‘Egg Bill’
- The likelihood for legislation that would mandate hen housing standards nationwide has been weakened after lawmakers failed to include the measure in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Agri-Pulse: Former Rep. Stenholm blasts FDA, food safety regs
- Former Democratic Congressman Charles Stenholm took at shot at FDA's implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Wednesday, saying the agency's proposals aren't based on “sound science.”
Reuters: U.S. farm bill holds crop insurance coverage steady for 2014
- U.S. farmers and bankers have almost a year to get ready for major changes in 2015 as crop insurance rather than direct cash payments to producers becomes the centerpiece of farm policy under the five-year farm bill signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month.
Delmarva Now: Crop insurance for ... poultry? Coons pushes idea
- Congress wants to find out if a federal crop insurance program is feasible when the crop in question is chickens or turkeys.
Christian Science Monitor: What the Farm Bill means for conservation
- Among the biggest conservation wins in the final bill is a provision linking crop insurance subsidies for farmers to conservation practices that protect land and water.
Los Angeles Times: On eggs, hens and cages, Missouri is wrong and California is right
- The Times editorial board says Proposition 2 is not going away, so instead of fighting it, Missouri should focus on building bigger henhouses.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: Hampton Creek Raises $23M to Make Eggs Obsolete
- Hampton Creek Foods Inc. has raised $23 million in Series B financing for plant-based food technology that replaces eggs in foods, from a simple scramble to muffins, cookie dough and condiments.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Obama's order aimed at streamlining export import process
- President Obama today will sign an executive order aimed at streamlining the export and import process for U.S. businesses, the White House said.
Wall Street Journal: 'Three Amigos' Outline Trade Goals at Talks
- Leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico vowed Wednesday to strengthen trade ties and press on with an ambitious trans-Pacific trade pact, even if U.S. President Barack Obama may not be able to count on support from some in his own party.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: Trading System Tackles Waste
- The goal isn't just to develop a new market. The projects also hope to persuade farmers that certain changes in the field can help the environment and boost their operations.
Associated Press: Governor plans $687 million for California drought
- Gov. Jerry Brown and the top Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday announced a $687 million plan to provide immediate help to drought-stricken communities throughout California, including $15 million for those with dangerously low drinking water supplies.
Bloomberg: Drought Damages Vines as California Wineries Go Thirsty
- This year, with precipitation at one-sixth its seasonal average, promises to be even tougher for winegrowers in the area Wine Enthusiast magazine called Wine Region of the Year for 2013.
The Hill: Schumer demands disaster aid for vineyards hit by cold weather
- Schumer said several New York vineyards have suffered major crop damage from the unusually cold weather, and the USDA could help through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
Washington Post: Wild bumblebees falling victim to honeybee diseases worldwide
- Wild bumblebees worldwide are in trouble, probably contracting deadly diseases from their commercialized honeybee cousins, a new study shows.
Reuters: POET-DSM says Iowa cellulosic ethanol plant running by June
- An Iowa ethanol plant that will be one of the first producers of biofuels made from crop waste will be operating by June, a general manager of the plant said in an interview on Tuesday.
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