Daily Harvest -- 3/9/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 9, 2016
- (Audio) Trump and Sanders take Michigan; biotech bill in final stages; Obama antitrust officials to be questioned; States air EPA complaints; and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Deputy Commissioner Taylor to leave FDA
- Michael Taylor, who's been leading FDA's implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is leaving the agency as of June 1.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack tackles opioid abuse in talk to OB-GYN group
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke again about the ravages of opioid abuse this morning, telling the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that a combination of poverty and isolation makes the problem especially difficult to address in rural communities.
New York Times: The Internet Haves and Have Nots
- (Opinion) Under the plan put forward by the commission’s chairman, Tom Wheeler, and another commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, poor families will be able to apply the $9.25-a-month subsidy they are entitled to for telephone service under the Lifeline program to an Internet plan if they wish.
Washington Post: Marijuana oil bill clears last hurdle in Virginia legislature
- A bill meant to pave the way for producing therapeutic marijuana oils in Virginia cleared its last legislative hurdle on Tuesday.
Agri-Pulse: Renewable energy gets top billing in DOE's 2017 budget plan
- (Subscriber only) Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spelled out the Obama administration's contested energy policy priorities in a series of congressional hearings that began last week and continue this week.
Clean Technica: For More Renewable Energy, Put More Women In Power
- (Opinion) On this International Women’s Day, the fact that the executive ranks of the nation’s energy industry remains heavily populated by “ageing white male engineers” is worth renewed consideration.
Wall Street Journal: Whole Foods Reaches Installation Deals With SolarCity, NRG Energy
- Whole Foods Market Inc. reached separate agreements with SolarCity Corp. and NRG Energy Inc. to install rooftop solar-power systems on many of the organic- and natural-foods supermarket chain’s stores, giving SolarCity’s stock a boost.
The Hill: Republican entrepreneur launches clean energy push
- Jay Faison’s ClearPath Foundation is launching a $1 million digital ad campaign to promote his clean energy message and opening a Washington office in order to play a more active role in promoting the industry among Republicans, Faison announced on Tuesday.
Washington Post: County opposes wind developer’s bid to circumvent zoning
- A western Maryland county is opposing a developer’s bid to circumvent local zoning rules so it can build a long-delayed, 17-turbine wind-power project on Dans Mountain near Cumberland.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: NPPC frustrated with settlement talks in 'Other White Meat' case
- (Audio) The Department of Agriculture is in settlement talks in a lawsuit with the Humane Society of the United States, much to the chagrin of many pork stakeholders. But USDA claims the impetus for a settlement is being driven by the industry.
LA Times: It's time for all L.A. farmers markets to accept food stamps
- (Opinion) Los Angeles does love its farmers markets — but not all Angelenos can use them. Of the approximately 60 certified markets in Los Angeles, only about half accept the modern version of food stamps, Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.
Washington Post: Ridiculous produce items from Whole Foods, ranked
- Unless you've been living under a pile of oranges, Whole Foods last week found itself dealing with the Internet after a customer posted a photo of pre-peeled Sumo mandarins for sale at one of its locations for a reported price of $5.99.
Washington Post: New school lunch standards are working. So why does Congress want to knock them down?
- (Opinion) As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I see firsthand every day the consequences of childhood obesity, so I was happy to see the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act passed, and even more pleased that it’s working.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: EU panel adjourns without voting to relicense glyphosate
- Concerns about the toxicity of glyphosate and its formulations have delayed a decision on reauthorization by European officials.
Des Moines Register: Thieves see ag trade secrets as ripe for picking
- Between March 2014 and March 2015, the FBI reported a 53 percent increase in all types of economic espionage. And increasingly, agriculture-related companies find their trade secrets are the target of thieves — some of them foreign governments.
Reuters: Female Farmers in 90 Nations Face Discriminatory Land Laws
- Women in more than 90 countries still lack equal rights to own land, hurting food production and efforts to tackle poverty, Rwanda’s former agriculture minister said.
Reuters: U.S. to announce further easing of Cuba restrictions on March 17
- President Barack Obama’s administration will announce further measures to ease travel and trade restrictions on Cuba on March 17, ahead of his historic visit to the Communist-ruled island this month, U.S. congressional sources said on Tuesday.
ABC News: For Rancher Near Fukushima, Tending Herd Is Act of Defiance
- Defying both government evacuation and slaughter orders, 62-year-old Masami Yoshizawa returned to his ranch 14 kilometers (9 miles) from the Fukushima nuclear power plant to keep his cattle alive as living proof of radiation contamination.
Reuters: Break fee for Syngenta reduced in ChemChina deal: prospectus
- China made its boldest overseas takeover move yet when state-owned ChemChina agreed last month made a cash bid for the Swiss seeds and pesticides group with the aim of improving domestic food production.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Clean water investment would create $691M economic impact
- The governor's $4.7 billion proposal to improve Iowa's water quality over three decades would generate $691 million in economic activity and create 2,800 jobs annually, according to an Iowa State University report released Tuesday.
Des Moines Register: Two House Democrats offer alternative clean water proposal
- Their alternative plan would create a nine-member state commission tasked with developing water quality policies, allocating funding for those programs and establishing performance and accountability standards.
Modern Farmer: One Farm’s Clean(er) Water Story
- (Opinion) American Farmland Trust, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and other partners established the nation's first interstate water quality trading market. Now farmers can fulfill their desire to be good environmental stewards.
LA Times: Our coastal waters are in trouble. Here's how we can help save them and fight the drought
- (Opinion) We may be treating our sewage and our runoff better than we used to, but we’re still dumping massive amounts of nutrients - nitrogen, phosphate, and iron - from our waste into the water, says Tom Ford, executive director of the Bay Foundation.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Hillary Clinton backs California farmworker overtime bill
- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is backing an effort in Sacramento to expand overtime protections to state farmworkers.
LA Times: California leaders tell Supreme Court that undocumented workers are making the state stronger
- A cross section of California leaders in business, education, law enforcement and religion joined Tuesday in urging the Supreme Court to uphold President Obama's plan to offer temporary relief and work permits to as many as 5 million immigrants who have been living in the U.S. illegally.
The Atlantic: How Does America Solve Unauthorized Immigration?
- In the United States, there are around 11 million undocumented immigrants, but that number is the result of a slight downward trend.
ABC News: Are last season’s saved seeds still viable? Test them.
- If you save seeds for your garden, you might wonder whether those from last year are still viable. A quick and easy pre-season seed germination test can answer that question.
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