Daily Harvest -- 4/15/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 15, 2016
- (Audio) Clinton, Sanders tangle in N.Y. debate; GOP senator pledges WOTUS debate; positions harden in GMO debate; committee Democrats slam draft nutrition bill.; more.
Agri-Pulse: Taking a deep dive in a narrow, yet controversial, part of the tax code
- Neil Harl is a professor emeritus from Iowa State University and at one time, he was one of the foremost tax experts in the country. But many tax experts believe taxpayers could be setting themselves up for a run-in with the IRS by relying on Harl's interpretation of a small partnership exception to filing a tax return.
Agri-Pulse: First of House Ag farm income hearings has an eye on the future
- The topic of declining farm income is not a new one, but lawmakers and farm group leaders approached it in a new way on Thursday, framing the conversation around the lessons learned going into the next farm bill.
Agri-Pulse: ACE members advocate for RFS at annual fly-in
- (Audio) Members of the American Coalition for Ethanol were in Washington this week advocating for the ethanol industry's cornerstone policy, the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Agri-Pulse: DOE: Natural gas can be leveraged as a transportation fuel
- Because the transportation sector accounts for nearly a third of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions, the Department of Energy continues to research alternative fuels in order to “provide consumers with cutting-edge vehicle technologies that optimize fuel efficiency, minimize transportation emissions and improve energy security.”
N.Y. Times: Senators Reach Deal to Act on Comprehensive Energy Bill
- Senators on Wednesday reached a deal to act on a comprehensive energy bill as soon as this week, breaking a three-month partisan standoff over the tainted water scandal in Flint, Mich.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA won't regulate gene-edited mushroom
- A gene-edited mushroom won't be regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), making it the first crop edited with CRISPR-Cas9 to go unregulated by USDA.
N.Y. Times: The Looming Threat of Avian Flu
- Last year’s outbreak showed just how difficult it is to protect America’s agricultural system from devastating diseases. Next time it could be even worse.
Capital Press: Lawyers square off over Josephine County GMO ban
- The fundamental dispute in the lawsuit is whether Oregon state law overrules the county's prohibition against genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
AP: McDonald's Stores Targeted by Protests for $15/hour, Union
- Protesters calling for pay of $15 an hour and a union were at McDonald's restaurants around the country and overseas Thursday as part of an ongoing push targeting the world's biggest hamburger chain.
AP: Authorities say sophisticated criminal organizations are stealing more of California's high-valued nut crops than ever before
- International crime rings targeting California's booming agriculture industry are increasingly stealing truckloads of high-value nuts, prompting authorities and the firms falling victim to ramp up efforts to break the spree costing millions.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: China agrees to scrap export subsidies
- China is eliminating a complex web of subsidies the country has been using to boost its exports of agricultural, medical, textile and other goods, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Thursday.
Australian Broadcasting Co.: Climate change has dropped off the political radar (and this is a big problem)
- (Opinion) The aversion to talking about climate change during the election campaign reflects a wider problem: our concern for this issue has fallen even while it has become larger and more urgent, writes Mike Steketee.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Bay Journal: Bay’s crab population hits four-year high, survey finds
- Results from the annual winter dredge survey conducted by Maryland and Virginia put the Bay’s crab population at 553 million, a 35 percent increase from last year’s tally, and the greatest number seen in the Chesapeake since 2012.
Circle of Blue: Great Lakes Oil Pipeline in Violation of Operating Agreement, Groups Allege
- Twin 63-year-old oil pipelines crossing beneath the waters that connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are currently out of compliance with the state agreement that allows their existence, according to a letter and memorandum sent Wednesday by 22 environmental and tribal groups to Michigan’s governor and attorney general.
Washington Post: Prince George’s County is right to ban fracking
- (Opinion) As co-manager of a small, sustainable dairy farm in southern Prince George’s County, I am relieved that the county recently voted to ban hydraulic fracturing. This region has been called the breadbasket of Prince George’s County.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
KVEW (Tri-Cities, Washington): Farmers struggle to find enough laborers
- "There might be half a dozen good reasons why labor is on the (wane) in the asparagus industry or Washington agriculture in general," says Jeffrey Muse of Muse Farms Inc.
KCET: Caught Between the Cracks of Health Care for the Undocumented
- Before businesses open their doors and morning commuters flood the streets, Fresno County’s farm workers have already harvested hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, peaches and grapes on the nearly 1.9 million acres of the county’s farmland.
Reuters: Confirmation that Zika causes microcephaly shifts debate to prevention
- After several weeks of study and debate, U.S. health officials concluded that infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy causes the birth defect microcephaly, a finding that experts hope will refocus attention on efforts to stop infections and prompt U.S. lawmakers to fund emergency prevention efforts.
AP: Feds to buy wild blueberries to prop up prices
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy up to 30 million pounds of wild blueberries to help stabilize prices and supply in one of Maine's signature industries.
Investor's Business Daily: Cyrus McCormick Revolutionized Farming Worldwide With The Reaper
- By 1840, McCormick had built on the experiments of others to come up with the first really effective horse-drawn reaper that got the time to bundle a bale of wheat down to 90 minutes.
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