Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 3/17/2015
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: EPA's McCarthy pledges to make Wotus rule 'reasonable'
Link - The Obama administration is promising to rewrite its proposed Clean Water Act rule to ensure that farmers have clear guidance about what streams, ditches and ponds will be regulated.

Agri-Pulse: Vilsack says US running out of options for COOL meat rules
Link - (Subscriber only) As the U.S. waits for an appellate ruling on its efforts to defend its country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack seems to be at his wits' end on how to make the law work.

Agri-Pulse: USDA allots $97 million to support specialty crops, farm-to-school programs
Link - The USDA today announced $96.8 million in funding for projects that support specialty crop producers, local food entrepreneurs and farm-to-school efforts.

Agri-Pulse: USDA grants available for specialty crop and organic research - 3/17/2015
Link - (Audio) USDA last week announced the availability of more than $66 million in funding for research and extension activities to address the needs of specialty crop and organic producers.

Reuters: US may impose tougher curbs to contain bird flu in Arkansas
Link - U.S. authorities are considering imposing tougher restrictions in Arkansas to contain a virulent strain of avian flu in the heart of America's poultry region in a bid to minimize international trade disruptions and contain the virus.

Bloomberg: The Drones Revolutionizing Farming
Link - The biggest drone market for now remains military, led by the U.S. and Israel. But civil drones are catching up fast and France is leading the way for drones used in agriculture.


Des Moines Register: Meskwaki tribe opposes Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa
Link - The Meskwaki Indian tribe, which has had an Iowa settlement near Tama since 1857, is objecting to a Texas company's plans to construct a 343-mile crude oil pipeline across 18 Iowa counties.

Scientific American: 5 Ways Energy Is Transforming U.S. Railroads
Link - U.S. railroads have not hauled so much crude oil since the short period at the dawn of the petroleum age, when John D. Rockefeller relied on trains to build his Standard Oil empire.

Boston Globe: Bucking the ethanol lobby — even in Iowa
Link - Editorial Board: Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of both corn and ethanol. It also hosts the first competition in the quadrennial quest for the White House, and Iowa’s agriculture kingpins expect fealty to the ethanol boondoggle — an expectation they back up with lavish media campaigns to extol candidates who meet their litmus test and denounce those who don’t.


Agri-Pulse: Committee leaders say more comment needed on dietary guidelines
Link - Leaders of key Senate committees are asking the Obama administration to allow more time for public comment on recommendations for the 2015 dietary guidelines.

NPR: The Fate Of The World's Chocolate Depends On This Spot In Rural England
Link - Every cocoa tree that travels the world starts with a vacation here in the British countryside. The facility is part of the University of Reading, about 40 miles west of London. And a big chunk of the funding comes from America, via the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wall Street Journal: Texas Farmers Turn to Grapes as State’s Wine Industry Grows
Link - The Lone Star State now ranks as the nation’s fifth-largest wine producer, after California, Washington, New York and Oregon, according to Wines Vines Analytics, the research arm of trade publication Wines & Vines. Last year, Texas winemakers churned out 1.8 million cases, 36% more than in 2010.

Los Angeles Times: Craig Underwood grows the peppers that go into Sriracha sauce
Link - Craig Underwood, 72, is a fourth-generation farmer who grows all the chili peppers for Irwindale-based Huy Fong Foods, which makes the wildly popular Sriracha in the signature green-capped bottle.


The Japan Times: Intellectual property issues hinder TPP talks in Hawaii
Link - Chief negotiators from Japan, the United States and 10 other countries in Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade talks failed to iron out differences in their one-week meeting that ended Sunday.

Bloomberg: Japan Cuts Feed-Wheat Purchasing Plan as Demand Shifts to Corn
Link - Japan, Asia’s second-biggest wheat importer, reduced planned purchases of the grain for animal feed to the lowest level in four years as demand shifts to cheaper corn.


Agri-Pulse: Des Moines Water Works files lawsuit against Iowa counties
Link - Des Moines Water Works filed its anticipated federal lawsuit today against three Iowa counties that could potentially change how states regulate water quality.

Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers ask administration to list monarch butterfly under ESA
Link - In a letter to President Barack Obama, 52 House Democrats led by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine called for protection of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act.

Agri-Pulse: EPA extends comment period for corn rootworm management plan
Link - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is giving an extra month for stakeholders to comment on its proposal to update its corn rootworm insect resistance management program, which is intended to delay the pest becoming resistant to corn genetically engineered to produce Bt pesticides.

Reuters: Poor farmers bear heavy burden from increased natural disasters
Link - Economic losses due to natural disasters have tripled over the past decade, with farmers bearing nearly a quarter of the burden in poor countries, a U.N. study said on Tuesday.


Wall Street Journal: Immigration Push Back: Don’t Confirm His Judges
Link - Congress’s approval of unconditional funding for the Department of Homeland Security was an embarrassing setback in Republicans’ struggle to respond to President Obama’s unilateral rewriting of U.S. immigration law.

Associated Press: Texas Senate revives ‘sanctuary cities’ immigration debate
Link - The Texas Senate on Monday revived a divisive immigration enforcement bill that bans so-called “sanctuary cities,” rekindling an issue that rocked the Legislature in years past with emotional debates over racial profiling.


Associated Press: In early states like Iowa, Clinton plans to run hard
Link - Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to run a primary campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination focused on the four traditional early-to-vote states, forgoing the chance to parlay her dominant position into an early start in the swing states key to the general election.

Fox News: Property rights battles threaten to further slow California's costly, long awaited bullet train project
Link - California’s quest to build a $68 billion high-speed rail system is facing more potential delays and costs as the state haggles over property rights with Central Valley farmers and land investors -- and more legal cases are just around the bend.

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