Daily Harvest -- 3/22/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 22, 2016
- (Audio) President Obama wraps up his historic trip to Cuba; GMO labeling growing amid congressional deadlock; EPA’s Gina McCarthy is on the Hill; White House wins water pledges; and lawmakers pack meals for the hungry. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Highlights from 2016 Agri-Pulse Ag Day Panel
- (Video) This year's Agri-Pulse Ag Day Farm to Fork Politics discussion focused on sustainability and the role it is playing in the food supply and agricultural policy. Here's a brief summary of key quotes and moments from the discussion.
The Hill: A 21st-century investment in productive, sustainable agriculture
- (Opinion) “Research and development investments, and the capacity to extend new innovations to farmers, are some of the most important predictors of a country's ability to increase the productivity and sustainability of its agriculture system,” writes Margaret Zeigler.
Wired: Good Riddance, Chemicals: Microbes are Farming’s Hot New Pesticides
- The flood of money into biologicals is new, but the idea itself is not. Organic farmers have long used bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis as a pesticide, and the gene for its insect-killing toxin is genetically engineered into most corn and cotton grown in the US.
Modern Farmer: This Closed-Cycle Method Could Dramatically Lower Dairy Farms’ Energy Use
- The Northeast is a huge dairy producer, but it imports most of its cow feed from the Midwest where production and transportation of corn and soy is cheaper. Trucking feed across the country is pretty lousy energy-wise.
ABC News: Duke Energy Signs Deal to Turn Pig Poop Into Electricity
- Duke Energy Corp. said Monday it is expanding its renewable energy from livestock waste, adding poop power to investments the country's largest electric company has made in whirring wind turbines and acres of solar arrays.
LA Times: How can gas company offset emissions from the Aliso Canyon leak? Regulators offer a plan
- To offset greenhouse gas emissions from the massive Porter Ranch leak, Southern California Gas Co. could pay to plug abandoned wells, install methane-gobbling digesters at dairy farms and help people buy more efficient furnaces and water heaters, state regulators say.
Wall Street Journal: New Market for U.S. Shale Gas Opens in Europe
- Swiss petrochemicals giant Ineos Group Holdings SA plans to accept the first American shipment of a type of shale gas to Europe on Wednesday—a milestone that marks the opening up of a new market for American energy producers trying to sell a glut of the fuel.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Kellogg's, Mars to start labeling GMOs amid Senate deadlock
- The Kellogg Co. has joined Mars Inc. and General Mills Inc. in announcing plans to start complying with Vermont's first-in-the-nation GMO labeling requirements that take effect in July.
Seattle Times: Effort to Legalize Home-Baked Goods Stuck on Cutting Board
- New Jersey and Wisconsin are the only two states that effectively ban the sale of home-baked goods. Opponents cite public health concerns and unfair competition against established businesses.
Business Insider: Pennsylvania dairy's raw milk is linked to listeriosis death
- Officials say the source is believed to be milk from Miller's Organic Farm located in Bird-in-Hand in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Miller's Organic Farm isn't licensed by or inspected by the state agriculture department and doesn't do retail sales, but does business via mail order to a membership club.
New York Times: Kraft Reveals Revamped Mac and Cheese, 50 Million Boxes Later
- The new mac and cheese formula that first hit shelves in December is free of artificial preservatives, and instead of artificial dyes, contains a combination of paprika, annatto and turmeric. But only customers paying careful attention to the ingredients would have known.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USDA OKs using check-off money to promote sales to Cuba
- U.S. farmers may soon be able to use funds from federal check-offs for the first time in Cuba, a breakthrough for the U.S. agriculture sector which is seeking to boost exports to the communist country.
Agri-Pulse: USDA eases restrictions on checkoff funds for promotion in Cuba
- (Audio) On Monday, the Department of Agriculture announced it was lifting some provisions that prohibit the use of checkoff funds for promotion of agricultural commodities in Cuba.
New York Times: Reaction to Obama Trip Reflects Change in Cuban-Americans
- “Cubans there can now see this other world, this other way of being,” says a nurse’s assistant who came to Florida from Cuba over a decade ago. “It’s good for Americans because they can see the reality of Cuba. They can see that the Cuban people have nothing to do with the government.”
Reuters: We can't pay: Zimbabwe farmers resist compensating evicted white landowners
- Zimbabwe's plan to win back international funding by paying compensation to white farmers forced off their land faces a major snag: the black farmers expected to stump up the cash say they don't have it.
New York Times: Letting (Some of) India’s Women Own Land
- (Opinion) Agriculture in India is a woman’s occupation. More than three-quarters of Indian women make their living as farmers – a far higher percentage than men – yet own less than 13 percent of the land.
ABC News: India Has the Most People Without Clean Water, Report Says
- The international charity Water Aid says 75.8 million Indians — or 5 percent of the country's 1.25 billion population — are forced to either buy water at high rates or use supplies that are contaminated with sewage or chemicals.
Associated Press: China to Track Poorly Stored Vaccines Sold Illegally
- China's Food and Drug Administration has ordered local governments to track the whereabouts of poorly refrigerated and probably ineffective vaccines after police detained a woman thought to have sold nearly $100 million worth of the suspect products nationwide.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: 2018 Farm Bill: Integrate CSP with the larger sustainability movement
- (Opinion) In our ongoing discussion of the next farm bill, I want us to consider carefully the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which has become the largest USDA conservation program for private working lands.
Des Moines Register: Ag groups pick up tab for water quality lawsuit defense
- The Iowa Farm Bureau and other commodity groups are bankrolling legal expenses racked up in defense of a lawsuit filed by Des Moines Water Works over nitrate pollution in the Raccoon River, a Farm Bureau spokesman confirmed.
New York Times: Our Water System: What a Waste
- (Opinion) “Water waste is the result of many factors, including old, leaky pipes; archaic pricing; and a remarkable lack of data about how much water we use,” says Michael Webber, the deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, Austin.
Associated Press: Ohio Village Hit by Lead in Drinking Water Gets US Grant
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to pay $400,000 for improvements at an Ohio village's water treatment plant to help stop corrosive water from leaching lead into tap water.
LA Times: Study tallies the payback for humans and planet of eating more plants and less meat
- To reach weekly limits of about 10.2 ounces of red meat (a McDonald's Big Mac has 7.5 ounces of beef), average global consumption would have to decline 56%. In high-income Western countries, reductions would tally 78%.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Des Moines Register: Massive pork plant to bring 2,000 jobs to Mason City
- Family-owned Prestage Farms of North Carolina is proposing a $240 million pork processing plant in Mason City that initially would process up to 10,000 pigs a day and eventually employ as many as 2,000 workers.
Capital Press: Farmworker retraining raises questions
- A federal program aimed at re-training farmworkers has raised questions at a time farmers face labor shortages and delays in obtaining clearance for guest workers.
Austin American-Statesman: Tyler: More needs to be done to help migrant farmworkers
- (Opinion) “We need to better understand the labor contributions this population offers and the economic and housing issues farmworkers face in Texas,” says Kathy Tyler, housing services director at Motivation Education & Training Inc., in Texas.
Washington Post: What today’s Supreme Court decision means for the future of legal weed
- The Supreme Court's decision today to toss out a lawsuit that could have brought Colorado's legal marijuana boom to a screeching halt hasn't deterred opponents of the national legalization effort.
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