Daily Harvest -- 4/28/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for April 28, 2016
- (Audio) Water projects reauthorization bill topic of discussion; Roberts sees progress in biotech talks; organic animal welfare proposal under Senate attack; and food waste hearing next step in Conaway outreach. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Rural broadband packs economic punch nationwide, report says
- Rural Internet providers contributed $24.1 billion to state economies in 2015 - benefits realized not only in the rural areas where broadband was deployed, but in urban areas too, according to a new report by the Hudson Institute.
Agri-Pulse: $380 Million Keepseagle II Settlement Reached
- (Opinion) The landmark civil rights lawsuit by Indian farmers and ranchers against the Department of Agriculture for discriminatory lending practices has come to a conclusion.
Agri-Pulse: Key ag lawmakers don't want to split the farm bill
- (Audio) Ag lawmakers already know that they have a tough road ahead of them to try and pass a Farm Bill in 2018, but some key Democrats are expressing concern about the possibility of splitting the bill into separate farm and nutrition titles.
Prairie Business: Low farm prices leave plenty of worries in Upper Midwest
- As farmers now begin planting or preparing their land for another year, low crop – and even livestock – prices are taking their toll across the Upper Midwest again this year, on the heels of poor commodity prices last year.
Bloomberg: Monsanto Says New Technology to Help GMOs Fight Pest Resistance
- Monsanto and Harvard University’s work speeds up the process of generating proteins with insect-killing properties, the world’s largest company said.
Wall Street Journal: As U.S. Oil Rigs Shut Down, Job Pain Spreads Across Cities
- In more than a quarter of the nation’s metropolitan areas, the jobless rate is higher than it was a year ago as the fallout from the fracking downturn drifts outward.
Fresno Bee: Kansas Sens. Roberts, Moran split over wind energy funds
- Kansas Republican Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts took opposite votes Tuesday on an amendment to provide $95 million in federal funding for wind energy research.
Washington Post: Why solar-powered planes are still a long way from carrying passengers
- The daring trans-Pacific flight has drawn global interest to the concept of electric planes, but the design has existed in various forms for several decades now.
CNBC: US oil settles nearly 3 pct higher after Fed keeps rates steady
- Oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would leave interest rates unchanged, having earlier recouped losses after falling as U.S. crude inventories built to record highs.
Nasdaq: Suncor Buys Out Murphy Oil Stake in Canada's Syncrude Oil Sands Consortium
- Suncor Energy Inc., Canada's largest crude-oil producer, said Wednesday that it bought an additional 5% stake in the Syncrude oil sands mining consortium from the local unit of Murphy Oil Corp., boosting its position as the largest owner.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Dannon faces uphill battle to rid dairy feed of GMOs
- Dannon, in an effort to woo consumers who are becoming increasingly concerned about all aspects of how their food is made, has made a promise that will be difficult to keep: It plans to eliminate all genetically modified grains from the diets of the cows that produce the milk used to make most of the company's yogurt.
Modern Farmer: Senator Pat Roberts Thinks Chicken Welfare is “Absolutely Ridiculous”
- (Opinion) Perhaps if he had attended some of the meetings held by the committee he now heads, he might have learned a few pretty basic things about avian agriculture, rather than call the birds’ welfare “absolutely ridiculous.”
Des Moines Register: Egg prices forecast to fall as industry recovers from bird flu
- The food industry as a whole also is being affected by a strong U.S. dollar, which makes American products more expensive and less desirable for trading partners, as well as lower transportation costs.
Wall Street Journal: In Defense of Federal Food Aid
- (Opinion) The rate of food insecurity in the U.S. spiked during the Great Recession and it continues to remain unconscionably high in the world’s wealthiest nation.
Yahoo News: McDonald's tests McNuggets without artificial additives
- Like the indestructible Twinkie, Chicken McNuggets are practically a culinary punchline, a symbol of hyper-processed fast food with a list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry exam. But now McDonald's wants to take at least some of the mystery substances out.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: A twenty-first century challenge: growing more food with less water
- Earlier this week, agricultural leaders and scholars gathered at the Nebraska Innovation Campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the seventh annual Water for Food Global Conference to catalyze strategies in support of feeding the world with a finite amount of water.
Agri-Pulse: Trump: Put America first again on trade, immigration policy
- Republican presidential front-runner Donald J. Trump, in a wide-ranging address critical of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reiterated his pledge “to change trade and immigration policies to make America first again.”
DTN-The Progressive Farmer: Democrats Skeptical of TPP
- While most agricultural groups and the Obama administration are touting the potential benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, top ag Democrats in Congress remain skeptical about the pact.
Fox News: Mexico watches out for banned steroid clenbuterol in food
- Mexico's national sports commission, Conade, says the steroid has caused problems for its athletes before. Ranchers in Mexico have been known to feed clenbuterol to livestock to help increase meat yields.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA takes it on the chin at House Ag hearing
- EPA received the brunt of the criticism from farm group representatives at a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing today focusing on the factors affecting the cost of producing the nation's food.
WBNG: NY state takes aim at invasive species in lakes, rivers
- New York state is working to fight zebra mussels, the spiny waterflea and other invasive aquatic species by training boaters to stop the organisms from harming the environment.
LA Times: Researchers visit wolf dens to learn more about pup survival and wolf population dynamics
- The work eventually will help wolf researchers monitor pup survival and learn more about what factors influence that survival. Minnesota’s wolf population was estimated at about 2,221 in 2015, according to the DNR.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: The 2010 census missed thousands of California's Latino children. Here's what could change in 2020
- More than 113,000 young Latinos in California weren’t counted in the 2010 census, a new study says, and Latino advocacy groups want to be sure the U.S. Census Bureau is working to reduce that number in 2020.
LA Times: Donald Trump says illegal immigration is at a record high. He's wrong
- Multiple studies show rates of illegal immigration are declining. And federal statistics show the lowest number of border apprehensions in years.
Tri-City Herald: Farm labor contractor ordered to pay millions for mistreating Thai guest workers in Yakima Valley
- A Beverly Hills farm labor contractor that brought Thai citizens to the U.S. to work in Yakima Valley orchards is liable for nearly $7.7 million for violating their civil rights.
M Live: Watermelon processing migrant workers to get juicy back pay, overtime
- Thirty-three migrant farm workers who helped process watermelons in Michigan will get shares of $14,628 in back wages and missed overtime pay as a result of legal action by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Albuquerque Journal: Court begins hearing on workers comp for ranch/farm workers
- The New Mexico Supreme Court officially took up a case Tuesday that could determine if farms and ranches in the state have to pay workers compensation costs for their employees.
New York Times: In More Backyards, the Chicken Comes First
- There are no reliable statistics on the city’s chicken population, but one vendor alone, mypetchicken.com, says it has shipped more than 3,000 birds to New York City in the last three years, and 34 community gardens — including the one I belong to in Park Slope, Brooklyn — now keep flocks.
Hartford Courant: Overheated Conveyor Belt Motor Appears To Have Caused Fire That Killed 80,000 Chickens
- The fire that killed about 80,000 chickens at Kofkoff Egg Farms in Connecticut Tuesday night appears to have been caused by a motor that overheated in a conveyor system, Lebanon’s fire marshal said Wednesday.
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