Daily Harvest -- 3/1/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak: March 1, 2016
- (Audio) Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts says GMO labeling bill will move ahead without final deal, First, Vermont's GMO labeling law needs to be stopped. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., may offer a COOL amendment. Also, biotech's impact on food production, hearing on problems in cotton country, and more.
Agri-Pulse: Farm groups, manufacturers ask full appeals court to hear WOTUS challenge
- A wide array of farm and manufacturing groups have asked the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit its decision to decide “waters of the U.S.” challenges in that court.
Ohio AgNet: TPP Coalition Formed
- The expanded coalition leadership now includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Business Roundtable, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Advocate (Baton Rouge): Lawyers in massive coastal erosion lawsuit make case to federal appeals court
- The hearing before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals could determine the ultimate fate of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit, which has been wending its way through the court system since 2013.
Bloomberg: Sugar-Cane Fuel Wins in Brazil as Cheap Ethanol Beats Gasoline
- Brazil’s economic and political crises are proving to be a boon to one of the nation’s most embattled sectors: ethanol producers.
The Gazette: Iowa leads nation in percentage of electricity from wind
- More than 31 percent of in-state electricity was generated from wind energy last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That marks the first time wind has supplied a state with more than 30 percent of its electricity.
Fresno Business Journal: New report calls for ‘balancing’ Valley’s clean energy, food production
- A new report examining the impact of large-scale solar projects on prime ag land says Central Valley planners need to do a better job of balancing clean energy development and agricultural production.
Phys.org: Biofuels from algae: A budding technology yet to become viable
- Despite high expectations and extensive research and investment in the last decade, technological options are still in developing stages and key resources for algal growth are still too onerous for economically viable production of algal biofuels, according to a JRC literature review. No large-scale, commercial algae-to-biofuels facilities have been implemented up until the end of 2015.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Biotech critical for meeting future food demand, experts say
- A top scientist at USDA, a Monsanto executive and other experts agreed Monday that improving on existing biotechnology and developing new agriculture practices are vital to meeting increased global food demand by mid-century - but they didn't say it'll be easy.
Agri-Pulse: The Zika-Agriculture Connection
- (Opinion) The Zika epidemic can become a teachable moment for all forms of biotechnology. Biotechnology will surely not solve all of the world's problems. The challenges we face are very complex, with an still-growing world population, climate change and increased resistance to some existing drugs.
AP: Electronic cards to make WIC easier to use
- USDA will require states to transition from paper vouchers to electronic cards over the next five years. WIC will now use the same type of Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, cards used by food stamp recipients.
The Denver Channel (ABC 7): Boulder commissioners ask for public input on GMO crop policy
- Boulder County Commissioners ask residents about a policy that bans the growth of most GE crops on county open space.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USDA releases 2016 livestock projections
- (Audio) They point toward lower prices and increased supplies across the protein sector.
Bloomberg: ChemChina Seeks $35 Billion in Loans for Syngenta Takeover
- China National Chemical Corp. wants to borrow the money to help fund the purchase of Syngenta AG, in a potential record financing for a Chinese acquisition.
GlobalMeatNews: Animal disease law formally approved by European Parliament agriculture committee
- The European Parliament’s agriculture and rural development committee has backed proposed measures to prevent and stop outbreaks of animal diseases, including avian flu and African swine fever.
FarmingUK: Withdrawal from EU 'could have serious impact on UK farmers'
- In addition to withdrawing from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and other subsidy schemes, UK farmers would lose preferential access to the European market, the Process for Withdrawing from the European Union report said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Supreme Court allows 3rd Circuit decision on Chesapeake Bay pollution plan to stand
- The Supreme Court has decided not to review a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals opinion upholding an EPA plan to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Washington Post: Monarch butterflies and manatees are on a big rebound
- On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that monarch butterfly populations were up about 255 percent in a reserve in Mexico. That good news followed Thursday’s release of a count that showed Florida’s endangered West Indian manatee population rocketed upward for a second year straight.
Washington Post: California is about to get a ton of rain, but it’s still not enough to beat the drought
- Although the weather pattern appears to be changing, the drought is not, and even a wetter-than-average March may be too little, too late.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Courthouse News Service: Final Guilty Plea in Egg Farm Trafficking Case
- The last person indicted on charges of luring children from South America to work on egg farms in Ohio pleaded guilty Monday to labor trafficking conspiracy, the government said. The human trafficking ring sparked a U.S. Senate investigation that revealed systemic flaws within the Department of Health and Human Services that allowed children who arrived at the border unaccompanied to fall into the hands of human traffickers.
Agri-View: Farm retirement/transfer crisis looming?
- There’s a potential crisis of inertia brewing in agriculture. With the average farmer now nearly 60 years old, and 60 percent of farmers without retirement and/or up-to-date estate plans in place, a good chunk of U.S. farm production could be left in limbo in the not-so-distant future.
MPRNews: USDA rejects whistleblower's appeal
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rejected an appeal by a scientist who says his pesticide research was repressed.
Sacramento Bee: Historic Yosemite names scraped off, covered in trademark dispute
- By midnight, all such signs, napkins, telephone nameplates, bars of soap and other materials bearing the names “Ahwahnee,” “Curry Village” or “Yosemite Lodge” were expected to be removed or covered up – the result of a battle between the U.S. government and the park’s outgoing concessionaire over what the names are worth.
Washington Post: National Zoo’s Kids’ Farm shut down after E. coli found in some animals
- Staff members have not been affected, and the animals, which have since been quarantined, have not shown signs of illness.
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