Daily Harvest -- 3/28/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 28, 2016
- (Audio) White House Easter celebration to feature 30,000 eggs; Vermont attorney general offers assurances on GMO labeling; Trump says trade gives U.S. leverage over China; and consumers see relief on food prices. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Paul Johnson, co-chair of the U.S. Ag Coalition for Cuba
- (Audio) In this interview, Johnson says Cuban policy is no longer “somebody else’s issue” and suggests it has implications throughout Latin America. He also says Secretary Vilsack has changed the game by improving relations in Cuba and creating new market opportunities there.
Agri-Pulse: In general, Hogs and Pigs report slightly lower
- (Audio) Last week, the Department of Agriculture released its quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, showing mostly decreased numbers and potential indications of things to come in the marketplace.
Wisconsin State Journal: Lower milk prices trumping record production for dairy farmers
- Dropping values for slaughtered cows and increases in cropland rent in Wisconsin are among the issues overshadowing the expected announcement next month that state dairy farmers produced a record 28.9 billion pounds of milk in 2015.
Wall Street Journal: Why It’s Time to Harvest Gains in Deere, Monsanto
- They say a farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer. The same needn’t be true for investors.
Wall Street Journal: Upstate New York Seeks Economic Boost From Drones
- Local officials and businesses have been working together over the past several years to position a rural area in Upstate New York as a nationwide hub of commercial drone research, testing and manufacturing.
Des Moines Register: Gov. Branstad makes commitment to clean energy
- (Opinion) A bipartisan group of 17 governors recently announced the creation of the “Governor’s Accord for a New Energy Future,” a commitment to take action in promoting clean energy reform that will revitalize America’s electrical grid.
Register Star: State experiences big energy project boom
- In the last four years, New York state has seen 112,000 commercial energy efficiency projects be completed, or are currently under development, through the state's clean energy programs.
Las Vegas Sun: Figuring out the energy needs of Nevada
- (Opinion) It’s all too obvious that Nevada’s efforts to allow homeowners to generate their own electricity with photovoltaic solar cells have been less than graceful. They’ve been downright clumsy.
American Prospect: Michigan Energy Policy Overhaul Pits Power Companies Against Solar Advocates
- The battle between Michigan electric utility companies and renewable-energy advocates over a proposed state energy policy overhaul could deal a severe blow to the state’s small but growing solar-power sector.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Chicago Tribune: GMO labeling: 5 questions with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack
- In a brief interview, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former two-term governor of Iowa, lamented the debate that's divided the farming community.
San Francisco Chronicle: Major brands reverse course on genetically modified food labels
- It’s been a heady time for advocates of genetically modified food labeling like Oakland’s Gary Ruskin.
Huron Daily Tribune: State fears 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.
Food Safety News: New Jersey standoff on homemade food sales continues
- A New Jersey state senator is standing firm on his opposition to legalizing direct-to-consumer sales of certain foods not produced in commercial kitchens, citing food safety and fair competition concerns.
Sioux City Journal: Tyson debuts natural pork brand
- Tyson Fresh Meats debuted its new Open Prairie Natural Pork Brand in February containing no artificial ingredients, antibiotics or added hormones.
New York Times: A Ski Town Greenhouse Takes Local Produce to Another Level
- Vertical Harvest in Jackson, Wyoming, uses hydroponic farming methods inside a three-story greenhouse on a 4,500-square-foot downtown lot. It is engaging in a relatively new practice called vertical farming.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: A few thoughts on pickup trucks and international trade
- (Opinion) Trading an old pickup truck triggers thoughts on the importance of international trade and embracing change.
Washington Post: Saudi land purchases fuel debate over US water rights
- Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy company will soon be unable to farm alfalfa in its own parched country to feed its cows. So it’s turning to an unlikely place to grow the thirsty crop — the drought-stricken American Southwest.
Grist: These vitamin-fortified bananas might get you thinking differently about GMOs
- More than 100,000 children around the world still die every year from a lack of vitamin A. The pro-GMO and anti-GMO contingents have accused each other of taking advantage of these vulnerable people to advance their own causes.
Associated Press: Tycoon Behind Syngenta Bid China's Most Aggressive Dealmaker
- The tycoon who is offering $43 billion for Swiss agrochemicals giant Syngenta keeps a low profile, but is China's most aggressive dealmaker.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Modern Farmer: Carbon Farming: Hope for a Hot Planet
- Carbon farming. The phrase is suddenly on the lips of every major player in the sustainable food movement.
Choices Magazine: The Debate about Farm Nitrates and Drinking Water
- Community groups and municipalities are filing citizen lawsuits under federal laws to restrict the use of manure and fertilizers that elevate nitrate concentrations in water supplies.
LA Times: Washington's Olympic Peninsula loses 2 dams and gains a wild river – plus a new beach
- When the largest dam-removal project in American history — and maybe world history — began here nearly five years ago, the principal beneficiaries were expected to be the salmon, but a beach was born, too.
KFOR News: Structures, cattle, hay lost in Oklahoma-Kansas wildfire
- Oklahoma Forestry Services says several structures, numerous cattle and more than 1,000 bales of hay have burned in a wildfire that has scorched about 620 square miles in Oklahoma and Kansas.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
La Crosse Tribune: Minnesota Farm Link program connects new, aging farmers
- The Minnesota Farm Transition Program, launched in fall 2015, created a site where farmers either looking to break in, or looking to retire, can easily connect.
Globe Gazette: Now hiring: Agriculture workers needed in North Iowa
- Local economic development officials say there are plenty of direct and non-direct agriculture jobs in the region.
LA Times: Deal reached to boost California's minimum wage to $15, avoiding ballot box battle
- Lawmakers and labor unions have struck a tentative deal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year and then gradually to $15, averting a costly political campaign this fall and possibly putting California at the forefront of a national movement.
Washington Times: Workers to hold 24-hour Capitol vigil to push for $15 wage
- Monday’s event comes as state lawmakers and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo enter the final days of negotiations over the minimum wage, which Cuomo wants included in the state budget.
Agri-Pulse: Egg Board ready to roll at White House Easter event
- On Monday, thousands of people will visit the South Lawn of the White House for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
WTOP News: Md. farm offering ‘rent-a-chick’ program
- A Maryland farm has come up with a program they hope prevents the post-Easter chicken abandonment — a chick rental program.
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