Daily Harvest -- 4/18/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Lucas, other House leaders want answers on ˜heat and eat˜ issue
- House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and three other top Republican leaders requested information today from the Department of Health and Human Services on its efforts to oversee states using benefits from a home heating assistance program to bolster the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces Specialty Crop Block Grant funding
- USDA today announced the availability of approximately $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants to state departments of agriculture for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, through research, programs to increase demand and more.
Yahoo: The 'no sizzle' politician: Why Tom Vilsack is a good Agriculture Secretary, but fizzled as a presidential hopeful
- Vilsack was the first to announce his candidacy in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, but said that campaign, “absent some cataclysmic event,” was his last.
Associated Press: BNSF Outlines Fertilizer Shipment Plan to Feds
- BNSF Railway Co. will add trains in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana solely for transporting fertilizer for spring crop planting, the railroad has told a federal oversight board.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Egg demand strong despite PETA attacks
- (Audio) PETA used some children to criticize the First Lady for using real eggs at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Despite the animal rights activists’ increasing attacks on egg production, AFBF economist John Anderson said demand is strong.
Bloomberg: Burger King’s Big King Hamburger Gets a Chicken Makeover
- Burger King Worldwide Inc. will introduce the Chicken Big King -- a double-decker fried-chicken patty sandwich with lettuce and pickles -- across the U.S. on April 19, Alex Macedo, president of the Miami-based company’s North American unit, said in a phone interview.
Wall Street Journal: Salmonella Infections Fall, But Foodborne Illness Rates Unchanged
- (Subscriber only) Infection from salmonella bacteria, the most common form of food poisoning in the U.S., declined last year but the overall rate of foodborne illness is holding stubbornly steady despite new measures intended to curb it, according to data released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wall Street Journal: Chipotle to Raise Prices; Profit Climbs on Better Traffic
- (Subscriber only) To compensate for the high costs for ingredients like beef and avocados, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said it would raise menu prices companywide for the first time in three years.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Meat and poultry groups applaud Obama's TPP stance
- A number of meat and poultry groups are thanking President Obama for his administration's “strong stance” on agricultural tariffs in trade negotiations with Japan.
Bloomberg: U.S. to Decide Whether to Probe Mexico For Dumping Sugar
- The U.S. will announce today whether it will investigate allegations that Mexico unfairly subsidized its sugar exports, a step that may lead to penalties on trade that was valued at $1.1 billion last year.
The Hill: Financial trades push back on commodities crackdown
- Financial trade groups are pushing back against a growing call to bar banks from actually owning physical commodities.
Wall Street Journal: China Details Vast Extent of Soil Pollution
- (Subscriber only) The extent of China's soil pollution, long guarded as a state secret, was laid out in an official report that confirmed deep-seated fears about contaminated farmland and the viability of the country's food supply.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Bloomberg Businessweek: Patagonia Dreaming: Kris Tompkins Works to Build the Best National Park
- Over the past two decades, two American clothing executives have accomplished more than many nations at establishing a network of new parks, expanding existing ones, and linking them into wildlife “corridors”—a continuous habitat that reflects migratory patterns and animals’ range rather than lines on a map.
Associated Press: Reid calls rancher's backers 'domestic terrorists'
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling armed backers of a Nevada rancher "domestic terrorists" for using guns in a grazing rights battle with the federal Bureau of Land Management.
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