Daily Harvest -- 3/27/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senators question Vilsack on proposed FSA closures
- (Subscriber only) Several senators expressed concern Wednesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack over USDA's proposal to close about 250 Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices as part of its fiscal year 2015 budget request.
Agri-Pulse: PEDv decimating hog herd, creating opportunity for poultry, Rabobank says
- The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) may reduce the availability of hogs for slaughter in the U.S. by about 11 percent this year, creating a major marketing opportunity for the poultry industry, according to a report by Rabobank's Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory team.
Agri-Pulse: FDA says all but one animal drug company commit to antibiotic strategy
- FDA has received positive written commitments from 25 of 26 animal drug companies in response to its request that they phase out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in livestock, the agency announced today.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol prices soar as rail delays prompt producers to reduce supplies
- The same weather-induced rail congestion that has plagued the transportation of grains and other commodities is also taking a toll on ethanol supplies and driving prices up to nearly three-year highs.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol supporters hit Capitol Hill
- (Audio) Ethanol industry advocates were on Capitol Hill this week for the Biofuels Beltway March organized by the American Coalition for Ethanol. The sixth annual event was their biggest ever, with more than 80 people.
Wall Street Journal: Republicans Continue Bashing Braley Over His Grassley Remark
- A lesson for Iowa politicians: Never belittle farmers, especially Iowa farmers. That’s a lesson Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, who’s running for Senate in the state, is learning the hard way, Republicans continue to hit back against his comments about Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa).
The Hill: House Republicans push to make Dodd-Frank tweak law
- House Republicans are pushing the Senate to take up a bill tweaking financial regulations that has already been unanimously passed by the House.
Washington Post: States use farm bill loophole to stem food stamp cuts
- Governors in several states are using a loophole in the farm bill to restore food aid for thousands of low-income families, potentially wiping out billions of dollars in savings Congress agreed to last month.
DTN: CWA Rule Questioned
- Some current farming practices were not exempted from a proposed new Clean Water Act rule, but EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told a Senate committee Wednesday that doesn't mean permits will be needed for those practices.
The Hill: Senate Finance to consider tax extenders next week
- The Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider legislation next Wednesday to revive most of the dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired at the end of last year, according to members of the panel.
Agri-Pulse: EPA Administrator requests more funds for climate change, clean water
- (Subscriber only) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today at a hearing to discuss EPA's proposed FY 2015 budget.
FOOD & NUTRITION
NPR: Food Giants Want 'Sustainable' Beef. But What Does That Mean?
- McDonald's is part of a group that's called the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and it includes some of the biggest names in the beef industry as well as some environmental groups.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Canada Tries to End Rail Bottlenecks
- (Subscriber only) Canada took aim at rail carriers Wednesday with proposed legislation to unclog some of the bottlenecks that have hit commodities shippers across North America.
Bloomberg: Japan Raises Wheat Import Plan From 4-Year Low as Output Falls
- Japan, Asia’s second-largest wheat importer, raised its purchasing plan from the lowest level in four years after domestic production of the grain declined, the Agriculture Ministry said today in a report.
Bloomberg: U.S. Farmers Mark Spring by Planting Corn Banned in China
- Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd., two of the world’s largest grain traders, are facing a new obstacle in their quest to expand corn exports to China -- U.S. farmers.
Bloomberg: Chinese Pigs Eating Soybeans Cut U.S. Supply to 1965 Low
- In the 60 years that Ursa Farmers Cooperative has been loading Midwest soybeans onto boats along the Mississippi River, business has never been this good.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Cutting RFS would increase greenhouse gas emissions, BIO says
- The Obama administration's proposal to reduce biofuel use required by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014 would increase emissions of greenhouse gases next year, according to a report from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Pelosi, Democrats trying to force vote on immigration reform
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and a handful of House Democrats announced today they are circulating a discharge petition among lawmakers that would allow an immigration reform package to receive a floor vote over the objections of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Politico: Obama endorses House Dem immigration push
- President Barack Obama formally endorsed a long-shot legislative gambit from House Democrats aimed at forcing a vote on comprehensive immigration reform as he blamed House Republicans for stalling an overhaul.
Time: South Korean ‘Diva’ Makes $9000 a Month Eating on Camera
- The success of one of South Korea's most popular food bloggers, who makes a living broadcasting herself eat, is a mark of a society coming to terms with its increasing urban alienation
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