Daily Harvest -- 2/23/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Agribusiness wary of DHS shutdown; Vilsack, McCarthy face lawmakers
- The partisan showdown over funding the Department of Homeland Security comes to a head this week with the looming expiration of a stopgap funding bill.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Amy Klobuchar
- (Audio) In this week's Open Mic, Sen. Klobuchar explains why policy changes in Cuba and the construction of a new port facility make the time right to turn the page on U.S. trade policy toward the communist island nation.
Agri-Pulse: USDA releases supply and demand estimates for major crops
- The following are USDA's supply and demand projections for the major U.S. crops. The estimates were released early today at the department's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.
Agri-Pulse: Contract settlement ends West Coast port slowdown
- West Coast ports are resuming full operation after settlement of a labor dispute that snarled Asia-bound traffic for weeks, hitting meat and produce exports especially hard.
Los Angeles Times: Despite West Coast ports' labor deal, normality not yet on horizon
- West Coast ports are emerging from the most contentious labor dispute in more than a decade, but lingering resentment and structural problems may complicate a return to normality.
Brownfield: Roberts: crop insurance cuts need to be stopped
- Senator Pat Roberts says there are people who believe that crop insurance subsidies should be reformed, which he says is the nice way to describe a cut.
Agri-Pulse: Under fire from RFA, EPA promises renewable fuels rules by spring
- (Subscriber only) Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen launched RFA's National Ethanol Conference here in Texas Thursday with a direct attack on EPA. EPA responded with an apology and a promise to deliver the long overdue biofuels volume requirements sometime this spring.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Sen. Dole expresses concerns about dietary guidelines
- The co-author of the original “Dietary Guidelines” supports much of the latest committee's recently released report on nutrition, but also expressed some strong concerns.
Wall Street Journal: 5 Things to Know About the New Food Guidelines
- The guidelines, which form the basis of the MyPlate icon (formerly the food pyramid), represent the government’s final word on what constitutes a healthy diet.
New York Times: Obama Proposes Single Overseer for Food Safety
- The Obama administration wants a single new agency to sweep all that away: the Food Safety Administration, a colossus that would be housed within the Department of Health and Human Services to “provide focused, centralized leadership, a primary voice on food safety standards and compliance with those standards,” the administration said in its new budget request.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USTR's Vetter says TPA 'critical' for concluding trade treaties
- Darci Vetter, the U.S. Trade Representative's chief agricultural negotiator, said her team has made "significant progress" in recent talks with Japan regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership but she says Congress needs to pass fast-track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to get the deal over the finish line.
Agri-Pulse: Top Senate Democrat says no deal on TPA
- The Senate Finance Committee's top Democrat, Ron Wyden of Oregon, is accusing Republicans of moving prematurely to advance President Obama's trade agenda, including a bill to give the him the fast-track negotiating authority to finish a Pacific Rim agreement.
Agri-Pulse: Former trade ambassador speaks at ethanol conference
- (Audio) Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk was keynote speaker at the Renewable Fuels Association National Ethanol Conference last week, where the theme was “going global.”
Reuters: EU agriculture commissioner plans help for pork prices hit by Russian ban
- European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan pledged on Sunday to take steps to support pork prices in an effort to help the industry as it reels from a Russian import ban.
Reuters: Modi bets on GM crops for India's second green revolution
- On a fenced plot not far from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home, a field of mustard is in full yellow bloom, representing his government's reversal of an effective ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops.
The Telegraph: Farmers: UK losing ability to feed itself
- An "alarming" decline in food production at British farms will leave shoppers at the mercy of prices and quality elsewhere in the world, a report will warn this week.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Japan's agriculture minister resigns amid questions over political funding, denies wrongdoing
- Japan's agriculture minister resigned Monday following questions over his handling of political funding contributions, the latest in a series of such resignations.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Senate Republicans eye new strategy in immigration fight
- Senate Republican leaders are plotting a new strategy that they hope will allow them to prevent a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) next week.
Forbes: Deere Sales Suffer From Farming Downturn
- Deere cut its profit forecast for the year and reported declining first quarter earnings, as it continues to grapple with a U.S. farming downturn that has translated into lower demand for its equipment.
High Plains Journal: Students use National FFA week to share importance of agriculture
- More than a half-million students in all 50 states will share the importance of agriculture in our daily lives, spread their passion for agriculture and host communitywide events to help others in need Feb. 21 to 28.
Tri-State Neighbor: Poultry company looks to bring 6 million chickens to S.D. town
- A Sioux Falls-based poultry company is seeking permits to build its first South Dakota operation. The proposed 6 million-chicken laying barn near Parker, S.D., would be the state’s largest poultry operation.
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