Daily Harvest -- 2/26/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Julie Borlaug on biotech, GMO labeling and food aid
- (Audio) Julie Borlaug, the granddaughter of the father of the Green Revolution, believes agriculture should communicate the benefits of biotechnology on a more personal level.
Wall Street Journal: Data Harvesting Worries Farmers
- Monsanto, DuPont and other companies are racing to roll out "prescriptive planting" technology to farmers across the U.S. who know from years of experience that tiny adjustments in planting depth or the distance between crop rows can make a big difference in revenue at harvest time.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Big food firms improve social policies under pressure, Oxfam says
- Driven by consumer pressure, nine out of the world's 10 biggest food and beverage companies improved their social and environmental policies over the past year, according to an assessment by the worldwide development organization Oxfam.
New York Times: Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade
- Federal health authorities on Tuesday reported a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade, the first broad decline in an epidemic that often leads to lifelong struggles with weight and higher risks for cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Washington Post: In a first, Agriculture Dept. plans to regulate food marketing in schools
- For the first time, the federal government plans to regulate how food is marketed in public schools, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to reduce the allure of unhealthy foods to the nation’s children.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks End Without Deal
- Negotiators from the U.S. and 11 other nations in the Asian-Pacific region failed to ink a free-trade pact but claimed to be moving toward a deal.
Financial Times: Thailand’s rice mountain offers grain of hope to neighbours
- (Subscriber only) The government’s pledge to buy rice from farmers at 40-50 per cent above market pushed up the price of Thai rice and made it uncompetitive in the global market.
Wall Street Journal: Oats Stuck in Canada Clog the Market
- Some farmers and industry analysts say the railroads are ignoring grain in favor of carrying crude oil because it is more lucrative to transport.
Financial Times: US farmers attack Europe on trade talks impasse
- (Subscriber only) The powerful US farm lobby is souring on trade talks with the European Union, charging that Brussels is unwilling to consider any relaxation of health-based curbs on American food imports and warning that it would fight the deal on Capitol Hill if it is shut out.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Bayer releases product to reduce seed dust harmful to bees
- Bayer CropSciences designed a new seed lubricant, which it made available for growers in the United States today, for corn and soybean seeds that helps reduce the release of seed dust and may consequently improve bee health.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $3 million for a new pollinator program
- USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today it will provide close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance for interested farmers and ranchers to help improve bee forage.
NPR: Why Farmers Can Prevent Global Warming Just As Well As Vegetarians
- A new study argues that eating less meat isn't a very practical climate-protection recipe for developing countries, where demand for meat is rising most quickly.
The Hill: Senate passes bill to improve drought response
- The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that reauthorizes a federal program aimed at assessing the effects of and responding to droughts.
Los Angeles Times: Another drought victim -- grass-fed beef
- Marin Sun Farms, one of the pioneers of grass-fed beef, is going to start feeding some of its cattle on grain. There’s just not enough grass to keep them alive.
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