Daily Harvest -- 4/21/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 21, 2016
- (Audio) Vilsack seeks to speed EU negotiations; Conaway appeals across ideological divide; Feed the Future authorization clears Senate; energy negotiators face tough talks on land conservation; former FDA official says the agency would embrace GMO education; and Nestle removing some GMOs.
Agri-Pulse: Despite HSUS challenge, USDA approves pork checkoff payments for trademarks
- (Subscriber only) USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service announced today that the National Pork Board can continue to pay $3 million in annual payments to the National Pork Producers Council.
Agri-Pulse: John Block on Taxes
- (Audio) “I paid my income taxes this week. And you know how the IRS does it – ‘How much did you make? Ok, send it in.’”
Daily Republic: South Dakota's surging dairy
- South Dakota has peaked the charts with a 13 percent increase in milk production from the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is the single largest jump in any state.
Bloomberg: Agriculture Resurgent as Soybeans Top $10 on Weather Concerns
- Soybeans extended a rally above $10 a bushel, the highest price since July, and corn traded near $4 a bushel as unfavorable weather in South America and prospects for improved demand for U.S. supplies bolstered agriculture markets.
Agri-Pulse: Senate approves comprehensive energy bill
- (Subscriber only) The Senate today gave its overwhelming approval to the first comprehensive energy bill since 2007, producing a long-awaited victory for Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Agri-Pulse: EPA chief defends budget, CPP at Senate hearing
- EPA chief Gina McCarthy went before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday to defend her agency's budget request - as well as controversial plans to reduce pollution from existing power plants and to define which U.S. waters can be regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Agri-Pulse: Groups go to China to talk ethanol
- (Audio) Representatives from the Renewable Fuels Association, the U.S. Grains Council, and Growth Energy were recently in China, hoping to build a biofuels market there that could eventually lead to more U.S. exports.
Associated Press: Firm suspends plans to build $3.3B natural gas pipeline
- Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended.
Wall Street Journal: SunEdison’s Failed Deals Could Bite Back in Bankruptcy
- Potential legal damages stemming from deals SunEdison failed to close while its finances were deteriorating could total hundreds of millions of dollars, according to court filings and people familiar with the deals.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: ‘Whole Foods Effect’: When Small Food Makers Get the Call to Go Big
- Companies have learned that the excitement of the “Whole Foods effect” can quickly turn to fear as they face producing and distributing their recipes at larger volumes, while maintaining quality and consistency.
Wall Street Journal: Judge Says Lawsuit Accusing Chipotle of Deception Over GMOs Can Go Forward
- The case, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida in September and seeking class action status, claims that Chipotle misled consumers in ads saying its food is GMO-free.
Reuters: Yum sales jump in China in first quarter, boosted by KFC
- Yum Brands’ China sales accelerated faster than Wall Street expected in the first quarter, helped by Chinese New Year KFC chicken bucket promotions, marking an auspicious start to a year in which the company plans to spin off its China unit.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Cubans get a firsthand look at US agriculture
- (Video) Officials from the Cuban government are in the U.S. this week, hoping to learn more about American agriculture. Agri-Pulse’s Spencer Chase has more.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack heads to G-7 meeting with TPP on his mind
- (Subscriber only) USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Japan this weekend to meet with ag ministers from the G-7 group of industrialized nations. But, in an exclusive interview with Agri-Pulse, Vilsack says a lot of his time will be devoted to keeping the Trans-Pacific Partnership on track.
Wall Street Journal: Shippers Ask Congress to Weigh in on New Container Rule
- Tyson Foods and other exporters say a rule requiring them to verify the weight of containers will raise their transportation costs.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: House members join the fray on anti-farmer billboard
- One-third of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday expressing their concern stemming from an anti-farmer billboard that was installed using taxpayer funds.
Des Moines Register: Oldson: Years of neglect caused Iowa’s $5 billion water problem
- (Opinion) We have a $5 billion water problem in Iowa - we spend about $20 million per year to fix it already, and the bill would eventually divert another $25 million per year from education and healthcare. It’s not nearly enough and it won’t fix the problem, writes Democratic state Rep. Jo Oldson.
LA Times: California water agencies to urge regulators to ease drought restrictions
- California water districts large and small are expected to urge regulators on Wednesday to toss out or significantly relax emergency drought orders requiring residents to take shorter showers and let their lawns turn brown.
Washington Post: Shenandoah wildfire extends to 4,000 acres, forces closure of 13 trails and Skyline Drive
- A wildfire in Shenandoah National Park nearly doubled in size on Tuesday, thanks to strong winds and low humidity. The National Park Service says the blaze, named the Rocky Mount fire, has charred 4,000 acres — up from a little over 2,000 acres on Monday night.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Spanish declines and English is on the rise among U.S. Latinos
- A declining share of Latinos in the U.S. are speaking Spanish and a growing share only speaks English at home, according to findings in a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.
US News & World Report: Nebraska allows state licenses for thousands of immigrants
- Nebraska will allow thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to work in at least 170 professions that require state licenses including health care and education after lawmakers overrode conservative Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto of the measure on Wednesday.
Press Democrat: California vintners grapple with new state law on worker payments
- Vintners are still grappling with a new state law that mandates additional pay provisions if they compensate employees by how much they pick rather than through a straight hourly wage.
Ventura County Star: UFW wins election to represent 240 farm workers at local companies
- Workers at Hiji Bros. Inc. and Seaview Growers Inc., both based in Oxnard, cast ballots to decertify and replace the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 with the UFW.
The Verge: Breakthrough method means CRISPR just got a lot more relevant to human health
- The gene-editing tool CRISPR may one day change the way humans approach medicine — or at least that’s how it’s been portrayed so far.
Washington Post: Judge approves $380 million change to landmark 2010 Native American farm suit
- A federal judge approved the creation of what is expected to become the largest U.S. philanthropy serving Native American farmers and ranchers, redistributing $380 million left unclaimed in a landmark 2010 civil rights settlement.
Wall Street Journal: FAA Grants Its First Approval for Flights of Commercial Drones at Night
- Responding to pent-up industry demand for more flexible rules, the move will allow the U.S. unit of Toronto-based Industrial Skyworks Inc. to perform nighttime inspections of buildings and roofs with specially equipped drones flown by trained pilots—and under a spate of additional safety conditions.
Wall Street Journal: Goat Herd Helps Trump Lower Tax Bite
- The Republican presidential front-runner’s small goat herd, combined with hay farming and wood cutting, let him qualify for a New Jersey farmland tax break that saves him tens of thousands of dollars a year in property taxes on two golf courses, according to public records.
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