Daily Harvest -- 4/20/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 20, 2016
- Trump, Clinton with New York wins; Energy vote, possible WOTUS debate ahead in Senate; Vilsack, Conaway address Food Tank Summit; House to advance tariff bill important to pesticides; EPA watchdog to investigate ad campaign; and Grassley says more state GMO laws could break Senate impasse.
Agri-Pulse: House panel votes to block contract rules, protect GMO promotion funds
- (Subscriber only) House appropriators narrowly agreed to block the Agriculture Department from issuing new regulations on poultry and livestock contract practices, and Republicans preserved a $3 million plan to promote consumer acceptance of biotech crops.
Agri-Pulse: NPPC members head to Capitol Hill
- (Audio) This week, about 120 members of the National Pork Producers Council will be in Washington talking with lawmakers about their issues, which are taking a focus on food and animal safety.
Agri-Pulse: Energy reform package set for Senate vote
- (Subscriber only) The first comprehensive energy bill since 2007 advanced toward a final Senate vote Wednesday morning and could produce a long-awaited victory for Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
USA Today: Coal's demise threatens Appalachian miners, companies as production moves West
- The crushing forces prevailing against the U.S. coal industry have triggered an unprecedented shakeout, sparking bankruptcies of the industry’s biggest players — such as last week's collapse of Peabody Energy — and battering jobs in Appalachia even as mines in the west weather the fallout.
Albuquerque Journal: Texas, New Mexico oil producers push for import limits
- Oil drilling companies and royalty owners from the Texas Panhandle to New Mexico’s stretch of the Permian Basin are embarking on a grass-roots campaign to limit foreign oil imports, salvaging what they say is a major sector of the U.S. economy.
Washington Post: Merger done, Pepco seeks 10 percent rate increase from Maryland customers
- Under the 200-page proposal, which was filed Tuesday, the typical Pepco residential customer in Maryland would see their power bill increase by $15.80 a month, according to Pepco.
Associated Press: Chinese electric car maker enters US market by selling buses
- The Chinese automaker that sold more electric cars last year than Tesla, Nissan or GM is taking a back road into the American market on a battery-powered bus.
Washington Post: Kuwait oil unions end 3-day strike over government cutbacks
- Workers began the strike Sunday over cuts in their pay and benefits packages after failing to reach an agreement with the Oil Ministry. Kuwait, an OPEC member, on average pumps 3 million barrels of oil a day.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Chocolate milk maker wanted study touted with ‘Concussion’
- A small chocolate milk company wanted publicity touting the purported ability of its drink to help high school athletes recover from concussions to coincide with the Will Smith movie “Concussion,” according to emails obtained by The Associated Press.
Bloomberg: McDonald's Testing Bigger, Smaller Big Macs
- The company says it's testing a “Grand Mac” and “Mac Jr.” in the central Ohio and the Dallas areas, and will see how they do before deciding on a national rollout.
Quartz: Uber is killing off its instant food delivery option in New York City
- Uber is killing off the “instant” option in UberEats, its food-delivery service, just one month after the standalone app launched in New York City.
Wall Street Journal: CFO Moves: Wendy’s, Supervalu
- Wendy’s Co., the Dublin, Ohio, fast-food chain, named Gunther Plosch finance chief. And Supervalu Inc., the Eden Prairie, Minn., grocery store operator, gave Chief Operating Officer Bruce Besanko the added role of CFO.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Monsanto Said to Reject Argentina Request in Seed Dispute
- Monsanto Co. rejected a request by Argentina for more time to force farmers to pay royalties on genetically modified soybean seeds, according to people with knowledge of the situation, the latest twist in the saga of the largest seed company’s attempts to collect revenue in the country.
Wall Street Journal: Executive Offers $8 Billion Remedy for Midwest Rail Logjam
- A software industry veteran is taking on one of the toughest problems facing the U.S. railroad industry: the chronic traffic bottleneck surrounding Chicago that can take more than a day for freight trains to move through.
Wall Street Journal: Syngenta CEO Says ChemChina Deal on Track for Regulatory Clearance
- Syngenta AG Chief Executive John Ramsay said regulatory reviews of the Swiss seed and pesticide company’s $43 billion acquisition by ChemChina are on track so the deal should close by the end of the year.
Financial Review: China's Mengniu Dairy closes in on infant formula maker in $300m deal
- China's Mengniu Dairy is closing in on Victoria's Burra Foods, in a deal that would value the infant formula manufacturer at more than $300 million and deliver a windfall for Gippsland farmer owners Grant and William Crothers.
Associated Press: New Indonesia Mill Raises Doubts About APP's Forests Pledge
- A landmark commitment by one of the world's largest producers of tissue and paper to stop cutting down Indonesia's prized tropical forests is under renewed scrutiny as the company prepares to open a giant pulp mill in South Sumatra.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
LA Times: 3 to face criminal charges in Flint water crisis, officials say
- Michigan’s attorney general will announce criminal charges Wednesday against two state regulators and a Flint employee, alleging wrongdoing related to the city's lead-tainted water crisis, according to government officials familiar with the investigation.
Virginia Pilot: US Ag Department: Virginia livestock taken by coyotes dips
- USDA’s wildlife services division says the state saw a 24 percent decrease in the recorded number of sheep killed from July 2014 to June 2015. A similar decline was recorded in the number of calves taken by the predator.
LA Times: Thirsty cities begin to eye water from the Great Lakes
- Nearly a decade ago, eight governors shook hands on an extraordinary agreement to erect a legal wall around the largest source of fresh water on earth — the Great Lakes.
New York Times: Liberal Biases, Too, May Block Progress on Climate Change
- Even as progressive environmentalists wring their hands at the G.O.P.’s climate change denial, there are biases on the left that stray just as far from the scientific consensus.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Farm worker decertification fight is nowhere near over
- It could be a long time before workers at the state's largest tree-fruit processor get another chance to vote on whether the United Farm Workers can continue to represent them, after a state board nullified their 2013 election.
Washington Times: New Mexico governor rebukes Trump on border-fence plan
- Martinez, the nation’s only Latina governor and a potential Republican vice presidential pick, told the Associated Press that building fences can impact the U.S. economy and relationship with trading partners in Mexico and farther south.
LA Times: Editorial: It's the Supreme Court's turn to weigh Obama's immigration actions
- (Opinion) We would prefer the court to affirm that the president acted within his powers in deciding whom to target for removal and whom to give permission to work in the country — powers established in immigration law.
The Californian: From short hoe to long history as farmworkers’ heroes
- (Opinion) The sign on the office out of which the lawyers and staff worked was on Salinas’ South Main Street, across from Salinas High School. It read: “California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.” and was put up 50 years ago this month.
CNN: Australian deputy PM mocks Johnny Depp's dog smuggling apology video
- Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told Australian public broadcaster ABC that Depp "looked like he was auditioning for the Godfather" in the somber apology video, but said he did not "think he'll get an Academy Award for his performance."
Washington Post: Fidel Castro gives rare speech saying he’s nearing the end
- Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro delivered a valedictory speech Tuesday to the Communist Party that he put in power a half-century ago, telling party members he is nearing the end of his life and exhorting them to help his ideas survive.
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