Daily Harvest -- 4/5/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 5
- (Audio) Biotech bill compromise still a possibility; trade secrets bill heads to House; EPA blasted for billboard; climate change's effect on ag; Grassley a "living laboratory" for GMOs.
Agri-Pulse: Organic sector continues double-digit growth
- The number of organic farms is increasing, even after more than a decade of sustained growth in the sector, according to newly released USDA data.
Agri-Pulse: AFBF concerned by anti-trade campaign talk
- (Audio) The nation's largest farm organization is expressing concern about some anti-trade language used by presidential candidates and what it might mean for the future of ag exports. Dale Moore, executive director for public policy at AFBF, says he hopes that whoever will gets into the White House will change his or her tune once there -- as President Obama did.
Bloomberg: A $150 Million Bond Clash Jolts U.S. Debt Market for Farmers
- A cooperative bank that’s a member of the Farm Credit System is facing backlash over a plan to buy back at par about $405 million of bonds sold in April 2008. Investors are concerned that if CoBank is successful, AgriBank FCB, also a member of the system, would be able to retire its $500 million of unsecured bonds, which are trading at 120 cents, by its next interest-payment date in July. That could amount to losses of more than $150 million on the two series of notes.
N.Y. Times: A Renewable Energy Boom
- (Opinion) Last year, for the first time, renewables accounted for a majority of new electricity-generating capacity added around the world, according to a recent United Nations report.
Washington Post: Can coal companies afford to clean up coal country?
- A worsening financial crisis for the nation’s biggest coal companies is sparking concerns that U.S. taxpayers could be stuck with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in cleanup costs across a landscape of shuttered mines stretching from Appalachia to the northern Plains.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Politico: Obama's latest food crackdown: Salt
- Voluntary targets for how much sodium should be in processed foods, from soup to potato chips, are expected to be released as early as this summer, current and former administration officials tell POLITICO.
Delta Farm Press: The tiny state that roared: Forcing GMO info on food labels
- Given that Congress seems unable to accomplish much of anything on major issues, it should be little surprise that it has thus far failed to reach consensus on whether or how food packaging should inform consumers when genetically modified ingredients are used.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: How the U.S.’s peanut glut could undermine the work of the Clintons
- The U.S. is giving peanuts to Haiti, but that's one of the few crops Haitians can grow.
Wall Street Journal: Clinton, Sanders Spar Over Who Would Be Stronger in General Election
- Mr. Sanders campaigned in Janesville, Wis., where he criticized Mrs. Clinton over her support of free-trade agreements.
Pig Farmer: IFA voices alarm over potential EU trade deal with South America
- Urgent action to prevent an exchange of offers on a new trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur countries of South America has been called for by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), warning that a settlement would be “unequivocally negative” for European agriculture.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
AP: States, federal agencies will seek removal of Klamath dams
- Oregon, California, the federal government and others have agreed to go forward with a plan to remove four hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest without approval from a reluctant Congress, a spokesman for dam owner PacifiCorp said Monday.
Sacramento Bee: Drought still grips Southern California, keeping pressure on state water supplies
- El Niño has been little more than a cruel joke in Southern California this winter. The torrential rains haven’t materialized. Groundwater aquifers have been pumped to near-historic lows. A sizable reservoir two hours east of Los Angeles, built for $2 billion as drought insurance, is two-thirds empty, its boat launch closed.
CNS News: WH Science Advisor: Farmers, Construction Workers Will Die From Climate Change
- Because of climate change, White House Science Advisor John Holdren says outdoor workers like those in agriculture and construction “will basically be unable to control their body temperature and will die. This is a really, really big deal. And it’s going to be a big deal in the hottest parts of the United States as well as the Middle East, in South Asia and other places.”
AP: Lesser prairie chicken numbers surging
- Conservation advocates say the lesser prairie chicken's population surged 25 percent from the year before, six months after a federal judge ruled the species shouldn't be protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Missoulian: FWS must consider climate change in reconsidering wolverine listing
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's position on whether wolverines are endangered must reflect the threat of climate change and projected declines in snow cover, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled Monday.
Riverside Press Enterprise: San Berdoo flying squirrel won't be listed, FWS says
- The San Bernardino flying squirrel won’t be getting any help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That’s because the federal agency says it doesn’t need any.
Officials announced on Monday that they had determined that protecting the animal under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act was unnecessary.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Merced Sun-Star: Farm laborers march for benefits, health care in Merced
- Health care, education and farmworkers’ rights took center stage during a march and celebration Sunday in Merced. The second annual Cesar Chavez March carried on the legacy of the civil rights advocate, according to organizers, who said conditions for workers must still improve.
WFTX-TV (Fox 4, Fla.): Immokalee farm workers kick off Wendy's boycott
- Dozens of Immokalee farm workers kicked off a "month of outrage" at a Naples Wendy's Sunday to call for a boycott of the fast food chain. The farm workers were led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; a group that works to provide humane wages and human rights protections for farm workers.
KCRA: Central Valley farmers: Even if pay goes up, not many people will come to fields
- The increase in California’s minimum wage is expected to affect millions of low-wage workers and business that employ them, especially the agriculture industry.
Reuters: Farmer belt-tightening threatens U.S. ag companies' profits
- With grain prices near five-year lows and farm incomes at their lowest levels since 2002, growers are tightening their belts by reducing spending on everything from fertilizer to seeds to chemicals.
Parade: Actor Victor Garber Talks about new movie, Consumed, a GMO thriller
- The story is anchored by a working-class, single mother on a hunt to uncover the cause of her son’s mysterious illness.
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