Daily Harvest -- 4/23/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Farm Bureau asks members to reject EPA ‘waters of the US’ proposal
- The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) today asked its members to resist a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to define “waters of the U.S.”
Agri-Pulse: Consumer advocates want to make SNAP healthier
- Advocates for local and healthy foods are hoping new farm bill funding will create a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that encourages healthier purchases for the more than 46 million people in the program.
Agri-Pulse: Fuels America unveils 'Oil Rigged' campaign
- (Audio) The ethanol industry launched a new campaign on Earth Day this week to expose the many ways the oil industry is “rigging” the system to block the transition to renewable fuels.
The Hill: EPA retroactively lowers biofuel requirement for 2013
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday retroactively lowered the volume of cellulosic biofuel that refiners must blend into traditional fuels, aligning the 2013 mandated volume to the actual amount of fuels produced.
Reuters: U.S. dairy insurance plan a template for reluctant livestock farmers
- A plan in the new U.S. farm law to help dairy farmers limit losses from rising feed costs or falling milk prices may become a model in coming years for livestock producers who have resisted similar types of insurance.
New York Times: With Farm Robotics, the Cows Decide When It’s Milking Time
- Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand.
Roll Call: Self-Imposed Term Limits Shuffle Committees, House GOP Leadership
- House Republicans are facing a brain drain of historic proportions atop their committees — as many as half of their chairmen could be forced to step down next year, thanks to a 20-year-old rule.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Food Safety News: Report: Organic Industry Achieved 25 Years of Fast Growth Through Fear and Deception
- A 3,400-percent increase in sales in 24 years makes organic the fastest-growing consumer food and lifestyle trend in modern history, say independent researchers looking into the industry’s strategies and marketing practices.
Politico: Food Freedom movement grows with help from left
- Consumer advocates and Big Ag have fought successfully for years to keep strong federal and state regulations on the books to block such allowances, citing serious food safety concerns. But as buying local has become all the rage and concerns about industrialized agriculture more widespread, the right-leaning food freedom cause is gaining steam and increasingly finding allies on the left.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: New report highlights Latin America’s opportunities to be the next global breadbasket
- With new policies designed to improve agricultural productivity, Latin America and the Caribbean region can help feed a global population of nine billion people in 2050, according to a new report released today by the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Los Angeles Times: The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Who wins, who loses, why it matters
- With President Obama set to arrive Wednesday in Tokyo for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, thorny issues in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations will be a key subjects.
BBC: Obama, Abe and a high-stakes trade deal
- Trade deals don't usually take centre stage at summits among world leaders. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is at the forefront of US President Barack Obama's first state visit to Japan.
Wall Street Journal: U.S.-Japan Trade Deal Is Coveted but Elusive
- The U.S. and Japan had hoped to demonstrate the strength of their alliance with an announcement of a landmark trade agreement during President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo. That is now uncertain, with no deal just hours before Mr. Obama's arrival.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Vilsack: Agriculture unfairly blamed for climate change
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that agriculture tends to take the brunt of criticism about climate change, but the industry contributes only 9 percent of the greenhouse gases blamed for a warming planet.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Politico: Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger to back legal status
- Two House Republicans from Illinois are endorsing some sort of legal status for immigrants in the country illegally, adding renewed GOP support for immigration reform efforts that have come to a standstill on Capitol Hill.
Agri-Pulse: Sen. Boozman recovering after heart surgery
- Senator John Boozman, R-Ark., underwent emergency heart surgery at an Arkansas hospital this morning and “is receiving excellent care,” according to a statement from his office. Boozman is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
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