Daily Harvest -- 3/6/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Avian influenza spreads to Mississippi flyway
- A highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza has been confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Minnesota, marking the first finding of the H5N2 virus in the Mississippi flyway, the Agriculture Department says.
Agri-Pulse: Specialty crop acres growing
- (Audio) The 2012 Census of Agriculture shows a 2 percent increase in acreage for specialty crops, but a 1 percent decline in the number of farmers.
Wall Street Journal: Limits Sought on GMO Corn as Pest Resistance Grows
- U.S. regulators for the first time are proposing limits on the planting of some genetically engineered corn to combat a voracious pest that has evolved to resist the bug-killing crops, a potential blow to makers of biotech seeds.
Kansas City Star: Kansas cattle industry shows bullish signs
- In a positive sign for the Kansas cattle industry, ranchers dug deeper into their pockets this week to pay record prices at a major auction of Angus bulls.
Reuters: Exclusive: Costco working to end use of human antibiotics in chicken
- Costco Wholesale Corp is working toward eliminating the sale of chicken and meat from other animals raised with antibiotics that are vital to fighting human infections, senior executives at the third-largest U.S. retailer told Reuters on Thursday.
Quad City Times: Farm issues focus of Iowa presidential candidate event
- Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee are among the roughly dozen Republicans considering a bid for the White House in 2016 who have committed to attend the Iowa Ag Summit on Saturday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Reuters: Pepsi beats lawsuit alleging diet soda, cancer link
- A federal judge in California has dismissed a proposed class action that alleged a color additive in Pepsi Co's Diet Pepsi and Pepsi One soft drinks could cause cancer and had sought to make the company pay long-term health-monitoring costs for soda drinkers.
Wall Street Journal: GOP Presidential Hopefuls Risk Iowans’ Ire on Ethanol
- How the likely White House contenders navigate the issue will signal how much Republican politics are now driven by the party’s conservative base, which balks at government interference in the marketplace.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Glut Sparks Latest Dilemma: Where to Put It All
- The danger of running out of places to stash crude: Some analysts predict prices, already down 50% since June, could spiral even lower as producers sell oil at a discount to the few remaining buyers with room to store it. Consumers, though, would continue to be big winners as refineries convert an ocean of crude into gasoline and other fuels.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA report says US milk supply largely free of drug residues
- The nation's milk supply is safe and virtually free of drugs, according to a report from the Food and Drug Administration.
Agri-Pulse: Farm to school programs reach over 25.5 million students, report says
- The number of farm to school programs in the U.S. increased 430 percent between 2006 and 2012, according to a report released by the National Farm to School Network (NFSN).
Agri-Pulse: FAO global Food Price Index falls to 55-month low
- The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization's global Food Price Index fell to a 55-month low in February, dropping 1 percent from January and 14 percent below its level a year earlier.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Argentine Soy Prospects Dimmed by Most Rain in 50 Years
- Argentina’s soybean production forecasts are set to be lowered as the highest rainfall in half a century dims the outlook for yields and impedes harvesting.
Los Angeles Times: U.S. farmers making hay with alfalfa exports to China
- Faced with dwindling access to water and arable land, China has little choice but to turn to U.S. farmers to help supply feed for the country's growing herd of dairy cows. Packed with fiber and protein, alfalfa hay is considered the gold standard for forage, and the Western United States is the crop's Côte d'Or.
Reuters: Australia backs farmers on foreign ownership gripes
- The Australian government has sided with farmers who say official data vastly underestimates foreign ownership of the nation's farmland, as it moves to clamp down on overseas purchases of agricultural land.
New York Times: Poor State of India's Subsidies
- The survey estimated that about 54 percent of the wheat and nearly 50 percent of the sugar meant for the poor never get there.
Reuters: China says to spend 33 percent more on grain stockpiling
- China's Finance Ministry said the country will spend 154.6 billion yuan ($24.66 billion) on stockpiling grains, edible oils and other materials in 2015, a rise of 33 percent on the year.
Washington Post: Former Delaware ag secretary leads trade mission
- Michael Scuse now serves as undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He will lead representatives from six state ag departments, as well as 21 agribusinesses and organizations, on the trade mission next week.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Interior secretary under fire on wolf protection
- Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is standing by a proposal to de-list the gray wolf as an endangered species, but she stops short of endorsing legislation to overturn court orders that are keeping the animal under protection.
Des Moines Register: D.M. water lawsuit's targets earn conservation funds
- Three northern Iowa counties that the Des Moines Water Works is threatening to sue will get a share of $1.4 million in state conservation spending to help address the upstream loss of nutrients.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Reuters: H2-B temporary visa program in limbo after Florida court ruling
- A federal judge in Florida has ruled the Department of Labor does not have the authority to enforce H-2B regulations, throwing a visa program that brings thousands of workers to the United States temporarily each year into legal limbo.
The Hill: Texas AG accuses feds of misleading on immigrant work permits
- The Texas Attorney General is accusing the Obama administration of misleading a federal court by renewing about 100,000 work permits for illegal immigrants, under new rules that many did not know had gone into effect.
Reuters: Obama administration asks judge to speed up immigration decision
- The Obama administration asked a federal judge in Texas to decide by Monday whether he will put on hold his prior decision to block the White House's executive orders on immigration, or at least limit the impact to Texas.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack aide leaving to help Clinton
- A longtime aide to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Matt Paul, is leaving USDA to manage Hillary Clinton's campaign in Iowa.
New York Times: Britain Had Wheat Before Farming, Study Says
- DNA from an underwater site suggests that there was wheat in Britain 8,000 years ago — 2,000 years before farming arrived in the region.
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