Daily Harvest -- 5/2/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 2, 2016
- (Audio) USDA farmers market on the National Mall opens for summer; USTR takes TPP argument to Los Angeles; FDA unveils final guidance on menu labeling; a criminal investigation is opened on Dole; and local food markets benefit from new USDA loans.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
- (Audio) In this exclusive interview, the Kentucky Republican says chances are slim that a new trade agreement will be agreed to this year, but expects the appropriations process will be completed under regular order. McConnell also shares his frustration with the Obama administration’s environmental agenda and his thoughts on a federal GMO labeling compromise.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: April 29, 2016: Appropriations, GMO labeling, and McConnell on TPP
- (Video) There's still no sign of a GMO labeling bill or substantive progress on Senate appropriations as both chambers of Congress head into a brief recess next week. Agri-Pulse's Sara Wyant and Spencer Chase discuss where things stand.
Wichita Eagle: Storm clouds gathering over Kansas farms as income dips, land prices fall
- The price of farmland in Kansas is likely to fall further, complicating farmers’ ability to borrow.
Washington Times: Tax receipts on farm machinery fall in agriculture slowdown
- South Dakota’s sales tax collections on farm equipment have fallen from record highs in recent years as profits in the agriculture sector decline, a slide that has forced farmers to tighten budgets and caused sales slumps for machinery dealers.
Cape May County Herald: USDA Unveils New 'Urban Agriculture Toolkit' for Urban Farmers, Agri-business Entrepreneurs
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit on April 29, a new resource created by USDA’s Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture.
US News & World Report: Companies Crucial to Energy Exploration Abandon $34B Merger
- The Justice Department filed suit to block the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes, claiming the transaction would unlawfully eliminate significant competition in almost two dozen markets crucial to the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the U.S.
Reuters: U.S. Energy Secretary sees oil supply, demand rebalancing in a year
- U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he expects global oil supply and demand to rebalance in about a year's time.
Reuters: Pipe dreams still alive for selected few in US energy rout
- An energy market rout has ravaged fortunes from Texas to North Dakota and hit thousands of small investors, but some tycoons are still coining it in thanks to a piece of financial engineering that has tilted the playing field in their favor.
Wall Street Journal: Big Oil, Big Mistake: Investors Overpay for Income at Exxon
- If a time traveler had shown Friday’s first-quarter results for Exxon Mobil and Chevron to an investor a year ago, that person would have had a tough time guessing their share prices today.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Quaker Oats’ 100% Natural Claim Questioned in Lawsuit
- A lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action has been filed on behalf of consumers in New York and California against the owner of Quaker Oats after testing found traces of the pesticide glyphosate in some oatmeal.
Wall Street Journal: Artist Turns to Farming and Everyone Eats
- Dan Colen, a New York artist better known for his big-ticket paintings and sculptures, donates everything produced at his Hudson Valley farm to local food banks – including 10,000 pounds of meat, chicken and eggs, and 14,500 pounds of fruit and vegetables.
EurekAlert: Want to eat better? Sorry, we're closed
- Getting more nutritious meals on the tables of low-income Americans could depend on the hours the stores in their neighborhoods keep.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Top negotiators cite progress in T-TIP talks
- Top negotiators for the U.S. and the European Union say the two sides made good progress this week as they continued efforts to complete the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Agri-Pulse: Peterson says right now, TPP would fail
- (Audio) The Obama Administration is working to secure passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee says bringing it up now could kill the agreement.
Wall Street Journal: Agricultural Commodities Egged On by China’s Futures Frenzy
- The recent fevered commodities trading in China hasn’t been limited to iron ore, with investors also piling bets on futures for everything from wheat and cotton to more obscure products like eggs and asphalt.
JOC: US OKs two alternative container weighing verification methods
- The U.S. Coast Guard approved two alternative methods for obtaining certified container weights to comply with new international regulations: one proposed by agricultural shippers and another proposed by the South Carolina Ports Authority.
CBS News: Australia blocks farm sale to Chinese over national interest
- Citing national interest, the Australian government on Friday blocked a Chinese-led consortium from buying the nation's largest private land holding, a collection of Outback cattle ranches bigger than South Korea.
Wall Street Journal: Farm Subsidies Put India in Bind
- The nose-dive in global commodity prices has had an unexpected repercussion in India: a giant new subsidy bill as New Delhi spends billions to mop up wheat, rice, sugar and cotton at government-fixed prices.
New York Times: Rare Rallies in Vietnam Over Mysterious Mass Fish Deaths
- Hundreds of people demonstrated in Vietnam on Sunday against a Taiwanese firm they accuse of causing mass fish deaths along the country's central coast, with some also blaming the government for a sluggish response to a major environmental disaster.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Agriculture Department says new pest reported in Lancaster County
- A new pest that destroys leeks, onions, garlic, chives, shallots and green onions has been reported in Pennsylvania, the state Department of Agriculture announced.
WBNG: NY issues guidelines for avoiding conflicts with coyotes
- State environmental conservation officials are issuing guidance on how New Yorkers can avoid conflicts with coyotes as spring temperatures rise and the animals increase foraging.
New York Times: A Mine vs. a Million Monarchs
- (Opinion) One of Mexico’s largest corporations is close to winning government approval to reopen a sprawling mine in Angangueo, right next to the most important winter habitat of North America’s most iconic insect.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Christian Science Monitor: How will rising temperatures affect the world's workers?
- A new UN report suggests that as global surface temperatures continue to rise outdoor workers will face greater challenges.
Boise Weekly: Idaho Workers Killed at Farms, Dairies, Factories and Logging Camps Remembered on Workers' Memorial Day
- In 2014, nearly 5,000 workers were killed on the job in the United States, and it’s estimated 150 U.S. workers die each day from hazardous working conditions.
Yakima Herald: Group marching for workers' rights and immigration reform completes 27-mile route
- About 100 people with a small caravan of vehicles departed this morning on a 27-mile march for workers’ rights and immigration reform. One man carried an amp playing Spanish-language music while others carried bullhorns shouting “Si se puede!”
Agri-Pulse: John Block says Trump wins big
- (Audio) Last week I was on the farm in Illinois – our corn is planted, field soil conditions have been ideal, and we still have soybeans waiting to be put in the ground. This is an exciting season.
Oxford American: Ride along with the cow police
- Cattle rustling, signature crime of the Old West, has returned to Texas. Rates of cattle theft in the state have risen fivefold in less than a decade.
The Dispatch: Group aims to reduce theft from agriculture operations in 3 states
- The Mississippi Delta Agricultural Theft Task Force is trying to reduce metal theft from agriculture operations in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
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