Daily Harvest -- 4/27/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 27, 2016
- (Audio) Trump, Clinton on track for nominations; House leader to candidates: Bring water; McCarthy won’t commit to TPP timing; Meat and dairy seen escaping GMO labeling; Scuse wants refinements in farm bill programs to aid farmers; and House to advance tariff relief, trade secrets protection.
Washington Post: America’s nutty farm subsidies cause damage at home and abroad
- (Opinion) One thing is clear: the irrationality of U.S. farm subsidies, which skew the U.S. government’s options to begin with.
Ag Week: Minnesota's Collin Peterson shares his thoughts on agriculture
- Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., is worried about food labeling efforts, TPP and the next farm bill. He’s also garnering national attention for his support of Bernie Sanders, but thinks Donald Trump would be a better president, at least for agricultural interests, than Ted Cruz.
Agri-Pulse: Merging House, Senate energy bills won't be easy
- (Subscriber only) Don't spoil our victory lap was the response from one Senate staffer when asked about the prospects for reconciling the comprehensive energy bill the Senate passed overwhelmingly last week with the very different House bill passed in December.
MarketWatch: BP Results Still Hurt by Gulf of Mexico Spill
- BP said its earnings took a $917 million hit in the first quarter related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and caused a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a disaster that changed the course of the British oil giant and cost the company $56.4 billion to date.
Wall Street Journal: Cuomo’s Energy Jobs Veto
- (Opinion) Having banned hydraulic fracturing, New York’s Governor is now blocking a pipeline to deliver cheap natural gas to New York and New England.
Wall Street Journal: The Auto Emissions Crackup
- (Opinion) The Clean Air Act gave EPA the atmosphere as its regulatory bailiwick, and it won’t let go. The theory, which permeates federal regulatory endeavors, is that anything toxic in large amounts is toxic in small amounts.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Yogurt Buyers Send Dannon Back to the Farm
- The yogurt giant Dannon, looking to tap into the public’s growing concern about the source of its food, is establishing a direct pipeline to some farms that supply the company with milk, part of an ambitious plan to influence farm practices right down to the dirt.
New York Times: At Chobani, Now It’s Not Just the Yogurt That’s Rich
- The 2,000 full-time employees of the yogurt company Chobani were handed quite the surprise on Tuesday: an ownership stake that could make some of them millionaires.
Wall Street Journal: Can I Get That With Extra GMO?
- (Opinion) At the core of many anti-GMO arguments lies a romantic traditionalism, a desire for food that is purportedly more in line with nature.
EurekAlert: Despite efforts, childhood obesity remains on the rise
- The alarming increase in U.S. childhood obesity rates that began nearly 30 years ago continues unabated, with the biggest increases in severe obesity, according to a study led by a Duke Clinical Research Institute scientist.
Associated Press: Foreign-Matter Contamination Prompts Pilgrim's Pride Recall
- Pilgrim's Pride ordered a massive recall of almost 4.6 million pounds of fully cooked chicken products Tuesday after consumers and federal meat inspectors found contamination by such foreign material as wood, plastic, rubber and metal.
MarketWatch: Chipotle Mexican Grill posts first quarterly loss
- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. posted its first loss as a public company Tuesday, with its sales tumbling 23% following a series of food-illness incidents.
Reuters: Nestle agrees on ice cream joint venture with R&R
- Nestle has struck a deal with Britain’s R&R Ice Cream to form a joint venture that will sell ice cream and frozen food in over 20 countries, its latest attempt to adapt to a changing and more competitive packaged food market.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Business Insider Australia: Murray Goulburn is getting destroyed
- The managing director for Murray Goulburn – Australia’s largest dairy processor – is stepping down as a global diary glut forces the company to downgrade its profit forecasts by at least a third and to cut prices paid to farmers.
Modern Farmer: Researcher Says the Impending Death of the World’s Favorite Banana Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
- A story in The Washington Post titled “Bye, bye, bananas” stated that researchers believed Foc TR4 would “eventually make its way to Latin America… the mothership of global banana production.” But one banana researcher calls this media hype.
BBC: Venezuela introduces two-day week to deal with energy crisis
- Venezuela is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam. Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz announced that civil servants should turn up for work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis is over.
New York Times: A Burst of Energy in Bangladesh
- (Opinion) Bangladesh is producing 8,300 megawatts of power this year — an increase of 800 megawatts from last year and a stunning 4,800 megawatts more than was produced in 2009.
National Geographic: What It’s Like to Live in the World’s Most Polluted City
- From the skies above to the ground below, Delhi is polluted. This Indian territory, which includes the capital city of New Delhi, is half the size of Rhode Island, and is home to twice the population of New York City.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA official explains the infamous billboard
- (Audio) A billboard in Washington state has created quite the controversy across the country, and on Tuesday, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency tried to explain their side of the story.
Des Moines Register: Judge delays Des Moines Water Works lawsuit trial
- A three-week federal court trial was initially set to begin Aug. 8, but Judge Leonard Strand issued an order Monday continuing it due to scheduling conflicts. A new date will be set when he meets with attorneys May 11.
Des Moines Register: House bill would reorganize Des Moines Water Works board
- The Iowa House approved a bill Tuesday that would reorganize the water works' board after the utility sued drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties last year.
Washington Post: One way to get Big Agriculture to clean up its act
- (Opinion) What’s interesting about these conservation practices is that they raise the possibility of constructive change in one of the most contentious issues in agriculture: government subsidies.
Detroit Free Press: Feds update strategy to keep Asian carp from Great Lakes
- Federal agencies plan to spend $57.3 million this year on preventing invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, where scientists say they could disrupt food chains and out-compete native fish.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: The Mirage of a Return to Manufacturing Greatness
- César Chavez’s United Farm Workers union made stopping mechanization its No. 1 legislative priority, while President Jimmy Carter’s agriculture secretary, Robert Bergland, declared that the federal government would no longer finance research that could lead to the “replacing of an adequate and willing work force with machines.”
Crosscut: West Coast farmworkers gear up for a long fight
- A Northwest farm labor dispute has grown into a push for massive boycott of Sakuma and Driscoll’s berries.
LA Times: Medi-Cal will soon cover immigrant children here illegally, but adults pose a bigger test
- Ever since Obamacare took effect two years ago, many California legislators have been fighting to get health insurance for those it left out — the quarter of all immigrants in the country illegally who live within the state's borders.
WMUK: Advocates Say New Law Could Mean No Minimum Wage for Some Farmworkers
- Michigan’s new minimum wage law passed in 2014 wiped away the amendments and rules that went along with the state’s old minimum wage law, which has labor advocates worried that a segment of Michigan’s farmworkers are now exempt from the 2014 law.
The Times Herald: Dairy farms have consistent work, but search for workers
- Despite the consistent work, finding help on a dairy farm isn’t easy. The hours are long, schedules are unconventional and the weather is variable on farms throughout the Thumb and Michigan.
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