Daily Harvest -- 3/30/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 30, 2016
- (Audio) White House council mulls next steps on antibiotics; Biotech hearing targets trait developers; EPA biotech probe generated internally; DOJ meeting, Senate put focus on biotech security; Lawmakers demand records on land designations; and Mexico tops problem countries for food imports. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Wall Street Journal: USDA Expected to Project Growing Crop Stockpiles
- U.S. farmers are expected to plant more corn and soybeans this year even as their storage bins remain stuffed with rising inventory, according to analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
Modern Farmer: New Study Finds “Ag-Gag” Laws Erode Trust in Farmers
- A new study finds farm protection laws, also known as ag-gag laws by their detractors, which criminalize the undercover documenting of conditions at agricultural facilities erode trust in farmers and increase support for animal welfare legislation.
Agri-Pulse: Congressmen join push to end Europe's biofuels import barriers
- (Subscriber only) Looking for a Trump-like 'better deal,' nine House members are urging U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to pressure the European Union to end its tariffs on U.S. ethanol and biodiesel imports.
New York Times: Considering Earthquake Threats in California and Oklahoma
- Oklahoma and neighboring states have been grappling with an increase in earthquakes tied to the boom in oil and gas production over the past 15 years. Two reporters talk risk of damage.
LA Times: SunEdison stock dives 55% amid reports of SEC probe and possible bankruptcy filing
- SunEdison Inc., a leading solar-power company saddled with nearly $10 billion of long-term debt, is at risk of filing for bankruptcy protection, one of SunEdison’s affiliates said Tuesday.
Washington Post: Nevada power plant first in world with solar-geothermal mix
- Nevada’s governor, the premier of Italy and the director of the U.S. Energy Department’s renewable energy labs formally dedicated the final piece of the only hybrid power plant in the world producing renewable energy by combining geothermal with two kinds of solar power.
Wall Street Journal: Where Oil Workers Have Job Security: China
- Profits are plunging at China’s largest oil companies but government concerns about unrest discourage layoffs.
Wall Street Journal: Mexico Takes Stride in New Wholesale Power Market
- Mexico’s newly created electricity wholesale market got a boost Tuesday as the state-owned utility secured long-term supply of clean energy from generators participating in the first auction of its kind, one that is expected to lower energy costs and contribute to meeting the country’s environmental goals.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Genetic Labeling: Take #2
- (Opinion) Many commentators have noted that multiple state labeling schemes will impede interstate commerce and raise the cost of food to the consumer. The larger concern is that the labeling controversy may also undercut global food security.
New York Times: Labeling the Danger in Soda
- (Opinion) There’s been a lot of attention lately on soda taxes, but there are other ways to encourage people to drink less of it. Perhaps the most direct is to tell them what’s in it, in a way that’s easy to understand.
Wall Street Journal: Study: Breakfast in Classroom Doesn’t Increase Scores
- A new study of New York City’s controversial practice of serving free breakfast inside classrooms found no evidence that it boosted student achievement, despite advocates’ hopes for gains.
WHAM News: Rochester grocer to forfeit $50K after food stamp fraud plea
- A Rochester, New York, grocer has to forfeit more than $50,000 cash and spend 16 weekends in jail after pleading guilty to food stamp fraud.
Washington Post: Grocery retailer Supervalu joins move toward cage-free eggs
- Grocery retailer and wholesaler Supervalu says it plans to switch to cage-free eggs in all its stores by 2025 or sooner.
Reuters: McCormick Raises Offer for Premier Foods
- U.S. spice company McCormick raised its takeover proposal for Premier Foods on Wednesday for the second time, calling on the British company's board to engage in talks that could lead to a deal.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: WTO partially sides with Argentina in biodiesel dispute
- (Subscriber only) A World Trade Organization dispute panel has sided with Argentina on several of its complaints against the European Union related to the EU's imposition of anti-dumping duties on the South American country's biodiesel exports.
Agri-Pulse: Report looks at global beef market
- (Audio) A new Rabobank report says that Brazil and China are expected to be major players in the global beef industry, but for different reasons.
New York Times: How Britain’s Soda Tax Plan Could Spur New Low-Sugar Drinks
- Public health advocates who push for taxes on soda say any reduction in sugary drinks can help fight obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Yet most soda taxes treat all sugary drinks as if they have the same amount of sugar.
The Hill: A hungry world should look to GMOs
- (Opinion) “The science is clear: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not harmful to anyone; in fact, 2,000 studies have found GMOs to be as safe as non-GMOs,” writes former Rep. Charlie Stenholm, D-Texas.
Wall Street Journal: Corn becomes next market for China to liberalize
- China plans to start allowing its corn prices to be set by the market, the latest step in overhauling its huge agricultural industry and one that could further hurt weak global corn prices.
New York Times: Simmering for Decades, Anger About Trade Boils Over in ’16 Election
- Perhaps at the least likely moment in the last several decades, misgivings about globalization are playing a starring role in the presidential election. Why now?
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Hopes dim for Iowa water quality compromise
- The likelihood of Iowa lawmakers agreeing this session on a major plan to finance water quality improvement projects appears to be dimming.
Wall Street Journal: ‘Natural’ Product Claims Can Be Murky
- Some premium-priced, “green” products bear the label, but share key ingredients with mainstream brands.
Associated Press: Nevada Backs Priority Superfund Status for Toxic Mine
- Nevada is dropping its long-held opposition to having a World War II-era copper mine added to the priority list of the nation's most polluted Superfund sites, Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Des Moines Register: New Mason City hog plant: Boon or bane?
- Amid political back-slapping and chamber hoopla, Mayor Eric Bookmeyer took note of an unusual perk that would come along with Prestage Farms' $240 million pork processing plant and its expected 2,000 jobs: Lower water rates for Mason City, Iowa, businesses and residents.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Poll: Majority of Republicans support path to citizenship
- Most moderate and liberal Republicans — and nearly half of the party’s conservative members — support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).
Phys.org: How hostile states' immigration policies changed Latino migration in the late 2000s
- About a third of U.S. states have had restrictive laws directed at undocumented immigrants in place since the late 2000s. And as a result, many Latinos have become averse to moving to these states according to a new University of Washington - Dartmouth study.
Capital Press: California farmers sue feds over tardy decisions on foreign workers
- California strawberry growers and a farm labor contractor are taking complaints about delays in getting approval to import workers to federal court.
Austin American-Statesman: Lawmakers push for more aggressive farmworker housing inspections
- A pair of border-area Texas lawmakers say they will push for more aggressive enforcement of the state’s housing inspection law for migratory farmworkers after an investigation found numerous deficiencies in the state’s unfunded inspection program.
Reuters: Deere Acquires Stake in U.S. Leader in High-Clearance Sprayers
- Deere & Co said on Tuesday it has acquired a majority stake in Hagie Manufacturing, allowing the farm and construction machinery manufacturer to enter the high-clearance sprayer market.
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