Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 3/16/2015
Here's your daily summary of top news from and other national and regional headlines from across the country. Do you know of someone who should also be on our list? Please ask them to click here.


Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Republicans to move budget; Vilsack, McCarthy meet NFU
Link - Republicans start moving long-term budget plans this week that will lay out deep, if largely symbolic, proposals to reduce the deficit and set the stage for the appropriations process that the GOP will use to attack President Obama's regulatory agenda.

Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts
Link - (Audio) Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts is featured on this Agriculture Week edition of Open Mic. As an overseer of ag policy, Roberts plans upcoming hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the US definition, Cuban trade policy, and crop insurance.

Agri-Pulse: Seven of eight groups sign beef checkoff MOU
Link - A group of beef industry stakeholders seeking changes in the beef checkoff program cleared another hurdle today, but the coalition will likely be moving forward without the support of one of its founding organizations and could face an uphill battle in Congress.

Agri-Pulse: High path avian flu found in more states
Link - (Audio) With high pathogenic avian influenza now confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in one of the top poultry-producing states, more countries are banning imports from the United States.

Washington Post: Rural hospitals, beset by financial problems, struggle to survive
Link - For the high percentages of elderly and uninsured patients who live in rural areas, closures mean longer trips for treatment and uncertainty during times of crisis.

Delaware Online: DuPont sues Monsanto over soybean technology
Link - DuPont has filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co., claiming the rival failed to pay royalties over gene-gun technology used to develop herbicide-resistant soybeans.

Reuters: U.S. bird experts mystified by Midwest avian flu spread
Link - A virulent strain of avian flu that has killed turkeys in the heart of the nation's poultry region has been found through molecular testing to be nearly identical to viruses isolated in migratory ducks.

Washington Post: A costly farm bill
Link - Editorial Board: Like so many of its predecessors, the 2014 farm bill promised cheaper, more efficient federal agricultural policy, but delivered the opposite. And Congress has already started working on the next one, due in 2019.


Yahoo: Jeb Bush’s ethanol past may complicate his Iowa future
Link - One challenge in running for president is negotiating the surprisingly cutthroat politics of Iowa agriculture, as Jeb Bush and Scott Walker indicated last week, when they both showed more support for corn-based ethanol than they have in the past.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: U.Va., German group form partnership on energy
Link - Researchers from U.Va. and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion will collaborate on developing processes for the clean and efficient production of energy. They also will work on improved energy storage and distribution systems.

New York Times: Oil Company Lease Stirs Revolt in Green Seattle
Link - A unanimous City Council lined up alongside the mayor to question the legality of the agreement with the Port of Seattle, a court challenge was filed by environmental groups, and protesters, in bluster or bluff, vowed to block the rigs’ arrival — though the exact timetable is secret, for security reasons — with a flotilla of kayaks in Elliott Bay.


Agri-Pulse: Senate appropriators take aim at FDA menu labeling rule
Link - Republicans on the Senate committee responsible for writing the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) budget attacked the agency's new menu labeling rule, which they claim is overly broad in its regulation of supermarket delis and other non-restaurant food outlets.

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Up your dietary guidelines
Link - Blake Hurst: The 15-person dietary guidelines committee recently published their report and what they said and did not say might surprise you.

US News and World Report: Advocates, States Take a Bite Out of School Nutrition Law
Link - The days of mystery meat and soda-dispensing vending machines may be gone, but that doesn't mean that the new era of school meals and snacks hasn't come without its own challenges.

NPR: The Family Peach Farm That Became A Symbol Of The Food Revolution
Link - In the heart of California's Central Valley, a vast expanse of orchards, vineyards, and vegetable fields, lies a small collection of aging peach trees. Farmer Mas Masumoto's decision to preserve those trees, and then to write about it, became a symbol of resistance to machine-driven food production.

New York Times: Taking On the Food Industry, One Blog Post at a Time
Link - Vani Hari, who writes the Food Babe blog, has a strategy to deal with her critics, of which there are many, saying she will be like Taylor Swift and “just kind of shake it off.”


Agri-Pulse: S. Korea trade pact spurred big gains for U.S. agriculture, USTR says
Link - The U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), which went effect three years ago this weekend, has meant big gains for U.S. agriculture, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's Office (USTR).

Wall Street Journal: Pacific Trade Deal Likely to Have Narrow Reach
Link - The Trans-Pacific Partnership is likely to significantly benefit a handful of U.S. sectors, including the pharmaceuticals, film and high-technology industries, while doing relatively little to change the trade balance in sectors like chemicals and machinery, economists say.

Bloomberg: Fast-Track Trade Measure Won’t Pass Congress, DeLauro Says
Link - A U.S. House Democrat who opposes President Barack Obama’s push for a process allowing for speedy approval of trade agreements predicted the proposal will fail in Congress, saying she wants lawmakers to have a stronger role.

The Economist: Modernising farming in Japan
Link - Mr Suga’s late father was a struggling farmer from Akita prefecture, among the poorest, who in middle age gave up trying to make a living from growing rice. He switched to strawberries, starting a growers’ union outside the dominant co-operative system, Japan Agriculture (JA).

Reuters: Global dependence on food imports leaves countries vulnerable
Link - Global grain imports have increased more than fivefold over the past half century, stoking fears that countries have become too dependent on the vagaries of international markets for their food, an environmental researcher said.


Ag Professional: EPA registers new miticide to combat Varroa mites in bees
Link - EPA is registering a new miticide, oxalic acid, to combat the devastating effects of the Varroa mite on honey bee colonies.

Reuters: Washington state governor declares drought emergency
Link - Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a drought emergency across three regions including key agricultural hubs of the U.S. Northwest State on Friday, citing near record low snowpack levels ahead of the spring runoff.


The Hill: White House makes aggressive legal push on immigration
Link - A battle over a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states, most led by Republicans, has put Obama’s programs in peril. In response, the administration is moving forward with an aggressive legal strategy, confident that the policies are constitutional.

Chicago Sun Times: Counterpoint: Immigration debate ignores American public
Link - Under both Republican and Democratic control of the White House and Congress, we have failed to reach a consensus on how to reform our laws for one important reason: The interests of the American people have been largely ignored in the process.


BBC: Vanuatu cyclone: Pam 'wiped out' development
Link - Cyclone Pam has "wiped out" development in Vanuatu, its president said, amid ongoing concern over residents of the Pacific nation's outlying islands.

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