Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 3/18/2015
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: House GOP budget protects farm bill programs
Link - (Subscriber only) Agriculture producers and organizations along with food manufacturers, retailers and their associations contributed over $21.2 million to political campaigns – mostly Republican – during the two-year midterm election cycle that ended Dec. 31. Energy-sector PACs contributed nearly $32 million. (A version of this story in Wednesday's Agri-Pulse newsletter mis-identified the second-biggest contributor to political campaigns among Ag-related PACs. It was the Farm Credit Council. The story also had the wrong title for Sen. Agriculture Committee member Thad Cochran.)

Agri-Pulse: House panel hears farmers' concerns about WOTUS
Link - Farmers and leaders from agriculture and state and local government agencies shared their concerns about the EPA's proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule at a House Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee hearing today.

Agri-Pulse: House bill would reform EPA panel
Link - (Audio) The House this week passed the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, which Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma says is designed to bring more transparency and independent to the EPA’s expert panel.

Farm Futures: USDA shares expanded census report on family farms
Link - In the latest Census of Agriculture farm typology report announced Tuesday, USDA shines more light on the question: "What is a family farm?"

Des Moines Register: Study: Farm banks set to withstand 2015 downturn
Link - The nation's 2,036 farm banks will survive the downturn in the agricultural economy, according to a new report released Tuesday.


Politico: Scott Walker denies ethanol flip-flop
Link - Scott Walker freely admits that he has shifted to the right on immigration over the past two years, aligning himself with the GOP base, but the Wisconsin governor was adamant Monday night that he has not also flip-flopped on ethanol.

CNBC: Is renewable energy ready to disrupt fossil fuels?
Link - Prices of fossil fuels may be plumbing multi-year lows, but that's not likely to keep them from being displaced by the advance of renewable energy, especially solar, analysts said.


Agri-Pulse: GOP lawmakers press USDA on nutrition standards
Link - As the budget battle heats up on Capitol Hill, GOP lawmakers used House and Senate appropriations hearings today to examine the Obama administration's nutrition policies and funding priorities.

Agri-Pulse: National Research Council told GE foods not to blame for allergies
Link - (Subscriber only) Richard Goodman, a research professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told a National Research Council panel last week that genetically-engineered foods should raise no more concerns about food allergies than other food products.

Reuters: Top chefs launch campaign to eat more small fish
Link - Top chefs from around the world gathered in the north of Spain on Tuesday to launch a campaign to eat more small fish such as anchovies in the interests of feeding more people and reducing pressure on the world's oceans.

Statesman Journal: Consumers worried about GMOs, pesticides, study shows
Link - More than 80 percent of consumers want the government to do more about food safety, including testing and labeling of genetically modified organisms, a new survey from Healthline, the online health news service, concludes.


Agri-Pulse: UNL starts fundraising for international trade and finance institute
Link - To prepare skilled graduates for in-demand careers in global trade and finance, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the start of a private fundraising initiative to establish an international trade and finance institute at the university.

Reuters: China orders over 600,000 T corn from Ukraine, snubs
Link - China, the world's second largest corn consumer, has booked over 600,000 tonnes of corn from Ukraine so far this year and more deals are expected as Beijing's stockpile dries up supplies and boosts prices at domestic market, traders said.


Wall Street Journal: California Adopts New Water Restrictions Amid Long-Running Drought
Link - The consequences of California’s continuing drought deepened Tuesday, as state water officials took the unprecedented step of mandating restrictions on outdoor watering to help stretch scarce supplies, a move that some users said goes too far.

Politico: Barack Obama’s green gambit
Link - President Barack Obama is quietly but steadily working behind the scenes on what could become one of his signature achievements: A global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Agri-Pulse: Farm groups fight E-Verify bill
Link - More than 140 food and agriculture groups are warning House leaders that legislation requiring employers to use E-Verify to check the immigration status of workers would have a “devastating impact” on farms.

New York Times: A Way Out on Immigration Reform
Link - Neither side is ready to compromise. But the failure to fix our immigration laws is not an exclusively Republican or Democratic failure.

The Hill: GOP divided on immigration changes
Link - A bipartisan Senate bill aiming to increase the number of high-skilled visas doled out by the federal government is running up against Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).


Agri-Pulse: Opinion: March Madness: Nutritionists' take on sustainability
Link - Bruce Knight: What does agricultural sustainability have to do with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? About as much as liver has to do with ice cream or a muffler shop has to do with a sushi restaurant. Some things just don't mix and trying to force them together is not serendipitous but ridiculous.

Modern Farmer: Pacific Nation’s Farm Infrastructure Likely Destroyed After Cyclone Pam
Link - Aid groups are saying Cyclone Pam, which slammed into Vanuatu, a Pacific nation of 83 islands, over the weekend, has likely destroyed the farming infrastructure of one of the world’s poorest economies, according to International Business News.

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