Daily Harvest -- 5/4/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Senate prepares for TPA debate, examines school nutrition
- (Subscriber only) The Senate could take up its fast-track trade bill as soon as this week, with supporters hoping a solid majority will give the legislation needed momentum in the House.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Debbie Stabenow
- (Audio) As Ranking Member on the Senate Agriculture Committee Stabenow says she's concerned about the budget process and is ready to defend the agriculture policy she and others worked so hard to approve. In this interview, she shares her reservations about granting Trade Promotion Authority for the administration and her support for expanding trade with Cuba.
Agri-Pulse: Iowa declares state of emergency to fight bird flu 'epidemic'
- Gov. Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency today in Iowa after four new probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) were detected in his state, the nation's leading producer of eggs. Two other states, Minnesota, the country's top turkey producer, and Wisconsin, had already declared states of emergency last month.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: May 1, 2015 - GMO labeling, WOTUS, and Abe
- (Video) Agri-Pulse's Philip Brasher and Spencer Chase discuss important developments in GMO labeling, action on waters of the U.S., and a visit from Japanese Prime Minister Abe from the final week in April.
Agri-Pulse: Report shows little economic benefit to COOL
- In Congressionally mandated correspondence to some of agriculture's leading lawmakers, the Department of Agriculture said there is little economic benefit, but still consumer interest, in the country-of-origin labeling rule currently entangled in an international trade dispute.
Agri-Pulse: Bill to block WOTUS rule passes House
- With little Democratic support, the House passed a spending bill that would block the Obama administration from implementing its Clean Water Act rule in fiscal 2016.
Agri-Pulse: New bird flu cases push outbreak into historic territory
- Iowa officials have identified five probable cases of highly pathogenic bird flu in the state, one involving a commercial egg-laying operation Buena Vista County housing an estimated 5.5 million birds.
Agri-Pulse: COOL ruling due this month
- (Audio) Momentum seems to be building on Capitol Hill to get a national standard for food labeling passed.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Bill under debate would limit farm antibiotics
- If the legislation passes, Oregon would be the first in the nation to mandate stricter rules on livestock antibiotics.
Watertown Daily Times: Farmers must meet requirement by June 1 for 2016 crop insurance
- Farm Credit East has reminded farmers that to be eligible for federal crop insurance for 2016, they must file an AD-1026 form at Farm Service Agency offices by June 1.
New York Times: Livestock Farming Is Changing Agriculture on Long Island
- Five years ago, the trust launched a “Farms for the Future Initiative,” which provides mentorship programs and more than 250 acres of affordable farmland for lease to farmers who have been accepted. The hope is that the farmers, some young, some changing careers, will go on to buy and establish their own farms.
St. Joseph News-Press: Missouri farmers concerned over agriculture's future
- Corporations that have set about swallowing up tracts of ground for their own purposes handicap the family farmer's mission, Baublit said. Raw economics give rise to more complex problems that must be surmounted.
Agri-Pulse: US, Canada set new regulations for moving ethanol, crude oil by rail
- U.S. and Canadian officials today unveiled new regulations governing the transportation of flammable liquids by rail, including crude oil and ethanol.
Forbes: Tesla Tees Up To Mass Produce Energy Storage For Green-Centric Utilities
- Tesla Energy’s new foray into providing energy storage products to service not just homes but also utilities is bringing much-needed attention to the accompanying technologies. That, in turn, may attract new capital and help bring about economies of scale that would further reduce those prices.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA opens its evaluation of another GE potato variety to the public
- USDA moved another variety of genetically engineered potatoes developed by J.R. Simplot Company forward in its approval process, the agency announced today.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack opens USDA Farmers Market on 20th anniversary
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack opened the annual USDA Farmers Market today, marking the 20th year of the market's operation outside of USDA headquarters in Washington.
Syracuse.com: Low milk prices, glutted market put strain on dairy farmers
- This is shaping up as a challenging year for all U.S. dairy farmers, who enjoyed record high milk prices and low feed prices last year.
PBS: Food servers in Capitol Hill grapple with low wages
- Many of the Capitol’s food servers, who make the meals, bus the tables and run the cash registers in the restaurants and carryouts that serve lawmakers, earn less than $11 an hour. Some make nothing at all when Congress is in recess.
Chicago Tribune: Is organic food safer, healthier? Guy in charge of U.S. organics won't say
- But in an interview Wednesday, McEvoy wouldn't speculate about any health benefits of organic food, saying the question wasn't "relevant" to the role of the National Organic Program.
Wall Street Journal: Sysco, US Foods to Face Off Against FTC at Hearing
- To save their planned merger, food-distribution rivals Sysco Corp. and US Foods Inc. need to convince a federal judge over the next two weeks that their industry is a lot more diverse than antitrust enforcers claim.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Forbes: The Trans Pacific Partnership Is The New Boogeyman In American Politics
- It is easy to fear something that we do not understand. And politicians – on both the right and left fringes – are all too happy to have a scapegoat to point to when job creation in their districts lags.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Imperial Valley Press: Farming through historic water scarcity in California
- The drought is so severe that when Mark McBroom goes to the California Farm Bureau Federation meetings, he sometimes can’t help but feel like the luckiest man in the room.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Tampa Tribune: Could robot berry picker fix labor shortage at Plant City farm?
- That scene is changing, though, as the labor pool shrinks and technology comes knocking. Wish Farms owner Gary Wishnatzki and his engineer partner Bob Pitzer are banking on technology.
Good Fruit Grower: Labor flow changes direction
- Mexican agriculture is doing quite well and needs more workers than are available, as the supply of Mexican workers willing to do farm work is declining.
Los Angeles Daily News: California’s first edible cricket farm to open in the San Fernando Valley
- As it turns out, at least 2 billion people worldwide eat insects as part of their diet, and the cricket is being looked at as a healthy, protein- and mineral-packed food source that could help sustain a growing global population.
Wall Street Journal: Squawk Talk: Researchers Try to Decipher Chicken Speech
- A device that would listen to chickens is “intriguing,” says John Smith, director of health services at Baldwin, Ga.-based Fieldale Farms Corp. It would help him pick up early on disease spread—which can happen rapidly in flocks, he says.
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