Daily Harvest -- 4/16/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Green groups sue to end pollution-reporting exemptions for animal feeding operations
- A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit today challenging a Bush administration EPA decision that exempts large animal feeding operations from requirements that they file reports on airborne emissions of hazardous substances.
Agri-Pulse: Republicans advance bills to block Clean Water Act rule
- House committees approved separate bills to block the Obama administration from re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, but Democrats made clear that the strategy will face stiff opposition.
Agri-Pulse: Organic Trade Association unveils promising stats on industry growth
- The head of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) told a sold-out conference Wednesday morning that the results of a recent annual survey show “organic has turned a corner.”
Agri-Pulse: Bunge venture with Saudi company buys controlling interest in CWB
- A joint venture between a state-owned Saudi Arabian investment company and the agribusiness giant Bunge has purchased a controlling interest in CWB, formerly the Canadian Wheat Board, for C$250 million ($203 million U.S.
Des Moines Register: USDA: Deadly bird flu virus found in Iowa
- A bird flu outbreak affecting areas throughout the Midwest has been found in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, the first time the virus has been found in Iowa, the U.S. government said Tuesday.
Bloomberg: U.S. Forced to Import Corn as Shoppers Demand Organic Food
- A growing demand for organics, and the near-total reliance by U.S. farmers on genetically modified corn and soybeans, is driving a surge in imports from other nations where crops largely are free of bioengineering.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol supporters meet with Hillary Clinton in Iowa
- (Audio) During her visit to Iowa this week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton discussed the Renewable Fuel Standard and ethanol with farmer leaders and Former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa Patty Judge.
Bloomberg: Strong Dollar Threatens U.S. Ethanol Exporter Gains Over Brazil
- Over the last four years, the title of world’s top ethanol exporter has changed hands three times: The U.S. took it from Brazil in 2011, lost it back a year later and retook it again in 2014.
Washington Post: Opinion: ‘Sustainability’ gone mad on college campuses
- The effect on alumni giving should be substantial because divesting institutions are proclaiming that the goal of expanding educational resources is less important than the striking of righteous poses — if there can be anything righteous about flamboyant futility.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Could Eliminate Net Energy Imports by 2030
- The U.S. could soon export more energy than it imports, significantly changing the country’s appetite for foreign fuels starting as early as 2020, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Charities testify on benefits of public-private partnerships to feed the hungry
- Charity and nonprofit organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry testified Wednesday on how public-private partnerships can help their efforts during a House Agriculture Committee hearing.
Agri-Pulse: Hearing calls for flexibility - not repeal - of school lunch rules
- The controversial school lunch standards approved in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 received more scrutiny in Congress Wednesday, with advocates calling for increased flexibility in the rules.
Reuters: U.S. pushing organic crops as demand grows
- The U.S. government will boost support for production of organic crops and produce this year to meet growing consumer demand and boost rural incomes, U.S. Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.
Associated Press: Consumers increasingly buy organic products despite high prices, supply shortages in industry
- The higher price of organic foods and other products doesn't seem to be deterring consumers: Sales jumped 11 percent last year, an industry report says.
Omaha World Herald: 'Entopreneurs' feed growing appetite for edible insects
- An increasing number of "entopreneurs" are launching businesses to feed a growing appetite for crickets, mealworms and other edible insects.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Fast-track bill held up amid talks on trade assistance
- Release of a fast-track trade bill was held up Wednesday as key lawmakers negotiated the terms of a separate package of trade adjustment programs sought by Democrats.
The Hill: Opinion: Opportunity knocks for a free-market agriculture policy
- "Moving to A Free Market Agriculture Policy," identifies a number of factors ranging from environmental regulation to U.S. tax laws to foreign government subsidies as contributing to either the costs of doing business or the competitive price points for agriculture products.
Reuters: Yemen war puts 2015 crop at risk, food stocks shrink: U.N. agency
- Conflict in Yemen is disrupting the crop planting season and threatens to create food shortages as the war-stricken country eats into its cereal reserves, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Wednesday.
Bloomberg: India Tobacco Giant Tries Short Cigarettes as Taxes Hit Demand
- India’s smokers are favoring cheaper options such as chewing and leaf-wrapped tobacco over cigarettes, as rising taxes prompt British American Tobacco Plc’s Indian associate to sell shorter sticks with lower duties.
Washington Post: Russia says Western investment in Ukraine’s farms is a plot to take over the world
- Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told a meeting of his counterparts in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Tuesday that the West plans to grown “genetically modified crops” in Ukraine.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: US, Mexico, Canada meet to improve monarch habitat
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe said he and his counterparts from Mexico and Canada are seeking new ways to support monarch butterfly habitat during the 20th annual meeting of the Canada/Mexico/United States Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management in San Diego, California.
Los Angeles Times: Cities criticize California water cuts as unfair, unrealistic
- Representatives of urban water suppliers and advocacy groups from across the state have criticized a plan from state water regulators that would force some to cut water consumption by as much as 35% over the next year.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
NJ.com: Christie: N.J. legal action against immigration amnesty plan his 'message' to Obama
- Gov. Chris Christie said on Wednesday that he was sending a message to President Obama when he quietly threw his support behind Texas and other states suing the federal government over the president's amnesty program for unauthorized immigrants.
Rapid City Journal: A modern-day cattle rustling story in South Dakota
- Circuit Judge John Brown sentenced Hall this week to seven years in the state penitentiary for grand theft involving 11 calves taken from a Hyde County ranch where he worked as a hired hand. In all, 31 fresh-born calves were stolen in the case.
Associated Press: California Man Who Clubbed 925 Chickens Sentenced to Jail
- A judge has sentenced an 18-year-old man to 120 days in jail for clubbing 925 Foster Farms chickens to death in Fresno last year.
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