Daily Harvest -- 2/23/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Feb. 23, 2016
- (Audio) A new study estimates Vermont’s mandatory biotech labeling law – if allowed nationwide – would increase the cost of U.S. food production by about $82 billion per year, or about $1,050 per family. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: APHIS seeks to streamline approval process for related GE organisms
- New guidance from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeks to streamline the process of extending nonregulated status to genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products derived from known plant pests, or regulated articles.
Reuters: U.S. Senate moves closer to confirming Califf to lead FDA
- The U.S. Senate on Monday moved closer to confirming Dr. Robert Califf to lead the Food and Drug Administration, overriding opposition from several senators who had sought to block a vote on the issue.
Capital Press: Minnesota farmland prices slip after years of increases
- According to an analysis by the University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics, the average median price of farm real estate in Minnesota dropped 5.5 percent during the first nine months of 2015, from $4,878 to $4,611 per acre.
ABC News: Panel Approves Moratorium on Gas Operations After Big Leak
- A bill to extend a moratorium on operations at the natural gas storage facility that had a massive leak for almost four months was approved Monday by a legislative committee, though members were concerned it could lead to power outages.
The Hill: Fracking pioneer to advise Rubio on energy
- Larry Nichols, the co-founder and former chief of Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas driller Devon Energy Corp., will head a campaign steering committee on energy and be Rubio’s top adviser on the subject, his campaign said.
Reuters: Statkraft, partners to build Europe's largest onshore wind farm for 1.1 bln euros
- Renewables producer Statkraft and partners will build what it said was Europe's largest onshore wind farm for 1.1 billion euros ($1.21 billion) in Norway, capable of producing 1,000 megawatts.
Quartz: The next big shift in the global oil market is underway, and it centers on India
- India is set to surpass Japan as the world’s third-largest consumer of crude oil, behind the US and China.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: What America can learn from the U.K.’s massive sodium experiment
- We have population-wide studies that lowered sodium intake for just about everyone, without their knowing it. And the United Kingdom? They have the best-documented population-wide sodium reduction – the stuff of dreams for statisticians.
New York Times: Cereal, a Taste of Nostalgia, Looks for Its Next Chapter
- Since the late 1990s, cereal’s popularity has been slowly fading. Sales, which totaled $13.9 billion in 2000, dipped last year to about $10 billion.
Statesman Journal: Eastern Oregon man takes on 30,000 cage-free chickens
- At 20,000 square feet, the hen house is longer than a football field and divided into three main rows where the birds are free to wander and roost. By summer, Zehr plans to turn the chickens out onto pasture, but for now he keeps them inside over concerns of avian flu.
Nasdaq: Dean Foods Profit Rises, But Milk Sales Volume Slumps
- Dean Foods Co. reported a sharp decline in milk sales by volume, reviving investor concerns over growth prospects for the biggest U.S. milk processor despite a surge in quarterly profits.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Obama sees ag benefits in TPP
- (Audio) His administration is working to gather support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and that means President Barack Obama is trying to sell the agreement from all sides – including agriculture.
Financial Times: Australia approves Chinese purchase of country’s biggest dairy
- Australia has approved the sale of the country’s largest dairy to a Chinese investor in a bid to end a controversy that risked souring Sino-Australian relations and dividing communities on the remote island of Tasmania.
New York Times: Sysco to Acquire Brakes Group, a Food Distributor in Europe
- Sysco said Monday it had agreed to acquire the Brakes Group, a European food distributor, for $3.1 billion, and the repayment of about $2.3 billion of the Brakes Group’s debt. Sysco plans to finance the acquisition with new debt and cash, and expects it to be immediately accretive to earnings.
New York Times: Kenyans Reacquire an Old Taste: Eating Healthier
- (Opinion) A diet of corn or rice may keep a person alive, but can result in myriad health issues from night-blindness to severe anemia.
Virginian-Pilot: USDA invests $400,000 to upgrade Port Royal's water system
- The office said in a news release that the funds will help install a new tank and emergency generator and will replace water meters and water lines.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: US, Canada vow to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Erie
- The United States and Canada have agreed to develop plans that would reduce the amount of phosphorus pollution entering Lake Erie by 40 percent, based on 2008 loading levels.
Agri-Pulse: Appeals panel sides with feds in WOTUS jurisdiction ruling
- (Subscriber only) The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals presented a laundry list of reasons why it should not decide the legal challenges to the Obama administration's WOTUS rule. But, in a decision released Monday, the panel said its hands were tied by precedent.
Washington Times: Duplicity at the Gold King Mine
- (Opinion) House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, suggests the Gold King Mine disaster wasn’t just an accident, and the EPA is squarely to blame.
LA Times: Panel approves recall petition against Michigan governor over Flint water crisis
- After rejecting several similar petitions in recent weeks, Michigan's Board of State Canvassers on Monday approved a recall petition against Gov. Rick Snyder over the lead contamination of Flint's drinking water.
ABC News: Professor estimates Flint has 8,000-plus lead service pipes
- A University of Michigan-Flint professor said Monday that the city has more than 8,000 old lead pipes running from water mains to homes and businesses, an estimate the mayor plans to use in ultimately replacing all of the service lines.
New York Times: Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries
- The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
EHS Today: UCLA Researchers: California Is Failing to Assess Health Risks to Workers, Public of Pesticide Mixtures
- A UCLA study has found that the state agency responsible for protecting Californians from the dangers of pesticides is failing to assess the health risks likely posed by pesticide mixtures, which are believed to be more harmful than individual pesticides.
Arkansas Online: Prison farms a growing concern for some critics
- On any given day, about 400 Arkansas prison inmates head out to the farm – some driving large equipment, others packaging thousands of pounds of vegetables and grain, or meticulously picking through 100,000 eggs a day.
Western Producer: AgCoalition formed in Alta. to work on farm worker bill
- A coalition of 30 Alberta, Canada, commodity groups has developed a strategy to deal with upcoming consultations on the controversial Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.
Reuters: AT&T and Intel Team Up to Test Drone Technology
- Wireless provider AT&T Inc said on Monday it will partner with chipmaker Intel Corp to test the functionality of drones on its high-speed LTE wireless network.
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