Daily Harvest -- 4/26/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 26, 2016
- (Audio) NFU steadfast in opposition to TPP – Vetter pushes back; beef and poultry will be tough issues to resolve with EU; consumers seeing relief on food prices; troubling farm finance data from the Kansas City Fed; and Vilsack makes catfish topic of Vietnam visit.
NPR: As Farmers Age, The Plan To Turn Veterans On To Agriculture
- Farmers in America are getting older, while the military is downsizing after the huge mobilization of the last decade. You see where we're headed with this.
EurekAlert: Scientists advance disease resistance in 3 of world’s most important crops
- The 2Blades Foundation announced the isolation of novel disease resistance genes and the successful transfer of resistance into wheat, soybean, and potato for wheat stem rust, Asian soybean rust, and potato late blight.
Associated Press: Backlash greets plans for Muslim cemeteries across US
- On the site of a long-idle dairy farm, leaders of a local mosque hope to build a final resting place for about 500 Muslim families — to the dismay of many residents of this quaint town in central Massachusetts. Other communities – Farmervsille, Texas; Walpole, Massachusetts; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Farmington, Minnesota – echo their sentiments.
Washington Post: Watch this river ignite into flames as methane bubbles to the surface
- The Condamine River in Queensland, Australia, has been seeping methane for years, but no one is really sure why. A member of parliament – Jeremy Buckingham – is convinced it’s because of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the area.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Fallout: Husky’s Relief Comes at Somebody Else’s Expense
- Canadian oil firm Husky Energy, controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, said Monday it would sell a 65% stake in its pipeline and oil storage assets to two other firms controlled by Mr. Li.
Wall Street Journal: China Bans Some New Coal Power Plants
- China’s government is banning construction of new coal-fired power plants in areas with surplus power supply, a move that could weigh on already-struggling coal markets.
Reuters: Death toll rises to 32 at petrochemical plant explosion
- Four more people have been found dead after last week's explosion at a petrochemical plant in southeastern Mexico, raising the death toll to 32, state oil giant Pemex and Mexican plastic pipe maker Mexichem said in a joint statement.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Ag leaders still hopeful for GMO labeling solution
- (Audio) A Senate cloture vote in March was the last official action taken in Washington on GMO labeling, but leaders of two key ag groups are still hopeful a national standard can be reached before a Vermont labeling law goes into effect at the beginning of July.
ABC News: Proposed Louisiana Food Inspection Cuts May Pose Health Risk
- More Louisiana residents and visitors could be exposed to food borne illnesses if lawmakers approve a budget proposed by Gov. John Bel Edwards for next year calling for fewer inspections of the retail food industry.
MarketWatch: Wal-Mart to drop its organic brand, Wild Oats, after two years
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is phasing out its Wild Oats organic food brand, according to people familiar with the matter, dropping a line of products introduced two years ago to bring inexpensive organics to the masses.
Charlotte Observer: Bob Evans to close 27 restaurants, layoff 1,100
- Of the 27 restaurants, 21 were company-owned and closed last week. The remaining six are leased and expected to close in fiscal 2017.
Wall Street Journal: Hershey Gets Sweet on Dried Meat Bars
- Hershey bills the new offerings as an effort to keep up with Americans’ changing tastes. But some see the move as an attempt by a candy company—whose iconic brands are now on the wrong side of what many consumers want—to attract more consumers.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
EurActiv: Study: ‘Fat tax’ made Denmark healthier
- The short-lived Danish levy on fatty foods was heavily criticized when it was first introduced in October 2011. But research shows that the fat tax achieved its objective in changing Danish grocery shopping habits, and saving lives.
Phys.org: Egypt Looks to Avert Water Crisis Driven by Demand, Waste
- The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, which is helping develop the plow system, hopes the government will encourage the creation of small- and medium-sized businesses to build more.
Reuters: Syrian Food Crisis Deepens as War Chokes Farming
- Syria's war has destroyed agricultural infrastructure and fractured the state system that provides farmers with seeds and buys their crops, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a country struggling to produce enough grain to feed its people.
Wall Street Journal: How Emerging Nations Can Use Data to Curb Pollution
- (Opinion) Effective and efficient enforcement of existing regulations can make serious progress toward reducing pollution, and improving the quality of life in major global cities – without expensive energy technology or heavy-handed government intervention.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: More milkweed may not cure what ails monarchs: study
- (Subscriber only) The American Soybean Association is touting a new study that finds a lack of nectar sources, habitat fragmentation, and changing weather patterns are the primary contributors to a decline in monarch butterfly populations.
Associated Press: Oyster farms, shorebird vie for space on NJ bay beaches
- New Jersey's oyster aquaculture industry is centered on the same Delaware Bay beaches that provide irreplaceable feeding grounds for the red knot (a shorebird) on its annual 10,000-mile journey from South America to the Arctic.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Capital Press: Study: Fewer farmworkers migrate, aggravating labor shortage
- Since the late 1990s, the proportion of farmworkers who regularly migrate from place to place has decreased from about 50 percent to less than 20 percent, according to a new Ball State University study.
SFGate: California Democratic legislators push affordable-housing plan
- Saying the state can’t ignore its affordable housing crisis, Democratic lawmakers on Monday announced a statewide proposal to spend more than $1.3 billion to build more units, help low-income residents buy homes and address homelessness.
Modern Farmer: Home Gardeners are Breeding More Diverse Corn than You Can Buy
- Most agricultural diversity comes in two forms: controlled (done in a lab or by professionals in some way) and uncontrolled (wild, in other words). But a new paper finds a third, hybrid type in the home gardens of southern Californian immigrants.
ABC News: Billy Busch Offers $1 More Than Siblings for Grant's Farm
- Busch on Monday increased his offer for the attraction to $26,000,001. He is offering an additional $8 million to buy the family mansion and 22 acres that adjoin the popular attraction that includes 900 animals and is home to some of the Budweiser Clydesdales. It opened in 1954.
Wall Street Journal: DuPont Lifts Outlook, Cites Agriculture Business
- DuPont Co. boosted its 2016 profit target as the agriculture and chemical giant reported first-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ expectations.
Des Moines Register: Branstad won't endorse in King-Bertrand race for Congress
- Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he won't endorse a candidate in Iowa's Republican primary race between incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve King and his challenger, state Sen. Rick Bertrand.
Washington Post: The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves
- Some economists believe that early societies cultivating crops like wheat and barley (which tended to be more advanced than societies fed by root crops) may have experienced extra pressure to protect their harvests, galvanizing the creation of warrior classes and the development of complex hierarchies and taxation schemes.
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