Daily Harvest -- 5/6/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 6, 2016
- Campbell testing labeling alternatives with consumers; Vilsack wants CRP expansion; FAO on rising food prices; biodiesel industry leader Jobe steps down.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack wants more CRP acres in next farm bill
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA will enroll more than 800,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program this year, while expressing hope that Congress will allow for even higher enrollment in the next farm bill.
Agri-Pulse: Commentary by John Block
- (Audio) Providing food to needy people in other countries is a difficult balancing act. The U.S. government is providing peanuts to Haiti. Why? Because we have an "ancient, relic program" for peanuts.
Agri-Pulse: More funds for grid modernization
- The Energy Department announced that $25 million is available to help software developers, solar companies, and utilities speed up the integration of solar energy into the grid.
Agri-Pulse: National Biodiesel Board looking at prospects for tax credit
- (Audio) The National Biodiesel Board is looking for a way to switch an industry tax credit from blenders to producers to incentive domestic production, says Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs.
Sacramento Business Journal: Sales are up at Pacific Ethanol, but there's also some bad news
- First, the good news: Pacific Ethanol Inc. grew its sales and paid off some debt in the first quarter. But losses were also up at the Sacramento renewable fuel company compared to last year.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Check your freezers: Massive recall of frozen fruits and veggies expands after Listeria outbreak
- A food-packaging company in Washington state has expanded a voluntary recall — which at one time included just 11 products — to encompass nearly 360 different organic and non-organic frozen fruits and vegetables that may be contaminated with the deadly Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
Detroit Free Press: Mice poison scare at groceries triggers charges against Ann Arbor man
- A 29-year-old Ann Arbor man has been charged with contaminating produce and drinks at two Ann Arbor-area grocery stores by spraying the items with a liquid containing mouse poison, hand sanitizer and water.
Tech Insider: The woman behind GMO technology on feeding the world and never-ending controversy
- You might not know her name, but Mary-Dell Chilton, a newly anointed National Academy of Inventors Fellow, is at least partially responsible for the way our food system works today. That's because Chilton, now 77 and a scientist at Syngenta, led the team in the early 1980s that produced the world's first transgenic plant.
The New Republic: The Flaws of Do-Gooder Food Ratings
- How to keep track of everything you want in the way your food is produced?
CNBC: The organic food revolution that is minting millionaires
- As consumers become more discerning about what they eat and more are willing to pay for better-quality foods or those for special diets, many small food makers are carving out toeholds in this fast-growing marketplace.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: Why China keeps a giant stockpile of frozen pork
- Beijing's municipal government is releasing 6.1 million pounds of frozen pork into the marketplace over the next two months, according to reports in Chinese state media. As a result of this influx of meat, officials say that prices should fall by around 18 percent.
The New Republic: The Free-Trade Consensus Is Dead
- The center of gravity holding together a policy framework that prioritizes corporate dominance over democratic governance has collapsed. And this week’s T-TIP leak is another nail in the free-trade coffin.
The Guardian: Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta: rush for mega-mergers puts food security at risk
- The global agrochemical and seed industry is undergoing profound upheaval, with a spate of mergers and attempted mergers consolidating the sector and raising concerns about the future of the food system.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
The Guardian: When in drought: the California farmers who don’t water their crops
- There’s something different about Will Bucklin’s grape vines. The black ribbon of PVC irrigation pipe that typically threads the vines is curiously absent here – because Will doesn’t water his crops.
NPR: The Environmental Cost Of Growing Food
- Let's say you're an environmentally motivated eater. You want your diet to do as little damage as possible to our planet's forests and grasslands and wildlife. But how do you decide which food is greener?
Bloomberg: New administration rule would permit thousands of eagle deaths at wind farms
- The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.
Pacific Standard: Unknown, Unregulated, Undrinkable
- A probable human carcinogen has been found in water systems throughout California. Farm towns are fighting the state and chemical companies for remediation.
State House News Service: Mass. senate bill backing agriculture bans plastic bags at farmers markets
- Massachusetts shoppers would be able to buy craft beers and spirits at farmers markets - but not take those bottles or any other purchases home in a plastic bag - under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Public News Service: Audit: Children Working on NC Tobacco Farms
- Children are working on North Carolina's tobacco farms – and some of them are working in hazardous conditions, according to an audit commissioned by Reynolds American of its contract farms in the Tar Heel State.
Good Fruit Grower: Growers bringing in H-2A and other workers are turning to new facilities for housing needs
- Seasonal farm worker housing has turned into one of the most expensive and crucial facets growers must address to make sure they have enough hands to prune, thin and pick their fruit every year.
Agri-Pulse: Obama administration picks broadband assistance recipients
- USDA and EPA said Thursday that five communities would receive planning assistance through the Obama administration's interagency Cool & Connected program to set up broadband services and revitalize their downtowns.
Florida Politics: Fla. Dept. of Ag hosts Zika wiorkshops across state
- The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is ramping up its efforts to make sure mosquito control programs are ready to combat the Zika virus.
N.Y. Times: Cartoonist Fired From Farm News for Pro-Farmer Cartoon
- Rick Friday lost his job as a cartoonist at the Iowa publication after penning 1,090 cartoons in 21 years. He made a joke about the wrong company.
Forbes: Big Agriculture Bullies And Lobbies To Keep Americans In The Dark
- Three recent examples of how industrial agricultural is trying to keep us in the dark.
Washington Post: D.C. lawyers are suing the city to keep their four backyard chickens
- The chickens of the 3900 block of Jenifer Street NW are, by all appearances, well-cared for, each looked after by one of the four children of Allison Sheedy and Daniel McInnis.
Science Magazine: Humans are the highest energy apes, making us smarter—but also fatter
- Humans are the Energizer Bunnies of the primate world. That’s the conclusion of a new study that, for the first time, measures precisely how many calories humans and apes burn each day.
Bloomberg: U.S. Farmers Open Up Silos as Corn Hits `Magic' Price Levels
- The best rally for corn prices in 10 months meant U.S. farmers were frantic to sell from the mountain of grain they’d been hoarding.
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