Daily Harvest -- 4/24/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: New bird flu cases detected as Minnesota, Wisconsin declare states of emergency
- New cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been found in Iowa and Wisconsin, where yesterday officials declared a state of emergency. Minnesota, which has had the highest number of outbreaks in the country, declared a state of emergency today.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Ups Fight Against Agricultural Espionage
- The criminal trial of a Chinese executive accused of stealing high-tech U.S. corn seeds is turning into a battle over the federal government’s use of an anti-spying law to fight industrial espionage.
New York Times: Supreme Court Hears Appeal in Raisin Case
- With scorn bordering on anger, some of the Supreme Court’s more conservative members on Wednesday gave a hostile reception to a government program dating to the Great Depression meant to increase raisin prices by keeping some raisins off the market.
Forbes: Tesla And Energy Storage: The Race To Power The Future
- According to Tesla’s innovative mastermind, Elon Musk, the development of massive batteries, which store energy produced from renewable resources, could become a reality within the next year.
Wall Street Journal: New Rules, Cheap Energy Heighten Battle Between Coal and Gas
- Tough new environmental rules and cheap energy prices are heightening the battle between coal miners and natural-gas pumpers over which fuel will dominate the U.S. power market.
Casper Star-Tribune: Peabody Energy reports $173 million loss
- Peabody Energy reported a $173 million first quarter loss on Thursday, as low natural gas prices and weak Chinese demand cut into the earnings of the largest publicly traded U.S. coal producer.
National Journal: At the Super Bowl of Energy, the Big Game Is on the Sidelines
- Behind the scenes with oil company CEOs and Cabinet secretaries at the Texas-sized energy conference in Houston.
Midwest Energy News: Michigan Democrats propose doubling clean-energy standards
- Michigan Democrats introduced legislation Thursday to double the state’s efficiency and renewable energy standards by 2022.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Examiner: USDA app aims to stop Americans from wasting 36 lbs. food a month
- The Agriculture Department has determined that 36 pounds of food per person is wasted every month, about 21 percent of the available food in the United States. And one big reason: those expiration dates are wrong or overly cautious.
Washington Times: The crusade of food bimbos
- (Opinion) Food Babe’s misinformation campaign and scaremongering about the safety of Mac N’ Cheese coloring surely contributed to the decision, which has everything to do with perception and nothing to do with science or food safety.
Fortune: Dr. Oz and GMOs: When controversial meets controversy
- The recent furor over TV host and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Oz, prompted by a letter urging his removal as professor of surgery at Columbia University, has rekindled the controversy over genetically modified organisms.
New York Times: Chipotle Signs Deal With Food Delivery Start-Up Postmates
- Chipotle Mexican Grill, the popular chain known for its “fast-casual” burritos, said this week it has begun offering food delivery through Postmates, a San Francisco-based delivery start-up that is growing quickly.
Eater: Why Aren't Fast-Food Workers Unionized?
- Last Wednesday marked the most recent series of protests by fast-food workers in an event three years in the making. The workers, along with service employees from other industries, resolutely demand an industry-wide wage increase to $15 an hour.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: House committee approves TPA
- The stage is now set for floor fights over whether to fast-track a pair of new trade agreements. The House Ways and Means Committee Thursday night approved, 25-13, a Trade Promotion Authority bill one day after the Senate Finance Committee advanced its version of the legislation, which guarantees that trade deals can get an up-or-down-vote in Congress without any chance of being amended.
Agri-Pulse: House committee advances Feed the Future authorization
- The House Foreign Affairs Committee advanced an amended bill that would provide the first congressional authorization for the Obama administration's Feed the Future initiative.
Agri-Pulse: Global soybean stakeholders discuss biotech issues in China
- (Audio) US soybean grower leaders were in China this week to discuss biotech approval process issues.
Agri-Pulse: US, Peru celebrate increase in agricultural trade
- U.S. and Peruvian officials held a briefing at USDA headquarters in Washington today to highlight recent agreements that will boost agricultural trade between the two countries.
Economic Times: Rajnath Singh wants proposed National Crop Income Insurance Scheme to be put on fast-track
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh is pushing for fast-tracking the introduction of the proposed National Crop Income Insurance Scheme in the wake of farm crisis in the country.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA sets new climate change goals, asks ag producers to join in effort
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack presented the details of his agency's new plan to partner with American farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to reduce carbon emissions and bolster carbon sequestration to achieve a combined 120 million metric tons of CO2 mitigation per year by 2025.
Agri-Pulse: Senators call on USDA to conduct general signup for CRP acres
- A bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Department of Agriculture to increase signup efforts in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to keep enrollment near acreage caps established in the 2014 farm bill.
ABC News: Fishing Regulators Approve Some New England Habitat Changes
- Federal fishery regulators say they will keep much-debated protections for Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine in place as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England's fishing grounds.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Examiner: Congress: Middle class incomes drop as immigration surges
- Wages of America's middle class have dropped below 1970s levels as immigration has surged 325 percent, according to a new congressional report that questions claims that native Americans are economically helped by greater immigration.
Washington Times: Immigration agency: Single Hispanic females deserve asylum in U.S.
- Being a single mother or witnessing a gang crime could be enough for Central American illegal immigrants to get on the path to asylum under guidance the Homeland Security Department issued last week, opening new ways for the surge of illegal immigrants to gain a legal foothold in the U.S.
ABC 8 News: Football field turned into farm to serve local produce
- Every row is labeled and there are sure signs the crops in Paul Quinn College's 'WE Over Me Farm' are budding. Students say, for five years now, they've been harvesting produce in the College's old football field, which was flipped into an urban farm.
Jamestown Sun: Farm Rescue aids Dewald
- The injuries Dewald sustained, which left him in a wheelchair until last Friday, made working his farmland this spring impossible for him. So, he and his wife made a decision to call on Farm Rescue for help.
Washington Post: Why Pret A Manger gives away so much free food to customers
- People who don't eat regularly at popular lunch spot Pret A Manger probably don't realize one of the best perks of being a customer there: Employees are frequently giving away free food.
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