Daily Harvest -- 3/19/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Hog industry could be seeing first measurable impact of PED
- (Audio) In May it will be one year since porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) was first confirmed in just one state. Today it is in more than half of the United States, encompassing the vast majority of the commercial swine production area.
Agri-Pulse: USDA advances Dow and BASF biotech products
- USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) opened a Dow AgroSciences cotton product for public comment today and also announced market availability for a soybean product developed by BASF Plant Sciences.
Wall Street Journal: GOP Hits Food-Stamp Move
- (Subscriber only) A new food-stamp fight is brewing in Congress, as more states move to prevent cuts signed into law a little more than a month ago.
Des Moines Register: Ethanol plants' profits 2nd-highest on record
- The average U.S. ethanol plant made a profit of $23 million last year, the second-most profitable on record, as producers of the renewable fuel benefited from lower corn prices, according to a study by the University of Illinois.
Des Moines Register: Environmental commission begins process to adopt rules for livestock operations
- State environmental protection leaders today began the process for adopting rules for overseeing manure runoff from large cattle, hog and other livestock operations under the federal Clean Water Act.
Roll Call: Ann Callis, Rodney Davis to Face Off in Targeted Illinois District
- Former Madison County Judge Ann Callis picked up the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 13th District Tuesday night and will now face a top target of national Democrats, freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis.
San Francisco Chronicle: Lawmakers ask: Would Vt. be sued over GMO labels?
- A Vermont Senate committee is set to address the question of whether Vermont would be sued by biotech or food industries — and if the state could win — if it passed a law requiring labels on genetically modified foods.
FOOD & NUTRITION
CBS News: Sen. Al Franken seeks more assistance for school lunches
- Congress this year has been reticent to extend social safety net programs -- in fact, last month it passed a bill that cuts food assistance funding -- but Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is nevertheless trying to extend federal funding for students to receive hot school lunches.
Washington Post: The breakfast squeeze: Why orange juice, bacon and coffee are getting pricier
- The major price driver is unappetizing: a pig diarrhea epidemic that has killed more than four million piglets since last spring, threatening to reduce supply and push bacon prices up further, Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, told CNBC.
Wall Street Journal: Milk, cheese prices may climb 10%
- If you’ve noticed your grocery bill ticking upward, the dairy aisle might be partly to blame. Retail dairy prices climbed 0.7% from January to February of this year, according to government data released Tuesday; that’s compared with just 0.1% for urban consumer prices overall.
Wall Street Journal: Beef Prices Post Biggest Surge in a Decade
- What Americans paid for everything from haircuts to new cars barely rose, but the price of food alone was 0.4% higher in February from the prior month. Costs for meats, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs drove the gains.
Journal Sentinel: Milk consumption declines as consumers substitute non-dairy alternatives
- American consumers are increasingly substituting traditional milk with non-dairy alternatives, such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, flax milk, rice milk and juices and bottled water.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Why Democrats Should Back the President on Free Trade
- (Subscriber only) Thomas McLarty, who served as White House chief of staff and special envoy for the Americas under President Bill Clinton, says from congressional leaders to some in the party base, pessimism about free trade has become almost a reflex.
Wall Street Journal: Spain's Pig Farmers Raise Stink Over Subsidy Cuts
- (Subscriber only) The budget-cutting drive in Spain is threatening thousands of pig farmers with bankruptcy and stirring an odorous backlash.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Oklahoma AG sues federal government over “Sue and Settle” tactics
- (Subscriber only) The Lesser Prairie Chicken will be the subject of yet another lawsuit, but this potential endangered species candidate is in good company, along with the Sprague's Pipit, the Rabbitsfoot Mussel and the Arkansas Darter.
Kansas City Star: Texas company tries its luck with vodka made with black-eyed peas
- Worn down by drought and dwindling water supplies, Trey Nickels was disheartened about his future as a farmer growing black-eyed peas in Muleshoe, Texas. Rising land costs, stiff competition, falling prices and declining consumption of black-eyed peas added to his worries.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
DTN: Labor Shorts Domestic Produce
- Agricultural groups pushing Congress to act on immigration reform are linking the increased consumption of imported food to the lack of U.S. farm labor needed to grow more labor-intensive crops domestically.
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