Daily Harvest -- 4/10/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: House GOP sets up action to stop Clean Water rule
- (Subscriber only) The House will start moving bills next week to block the Obama administration's attempt to redefine the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
Agri-Pulse: Positives and pitfalls for ag in unmanned aircraft
- (Audio) Unmanned aerial technology offers great opportunities for farmers and ranchers, but at the same time raises concerns about the privacy and security of data collected by unmanned aircraft.
Agri-Pulse: USDA to grant $73 million for dam rehabilitation, assessment
- USDA announced today it will grant $73 million to rehabilitate and assess dams in 23 states to protect public health and expand water supplies in drought affected areas. About 150 projects and assessments are being funded.
Sacramento Bee: State regulators: California water use will never be the same
- California needs to use “this crisis as an opportunity to accelerate what we know we are going to have to do under climate change anyway,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, which oversees the state’s complex system of water allocations, and this spring is tasked with writing new usage regulations.
Wall Street Journal: Soybean Prices Fall to Six-Month Low
- U.S. soybean prices slid to a nearly six-month low, as concerns about rising global supplies and softer export demand overshadowed a government forecast for tighter-than-expected domestic stockpiles.
Mid-Hudson News Network: Schumer pushes for crop insurance for Valley farmers who grow malt barley for beer
- US Senator Charles Schumer came to Wappingers Falls on Tuesday to announce he would push for crop insurance for Hudson Valley farmers who grow malt barley, a crop that is crucial for the growing craft beer industry.
WRAL: Nash farmer, 74, imprisoned for crop insurance fraud
- A 74-year-old Nash County tobacco farmer will spend six months in prison after being convicted of federal crop insurance fraud, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced Thursday.
The Guardian: Can Monsanto's big data play really help farmers and the environment?
- David Friedberg, CEO of The Climate Corporation, expected pushback when he decided to sell his San Francisco-based big data company to Monsanto. He was surprised, though, when some of the loudest criticism came from his own father.
Associated Press: Obama visits Jamaica with energy security as priority
- Opening a three-day trip to the Caribbean and Central America, President Barack Obama hopes to capitalize on mutual needs in the face of expanding Chinese influence and weakening power by Venezuela, once the energy juggernaut of the Americas.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Political divide emerges over Minnesota energy policy
- State Rep. Pat Garofalo says he’s not trying to undo decades of progress on energy conservation and renewable energy in Minnesota.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reuters: Fears over Roundup herbicide residues prompt private testing
- U.S. consumer groups, scientists and food companies are testing substances ranging from breakfast cereal to breast milk for residues of the world's most widely used herbicide on rising concerns over its possible links to disease.
Associated Press: GMO food engineers seek market opening
- The companies and scientists that have created these foods are hoping customers will be attracted to the health benefits and convenience and overlook any concerns about genetic engineering.
Bloomberg: Sabra Recalls Hummus Over Fears It’s Contaminated With Listeria
- Sabra Dipping Co. is recalling about 30,000 cases of its classic hummus over fears the product is contaminated with listeria bacteria, which can cause fatal infections in young children and the elderly.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Sorghum supplies tighten on Chinese demand
- Strong Chinese demand is tightening sorghum supplies even as farmers plan to seed more of the crop this spring, the Agriculture Department says.
Agri-Pulse: Administration highlights exports in new report
- The Obama administration released a report today highlighting the importance of trade exports in all 50 states, an effort to drive home the impacts of trade on the middle class as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) talks heat up on Capitol Hill.
Reuters: U.S. cuts poultry export forecast as deadly bird flu spreads
- The U.S. government on Thursday reduced its forecasts for poultry exports by nearly 6 percent from last month due partly to an accelerating outbreak of bird flu that has triggered wider-than-expected trade restrictions.
The Independent: Brazil to decide on whether to approve world's first GM eucalyptus trees
- The world’s first commercially planted genetically-modified trees may be approved in Brazil, when officials rule on the safety of a newly engineered variety of eucalyptus.
Wall Street Journal: Australian Cattle Producer With Famed Roots Up for Sale
- A company owning one of the world’s biggest cattle farms has been put on the block by descendants of pioneering Australian rancher Sidney Kidman, in the latest attempt to cash in on Asia’s growing appetite for beef.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Lowe's says it will stop selling neonics
- Lowe's announced it will phase out the sale of products containing neonicotinoid pesticides as part of its corporate responsibility commitments for this year.
Agri-Pulse: Purdue researcher finds improving honey bee population
- The honeybee population in Indiana survived the winter in better shape than a year ago, with estimated losses at about 29 percent compared to a mortality rate of about 65 percent after the winter of 2013-2014, according to Purdue University honeybee specialist Greg Hunt.
Reuters: California regulators defend farmers' access to water in drought
- The administration of California Governor Jerry Brown hit back on Thursday against criticism that its drought conservation mandates apply to consumers but do not include the state's $45 billion agriculture business.Bloomberg: California Drought-Fighters Turn to Australians for Help
Bloomberg: California Drought-Fighters Turn to Australians for Help
- Australian farms and cities manage almost every drop of available water to make the most of supplies on the driest inhabited continent. No wonder California is looking Down Under for help with its record drought.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Post Star: Stefanik, Gibson propose streamlining agricultural visa program
- U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, said she has agreed to be an original co-sponsor of legislation Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, will introduce to transfer administration of the programs from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture.
Agri-Pulse: Enright leaving BIO to lead Pet Food Institute
- Cathleen Enright, executive vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is leaving BIO for the Pet Food Institute where she'll be CEO. She starts the new position on April 27.
New York Times: Peltz’s Attacks on DuPont Threaten America’s Research Edge
- Today, DuPont is facing an activist attack from Nelson Peltz. His Trian Fund seeks to replace four DuPont board members with Mr. Peltz and three other candidates.
The Economist: Up: A Chinese firm has taken the lead in a promising market
- DJI’s drones are lightweight and relatively easy to use. Newer models come with built-in GPS and a motorised mount that stabilises the camera while letting it rotate in several directions. Considering the technology embedded inside, they are also inexpensive: a new Phantom 3 can be had for about $1,000.
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