Daily Harvest -- 3/26/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate sends message against Clean Water rule with farm-state Democratic support
- With some critical Democratic support, the Senate endorsed limiting the reach of a rule proposed by the Obama administration to re-define what ditches, ponds and other features are regulated by the Clean Water Act.
Agri-Pulse: House panel focuses on international market issues in reauthorizing CFTC
- A House Agriculture subcommittee continued a series of hearings in advance of writing legislation to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which lapsed in September 2013, focusing today on complex rules for international markets.
Agri-Pulse: House committee debates FCC's net neutrality rule
- House Judiciary Committee members heard arguments - and made their own - for and against the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) finalized Open Internet Order that reclassifies broadband Internet access service as a public utility service.
Reuters: Monsanto seeks retraction for report linking herbicide to cancer
- Monsanto Co, maker of the world's most widely used herbicide, Roundup, wants an international health organization to retract a report linking the chief ingredient in Roundup to cancer.
WLRN: Hemp farming gets thumbs up from Florida Senate committee
- A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.
Agri-Pulse: Blender pumps fueling appropriations battle
- Corn ethanol advocate Growth Energy is fighting against the requests of several lawmakers who wrote to the House Appropriations leadership to diminish government support for the ethanol industry.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol advocates take message to Capitol Hill
- (Audio) More than 70 members of the American Coalition for Ethanol took their message to Capitol Hill this week, meeting with lawmakers, administration officials and top staff members as part of the group’s Biofuels Beltway March annual fly-in.
Wall Street Journal: Energy department revives fuel-efficient vehicle loan program
- The U.S. Energy Department is dusting off a controversial loan program meant to help automakers and their supply chain finance investments in fuel-efficient vehicles, announcing a $259 million loan to Alcoa Inc.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: COOL critics warn of retaliation, broader trade impacts
- While interested parties await a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the U.S. country-of-origin labeling rule, lawmakers and industry representatives are already concerned about potential retaliation.
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling bill introduced in House
- Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., introduced a bill today aimed at blocking state GMO labeling laws. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 includes a new provision to regulate and certify foods promoted as non-biotech.
USA Today: Vilsack, Duncan, Burwell - Keep school lunches healthy
- (Opinion) As parents, we lay the foundation for our children's future success, but we know that we can't do it alone. We rely on people like pediatricians, other health care providers, teachers and other school professionals to act as our proxies.
Wall Street Journal: Kraft-Heinz deal shows Brazilian buyout firm’s cost-cutting recipe
- A key ingredient in 3G Capital Partners LP’s recipe for reshaping the U.S. food industry—reflected in its roughly $49 billion deal to acquire Kraft Foods Group Inc.—is an arcane-sounding financial tool that slashes costs by focusing on details as minute as how to make photocopies.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Oil prices surge after Saudi air strikes in Yemen
- Brent crude oil shot up nearly 6 percent on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies began a military operation in Yemen, although importers saw little immediate threat to supplies.
Wall Street Journal: Australia says trade pact hinges on U.S. political will
- A landmark trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 Pacific countries could be completed within a month, but only if President Barack Obama receives authority from Congress to fast-track approval, Australia’s trade minister, Andrew Robb, said Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal: Think tank sees oil price decline costing Canadian energy revenues, jobs
- The collapse of oil prices will shave 37% off the Canadian energy industry’s revenues this year and cost close to 8,000 jobs, a Canadian think tank said Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal: Milk prices may have hit bottom, Fonterra Chief says
- New Zealand’s exports and its dairy farmers could be in for some good news. Prices for one of the island nation’s important exports, whole-milk powder, could start pushing higher, said the chief executive of dairy company Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd.
Reuters: World's top chicken producers pressured by U.S. supply outlook
- Shares of the world's biggest poultry producers fell on Tuesday as expectations for an increasing U.S. chicken supply to pressure profit margins overshadowed a decision by top importer Mexico to ease trade restrictions.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Washington Times: Wood River farmers say flooding due to waterfowl conservation
- Farmers from the Wood River area are claiming that waterfowl conservation efforts along the Platte River are damaging Hall County roads and cropland.
The State: EU continues to overfish despite commitments
- Two environmental groups say European Union nations continue to overfish their Atlantic waters despite commitments to fish sustainably and stay within safe scientific limits.
Washington Times: Report - Diversity of New England plant life is threatened
- From picturesque coastal estuaries of Cape Cod to the soaring White Mountains, much of New England’s rich native flora is fighting for survival against increasing odds, according to what conservationists call the most comprehensive accounting ever made of the region’s plant life.
Charlotte Observer: House GOP issues subpoena for EPA chief's text messages
- The chairman of the House Science Committee issued a subpoena Wednesday to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy seeking her text messages and other electronic communications.
Elkhart Truth: Bill to reduce Lake Erie toxic algae heads to Ohio governor
- New rules for farmers aimed at reducing the toxic algae in Lake Erie won unanimous approval from the Legislature on Wednesday and were headed to the governor for his expected signature.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Mexican farm strike leaders to meet with growers as crops rot
- For the last week, striking farmworkers in Baja California have all but stopped the winter harvest, right at its peak. While crops rot, indigenous pickers are rallying on streets and plazas as police and army soldiers keep watch, putting the normally sleepy region on edge.
The Citizen: USDA preps for biannual farm labor study
- In the second half of April, the department's statistical service will conduct its biannual labor survey. The survey will collect information about hired labor for more than 1,450 farmers and ranchers.
ABC News: Senate up next after House passes bold conservative budget
- The Senate is up next after House Republicans pushed through a boldly conservative budget eliminating deficits over the next decade by cutting deeply into Medicaid, food stamps and welfare, and repealing the president's healthcare law.
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