Daily Harvest -- 3/3/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak: March 3, 2016
- (Audio) Oregon senator Merkley introduces bill to disclose presence of GMO ingredients; FDA head says arsenic-in-rice analysis is high priority; more.
Agri-Pulse: New ag group planning 'bank' for growers to store data from farm operations
- (Subscriber only) The newly formed Agricultural Data Coalition plans to establish a data repository where farmers can securely store and oversee the information collected by modern tractors, harvesters, drones and other devices.
AgWeb: Krysta Harden Joins DuPont After Leaving USDA
- Krysta Harden, the former U.S. deputy secretary of agriculture, will join DuPont as vice president of public policy and chief sustainability officer.
NPR: One Day After Indictment, Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Dies In Car Crash
- Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. who was charged Tuesday with orchestrating a conspiracy, died in a car crash Wednesday morning, Oklahoma City Police said.
Austin American-Statesman: Appeals court upholds Texas’ controversial plan to protect dune lizard
- Texas’ voluntary and privately administered plan to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard is legal and adequate to protect the species, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The decision appears to end challenges to the state’s conservation plan by environmental groups that argued Texas’ efforts are unenforceable and so leave the species vulnerable to development by oil and gas companies.
Bloomberg BNA: Moniz Says ARPA-E Funding Needed for New Technologies
- Increased funding for the Energy Department's program to push high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that aren't quite ready for private-sector investment is important to support early-stage clean energy technologies, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said March 1 at an annual showcase of energy innovations
N.Y. Times: Does a Carbon Tax Work? Ask British Columbia
- The B.C. experience shows that cutting carbon emissions enough to make a difference in preventing global warming remains a difficult challenge. But the most important takeaway for American skeptics is that the policy basically worked as advertised.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: APHIS extends comment period on plan to overhaul biotech regs
- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is allowing another 45 days for comments on its plans to overhaul its biotechnology regulations and the scope of a planned environmental impact statement.
VermontBiz: Leahy, others introduce GMO food labeling legislation
- Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Wednesday introduced legislation that would ensure that consumers can find GMO ingredient labeling on food packaging while ensuring that food producers are not subject to confusing or conflicting labeling requirements in different locations.
N.Y. Times: No Need for GMO Labels, dairy official says
- (Letter) Contrary to the Times' editorial, Senator Pat Roberts’ approach to dealing with mandatory genetically modified organism, or GMO, labeling is realistic, shows leadership and provides good guidance.
Washington Post: Good news, feds: Goodies is opening a soda fountain in the USDA building
- Goodies has cream, root beer and orange sodas from Sprecher on tap along with cold-brew nitro coffee. You'll also be able to grab an old-fashioned bottle of Coke and sip house-made ginger beer and cold-brewed tea
NPR: Slice The Price Of Fruits And Veggies, Save 200,000 Lives?
- Lowering the price of fruits and vegetables by 30 percent can save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years — roughly the population of Des Moines, Iowa. That's the message being touted by researchers this week at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology meeting in Phoenix.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba pushing for enhanced Cuban trade
- (Audio) The Obama administration is working to end a trade embargo and increase trade with Cuba, and many think U.S. agriculture would stand to gain a great deal from that improved relationship.
Agri-Pulse: US poultry welcomed in South Africa after trade barriers removed
- U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman joined senators from the two top poultry-producing states and the president of the National Chicken Council Wednesday to announce that after 15 years of unwarranted trade barriers, U.S. poultry has arrived in South Africa.
Agri-Pulse: US ag exports to China wane on stronger dollar, domestic policy
- China's much ballyhooed economic slowdown is real, but the country's internal policies and a strong U.S. dollar are often causing bigger disruptions to U.S. agricultural trade with the Asian nation, according to Fred Gale, a senior economist at USDA's Economic Research Service.
High Plains Journal: NAWG participates in U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba press conference
- National Association of Wheat Growers President Brett Blankenship joined agriculture leaders from the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba to show support for the progress made to open up trade with Cuba and advance the agricultural exports and industry.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
LancasterOnline: Lancaster County farmers urged to take survey to document their work cleaning up Chesapeake Bay
- Some 33,600 Pennsylvania farmers, including every English and Plain Sect farmer in Lancaster County, are being urged to complete online or mailed surveys to document their pollution-prevention measures.
Capital Press: Farmers challenge USDA’s GMO bentgrass plan
- About 50 farmers and irrigation district officials showed up at a meeting in Ontario, Ore., March 1 to voice their concern for a USDA-approved plan to manage genetically engineered creeping bentgrass that escaped from field trials 13 years ago.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Roll Call: Obama Administration Cites Appropriations to Defend Immigration Actions
- The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security is allowed to use broad discretion in deportation decisions because Congress doesn’t appropriate enough money to the agency to fully enforce immigration laws.
AP: Missouri company cited in farm worker's death
- OSHA is seeking fines totaling $189,000 from Sharpe Holdings Inc., a La Belle cattle and dairy farm where three workers have died over three years. The latest citations stem from last September's death of a 51-year-old worker who was ejected from a van that did not have safety belts, secure passenger seats or a latched rear door.
Napa Valley Register: 6.4 million state grant will retrain 1,108 unemployed farmworkers
- The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has awarded a $6.4 million grant to La Cooperativa Campesina de California, a Sacramento-based nonprofit consortium serving farmworkers statewide.
Wine-Searcher: Ridge Fined Over Farmworker Violations
- Farm labor contractor Four Seasons Vineyard Management (FSVM) and Ridge were fined a total of $42,600 for providing "deplorable" housing for farm workers, the US Department of Labor reported last week.
FedScoop: USDA plans to share IT innovation lab
- USDA Deputy CIO Joyce Hunter said the lab would bring in IT specialists from USDA and house them at the partner department. Their research at the lab would focus on topics like smart cities, IT best practices and government data.
Law360: Smucker Goes After E-Cig Co. For Using 'Uncrustable' Mark
- Jelly maker J.M. Smucker Co. slapped e-cigarette company Hand Media Inc. with a suit in Ohio federal court Wednesday, accusing the company of diluting the "Uncrustable" trademark for its peanut-butter-and-jelly pocket sandwich by selling a crust-reducing accessory for e-cigarettes.
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