Daily Harvest -- 4/4/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 4, 2016
- (Audio) The Senate returns from its two-week Easter recess today to take up a bill that could benefit biotech companies. It's not GMO labeling legislation but a bill that would allow companies to file claims in federal courts against people who the firms believe have stolen trade secrets. Also: Renegotiating trade Trump's first priority; pediatricians, rice growers welcome arsenic limit; further decline in land prices seen; Brazil boosts biodiesel mandate.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Senate debates trade secrets, GMO bill fate still uncertain
- Returning from its Easter recess, the Senate will take up legislation that would help biotech companies protect trade secrets, but there has been little sign of progress on the bigger issue of labeling genetically engineered foods.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Kendal Frazier of NCBA
- (Audio) The CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association talks about challenges presented by EPA's WOTUS and ozone rules. On trade, Frazier says the TPP agreement must be ratified by Congress to maintain markets and gain access to the globe’s growing middle class. He also shares thoughts on a voluntary COOL proposal, the need for congressional action on endangered species laws and the ongoing effort with the CME Group to address market volatility.
Agri-Pulse: Weather and the commodity markets
- (Audio) Last week, two USDA reports gave negative signals to the commodity markets, and analysts say a weather event may be one of the only things that will lead to a significant rebound in prices.
Agri-Pulse: EPA proposes dicamba for GE cotton, soybeans
- Cotton and soybean growers will have a new herbicide at their disposal if an EPA proposal to approve dicamba on the genetically engineered versions of those crops is approved.
Agri-Pulse: Is Donald Trump Right for American Agriculture?
- (Audio) Rick Frank, filling in for John Block, views a Trump presidency with skepticism. Does American agriculture really want the U.S. taking an isolationist position, with agricultural exports being the primary loser?
Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star: Farm and Food: Free markets work, when we let ‘em
- (Opinion) Within days of Sen. Pat Roberts' losing a procedural vote on GMO labeling, some of the world's biggest food companies -- General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, and ConAgra -- announced they will label their products nationwide in order to be in compliance with Vermont’s law. Stunning though the news seems, this is just another clear example of how the free market works when it is allowed to work.
CNN: Sanders attack on Clinton over oil and gas money: 'Let the voters decide'
- Bernie Sanders sharply criticized Hillary Clinton for taking campaign contributions from energy lobbyists on Sunday -- but he wouldn't back a high-profile surrogate's criticism of Clinton's email controversy.
AP: Colo. governor, industry urge cautious hand in regulating oil, gas
- Collaboration and negotiation allowed Colorado to draw up oil and gas regulations that protect the public and the environment while encouraging a lucrative state industry, the governor and the president of an industry group say.
AP: Nebraska approves new regulations for oil and gas industry
- The law by Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala will require periodic sampling and reporting of fracking waste fluids and monitoring of produced water transporters.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA proposing limit on arsenic in infant rice cereal
- About half of the infant rice cereal on the market now would meet a new limit on inorganic arsenic proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Farmers struggling as markets overflow with milk, grain, livestock
- Simply put, what many farmers are paid for milk, grain or livestock now isn't enough to cover their expenses. They're taking out loans and tapping savings to remain in business, going to work every day knowing that it's costing them money.
AP: Blue Bell: Listeria likely spread in Oklahoma plant drainage
- Blue Bell Creameries told federal inspectors that it believes that listeria bacteria spread at its Oklahoma plant through a drainage system, but the company said it couldn’t identify a single source of listeria that contaminated equipment at its flagship facility in the Central Texas town of Brenham.
AP: U-Md. disavows chocolate milk study, returns money
- The University of Maryland on Friday disavowed its study saying a company's chocolate milk could help athletes recover from concussions, citing a range of problems uncovered by an internal investigation.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: China’s buying up foreign companies, so the U.S. might need to rethink its trade strategy
- (Opinion) Now comes word of a bid by China’s state-owned chemical company to buy Swiss-based Syngenta, suggesting that Beijing has a rather different strategy in mind: to buy the Western biotech it can’t develop on its own — and give one particular importer favored access to China’s huge market.
Reuters: As China reforms its corn market, farmers switch to growing soybeans
- China announced last week it will stop its corn stockpiling program and allow markets to set prices - a move that should transform the agricultural landscape as farmers shift to more lucrative crops like soybeans, rice and peanuts.
Japan Times: TPP will push Japanese farmers to grow cheaper rice in bid to boost exports
- The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, aiming to increase Japan’s annual rice exports to 10,000 tons over the next three years, is planning to direct some areas of the country to focus on growing cheaper rice by cutting costs and specializing in varieties with higher yields, sources said.
AP: 2 dead, many wounded as police disperse Philippine farmers
- Police clashed with farmers blocking a highway to demand government relief in the drought-stricken southern Philippines on Friday, leaving at least two demonstrators dead and dozens injured, including at least 23 officers, officials said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Report: Climate change shrinking Western water supplies
- Farmers in 17 Western states will have to step up their efforts to conserve water in the coming decades, as temperatures rise and droughts and floods become more frequent, the Bureau of Reclamation says in a new report.
Agri-Pulse: USDA puts up $103 million to rebuild, improve dams
- Most of the funding will come from the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Emergency Watershed Protection program, which Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday “is vital to communities repairing damage and making improvements to reduce future damage from natural disasters.”
Agri-Pulse: Canadian experts approve continued use of 2,4-D
- Canadian health experts have determined that registered products containing 2,4-D are acceptable for continued registration under current use conditions, painting a sharp contrast to decisions made by some other governments.
Fresno Bee: Valley’s Westside farmers seethe over tiny water allocation from feds
- Westside farmers got dismal news Friday when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a 5 percent water allocation for 2016. Farmers say the paltry allocation will mean thousands of acres in one of the nation’s most productive farming regions will continue to be fallowed.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
L.A. Times: Low turnout in special election could hand GOP an Assembly seat for the first time in decades
- Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier, a Republican, is facing Democrat Joaquin Arambula, an emergency room doctor and the grandson of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico running in a district with a majority of Latino voters. His father, Juan Arambula, is a former assemblyman and county supervisor with a good reputation.
San Luis Obispo Tribune: Farmworkers deserve stable housing in Nipomo development
- (Opinion) These hard-working people are an important part of our existence, as they do hard labor that most Americans balk at in order to put food in our grocery stores. They deserve kindness and a decent place to live near where they work.
The Hill: Supreme Court split threatens Obama's immigration actions
- President Obama is facing the very real possibility of a deadlock at the Supreme Court that guarantees his immigration actions won’t take effect before he leaves office.
Reuters: Corn prices weaken on forecast for rise in U.S. sowings
- U.S. corn futures were lower on Friday, weighed down by a U.S. government forecast of 2016 planted acreage which was well above market expectations.
Law360: FTC Asks Supreme Court Not To Take Up POM Ad Dispute
- The Federal Trade Commission is urging the Supreme Court not to second-guess the agency's findings with regard to juice maker Pom Wonderful LLC, dozens of whose ads the FTC said were misleading to consumers.
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