Daily Harvest -- 5/2/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Want to rebuild Rural America? Think regional
- (Subscriber only) Small towns may lack the population and resources to figure out future plans for growth and economic development. But put a group of leaders from several towns, counties and businesses together for a regional approach at gathering investments, and the odds of success can increase dramatically.
Agri-Pulse: Senators examine reasons for winter propane shortage
- Several factors contributed to the shortage of propane in the Midwest and Northeast last winter, and the government should take steps to ensure it does not happen again, lawmakers and witnesses told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday.
Agri-Pulse: CHS signs agreement to acquire Illinois River Energy ethanol plant
- CHS, Inc., North America's leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today announced it has signed an agreement with Sinav Limited, London, England, to acquire 100 percent of the company's stock, which includes Illinois River Energy, LLC, a 133-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant at Rochelle, Illinois.
Agri-Pulse: Farm Credit lends a helping hand in Detroit
- Two members of the Farm Credit System - GreenStone Farm Credit Services and AgriBank - have taken a significant step in their commitment to non-traditional urban agriculture through a newly announced partnership with Hantz Farms in Detroit.
Agri-Pulse: White House panel lists policy recommendations for Big Data
- A White House panel says Big Data is creating “incredible opportunities” for health care, energy use, education and agriculture, but also presents enormous challenges, especially to individual privacy.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Women in Agriculture
- Let's be honest, agriculture remains one of the last bastions of the good old boys' network. But even in the world of agriculture things they are changing.
Politico: Potato lobby eyes nutrition program gains
- After years of trying, the potato lobby may have found the votes to break into the government’s premier nutrition program for pregnant mothers and their infants.
The Hill: 200 lawmakers push EPA to rescind water regulation
- More than 200 House members are calling on the Obama administration to drop its plans to expand the Environmental Protection Agency’s jurisdiction over smaller bodies of water around the country.
Washington Post: Why Big Meat hates Made in the USA labels
- At the time, the benefits were thought to outweigh the costs: Consumers said they wanted to know the source of their staples, and even indicated they might pay more for U.S. products if they thought they were safer. But after a few years of that, it appears consumers barely notice the labels, and American meats aren't commanding a premium because of them.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: European Commission leader urges quick action on TTIP
- The president of the European Commission urged negotiators in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks to reach a deal quickly, before critics can drum up more opposition to the proposed pact.
Agri-Pulse: Wyden: Good trade deals are better than quick trade deals
- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., refused Thursday to recommend a timeline for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), telling reporters that he “[intends] to move as quickly as possible” on the legislation while “taking the time to do it right.”
Associated Press: Senators voice doubts on Asia trade deal
- Senators from both parties provided a reality check Thursday to the Obama administration's optimism overs its trade agenda following some progress in key negotiations with Japan.
The Economist: Agriculture: Bring back the landlords
- Since January last year the term “family farm” has come into vogue in the party’s vocabulary. It refers not to the myriad tiny plots, each farmed by a single family, that are characteristic of the Chinese countryside; but to much larger-scale operations of a kind more familiar elsewhere, such as Europe or America.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA conservation programs to help restore wetlands, support outdoor recreation and more
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that applications are now being accepted for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy.
Agri-Pulse: Walmart showcases food and agriculture sustainability commitments
- (Audio) Walmart this week held its inaugural Sustainable Products Expo at its headquarters in Arkansas. To kick it off, the CEOs of various companies that supply products to Walmart made sustainability pledges.
Wall Street Journal: Sizing Up Wheat in Parched Midwest Fields
- Drought is battering the nation's wheat belt, curtailing the prospects for output of the grain and boosting prices in the $22 billion wheat-futures market. Prices have jumped 15% this year in Chicago trading.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Financial Times: Military bill tests US immigration reform
- (Subscriber only) Undocumented immigrants serving in the US military who came to the country illegally as children have become the latest test of Republican willingness to support reforms to the immigration system.
Nature: Agriculture: Engage farmers in research
- Enhancing farmers' own R&D could reap big rewards for minimal extra cost. Farmers everywhere are practical experimentalists who understand the idiosyncrasies of their land.
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