Daily Harvest -- 3/2/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Fight resumes over school nutrition standards
- School nutrition directors and the Obama administration are drawing lines for a coming battle over reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that raised standards for school meals.
Agri-Pulse: Six-part series looks at 'Packing Political Punch in Rural America'
- Does rural America still pack the same political punch it did in years gone by? With fewer farmers feeding more people, farmland shrinking and the sons and daughters of the country migrating to the city, is there a disconnect between farmers, their city cousins and the legislators who represent the diverse groups?
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Ambassador Darci Vetter
- In this week’s Open Mic, Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, provides an update on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPA) negotiations, as well as the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks.
Agri-Pulse: USDA extends base acre reallocation deadline to March 31
- USDA is extending the deadline for producers to update their base yields or reallocate their base acres to March 31, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. The original deadline was today.
Associated Press: NY farmers lobby Congress for immigration reform, food rules
- The New York Farm Bureau released its 2015 priorities during a recent trip to Washington to meet with the state's congressional delegation.
Des Moines Register: The good news on ethanol: U.S. a ‘biofuels superpower’
- Every day nearly a thousand railroad cars roll across the country carrying part of the soaring U.S. energy production that has shaken the global oil cartel and sent gasoline prices plummeting. The cargo is ethanol made from home-grown corn.
KSFY: Proposed ethanol plant in SD would push production westward
- Plans for South Dakota's westernmost ethanol plant are moving forward following the rezoning of land in Onida despite complaints from residents.
New York Times: British Fail to Block German-Russian Energy Deal
- The German utility RWE and a Russian-controlled investment company signaled on Sunday that they expected to complete a deal for the oil and gas subsidiary RWE Dea on Monday, despite objections from the British government.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what’s in food
- In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offers this idea: Use your smartphone.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Trade tops Vilsack's agenda at Commodity Classic
- (Audio) International trade made up one-third of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s address at 2015 Commodity Classic Friday in Phoenix as he urged corn, soybean, sorghum and wheat farmers to stress to Congress the importance of Trade Promotion Authority.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack, ex-ag secretaries urge Congress to pass trade authority, TPP
- A bipartisan group of former U.S. agriculture secretaries going back to the Carter administration is urging Congress to pass fast-track trade promotion authority (TPA) as a way to help President Obama conclude trade deals with a group of Pacific Rim nations and with the European Union.
Reuters: Ukraine crisis seen softening political ground for foreign farm land sales
- The crisis in Ukraine looks set to trigger major changes in its vast agricultural sector with state-owned farm land and small family plots likely to go up for sale despite concerns over the impact on local farmers, according to development experts.
Reuters: Canadian farmers store fertilizer to fight dealers' pricing power
- Canadian farmers are plowing profits from bumper crops into fertilizer storage facilities to mitigate the pricing power held by major retailers and producers.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: NRCS likely to get full $4.4 billion budget requested
- House ag appropriators expressed support as they heard Jason Weller, chief of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS), explain the agency's $4.4 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2016.
Wall Street Journal: California Farmers Face Another Year Without Federal Water
- California farmers will be cut off federal water imports for the second straight year, in a move likely to worsen crop losses in the nation’s biggest agricultural state.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: House Republicans Vow to Continue Battle Against Immigration Measures
- House Republican leaders vowed Sunday to keep trying to block President Barack Obama ’s immigration measures as they continue to struggle over how to keep funding the Homeland Security Department.
Washington Post: Tribes from around US gather to discuss legal marijuana
- The Justice Department’s December announcement that it would allow the nation’s Indian tribes to legalize and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution — if not silence or opposition — from many tribes.
Traverse City Record-Eagle: Michigan's hops acres set to double with 400-acre farm
- A Traverse City investment group that typically invests in commercial real estate, MI Local Investment, is prepared to break ground on a 400-acre hops farm in Williamsburg once the ground thaws.
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