Daily Harvest -- 3/31/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 31, 2016
- (Audio) Washington hosts the fourth annual Nuclear Security Summit; Media biotech coverage gets scrutiny; No, Sen. Cruz, machines can’t replace immigrant labor; and the high court sympathetic to landowners. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Bank CEO responds to CoBank about broadband access
- (Opinion) America's farmers deserve a sure thing, and taxpaying banks are ready and eager to finance rural broadband so that hardworking farmers across the nation have the tools they need to feed the world.
Des Moines Register: Survey: Iowa farmland values decline nearly 9%
- The Iowa Realtors Land Institute farmland survey through March shows the average value of cropland fell to $6,732 an acre, 8.7 percent lower less than a year ago.
LA Times: Head of L.A. County Fair Assn. quits after Times investigation
- The chief executive of the Los Angeles County Fair Assn., who made more than $1 million in total compensation in 2014 even as the nonprofit organization reported steep financial losses, resigned Wednesday, saying he had “become a distraction” to its work.
Modern Farmer: Amazing Use For Tobacco Besides Smoking It: Jet Fuel (Seriously)
- Biologists have been breeding and modifying tobacco to contain no nicotine and to have a high sugar content – two qualities that make it promising for use as biofuel.
Wall Street Journal: Trump, Cruz Would Reverse Obama’s Work on Climate and Energy — Conservative Group
- (Opinion) Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and businessman Donald Trump offered some of their most detailed views on a range of energy and environmental policy issues when responding to a series of questions posed by the American Energy Alliance, a conservative interest group.
Wall Street Journal: Chesapeake Energy Executives Were Paid to Pump in 2015
- Chesapeake Energy said Tuesday it tied 40 percent of potential annual bonuses last year to production growth and replacement of reserves, consistent with how the Oklahoma City energy producer calculated 2014 compensation.
Reuters: Shell Investigated in Italy Over Nigerian Oil Field
- Earlier on Wednesday a judicial source told Reuters that Shell was under investigation by Milan-based judges for alleged international corruption.
Wall Street Journal: China’s State Grid Envisions Global Wind-and-Sun Power Network
- China’s State Grid Corp. already dominates its home market, operating most of the electricity grid that powers the world’s second-largest economy. Now it has big plans for the world: a $50 trillion global power network that harnesses Arctic winds and equatorial sunlight.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Fortune: Soda Consumption Falls to 30-Year Low In The U.S.
- Slumping demand for diet sodas sold by PepsiCo and Coca Cola propelled a decline for the broader industry, as overall sales of carbonated soft drinks dropped for the 11th consecutive year in the U.S.
Wall Street Journal: Soft-Drink Makers Have New Secret Ingredient: Sugar!
- To boost flagging soda sales, companies are touting ‘real sugar’ as an appeal to all things natural.
Reuters: Chipotle 'Better Burger' trademark filing hints at new chain launch
- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc has sought a trademark for the name "Better Burger", suggesting that the burrito chain is looking to open a new restaurant format for hamburgers.
ABC News: Caffeinated Rewards: A Look at Rewards Programs for Coffee
- The changes announced by Starbucks last month essentially rewards bigger spenders, while those who stop in for a regular $2 drip coffee lose out. But even if some people are grumbling, the Seattle-based chain is betting that they will get over it.
Hartford Courant: Trader Joe's, Pepperidge Farm Settle Cookie Lawsuit
- A federal lawsuit that dragged Pepperidge Farm's popular and well-known Milano cookie through accusations of deception, mimicry and malice over the chocolate treat's shape and packaging has been settled.
Fox Business: McDonald's Plans to Add More Than 1,000 Restaurants in China
- Over the next five years, the company wants to build out its franchise business in China, Hong Kong and South Korea, adding more than 1,500 restaurants to its current 2,800, McDonald's announced Thursday.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USDA report: FDA refusals of food shipments stable, despite more imports
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused food imports at the same level between 2005 and 2013, even though the volume of food imports increased over that time period, says an Economic Research Service study released Wednesday.
Agri-Pulse: New Zealand PM urges Congress to ratify TPP
- New Zealand has a lot to lose if the U.S. Congress fails to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Prime Minister John Key said in a speech Wednesday during a visit to Washington.
Agri-Pulse: Time will tell on new Chinese corn policy
- (Audio) China has announced it will end a corn stockpiling program and switch to a market-based system, and U.S. Grain’s Council's Bryan Lohmar says that time will tell how the change will work.
ABC News: Painted Olives, Tainted Sugar Top Interpol List of Fake Food
- Italian olives painted with copper sulphate solution, Sudanese sugar tainted with fertilizer, and hundreds of thousands of liters (gallons) of bogus alcoholic drinks top Interpol's annual tally of toxic and counterfeit food seized by police agencies across the world.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Justices appear sympathetic to landowners in wetlands case
- (Subscriber only) The federal government ran into some tough questioning from the Supreme Court today in a case that could determine when landowners can challenge Army Corps of Engineers' wetlands determinations.
LA Times: Sierra snowpack shows improvement, but not enough to declare California's drought over
- In a symbolic moment in California's slow but steady drought recovery, a state surveyor on Wednesday found several feet of snow in the same Sierra Nevada meadow that was bare and brown just a year ago.
New York Times: Team of Rival Scientists Comes Together to Fight Zika
- USDA is in the process of remapping pig, goat and cattle genomes in the expectation of finding genes that make for healthier and more efficient farm animals.
Garden City Telegram: Father and son continue conservation tradition
- To Dan Harms, conservation means taking care of the land and being a good steward of the ground that’s been given to him, a fact that was always stressed by his dad.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Cruz pushes mechanization as farm alternative to illegal labor
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is suggesting that mechanization is the answer to the labor needs of farmers who lose their access to illegal immigrants.
Quartz: A Donald Trump presidency could lead to food shortages in the US
- It’s an open secret in agriculture that half or more of those workers are unauthorized immigrants. The Farm Bureau, a non-governmental umbrella organization that advocates for farmers across the country, states that “at least 50-70 percent of farm laborers in the country today are unauthorized.”
Capital Press: Calif. minimum wage hike could force farm mechanization, job losses
- Farm group representatives say proposals to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour could lead to job losses throughout agriculture and cause some growers to mechanize or move their operations elsewhere.
New York Times: Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention
- Apple, Google and Walmart are among the companies assessing their plans for the convention, which will be held in Cleveland from July 18 through July 21.
LA Times: Carnival's largest cruise ship will brew its own on-board craft beers
- The cruise line announced Monday that the ship will make three specialty beers in what it says is the first brewery at sea in North America.
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