Daily Harvest -- 2/24/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Drought issue hovering over lawmakers
- Congress returns from its recess today and many agricultural stakeholders are watching for what lawmakers do to assist with the devastating drought in Southern California.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with John Miller, VP for Agricultural Operations BNSF
- (Audio) The trains are running slow in this very cold winter but the BNSF Railway plans for speeding up service and building up in the years ahead, says John Miller, Group Vice President for Agricultural Operations.
Politico: FAA risks losing drone war
- Thanks to falling prices, spotty enforcement and the fact that it’s almost impossible to spot the devices being used, the FAA is often powerless to halt the growing drone swarm.
Wall Street Journal: Supply Worries Boost Sugar Prices
- Sugar prices are climbing as projections from industry groups add to anxieties that there might be less of the sweetener to go around.
Washington Post: How to deal with sugar
- The editorial board opines that an effective anti-obesity policy would include taxes on certain bad-for-you foods, which would tend to discourage unhealthy habits without objectionable restrictions on consumer choice.
Omaha World Herald: Farm bill refigures agriculture funding, but money still flowing to aid farmers
- The new federal law seems aimed at ensuring — thanks to taxpayer help — that the good times now enjoyed by farm country keep rolling.
Des Moines Register: New ethanol industry blooms in Iowa, but it could soon be uprooted
- Three big U.S. production plants will begin making the next generation of biofuels this year - two of them in Iowa. But a proposed rule change could cut demand.
Associated Press: California almond farmers face tough choices
- With California's agricultural heartland entrenched in drought, almond farmers are letting orchards dry up and in some cases making the tough call to have their trees torn out of the ground, leaving behind empty fields.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Los Angeles Times: Planned food safety rules rile organic farmers
- Local growers are discovering that proposed FDA regulations would curtail many common techniques, such as using house-made fertilizers and irrigating from creeks.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: TPP and T-TIP trade talk
- (Audio) The day after he spoke to USDA’s Outlook Forum, USTR Ambassador Michael Froman traveled to Singapore for a round of TPP ministerial duties. National Pork Producers Council’s Nick Giordano said Japan wants to exempt an unprecedented 586 tariff line items, many of them agricultural products.
New York Times: After Farmers Commit Suicide, Debts Fall on Families in India
- India’s small farmers, once the country’s economic backbone and most reliable vote bank, are increasingly being left behind. With global competition and rising costs cutting into their lean profits, their ranks are dwindling, as is their contribution to the gross domestic product.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Sacramento Bee: Forecast: ‘Zero’ water for many Central Valley farms
- Federal officials announced Friday that the ongoing drought in California means there likely will be no water available for agricultural water customers in the Central Valley this year, including its customers in the Sacramento Valley.
New York Times: Obama to Propose Shift in Wildfire Funding
- President Obama’s annual budget request to Congress will propose a significant change in how the government pays to fight wildfires, administration officials said, a move that they say reflects the ways in which climate change is increasing the risk for and cost of those fires.
Los Angeles Times: Severe drought? California has been here before
- A thousand-year tree-ring study shows that deep droughts come with the territory. Now the issue is how to deal with them.
Washington Post: Twin storms to douse parched California
- Meteorologists forecast a pair of storms that could dump several inches of rain on parched cities and croplands throughout California in the coming week, bringing welcome news to a state that has just endured its driest year in recorded history.
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