Daily Harvest -- 3/18/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 18, 2016
- (Audio) Senate leaves town for Easter without GMO labeling compromise; Clinton tweet backs states on labeling; soybean growers back SNAP; don't cut crop insurance, farm groups say; White House thinks about how to boost ag exports to Cuba.
Agri-Pulse: EPA, CFTC reach accord on improving renewable fuels market
- EPA and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced a memorandum of understanding aimed at improving regulation of the Renewable Identification Numbers market.
Agri-Pulse: FDA finalizes mad cow rules
- The FDA has issued a rule finalizing three previously-issued interim final rules designed to reduce the potential risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in human food.
Agri-Pulse: Mastitis fix highlights animal health meeting
- On cue at a national conference of fellow scientists, regulators and industry experts in the animal health sector here Thursday, an Elanco Animal Health expert garnished his comments with descriptions of a new alternative anti-mastitis treatment for milk cows hours before Elanco itself announced its product.
Agri-Pulse: Rural Broadband: A Key To The Success Of U.S. Agriculture
- (Opinion) You could argue that today, the data farmers harvest is almost as important as crops themselves to their business operations.
Agri-Pulse: RFS comes under attack at House hearing
- (Audio) Numerous witnesses questioned the need for the RFS at a hearing that biofuels proponents say was stacked against them.
CleanTechnica: Doubling global share of renewable energy by could save up to $4.2 trillion per year
- And that's 15 times more than the costs, according to a new report published this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
NJSpotlight: Lawmakers Push for 80 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050 -- Again
- If legislators get their way, New Jersey will rely on solar panels, wind turbines, and other forms of clean energy to provide most of the electricity the state needs by 2050.
Farm to fleets: Manure helps Chicago startup build natural gas network
- Chicago startup AmpCNG launched at a farm in northwest Indiana that converted cow manure to renewable natural gas. Nearly five years later, that manure from Fair Oaks Farm is still a core part of the West Loop-based startup’s business -- but its reach has grown.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: House Ag Republicans bash proposed SNAP rule
- What was intended to be a hearing full of “constructive dialogue” between the lawmakers and three USDA under secretaries -- as Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said in his opening statement -- quickly became a fight over whether the Food and Nutrition Service's rule should have even been proposed.
Agri-Pulse: Whole Foods to source slower growing chickens
- Whole Foods said Thursday it plans to be the first major food business in the U.S. to source slower-growing chicken breeds, instead of the conventional, faster-growing breeds that produce 98 percent of all commercially available chicken meat in North America.
International Business Times: Free Chipotle Burritos 2016: Would You Take Free Food If It Risked Carrying E. Coli Or Norovirus?
- Chipotle announced Wednesday its second attempt at rewarding customers with free food upon their return to its beleaguered outlets. It will send out 21 million direct-mail vouchers for free food during the next few weeks, executives said. Those coupons will expire May 15.
POLITICO: The great FLOTUS food fight
- For the first time, the inside story of how Michelle Obama changed American nutrition.
Undercurrent News: FMI CEO expresses disappointment over failed GMO labeling bill
- “Based on our conversations with Senators and their staff members, 98 percent of the US Senate seems to agree this would be the right thing to do," says Food Marketing Institute's Leslie Sarasin.
VOA: France Bans Stores from Trashing Unsold Food
- Legislators passed a law in February making France the first country to ban supermarkets from throwing away unsold food. Instead, they must donate it to charities and food banks.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers spar over foreign food aid
- (Subscriber only) A House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Thursday turned into a sparring match over the Obama administration's proposal to cut spending on foreign food aid and transition some of the physical food donations into cash assistance.
Agri-Pulse: The President Goes to Cuba
- (Audio) John Block opines on the significance of the president's trip to Cuba, which represents a $2 billion ag market that will only open fully with a lifting of the trade embargo.
AP: Delaware governor signs DuPont tax incentives bill
- Gov. Jack Markell has signed a bill offering millions of dollars in tax incentives to DuPont after its planned merger with Dow Chemical.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
N.Y. Times: Water is Broken. Data can fix it
- (Opinion) Water may be the most important item in our lives, our economy and our landscape about which we know the least. We not only don’t tabulate our water use every hour or every day, we don’t do it every month, or even every year.
Salt Lake Tribune: Lawsuit filed seeking protection for Virgin R. spinedace
- The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit on Wednesday against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing that the federal agency has delayed its decision on legal protection for the Virgin River spinedace for more than three years.
Christian Science Monitor: Can bats be protected from wind turbines?
- A new study in the Appalachians – where the rates of wind turbine bat mortality are the highest in the country, and probably the world – lays the groundwork for understanding how wind power is affecting these winged mammals.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Courthouse News: Report Outlines Backlog in Immigration Courts
- The nation's immigration courts are buckling under a crushing backlog that has pushed the average time for a case to be heard past three years, a refugee advocacy group says.
Latin Times: Latino Groups: Trump Rhetoric Inspiring Anti-Immigrant State Legislation
- Several immigration rights activists claim presidential candidate Donald Trump's rhetoric is inspiring state lawmakers to write legislation that targets immigrants and refugees.
CNN: GOP-led House approves move to file brief in Supreme Court immigration case
- The House added its voice to a legal challenge to President Barack Obama's controversial executive orders that changed immigration enforcement rules.
Des Moines Register: Bertrand to challenge King for Congress
- State Sen. Rick Bertrand of Sioux City said Thursday he is running for Congress, challenging seven-term U.S. Rep. Steve King in a June primary for the Republican Party nomination in Iowa's 4th District.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Farmers eye the weather, and their wallets, as spring approaches
- Weeks from spring planting, Wisconsin farmers are keeping an eye on the weather and their wallet. Dairy farmers face a tough year as the price they receive for their milk remains low, in many cases not even producing a profit.
AP: Bundy loses bid for release ahead of federal trial in Vegas
- Nevada rancher and anti-authority figure Cliven Bundy lost a renewed bid Thursday for release from jail ahead of trial on federal conspiracy and assault charges stemming from an armed standoff against government agents two years ago.
KGW: Portland, Ore., to sue Monsanto for contaminating waterways
- City Attorney Tracy Reeve says the city has already spent a significant amount of public money to clean up the PCB contamination in the Willamette River and Columbia Slough and will continue to do so. It has known for years of the contamination.
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