Daily Harvest -- 4/8/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 8, 2016
- (Audio) Partisan differences are threatening to swamp a series of issues critical to agriculture and food policy. There has been no evidence of a breakthrough on the biotech labeling issue, and now differences are emerging over school nutrition. And a reauthorization bill for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also may be headed for a partisan showdown next week in the Senate.
Agri-Pulse: Campbell lobbyist calls for industry to back GMO labeling
- The top lobbyist for Campbell Soup Co. says it's time for the food industry to put the GMO debate behind it and support a national labeling requirement.
Agri-Pulse: NFU concerned about farm income
- (Audio) USDA projects that net farm income will drop 3 percent in 2016 after dropping 40 percent last year. If realized, the projected net farm income figure of $54.8 billion would be the lowest net farm income total since 2002.
Progressive Farmer: Champion On Capitol Hill
- ASA’s chief lobbyist, John Gordley, has spent his career promoting agriculture. John Gordley has worked four decades on farm policy matters for crops such as soybeans, canola and wheat.
National Law Review: USDA launches program to facilitate GAP certification for small and mid-sized produce entities
- On April 4, AMS announced the launch of “GroupGAP,” a new certification program intended to help small and mid-sized growers and cooperatives meet retailers’ on-farm food safety requirements.
Crop Protection News: Amid legislative uncertainty, AFBF wants market to decide on GMO labels
- "We want consumers to decide. If a company wants to put a GMO label or a non-GMO label on their product, as long as it is truthful and not misleading, that’s great. That’s consumer information,” AFBF's Andrew Walmsley said.
Wall Street Journal: Venezuelans Get Fridays Off in Government’s Latest Bid to Save Energy
- The Friday shutdowns come after Venezuela, which is already in the throes of a deep economic crisis, closed offices for an extra three days over the Easter holiday in an earlier bid to save electricity.
Sun Chronicle (Massachusetts): House passes compromise solar energy bill
- The bill lifts a cap on credits for selling solar energy to utilities that had been reached or nearly reached in many sections of the state, including those served by National Grid, such as the Attleboro area.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA details standards in proposed organic livestock rule
- Animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry production can be expected soon, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service announced on Thursday.
Washington Post: Our wasted food is a huge environmental problem – and it’s only getting worse
- The more scientists study the issue of food waste — and its worrying implications for both the environment and global food security — the clearer it becomes how much of a problem it is. Now, new research is giving us a few more reasons to clean our plates.
Duluth News Tribune: Judge favors inspection for North Shore dairy farm
- The attorney for a Cook County farmer said Wednesday his client will appeal a State District Court decision that paves the way for state inspection of the farmer's raw-milk operation. The development is the latest in a legal saga that began in January 2013, when the Minnesota Department of Agriculture learned that the dairy was advertising unpasteurized milk products on the Internet.
Albany Times-Union: Letter: We have right to know about GMOs
- (Opinion) New Yorkers want to know what is in our food. In fact, with poll after poll showing that nearly 90 percent of Americans want genetically engineered food to be labeled, few issues have broader public support.
Manitoba Cooperator: Canadian launch of Monsanto’s new Xtend soybean on hold pending European Union approval
- With seeding around the corner, distribution of Monsanto’s new Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans to Canadian farmers is on hold, awaiting European Union (EU) approval.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Cargill Doesn't See Clouds Lifting Yet From Agriculture Rout
- Cargill, the 151-year-old company that's one of the biggest players in the global agriculture markets, sees no improvement on the horizon for slumping crop prices. "Barring weather events, we don't anticipate a near-term improvement in market conditions for agriculture," chairman and chief executive officer David MacLennan said Thursday in an earnings statement.
AgWeb: Philippine Supreme Court GMO Ruling Shows Vulnerability But Offers Hope When Farmers Speak Up
- (Opinion) We’re going to keep on planting GMOs—and we’ll stand up to anyone who tries to stop us.
Eyewitness News (South Africa): ‘Disastrous’ doom looms over agriculture industry
- The African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa) says the agriculture industry is heading for what it’s called a “disaster”. The association has warned chicken, pork and red meat prices will more than double in the coming months, due to the rocketing price of maize.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
The News & Observer: Thousands plead to keep beloved manatee on ‘endangered’ list
- Over the last three months, virtually all of the 3,700-plus people who’ve weighed in on the matter with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service want the big sea cow to retain its current federal classification.
Courthouse News: Crayfish Threatened by Coal Mining Protected
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday finalized Endangered Species Act protections for two Appalachian crayfish threatened by coal mining in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.
Modern Farmer: Farmers are Capitalizing on Carbon Sequestration: How Much is Your Carbon-Rich Soil Worth?
- To help farmers get an idea of their current climate impacts and prospects for earning carbon credits, USDA now has a free web-based tool called COMET-Farm, which provides an approximate carbon footprint based on user-supplied data and allows farmers to apply different land management scenarios to see which has the greatest carbon sequestering ability.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Atlantic: Why Does Immigration Make Some Americans Anxious?
- 64 percent of Donald Trump supporters say immigrants who speak little or no English bother them. Only 46 percent of Ted Cruz supporters share that belief. The findings suggest that people who back Cruz are likely less culturally anxious about immigration than those who back Trump.
Spencer (Iowa) Daily Reporter: Ted Cruz's non-answer on immigrant labor
- (Opinion) At a Wisconsin town hall meeting, Cruz essentially warned a Wisconsin dairy farmer and the agriculture industry that if he were president, it would lose its current workforce, wages would have to spiral sharply higher and a huge new investment in automation would be required for labor-intensive operations to stay in business.
Agri-Pulse: Comment period extended on GE mosquito proposal
- The Food and Drug Administration is extending the comment period on its proposal to allow an experimental release of gene-edited mosquitoes in Florida to combat the Zika virus. The new comment deadline is May 13.
Financial Times: US farmers stampede into corn despite low prices
- When corn doubled between 2006-12, topping $8 a bushel at their peak, farmers banked cash. Prices are now about $3.50. “At the end of this year, the financial reserves built up in that profitable period will be pretty much gone. Then we’ll being facing some really tough decisions,” says Gary Schnitkey, a professor of farm management at the University of Illinois.
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