Daily Harvest -- 5/1/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Panel OKs bills to avert disruptions of grain inspections, livestock reports
- The House Agriculture Committee has advanced bills to ensure that export grain inspections continue during labor dispute and that a government shutdown won't halt Agriculture Department's livestock market reports again.
Wall Street Journal: Debate About Farmers’ Crop Insurance Heightens
- Years of drenching rainstorms in several northern farm-belt states have caused payments under a popular type of government-subsidized crop insurance to nearly triple in the past decade, heightening debate about whether farmers should be compensated when they can’t plant their fields.
Agriculture.com: Acuron Herbicide Receives EPA Registration
- Farmers with difficult-to-control weeds like waterhemp, giant ragweed, and Palmer amaranth in their fields will have a new herbicide option. Syngenta's corn herbicide Acuron has received registration from the Environmental Protection Agency.
KPVI News: Eastern Idaho Farmers file lawsuit against USDA and Idaho Department of Agriculture
- Pale Cyst Nematode, PCN, is affecting potato farmers in the Shelley area, and farmers say the Federal Government is not doing enough to help.
Bloomberg: Monsanto Is Said to Approach Syngenta Again About a Takeover
- Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, has approached Syngenta AG about a takeover, almost a year after a previous attempt fell apart, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wall Street Journal: Pilgrim’s Pride Sees Poultry Import Restrictions Lingering Rest of Year
- Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. expects many countries’ restrictions on poultry imports from the U.S. to remain in place through the rest of 2015, the company’s chief executive said, as U.S. poultry processors confront a fast-spreading avian-influenza outbreak.
U.S. News & World Report: Obama signs long-delayed bill to boost energy efficiency in commercial buildings, homes
- The law aims to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes.
Missoulian: Asia's energy needs will drive North American development, UM conference warns
- Asia’s growing energy needs will drive North America’s natural resource development, speakers at the Asia-Montana Energy Summit warned Thursday.
CNBC: Traders run from bearish energy bets
- A weakening dollar is one of the big reasons why U.S. crude oil prices are once again trading close to $60 per barrel, their highest level since December. And energy stocks have been big beneficiaries of crude's rebound.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Bill to stop GMO labeling set to move in House
- A House committee is preparing for the first time to move a bill that would preempt state GMO labeling laws, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is offering support for the effort.
Agri-Pulse: Supporters optimistic about food labeling bill
- (Audio) Momentum seems to be building on Capitol Hill to get a national standard for food labeling passed as hundreds of organizations representing various sectors of the food and agriculture industry signed on to a letter to House members this week, asking them to support the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: It's not just consumers in the U.S. who demand to know where their food comes from
- European consumers, it seems, are as demanding as their American counterparts across the pond who asked for, and received, a country of origin labeling (COOL) law in 2008. Unfortunately, COOL has been challenged by our largest trading competitors - Canada and Mexico - at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Washington Post: Chipotle’s GMO gimmick is hard to swallow
- (Opinion) The leading food company added its imprimatur to a global propaganda campaign that is not only contrary to the best scientific knowledge but also potentially harmful to vulnerable populations around the world.
NPR: Why We Can't Take Chipotle's GMO Announcement All That Seriously
- (Opinion) We've been hearing from people who think Chipotle's stance shows little integrity at all. Rather, it shows a double helping of marketing hype, they say.
Washington Post: Is organic food safer and healthier? The guy in charge of U.S. organics won’t say
- In an interview Wednesday, Miles McEvoy - chief of the National Organic Program at USDA - wouldn't speculate about any health benefits of organic food, saying the question wasn't "relevant" to the role of the National Organic Program.
Washington Post: D.C. Urban Greens brings fresh produce to city’s food deserts
- Most of Washington east of the Anacostia River is what’s called a food desert, with few outlets that offer fresh produce. But D.C. Urban Greens has built a small oasis: An organic farm that grows collards, kale, okra, lettuce and other edibles.
Washington Times: Whole Foods stands by decision to feed National Guard in Baltimore, deletes photo of event
- Whole Foods is defending its decision to serve lunch to National Guardsman patrolling the streets of Baltimore on Tuesday, despite an outcry from online commenters who argue the food should have gone to the local community.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Obama names new USAID chief
- Gayle Smith, a member of the National Security Council staff, is being nominated by President Obama as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Agri-Pulse: GAO recommends improved terrorist screening for USAID program
- The Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program delivered through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should have stronger screening for volunteer candidates against terrorist watch lists, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.
World-Grain.com: Nepal earthquake to impact food security, agriculture
- Some $8 million is urgently needed to help disaster-struck Nepalese farmers rapidly recover lost agricultural inputs and resume preparations for the imminent rice-sowing season, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization said on April 30.
LA Times: L.A. Port police chief indicted in alleged fraud scheme
- The chief of police at the nation's busiest container port was indicted Thursday on federal corruption charges that accuse him of hiding his business links to a software developer he was helping win a contract at the port.
Today Online: Brazil takes aim at U.S. farm subsidies as Rousseff readies visit
- After finally turning the page on a dispute over spying that hampered attempts to deepen trade ties, Brazil and the United States may be headed for another clash, this time over U.S. farm subsidies.
Wall Street Journal: Bunge Plans Canada Expansion With Wheat Board Deal
- Bunge Ltd. plans to use its pending deal with Canada’s former wheat-trading monopoly to eventually funnel greater quantities of Canadian grain toward West Coast ports, the company’s chief executive said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Senators introduce bill to repeal controversial WOTUS rule
- A bipartisan group of Senators has introduced a bill calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to start over on its divisive waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, defying a veto threat issued by the White House on similar House legislation.
EurekAlert: Pesticides alter bees' brains, making them unable to live and reproduce adequately
- In research report published in the May 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists report that a particular class of pesticides called "neonicotinoids" wreaks havoc on the bee populations, ultimately putting some crops that rely on pollination in jeopardy.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
News-Press: Glades, Hendry branching out from agricultural economies
- In Hendry County, home to U.S. Sugar Corp. and its Southern Gardens Citrus subsidiary, agriculture is the dominant private-sector employer. Growing and harvesting operations tend to create seasonal swings in joblessness.
Agri-Pulse: Texas family donates funds to recruit FFA ag teachers
- A Texas family recently donated $250,000 to establish an endowment to be used solely for developing a plan to attract and retain National FFA Organization advisors and agriculture teachers.
Centre Daily Times: Ballot hijinks alleged in 2014 Penn State agriculture trustee vote
- For months, it has been Jess Stairs who has been talking about how the 2014 election of agricultural trustees to the Penn State board went wrong. Now Penn State is firing back, accusing the man who is suing for a seat on the board of bad behavior.
ABC News: Alabama Goat Cheese Farm Could be Yours, for an Essay
- An Alabama couple is looking to give away their goat cheese farm to the right person who can express in an essay why they are up for the task.
Oregon Live: Oregon woman could win $10,000 from Monsanto as Farm Mom of the Year
- Shelly Boshart Davis of Albany was named Northwest Mom of the Year by Monsanto this month, pushing her a step closer to the company's top prize and $10,000.
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