Daily Harvest -- 5/5/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Opposition to WOTUS spans the country
- (Audio) The bipartisan billed introduced last week in the Senate requiring EPA to rewrite its proposed “waters of the United States” rule shows broad geographic concern about the proposal, ranging from West Virginia to Alaska.
Agri-Pulse: Senators appeal for funding to fight avian flu as outbreak worsens
- With avian flu cases continuing to spread across Midwest poultry farms, a bipartisan group of senators is appealing to appropriators to ensure the Agriculture Department has enough money to fight the outbreak.
Agri-Pulse: EPA exempts Monsanto Bt soybean from residue limits
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule recognizing that a soybean developed by Monsanto genetically engineered to produce an insecticidal protein is safe to humans in any expected exposure.
Reuters: Unilever says its socially responsible brands outperform rest
- Consumer goods maker Unilever says its brands that most fully embrace its CEO's passion for sustainability perform the best, adding fuel to its oft-repeated argument that social responsibility is good for business.
Washington Post: Washington fruit distributors expand to meet demand
- Washington state’s fruit industry is expanding as worldwide demand increases and new technologies help yield more crops.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Bird flu strikes biggest Minnesota farm yet, Nicollet County farm with over 1.1M chickens
- Bird flu has struck its biggest operation yet in Minnesota — a farm with over 1.1 million chickens in Nicollet County of south-central Minnesota.
Washington Post: Texas Legislature acts to stop cities from limiting drilling
- Texas moved Monday to ban its own cities from imposing prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing and other potentially environmentally harmful oil and natural gas drilling activities within their boundaries — a major victory for industry groups and top conservatives who have decried rampant local “overregulation.”
Forbes: Storing Renewable Energy with Tesla Motors Technology
- Billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of the all-electric car company Tesla Motors and chairman of solar energy service provider Solar City, unveiled the Tesla Powerwall, a wall-mounted 3.9 x 52.1-inch (86.1 x 132.3-cm) battery that stores charges from solar panels or the grid during off-peak hours — and serves as backup power during outages.
Washington Times: New plan would end Kansas green energy mandate for utilities
- Kansas would no longer require utilities to generate a portion of their electricity from wind or other renewable resources but the state also would not impose a new tax on the power under a proposal Republican Gov. Sam Brownback announced Monday.
WCQS: NC House Set to Roll Back Renewable Energy Requirements
- The North Carolina House could give final approval to a bill that would weaken the state's renewable energy requirements on Tuesday.
The Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker's stance on ethanol prompts concerns
- As likely presidential candidate Scott Walker has shifted his position on a federal ethanol mandate, some of the fuel's skeptics at home in Wisconsin are wary.
The Hill: SCOTUS takes up appeal on energy rule
- The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will consider an Obama administration appeal to a lower court ruling that struck down a regulation meant to encourage energy conservation.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Bloomberg: The McDonald's Revamp Doesn't Have Much to Say About Food
- Easterbrook outlined a new structure for the company, with countries grouped by their potential for growth instead of their geographic location. In this new organization, the U.S. stands alone.
New York Times: Fructose May Increase Cravings for High-Calorie Foods
- When choosing between tasty high-calorie food or a delayed monetary reward, fructose drinkers were more likely than glucose drinkers to choose the food.
Wall Street Journal: Alligator—the Other, Other White Meat
- Prices for cuts of alligator tail, ribs and tenderloin have doubled in the past three years, reaching record highs. “There’s just more demand than we can meet,” said Allen Register, owner of the Gatorama alligator farm and roadside attraction in Palmdale.
Forbes: GMO Purge Could Create the 'Chipotle of' Supply Chain Challenges for Restaurants
- Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread for years have led the fast-casual restaurant segment, and their moves away from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and toward more natural ingredients are likely to remake and influence the industry once again.
Washington Post: Dean Foods combining brands under national label
- Dean Foods will place all of its regional milk labels under one brand as part of a move to boost its business and tout the quality of its product.
New Yorker: The Untapped Potential of Wasted Food
- In tapping into waste, Choi and Patterson hope to marry fiscal prudence with environmental idealism.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Huffington Post: Harry Reid Plans To Block Trade Deal Until The Senate Deals With Surveillance Reform, Highway Funding
- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is putting the brakes on a Senate effort to push through a controversial trade deal, saying that Democrats will block the measure until the Senate deals first with a stalled infrastructure bill and a package of reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA.
Sydney Morning Herald: Obama's hard going on Trans-Pacific Partnership
- President Barack Obama may also win some close trade votes – first with the approval of a bill giving him so-called fast-track authority to negotiate the huge Trans-Pacific Partnership and then when the deal itself moves through Congress. This time, more than 80 per cent of congressional Democrats will oppose the president.
New York Times: Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory From Turkey
- “It is not for farming. It is for bombs,” said Mehmet Ayhan, an opposition politician from Akcakale who is running for Parliament. But he did not oppose the deliveries, saying they created jobs in his impoverished town.
Washington Post: Anti-Cuban embargo movement picks up steam in US
- Big businesses and politicians from both sides of the ideological spectrum are putting their muscle into new Washington lobbying efforts to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba as the two countries press ahead to re-establish diplomatic relations.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $235 million available for conservation partnerships
- USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) will continue into its second year in 2016 with a budget of $235 million.
The Guardian: UN climate chief says the science is clear: there is no space for new coal
- The UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, has said there was “no space” for new coal developments and stressed the benefits of ambitious renewable energy targets after a meeting with representatives from seven Australian governments.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
CNN: Second round for Arizona sheriff's case against Obama immigration orders
- A federal appeals court on Monday heard the latest series of arguments in an Arizona Sheriff's challenge to President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration.
Wall Street Journal: Immigration Debate Caught in a Time Warp
- Politicians like to say they are debating what should happen tomorrow, but way too often they are instead locked in argument about something that happened yesterday. A classic case: the current immigration debate.
Los Angeles Times: Healthcare for those in U.S. illegally could cost California $740 million a year
- Extending state-subsidized healthcare coverage to people in the country illegally could cost California as much as $740 million annually, according to a Senate fiscal analysis released Monday.
Reuters: Dow Chemical to cut up to 1,750 jobs
- Dow Chemical Co said it would cut 1,500 to 1,750 jobs, or as much as 3 percent of its global workforce, as part of a broader plan to reduce costs by $1 billion over three years.
Reuters: Facebook opens Internet.org to developers amid open web debate in India
- Facebook Inc (FB.O) opened up its Internet.org platform to new websites and applications from developers on Monday, a move the social media giant said would boost efforts to get people online in low-income and rural areas in emerging markets.
Capital Public Radio: Veterans Find Refuge In Farming
- Today Smiley's posture is erect and his handshake is firm, but his gaze often falls to the floor. Smiley struggles to form relationships, and connect with friends and family. But, he says farming has helped him build a new community, and renewed his life purpose.
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