Daily Harvest -- 4/30/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Congressional ag leaders urge release of funds to fight avian flu
- The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are urging the White House to give Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack the go-ahead to release emergency funds to help poultry and egg producers whose flocks are being decimated by a deadly strain of bird flu.
Agri-Pulse: White House threatens veto of Clean Water Act bills
- The battle over the Obama administration's attempt to re-define the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act sharpened this week with a pair of veto threats.
Washington Times: In path of bird migration, Eastern states see possible flu
- With bird flu still a significant problem in the Midwest, the East Coast is now bracing for migratory treks of waterfowl that could put numerous states with poultry farms and backyard chicken operations at risk of an outbreak.
New York Times: Hospitals Provide a Pulse in Struggling Rural Towns
- This isolated rural community has lost a lot of the energy of its heyday, but it has yet to lose its economic pulse thanks in large measure to the Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center, an economic anchor for the area.
Wall Street Journal: Majors’ Quandary: Why Drill for Oil When They Can Buy Somebody Else’s?
- The costs of finding oil are on the rise. The value of some smaller oil companies has tumbled. For the world’s biggest crude producers, this adds up to a question: Is it cheaper to buy someone else’s oil than to go digging for it?
New York Times: New York Plan to Save Energy May Mean a Dimmer Skyline
- The Manhattan skyline — glimmering, grand but not always environmentally efficient — may need to go darker to go green.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Comments pouring in on Dietary Guidelines report
- (Subscriber only) The comment period on the scientific report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) is set to expire next week, and more than 6,600 submissions have already been submitted for review.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: New strategies key to 21st century food market opportunities
- Multiple initiatives are playing out in global trade development. Atlantic, Pacific, APEC, and Latin regions of the globe are all discussing multilateral and bilateral trade arrangements to enhance economic opportunities.
LA Times: Chipotle's junk science on GMOs
- (Opinion) Chipotle's announcement this week that safety compelled it to remove all genetically modified organisms from its food is rooted either in ignorance or in crass profit-seeking at the expense of science.
Modern Farmer: The Thin Months for Coffee Farmers
- Coffee farming, though it takes place in the tropics, has a season, the same way that corn or beans or anything else does.
Wall Street Journal: Food Companies Scramble to Cut Palm Oil From Supply Chains
- The roster of food companies that want to eliminate palm oil from their products is getting longer. But actually reaching that goal will require an enormous effort across their supply chains.
Wall Street Journal: Wendy’s to Start Selling Honest Tea
- Wendy’s is going to start selling Honest Tea at locations across the U.S., giving customers an organic option for washing down their burgers and fries.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Japanese leader says trade deal 'near,' pledges farm policy reform
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an historic address to a joint meeting of Congress, assured lawmakers he was ready to remove protections for his country's farmers and was close to finalizing a trade deal with the United States.
Agri-Pulse: Ag groups react to mixed signals on biotech from EU
- (Audio) The European Union seems to be sending mixed signals about biotech crops.
Wall Street Journal: Fonterra Is Bullish on Dairy Prices
- Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd. is upbeat on the longer-term outlook for world dairy prices despite their continuing volatility, believing the worst of the declines may be over.
Wall Street Journal: The Challenge of Delivering Goods in Developing World
- A growing global middle class and the near-ubiquity of e-commerce means multinational companies are reaching more customers and making more sales. The challenge now is how to deliver the goods to the most far-flung locations, where infrastructure is underdeveloped and the ability to track deliveries and sales likewise opaque.
Yahoo News: Export freeze sows bitterness in Venezuela chocolate trade
- Two weeks after Venezuela's agriculture minister announced that he would make the resumption of cacao exports a priority, piles of beans are still sitting in warehouses.
Reuters: 'Guerrilla gardening' takes root in hunger-hit Mali
- On the green banks of the Niger River in downtown Bamako alongside heavily guarded foreign hotels, a group of urban farmers busily weed and water vegetables on some of Mali's prime real estate.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
U.S. News & World Report: Feds reveal $4 million for projects in 4 states to protect land that's home to bird, ranching
- Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday announced more than $4 million in projects in four states as part of a wildfire-fighting strategy to protect a wide swath of intermountain West sagebrush country that supports cattle ranching and is home to a struggling bird species.
Roll Call: Protecting the Sage Grouse Requires Local Conservation Solutions, Collaboration
- (Opinion) If history is any guide, listing should be only be used when all other options have been exhausted or failed. The effort to protect the sage grouse is far from there — and the brinksmanship that has characterized its preservation has, in fact, dis-incentivized the type of local conservation that should be utilized.
LA Times: California's greenhouse gas emission targets are getting tougher
- Gov. Jerry Brown accelerated California's effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions Wednesday, burnishing the state's reputation as a pacesetter in the battle against climate change.
LA Times: Lake Mead water level falls to a landmark low, and is likely to get worse
- For Western states enduring a debilitating drought, the news is bone-dry bad: Anemic Lake Mead has hit a historic low level.
The Guardian: Environmental groups sound alarm over 'self-destructive' fracking in Colorado
- Environmental groups are sounding the alarm as several states in the western US seek to ramp up oil and natural gas production through hydraulic fracturing, potentially disturbing sensitive, federally protected lands.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Critics of Pacific Rim free trade agreement cite worries over jobs, immigration
- About 30 members of unions, immigrant rights groups and an environmental advocacy organization joined Wednesday to voice their concerns that a Pacific Rim free trade deal would reduce U.S. jobs and increase immigration to the country.
TIME: Cruz Walks a Careful Line on Immigration Reform
- Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz cast himself as a supporter of immigration reform on Wednesday, while criticizing Democrats for killing prospects of a bipartisan deal by insisting on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Des Moines Register: Students learning how to operate drones
- More than a dozen students at Charles City High School are being taught how drones can be used as tools for farming.
Chicago Business: How big data is revolutionizing farming
- Farmers can view the data in real time or download the numbers from the cloud later, to learn, for instance, which locations are getting too much or too little fertilizer.
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