Daily Harvest -- 3/25/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 25, 2016
- (Audio) Foreign Investment Committee to look at Syngenta, ChemChina merger; New report says Chinese policies hammering wheat growers; ConAgra will keep using GMOs; and the Heritage Foundation says boycott Vermont. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: March 24, 2016: Companies labeling on their own
- (Video) In the last week, four major food companies have announced intentions to add biotech disclosure on their food packaging. Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase dive into those announcements and what they mean for the broader GMO labeling debate.
Agri-Pulse: Why is rural America being left behind in Lifeline reform?
- (Opinion) “The problem is that the FCC timetable for shifting Lifeline from a wireless focus to ‘broadband only’ is out of sync with the reality of the availability of adequate broadband in rural America,” says Betsy Huber, president of The National Grange.
Agri-Pulse: USFRA speaks up on animal welfare
- (Audio) This week, commentary from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance was included in a special insert in the USA Today on animal welfare.
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers, industry push for statutory RVOs
- Now that EPA officials have vowed to get the RFS back on a statutory schedule, a group of lawmakers and industry stakeholders want them to get back to proposing statutory blending levels as well.
Climate Progress: Worldwide Renewable Energy Investment Hits A New Record
- Renewable energy investment set a new world record in 2015, with emerging economies led by China topping the investment of developed nations for the first time, according to a United Nations-backed report unveiled Thursday.
Daily Globe: Grassley: Clean energy fuels our economy
- (Opinion) An interview with U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Iowa’s energy policy and its renewable fuels and wind capacity.
Fuel Fix: US OKs offshore wind research facility off Virginia’s coast
- The development of offshore wind farms took another halting step forward Thursday with the federal approval of a research facility off Virginia’s coast to test wind turbines in a harsh open seas environment.
Washington Post: Why this new solar market could be set to explode
- It’s called community or “shared” solar. Multiple people get electricity from a mid-sized solar array on the top of, say, a condo building, or in a lot centered in a community, or perhaps an array or resource designated by their power company.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Conversation: Will requiring food stamp retailers to sell more healthy food make it easier for SNAP recipients to eat better?
- Realizing that the food environment plays a key role in consumers’ food choices, researchers at Johns Hopkins have initiated several interventions to improve food access in Baltimore City’s urban food deserts.
ABC News: California: Chemical warning may scare poor from canned food
- California plans to delay state-required warnings on metal cans lined with the chemical BPA, arguing too-specific warnings could scare stores and shoppers in poor neighborhoods away from some of the only fruits and vegetables available — canned ones, officials said Thursday.
New York Times: California Grapes That Flourish in Splendid Isolation
- Good vineyards are in places hospitable to making fine wine, which draws other vineyards. Alder Springs, however, flourishes in splendid isolation, an hour by car from the nearest vineyard.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: France confirms case of mad cow disease
- France's agriculture ministry confirmed on Thursday that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been discovered in the northeastern region of Ardennes.
Wall Street Journal: Syngenta Says ChemChina Deal Poses No Food-Safety or Major Security Issues
- Syngenta AG said its planned sale to China National Chemical Corp. posed no food safety or “significant national security issues,” responding to U.S. lawmakers’ growing concerns over the seed and pesticide giant’s takeover by the Chinese state-owned enterprise.
Reuters: Trump's Tariff Plan Could Boomerang, Spark Trade Wars With China, Mexico
- Donald Trump's threats to slap steep tariffs on Chinese and Mexican imports may have won him votes in Republican primaries but they would likely backfire, severely disrupting U.S. manufacturers that increasingly depend on global supply chains.
Wall Street Journal: Taiwan Farms Veggies, Chicken in Disputed South China Sea Outpost
- (Video) Taiwanese officers are farming vegetables and chicken in a bid to reinforce its territorial claims in the disputed Itu Aba in the South China Sea.
Wall Street Journal: Chocolate Processors Struggle With Factory Glut
- World’s capacity for processing cocoa beans has grown faster than demand for finished products.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: California GOP lawmakers push Obama on drought
- A group of California Republicans wrote a letter to President Barack Obama Thursday urging him to "act now" to relieve water shortages in the drought-stricken state.
Des Moines Register: GOP legislators pitch alternative to Branstad water quality plan
- Republican legislative leaders said Thursday they plan to address water quality efforts this session, but funding it through SAVE dollars likely is off the table.
Washington Post: Maryland’s honeybees are being massacred, and the weapon might be in your house
- Farmers and professionals who better understand how to apply them in a way that poses a lesser threat to bees would be exempted by the law when it takes effect in 2018.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Fast Company: America's Young Farmers: We Want Student Loan Relief
- A nonprofit with bipartisan support is arguing for measures that encourage new farmers to get and stay in the business.
Wall Street Journal: Illegal Immigrants Get Public Health Care, Despite Federal Policy
- Although Affordable Care Act provides them no insurance, 20 big counties treat them anyway.
LA Times: Inquest set on fatal police shooting of Mexican farmworker after year of coroner's persistence
- More than a year after an unarmed Mexican fieldworker was shot by a trio of police officers in a small agricultural town and seven months after a prosecutor declined to charge any of them, there will be a public inquest into the long-questioned death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes.
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