Daily Harvest -- 3/17/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 17, 2016
- Biotech labeling legislation stalled in Senate; Trump rise linked to biotech concerns; SCOTUS pick familiar to ag; cocaine found in pineapples.
Agri-Pulse: USDA makes case for ag research dollars
- The leaders of USDA's research agencies told lawmakers on the House Agriculture Appropriations panel Wednesday why federal investment in agricultural research is critical to protecting the national food system and supporting American producers.
Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times: State Senate budget puts more emphasis on agriculture, infrastructure
- The state Senate’s one-house budget, passed Monday night, aims to restore the millions of dollars cut from agriculture in the proposed 2016-17 executive and Assembly budgets.
Florida Politics: Gov. Rick Scott signs ag department changes into law
- Besides elevating tupelo honey to the level of official state symbol, the bill also deletes a pest control operator certificate issuance fee and application late charge and adds allergen information labeling requirements to the list of possibly misbranded foods.
Delta Farm Press: 14 ag law stories that could change the way you farm
- A rundown of some recent, important developments in environmental regulation of agriculture, food safety regulation, and use of drones
Grist: Huzzah! The economy keeps growing while energy emissions stay flat
- The International Energy Agency announced Wednesday that 2015 saw global energy-related emissions stall for the second year in a row, despite continued percent growth of global GDP.
Scientific American: Energy Security Drives U.S. Military to Renewables
- Concerns over energy security are spurring branches of the military to get more electricity from renewable sources, inching the Pentagon toward governmentwide climate goals.
The Guardian: Surge in renewable energy stalls world greenhouse gas emissions
- Falling coal use in China and the US and a shift towards renewable energy globally saw energy emissions level for the second year running, says IEA.
AP: Peabody Energy warns it may file for bankruptcy protection
- The largest American coal mining company, Peabody Energy, is delaying an interest payment due this week and warned that it may have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling bill stalls in Senate
- A bill that would preempt state GMO labeling laws was blocked in the Senate as key Democrats demanded more concessions from the food industry on proposed new disclosure requirements for biotech ingredients.
Agri-Pulse: Roberts, Stabenow sound off on GMO labeling cloture vote
- (Audio) A procedural vote on a Senate GMO labeling bill failed on Wednesday. The final count was 12 votes short of the necessary 60 votes to stop a filibuster and proceed to consideration, and Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., had different opinions on the vote.
N.Y. Times: Bill to Stop States Requiring Labeling of GMO Foods Fails
- Sen. Roberts’s bill failed in a procedural vote, getting only 48 votes when it needed 60
WPRI: Health dept. investigating possible norovirus situation at Wright’s Chicken Farm
- The Rhode Island Department of Health is investigating after more than two dozen people became ill after eating at Wright’s Chicken Farm Sunday.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Can Silicon Valley's Big Bet On Agriculture Help Small-Scale Farmers In Developing Countries?
- Imagine remote sensors sending data to a digital dashboard that shows real-time analytics on soil temperature and moisture levels; drones flying overhead capturing high-resolution thermal and visual images that show yield variation row-by-row; iPhone notifications telling you the optimal time to apply fertilizer, where it’s most needed, and its estimated effect on this season’s harvest and on your bottom line.
USA Today: Congress stalls as Obama prepares for Cuba visit
- The biggest obstacle that remains to narrow the remaining gap between longtime enemies is an economic embargo on Cuba that only Congress can lift, but action on that front before this year's elections appears unlikely.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Flood of Western groups lobby for drought bill
- Over 100 Western organizations, including commodity groups and state Farm Bureaus, penned a letter urging Congress to speedily pass drought legislation.
AP: Lawsuit: Feds dragging feet on whether 9 species endangered
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service missed decision deadlines, most of them by years, for species including the California spotted owl, a cat-sized hunting mammal called the Northern Rockies fisher, and an Alabama mussel called the Canoe Creek pigtoe, according to a new lawsuit. Among the other species named: the Virgin River spinedace, once common in northwestern Arizona, southeastern Nevada and southwestern Utah, and the Barrens topminnow, found in Tennesse's Barrens Plateau.
Scienmag: Cornell receives $24 million to combat threats to global wheat crop
- Climate-change-induced heat stress and disease pathogens migrating across borders threaten the world's wheat supply and food security in conflict zones of Africa and the Middle East. To expand the scope of a global partnership to combat these threats, Cornell University has been awarded a $24 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
AP: Fla. assisting feds with probe of pesticide case
- Florida's agriculture agency said it is assisting federal regulators in their review of whether the state properly investigated if farmworkers sickened in a crop-dusting accident were told not to report it to authorities.
Modesto Bee: Frank Aquila: Trump, Cesar Chavez had a lot in common
- (Letter) Chavez's movement "included action to prevent illegal immigrants from Mexico from coming to America and taking away jobs and lowering wages for Hispanic farm workers who were here legally working the agricultural land," writer says.
Fresno Bee: United Farm Workers commemorates 50th anniversary of march from Delano to Sacramento
- Farmworkers who walked from Delano to Sacramento starting on March 17, 1966, will gather Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic march.
Midwest Producer: Nebraska Cattlemen hires director of legal affairs
- Nebraska Cattlemen has hired Jessica Herrmann as director of legal and regulatory affairs. Herrmann graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2008 and previously worked as irector of legislative outreach and research for the Platte Institute for Economic Research in Omaha.
Capital Press: Study: “Ag gag” laws reduce public trust
- Criminalizing secret recordings of agricultural operations is more likely to breed suspicion of farmers than to shield their public image, a recent study found.
So-called “ag gag” laws, which prohibit hidden-camera filming and obtaining employment under false pretenses, substantially reduce trust in agriculture among U.S. consumers, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia.
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