Daily Harvest -- 3/24/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Administration takes steps to advance rural broadband service
- USDA announced that it will bring $35 million to the table as it teams up with the White House to increase high speed and wired broadband access in under-served and rural areas.
Agri-Pulse: Former ag secretary and USTR supports new UNL trade institute
- (Audio) Former agriculture secretary and trade ambassador, Clayton Yeutter, made a $2.5 million commitment to establish an international trade and finance institute at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Wall Street Journal: Monsanto bites back at glyphosate findings
- Monsanto Co. escalated its criticism of a World Health Organization agency’s finding last week that a commonly used herbicide probably has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
LA Times: Thirsty crops should require state regulation
- (Opinion) This is what the Brown administration isn't talking about as it tightens the spigot on landscaping: Urban use accounts for only 20% of California's developed water. Agriculture sucks up 80%.
LA Times: Rising temps to bring dry end to Southern California's poor rainy season
- Temperatures are expected to heat up toward the end of next week, signaling a dry, disappointing and foreboding end to the region’s rainy season as four years of low precipitation continue.
Progressive Farmer: Ag Confidence Index results
- Crop farmers in the Midwest are no longer alone in their pessimism about the agriculture economy.
Reuters: U.S. developing bird flu vaccine, no plans to distribute it yet
- The U.S. government is developing a vaccine to protect poultry from new strains of avian flu that have recently killed birds from Arkansas to Washington state.
Quartz: Costa Rica is now running completely on renewable energy
- Costa Rica is running without having to burn a single fossil fuel, and it’s been doing so for 75 straight days.
Baltimore Sun: New plan seeks to turn chicken manure to energy
- New Hampshire-based company has teamed with poultry giant Perdue to propose a $200 million plant on the Eastern Shore to extract energy from chicken manure, offering its plan as a viable remedy for the farm pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay.
Wall Street Journal: Oil price drop hurts spending on business investments
- Prospects for an uptick in business investment this year are facing a major drag: The collapse in oil prices is spurring significant cutbacks by the energy-production industry, which had been a standout in an otherwise lackluster U.S. economic expansion.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Revised biotech labeling bill set for release
- A revised bill aimed at blocking state GMO labeling laws is expected to be introduced in the House this week with a new provision to regulate foods promoted as non-biotech.
Time: Farmers are researching how to grow gluten-free wheat
- The Kansas Wheat Commission is putting $200,000 towards two years of research to understand all the parts of wheat’s DNA that cause problems for people with gluten sensitivities, the Associated Press reports.
Wall Street Journal: Is a low-sodium diet unhealthy?
- (Video) Cutting dietary sodium to currently recommended levels could cause more harm than good, according to a new study.
The Hill: Fact-checking the GMO labeling debate
- (Opinion) In the absence of federal leadership, states have led the way by passing mandatory legislation intended to prevent consumer deception and give consumers the right to know what they are buying and feeding their families.
The Hill: The ENRICH Act will provide better tools to fight obesity epidemic
- (Opinion) By now, most of us know the statistic by heart: two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese.
The Hill: Fast food chains urged to boycott genetically engineered produce
- Consumer advocacy groups are asking Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway and Dunkin' Donuts for commitments not to sell the genetically engineered apples and potatoes the Department of Agriculture approved for consumption last week.
The New York Times: The myth of high-protein diets
- (Opinion) Recently, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee lifted recommendations that consumption of dietary cholesterol should be restricted, citing research that dietary cholesterol does not have a major effect on blood cholesterol levels.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: China seeks to develop global seed power
- A fight over a small maker of crop seeds in China last year sheds light on how Beijing plans to secure its food resources: by building an answer to Monsanto Co.
Reuters: RPT-China signals policy shift away from bumper harvests
- China will no longer chase bumper grain harvests and instead make safer foods a priority and boost imports as it bids to tackle its rural environmental problems, government officials said.
The Independent: The GM crops debate moves to Africa – and it’s just as noisy
- This field, six miles from the Ugandan capital Kampala, is the new front line in the great genetically modified (GM) food battle that has moved from the developed world to the developing world – with no less ferocity.
New York Times: Deep freeze on Great Lakes halts cargo shipments
- The trip to pick up a load of iron ore powder in Conneaut, Ohio, was supposed to take four days by way of the Great Lakes.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Washington Times: Michigan officials weighing idea of Great Lakes fish farming
- Entrepreneurs may seek approval to establish fish farming in Michigan’s Great Lakes waters, officials said Monday - an undertaking that hasn’t taken place before on the U.S. side of the lakes, although Canada has allowed commercial aquaculture in Lake Huron for decades.
Elko Daily Free Press: Wildlife board rejects coyote hunting ban
- Nevada wildlife commissioners have rejected a proposal to ban coyote hunting contests, despite opposition from wildlife advocates who branded the events as “killing for kicks.”
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
CBS Chicago: Rauner’s immigration message leaves advocates perplexed
- More than two months after taking the reins of one of the nation’s most immigrant-friendly states, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has offered mixed signals about his stance on immigration.
National Journal: Is immigration a poison pill for Jeb Bush?
- Jeb Bush has committed himself to testing a critical question that each of the GOP's past two presidential nominees would not: whether support for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship is a poison pill in the GOP primary.
Reuters: DuPont investors to vote on Trian demands on May 13
- DuPont, embroiled in a proxy war with activist investor Trian Fund Management LP for board seats, said it would hold its annual shareholder meeting on May 13.
New York Times: Ted Cruz, an ambitious conservative with sharp elbows
- As a former clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Mr. Cruz, a junior aide on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, had scored a seat inside the Supreme Court for the oral arguments in Bush v. Gore, which would decide the election.
NPR: Census Bureau tests new online survey in small towns ahead of 2020
- The nation is halfway between census years. The next decennial U.S. Census is coming up in 2020. And for the first time, it'll be offered online. That means census officials have lots of work to do to make sure no one is left behind.
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