Daily Harvest -- 5/5/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 5, 2016
- (Audio) Donald Trump's trade message isn’t changing one iota. Also: House chairman demands answers on glyphosate report; Syngenta responds to atrazine report; study puts value on weed control, and ethanol edges near 10 percent of gasoline supply.
Agri-Pulse: A changing Democratic party could shape farm policy
- (Audio) As preparations begin for the next farm bill, a political analyst says the changes in the Democratic
party could mean changes for the legislation.
Columbus Dispatch: Cutting Ohio farmers’ property taxes could cost homeowners, schools millions
- Farmers want more help with rising property tax rates, but critics say the current legislative solution would mean millions in higher property taxes for rural homeowners and a potential loss of state funding for urban and suburban school districts.
Palm Beach Post: Wait continues for homeowners who lost citrus trees to canker
- Thousands of state residents, including 26,000 in Palm Beach County, will have to wait even longer to find out if they will ever be paid for beloved citrus trees they lost when state workers cut them down as part of Florida’s failed $1 billion canker eradication program.
Grist: Here are the 8 biggest debates in American food policy
- They range from soda taxes to agricultural systems. In between: Food stamps, GMO labeling, antibiotics, nutrition, school lunches, and pollinators.
Montana Standard: Ranch group sues USDA over marketing program
- Marketing fees collected from U.S. ranchers are being unconstitutionally spent, according to a Billings-based cattle group suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Texas Tribune: Survey: Texans Support a Statewide "Clean Energy" Plan
- When it blocked President’s Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Supreme Court let Texas off the hook — at least for now — on developing a plan to boost its use of cleaner-burning energy.
The Guardian: Renewable energy in Australia: rapid acceleration needed to meet 2020 target
- Meeting the country's renewable energy target for 2020 appears increasingly difficult, with a report released on budget night describing the progress so far as “adequate under the circumstances” but saying a rapid acceleration is needed.
N.Y. Times: Shell’s First-Quarter Profit Fell 89% Amid Weak Energy Prices
- Weak energy prices continue to take their toll, as profit dropped sharply at Europe’s largest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell.
Washington Post: Environmental groups sue EPA, seek stricter rules over fracking waste linked to earthquakes
- A collection of environmental advocacy groups on Wednesday sued the Environmental Protection Agency, saying the government has failed to adequately regulate the disposal of waste generated by oil and gas drilling.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: US and Canadian food safety systems comparable, FDA says
- Food and Drug Administration and Canadian food authorities will cooperate on a range of food safety issues after agreeing that their food safety systems are comparable.
North Country Now: USDA recalling branded items from Hannaford, with store in Massena
- USDA is recalling products including wrap sandwiches and salads that might have been shipped to the Hannaford supermarket in Massena and other supermarkets in St. Lawrence County.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Syngenta Hires Ex-DuPont Veteran as New CEO as China Deal Looms
- Syngenta AG said former DuPont Co. director Erik Fyrwald will take over as chief executive officer to steer the Swiss agrochemical maker through the final stages of its $43 billion takeover by state-owned China National Chemical Corp.
Xinhua: Interview: Russia eyes enhanced agricultural cooperation with China
- Russia hopes to strengthen agricultural cooperation with China, Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Albany Times-Union: Schumer warns of Canadian milk trade dispute
- U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer went to a Washington County dairy farm Wednesday to warn that proposed new Canadian limits on milk imports from the U.S. could harm New York's dairy farmers.
Irish Independent: Farmers protest at 'EU sellout' of beef industry in trade deal talks
- Concerns have been rising over discussions at EU level over the impact a deal with the Mercosur trade bloc - including the major beef powerhouse Brazil - would have on Ireland's beef industry, which depends on EU markets for over 90 percent of its exports.
Washington Post: A model farm — with few farmers — in North Korea
- They said it was a model cooperative farm. There were vegetables, to be sure, but there was barely a farmer in sight, barely any activity. And it was surprisingly spotless given that farming usually entails dirt.
Washington Post: The U.S. peanut donations to Haiti don’t look good
- (Opinion) The peanut dump is more about unloading surplus U.S. peanuts than bolstering food security in Haiti.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: OIG says USDA needs to improve conservation compliance reviews
- USDA's Office of Inspector General says officials in the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency need to improve the way they handle conservation compliance reviews.
Oregon Public Broadcasting: Judge Rejects Feds' Latest Plan To Help Salmon Survive Columbia River Dams
- In a ruling Wednesday, Federal District Court Judge Michael Simon rejected the government’s latest plan for protecting salmon in the Columbia River Basin, saying the system of fish-blocking dams needs a new approach.
Bloomberg: World's No. 1 Herbicide Said to Face Shorter EU Reauthorization
- The European Commission plans to seek a nine-year renewal of the license in Europe for glyphosate instead of the usual 15 years amid concerns the chemical may cause cancer, according to an official familiar with the matter.
AP: Bird flu forces slaughter of 39K turkeys at Missouri farm
- A southwestern Missouri turkey farm where bird flu was found remains quarantined after 39,000 of its birds were destroyed last week as a precaution, agricultural officials said Wednesday.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Lodi News: Bruce Blodgett: Labor bills beg the question, has there really been change?
- (Opinion) The 60-hour work week is best for the workers. With this allowance, the workers can maintain their income levels to offset the times of the year where there are no jobs available in food production.
WNDU: Michigan farmers call on Congress to help with H-2A program
- The government-run program, called H-2A, brings immigrants into the country on a visa, to help maintain U.S. agriculture; however, some local farmers are becoming frustrated with the lengthy process.
Government Technology: Immigration: Down in Farm Country, Up in Some Cities
- Tech companies say the newcomers fill a gap in U.S.-born science and technology graduates, allowing them to keep more operations in the U.S. and create jobs for other Americans. Farmers and their advocates say the shortage of migrant workers forces them to cut production, waste crops they can’t harvest or pay more for labor, which opens the door to less-expensive foreign produce.
Politico: New immigration fight looms in Congress
- Lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol are quietly launching a new effort to expand visas for low-skilled foreign workers in government funding bills — a push that could drive a deep ideological rift through both parties later this year.
Agri-Pulse: New index sees upturn in farmer outlook
- Farmers are feeling better about the farm economy this year after an upturn in grain and wheat prices last month, according to a new monthly survey of producer attitudes.
Reuters: Global dairy prices fall, but whole milk prices on the rise
- International milk prices slipped on Wednesday, weighing on hopes that prices were beginning to recover after two consecutive auctions of gains.
AP: Sen. Angus King urges USDA to require speedier rural broadband
- U.S. Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., are asking USDA to increase broadband speed definitions for a grant program that serves rural communities.
N.Y. Times: Agriculture Start-Ups Get Boost From Big Firms and Investors
- A new “accelerator” has been launched to assist fledgling agriculture companies. Its backers include two big agrochemical and seed companies, Bayer and Syngenta, and some venture capital firms that typically focus on pharmaceuticals, not farms.
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