Daily Harvest -- 5/5/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Focus on farm bill implementation and trade
- Agricultural stakeholders are expected this week to focus on USDA implementation of the farm bill and international trade negotiations.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Adrian Smith, U.S. Representative Nebraska
- (Audio) Congressman Smith speaks about trade negotiations with nations on the far side of two oceans. He also looks at the prospects of Congress giving "fast track" trade authority to President Obama and passing tax extenders legislation that benefit biofuel production.
Agri-Pulse: Some of the higher highlights in the ag census
- (Audio) Numbers in the 2012 Census of Agriculture include 3.2 million farmers, 2.1 million farms, 914.5 million acres of farmland and more than 6 million pieces of information in the report. Most of those numbers were lower than the 2007 Census, but agricultural sales were record high despite a challenging year in 2012.
Agri-Pulse: Census of Agriculture reveals persistent farm concentration
- (Subscriber only) USDA's detailed 2012 Census of Agriculture, released Friday afternoon, provides even more evidence of the consolidation of U.S. agriculture - a small percentage of large farms delivering most of the production and a slowly declining number of small and mid-size operations.
Agri-Pulse: Senators introduce bill to allow Keystone pipeline construction
- Legislation to authorize construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline was introduced late Thursday by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Food Safety News: Letter From the Editor: A Mess in Vermont
- The organic industry’s national campaign to label GMO foods is not a food safety story, but we cover it because what’s on the food label impacts food safety.
Roll Call: Landowners Want to See Expired Tax Breaks for Land Conservation Reinstated and Made Permanent
- Supporters of a generous federal tax deduction for landowners who, in essence, donate property for conservation or preservation are trying to persuade Congress to make the tax break permanent. First, though, they have to get it back on the books; it expired at the end of 2013.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Senators want potatoes in WIC
- Senator Susan Collins. R-Maine, is leading an effort to convince USDA to include white potatoes in the Special Nutrition for Women Infants and Children (WIC) program.
Wall Street Journal: Lime Shortage Drives Up Prices at Bars and Restaurants in U.S.
- Bars and restaurants across the country have been affected by what they are calling the "great lime crisis of 2014." And the timing could hardly be worse: It comes just as the fruit's highest-profile day of the year is approaching—the margarita-fueled Cinco de Mayo.
New York Times: For Florida Grapefruit, One Blow After Another
- The past decade has been particularly treacherous as the salt-kissed soil of the Indian River Citrus District, known for its succulent grapefruit, has absorbed one wallop after another.
CNN: This 'Star Trek'-style molecular sensor fits in your hand, reads your food
- A new pocket scanner promises to deliver that power by giving the user an instant breakdown of alcohol, sugar, or calorie content before they consume.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: France to ban pigs and byproducts from North America, Japan over virus
- France will ban imports of live pigs, pork-based byproducts and pig sperm from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan to protect against a virus that has killed millions of piglets in North America and Asia, a farm ministry official said on Friday.
Reuters: Obama, Merkel still struggle over spying but agree on trade
- President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not hide differences on Friday over U.S. surveillance practices despite Obama's offer of "cyber dialogue" with Berlin and a pledge to bridge gaps that have tarnished their relationship.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Green light on some CRP acres for lesser prairie-chicken conservation practices
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior today announced that farmers, ranchers and landowners implementing Farm Service Agency (FSA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices intended to protect and increase lesser prairie-chicken populations will not be subject to additional regulations as a result of the species' listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Los Angeles Times: Scientists race to develop farm animals to survive climate change
- Some climate-change activists dismiss the work, which is just getting underway, as a distraction and a concession to industrial-style agriculture, which they blame for compounding the world's environmental problems. Those leading the experiments, however, say new, heat-resistant breeds of farm animals will be essential to feeding the world as climate change takes hold.
Des Moines Register: Erosion estimated to cost Iowa $1 billion in yield
- Wind and rainstorms like those that pummeled most of Iowa last week help carry tons of rich, fertile topsoil from its farmland each year — and potentially cut $1 billion in yield from the state's 88,000 farms, says an Iowa State University agronomy professor.
Washington Post: For Obama, a renewed focus on climate
- After years of putting other policy priorities first — and dismaying many liberal allies in the process — Obama is now getting into the weeds on climate change and considers it one of the key components of his legacy, according to aides and advisers.
Agri-Pulse: Jim Oberstar, former Minnesota congressman, dies at 79
- Former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., a one-time chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, died yesterday at his home in Potomac, Maryland. He was 79.
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