Daily Harvest -- 4/20/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Fast-track push begins as internal Democratic fight looms
- (Subscriber only) A deal between key lawmakers to fast-track new trade agreements begins to move through Congress this week, increasing pressure on President Obama to win over reluctant Democrats.
Agri-Pulse: APHIS announces new avian flu cases, new reporting regime
- USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today a new reporting model to keep up with the rapid spread of high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the nation's chicken and turkey flocks.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Got change, but no change yet
- Point, Counterpoint: Every election cycle, it makes sense to review the make-up of the Congressional Ag Committees as a starting point to see if leadership strategies have changed with respect to future food and agriculture policy. Professor, did you notice any changes this last cycle?
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Minority Whip Senator Dick Durbin
- (Audio) Senator Durbin says more open floor debate may lead to compromise on complex issues including trade, taxes, nutrition and food labeling. Despite a desperate need for conclusion, Durbin believes tax reform and immigration may be too divisive for this congress to resolve.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: April 17, 2015 - TPA, WOTUS, and the estate tax
- Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase discuss a busy week on Capitol Hill that included action on Trade Promotion Authority, waters of the United States, and estate tax repeal.
Des Moines Register: Farmers turn to GMO-free crops to boost income
- When Justin Dammann enters his southwestern Iowa cornfield this month, the 35-year-old farmer will sow something these 2,400 acres have not seen in more than a decade — plants grown without genetically modified seeds.
Des Moines Register: Iowa, tops in egg production, strives to keep bird flu out
- The discovery of bird flu on an Iowa turkey farm has raised serious concerns that the poultry-killing virus could find its way into chicken barns in the nation's top egg-producing state and savage flocks that provide the breakfast staple.
Washington Times: Obama resists oil exports despite near-record U.S. crude production
- With U.S. energy production at near-record highs, pressure is mounting on the Obama administration to lift a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports.
Fox News: Oklahoma Legislature, like Congress, takes aim at taxpayer-funded wind energy credits
- Roughly 30 bills relating to the Oklahoma wind industry have been filed in the state legislature in the 2015 session, including at least one targeting the tax breaks and others attempting to alter regulatory policies.
The Columbus Dispatch: Solar energy gets cloudy in Ohio
- The company is one of several whose leaders blame recent Ohio legislation for drying up work here, forcing Ohio-based developers and installers to compete for jobs far from their home turf.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack encourages organic industry to consider checkoff - 4/20/2015
- (Audio) With a record number of organic producers now in the U.S., the industry is quickly becoming more mainstream and Vilsack last week encouraged producers to consider a checkoff program.
Washington Post: Gwyneth Paltrow bought on food stamps what only rich people buy
- Gwyneth Paltrow didn't last long on food stamps. The actress announced last week she would attempt to feed herself for a week on just $29, a little less than the typical person in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has to spend on food. Paltrow gave up after just four days.
New York Times: Cornell’s Chocolate Milk Fills Refueling Gap
- Throughout the school year, Cornell’s strength and conditioning center is filled with a chorus of clanging weights and thumping rock music.
Washington Post: How Obama wants to help America’s poorest kids, and why even more is needed
- The White House's plan to alleviate rising child poverty in rural areas depends on more powerful people taking notice.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Japan, U.S. Seek Trade Pact Deals on Rice, Auto Parts
- Japan and the U.S. made progress on contentious trade topics in the past week and the countries’ top negotiators will continue to work on outstanding issues early Monday, Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari said.
Wall Street Journal: ‘Fast Track’ Trade Bill Taps Tension in Ohio
- Rep. Tim Ryan doesn’t need to travel far from home to see the damage he ascribes to bad trade deals.
Bloomberg: Reluctant Gandhi Returns to Lead India Land-Acquisition Protest
- Rahul Gandhi, the unenthusiastic heir to India’s most famous political family, addressed farmers on Sunday to oppose the government’s new land-acquisition rules, his first public appearance after staying away for almost two months.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Conflict Over Soil and Water Quality Puts ‘Iowa Nice’ to a Test
- The flat, endless acres of black dirt here in northern Iowa will soon be filled with corn and soybean seeds. But as farmers tuned up their tractors and waited for the perfect moment to plant, another topic weighed on their minds: a lawsuit filed in federal court by the state’s largest water utility.
Reuters: California revises drought plan after pressure from cities
- California water regulators on Saturday revised a still-tentative drought plan by easing cuts for Los Angeles and San Diego and bumping up reduction targets in the areas that consume the most water.
Reuters: Tornado, damaging storms strike U.S. Southeast
- Storms that damaged homes and toppled trees rolled through the U.S. Southeast on Sunday including a tornado in Alabama, and further severe weather is possible, the National Weather Service said.
The Telegraph: Almonds blamed in California drought
- Across California's Central Valley, an area half the size of England which is known as the breadbasket of America, almond orchards stretch as far as the eye can see.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Politico: Court chilly to Barack Obama immigration moves
- A federal appeals court signaled Friday that it is unlikely to allow President Barack Obama’s request to go ahead with a new round of relief for illegal immigrants, making it likely that the White House will have to take its legal case to the Supreme Court within days.
CNN: Marco Rubio: Big immigration reforms impossible now
- Marco Rubio once backed an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws — but now, he says such major reforms are no longer a political possibility.
The Hill: Hillary snags a watchdog, with Wall Street pedigree
- Bloomberg reported Thursday evening that Clinton’s campaign had tapped Gary Gensler, the former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as its chief financial officer. The campaign has not officially confirmed the move, and Gensler could not be reached for comment.
Washington Post: Truck carrying millions of bees tips over on highway
- More than 13 million bees were on the truck, according to the Washington State Patrol. The driver was trying to merge onto scenic Interstate 5 in Lynwood, Wash., north of Seattle, when the truck tipped over, freeing some of the bee prisoners.
The News Journal: DuPont earnings may not impact proxy war
- As DuPont Co. prepares to release its first-quarter earnings Tuesday, experts say the results will have little impact on the chemical company’s board seat battle with Trian Fund Management.
Financial Times: Cargill guards private life in 150th year
- One involved the world’s biggest trader of agricultural commodities offering shares to the public, but that idea was quickly dismissed in favour of another transaction completed in 2011.
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