Daily Harvest -- 2/21/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Farm numbers resume decline but rate of farmland loss slows
- The number of farms and ranches in the United States resumed their long-term declining trend between 2007 and 2012 but the pace of loss of farmland slowed dramatically, the 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed today.
Agri-Pulse: Cotton industry to Brazil: Farm bill program follows WTO rules
- The National Cotton Council today reiterated its support for the new Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) in the 2014 Farm Bill, saying the measure should satisfy the complaints Brazil has made to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the U.S. cotton program.
Agri-Pulse: Proposed tax code changes could cost agriculture $4.8 billion, reduce borrowing capacity
- A new study shows proposed changes to the tax code restricting the use of cash accounting by agricultural operations would reduce agriculture's access to capital by as much as $12.1 billion over the next four years.
Agri-Pulse: USDA sees 'favorable times' long-term for farmers, despite low prices in 2014
- (Subscriber only) The USDA's top economist said he's optimist about the long-term outlook for U.S. farmers despite challenges in 2014 posed by the lowest commodity prices in years.
Financial Times: Grain prices forecast to fall to five-year lows
- (Subscriber only) Grain prices will sink to the lowest levels in half a decade as farmers plant aggressively to replenish low global stocks, the US government said in its first official forecast of the 2014 growing season.
Wall Street Journal: USDA Census: Fewer Farms, but They're Bigger
- The number of farms in the U.S. fell 4.3% between 2007 and 2012, while the average size of farms rose, the Department of Agriculture said in a report Thursday.
Des Moines Register: USDA economist sees growth ahead for ethanol market
- The U.S. Agriculture Department’s top economist said Thursday that U.S. ethanol production is set to grow, though he stopped short of offering details.
Wall Street Journal: Seed Giants Monsanto, DuPont Pursue Soil Deals
- The two biggest U.S. seed companies are pushing deeper into the chemistry of soil, separately striking deals this week to expand data-driven analysis of dirt for farmers.
Agri-Pulse: Corn growers vow to defend the RFS
- (Audio) Corn growers are single-minded when it comes to protecting the Renewable Fuels Standard, according to National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Is That Sausage Worth This?
- This NYT op-ed says a video released by the Humane Society of the United States that pulls back the curtain on the banal brutality of a huge hog operation in Kentucky called Iron Maiden Farms.
The Hill: FDA agrees to deadlines on food safety overhaul
- The largest American food safety update in 70 years will be complete by spring 2016 under the terms of a settlement announced Thursday between food safety advocates.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA proposes new worker protection standards for pesticide use
- EPA today proposed revisions to its Worker Protection Standard for farm workers who regularly deal with pesticides. The revised rules are meant to “protect the nation's two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure,” the agency said in a release.
Los Angeles Times: $687-million California drought relief plan met with mixed reactions
- A proposed $687.4-million drought-relief package unveiled Wednesday was met with mixed reactions, with one state Republican leader calling it a "drop in the bucket."
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Fruits of Immigrant Labor
- Republicans are often first in line to vote for farm subsidies. But when it comes to lending farmers a hand by modernizing the country's guest-worker program, many hide in the corn stalks.
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