Daily Harvest -- 2/22/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak Monday, February 22nd
- (Audio) This is shaping up to be a make-or-break week for congressional action to block Vermont’s first-in-the-nation requirements for labeling biotech foods.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Roberts, Stabenow seek deal on biotech labeling
- The clock is ticking this week for senators to reach agreement on a biotech labeling bill that can win enough Democratic support to reach President Obama's desk.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Richard Wilkins, President of the American Soybean Association
- (Audio) Wilkins discusses how the vacancy on the Supreme Court may affect the Obama administration’s environmental policy, the soybean farmer’s view of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, whether or not the new farm bill protects farmers during times of lower crop prices and the ASA’s view of proposed cuts to crop insurance.
Agri-Pulse: Meet the Lawmaker: Mike Rogers, Alabama's 3rd District
- (Video) Republican Mike Rogers talks with Agri-Pulse about his legislative background, how he sees the connection between food and national security, and why he wants to see a split farm bill on the House floor.
Washington Times: Nebraska could be latest state to OK ‘right-to-farm’ law
- The proposed constitutional amendment would guarantee the right to “engage in farming and ranching practices” and prevent the Legislature from passing new regulations without a compelling state interest.
Post Star: Farm Bureau faults Cuomo plan to give farm trucks toll break
- The New York Farm Bureau says Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to give farm trucks a break on Thruway tolls that could save farmers $5 million annually for three years is a “drop in the bucket.”
New York Times: Iowans Urge Senator Charles Grassley to Hold Hearings on Court Nominee
- As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Grassley must decide whether to schedule a confirmation hearing on a court nominee, arguably giving him more power than any other individual senator in deciding if the process will move forward.
LA Times: Colorado debates organic labels for marijuana
- Colorado started work Friday on becoming the first state to regulate organic labels in its pot industry, with other legal weed states watching to see whether they too should step in to help consumers wondering what's on their weed.
Agri-Pulse: RFA looking to boost E85, FFVs in 2016
- (Audio) The Renewable Fuels Association is concerned about the future of Flex Fuel Vehicles and is launching a new outreach campaign targeted at vehicle manufacturers.
Clean Technica: Renewables Account For Lion’s Share Of Energy Transactions In 2015
- Renewables accounted for the lion’s share of all power and utility transactions during 2015, according to a new report from EY.
The Sentinel: Energy Lessons: Solar arrays meet expectations but energy credit revenue falls short
- Solar arrays built for two local school districts have met expectations in terms of power output, but revenue from the sale of energy credits has fallen off dramatically.
Nasdaq: Energy Meeting Convenes Under Cloud
- Hundreds of oil-and-gas executives and world leaders are expected to gather for IHS CERAWeek, the annual confab in the world's energy capital, which routinely draws influential players across the sector.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Roberts proposes GMO bill in bid to speed Senate action
- (Subscriber only) Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts proposed legislation to block state GMO labeling laws, warning that time is running out to protect farmers and food companies from requirements set to take effect in Vermont this July.
Sacramento Bee: Sacramento firm sells food producers on UCD technology
- At RF Biocidics headquarters in North Natomas, CEO Craig Powell and a team of roughly 20 employees are trying to sell a cautious industry on a chemical-free alternative to killing the pests, pathogens and fungi that infest food.
New York Times: Maple Syrup Makers in New York Savor Aftertaste of a Mild Winter
- With temperatures well into the 50s in some places, sap began to flow, kick-starting a business in upstate New York that has enjoyed record levels of production in three of the past five years.
New York Times: Wellness App Aims to Improve Workplace Nutrition
- A growing number of companies are offering their employees digital tools to help improve their eating habits in hopes of increasing productivity, reducing sick days and cutting health care costs.
New York Times: Remember That Wedding Where We Ate Elk?
- Chicken, beef or fish: These generic dinner options are disappearing from wedding menus as newlyweds seek ways to make sure their guests remember their special day. Increasingly, food is the hook.
The Australian: Inventor looses ketchup challenge to Kraft Heinz
- Scott White, a risk manager for the Chicago Housing Authority, claimed Heinz stole his patented idea for a flexible condiment package he called the “CondiCup” that would fit in a car’s drink holder and allow people to dip French fries and other finger foods.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
LA Times: Editorial: Shutting off the flow of slave labor goods to the U.S.
- (Opinion) That's right, you read it correctly: The nation stands against importing goods made by slave labor unless we really want them.
Munchies: This Italian MEP Wants to Ban ‘Italian-Sounding’ Food Names
- Some Italian politicians want to draw a line in the sand by imposing an all-out ban on the so-called “Italian-sounding” names being used to give frozen pizzas and pre-made risottos an Italian flare.
Yahoo News: Lavish Celebrations for Mugabe's Birthday, Despite Drought
- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has marked his 92nd birthday Sunday with private celebrations while a massive event is planned for next week amid the country's widespread drought.
LA Times: In India, a coconut picker takes work hazards in stride
- Pandurang Naik climbs about 20 trees a day to harvest coconuts in India's Goa state. It's the only work he knows: “I am not educated,” he said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: FWS agrees to consult with EPA on effects of atrazine, glyphosate on species
- (Subscriber only) Restrictions on atrazine and glyphosate to protect endangered plants and animals across the country may be in the cards as the result of a settlement reached between an environmental group and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Sacramento Bee: ‘Excessive water users’ fine would elevate drought-shaming to California policy
- Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced Senate Bill 814, which would require local water districts to set a definition of “excessive water use” and then fine customers by up to $500 for every 748 gallons, of water above the limit when the state has declared emergency drought conditions.
ABC News: Agencies investing more than $40M for restoring forests
- This is the third year of the Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership between USDA’s NRCS and Forest Service to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Huffington Post: Questions Farm Workers Have for Bernie Sanders
- (Opinion) Arturo S. Rodríguez, president of the United Farm Workers, writes that the UFW respects Sen. Sanders’ record on many issues, but is troubled by his contradictory immigration record.
New York Times: An Outspoken Force to Give Food Workers a Seat at the Table
- Colors, a Manhattan restaurant opened by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, makes sure tipped workers make wages of at least $9 an hour and receive paid time off and health insurance.
Agri-Pulse: Dow, DuPont ag company to have Midwest presence
- The new agriculture company to be created after the merger of DuPont and Dow would have its headquarters in DuPont's hometown of Wilmington, Del., with “global business centers” in Iowa and Indiana.
Nasdaq: Deere Trims Sales and Profit Forecast
- The revised outlook underscored the continued unraveling of demand for Deere's green and yellow farm machinery, suggesting that the slump that started in 2014 could extend into 2017.
LA Times: More than $1 million paid to head of L.A. County Fair Assn. as financial losses mount
- Federal tax returns filed by the association show that CEO James Henwood Jr. was paid $1,045,088 in salary and benefits in 2014. His total compensation has risen 90% since 2009 - the last year the Fair Assn. finished in the black.
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