Daily Harvest -- 5/7/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Congressional ag leaders differ on next step for COOL
- (Subscriber only) A ruling on the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule for meat is expected from the World Trade Organization (WTO) by May 18, and four of agriculture's top lawmakers on Capitol Hill have different ideas on what could come next.
Agri-Pulse: Agriculture part of new FAA UAS program
- (Audio) The Federal Aviation Administration has announced new partnerships with industries including agriculture to explore the next steps in unmanned aircraft operations.
Associated Press: Bird flu virus creeps into northeastern Missouri
- A strain of bird flu responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and turkeys in several states has surfaced in northeastern Missouri, weeks after it was detected elsewhere in the state, the Missouri Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
Des Moines Register: Bird flu aftermath: Turkey farmer struggles to recover
- Lifelong turkey farmer Greg Langmo knew as soon as the young flock that usually clustered around him like curious little puppies turned lethargic and stopped eating that his Minnesota farm had been struck by the bird flu that has shaken the poultry industry.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Hurt amiss in blaming estate tax for sales of family farms and businesses
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture concluded last year that 99.4 percent of estates with farms in 2013 were not subject to the so-called death tax.
The Hill: Mr. Xi, and others, tear down these walls
- Former Rep. Larry Combest: Since passage of the farm bill — when lawmakers agreed to cut $23 billion, mainly from agriculture — four reports have been published illustrating that the opposite is happening.
Des Moines Register: Help with disposal may be coming as bird flu cases mount
- With avian influenza continuing to wreck havoc in northwest Iowa, poultry producers may get some help disposing of more than 20 million chickens, turkeys and ducks infected by the deadly virus, officials said Wednesday.
Denver Post: Undercover pig farm investigation in Colorado leads to 7 firings
- Five employees and two supervisors have been fired from a northeast Colorado pig farm after allegations of abuse that surfaced in a video filmed during an undercover investigation that showed animal mistreatment at the facility.
Agri-Pulse: As RFS decision nears, biofuel leaders press White House
- (Subscriber only) EPA's delays in rulemaking for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over the past two years have resulted in an estimated $13.7 billion shortfall in investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) analysis released Monday.
Associated Press: Hawaii enters national debate over future of ethanol in gas
- Hawaii lawmakers have put the state at the front of a national discussion over the future of ethanol in gasoline by passing a bill that puts an end to a requirement that the corn-based additive be mixed into fuel sold in the state.
Reuters: Indonesia president signs palm export levy to fund biodiesel
- Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signed a regulation requiring exporters to pay a levy of $50 per tonne of crude palm oil (CPO) and $30 for processed palm oil product shipments, officials said on Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal: Safety Rules Give Eight Years for Ethanol Tank Car Upgrades
- The decade-long schedule devised by government regulators to improve the crashworthiness of railroad tank cars allows the ethanol industry eight years to upgrade its car fleet.
Christian Science Monitor: How Tesla's new battery may revolutionize energy consumption
- Tesla is expanding its business beyond luxury electric cars and looking to power homes and businesses with renewable energy stored in batteries. Will Tesla's experiment prove successful?
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Food companies appeal court ruling on Vermont GMO labeling law
- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today said it will appeal an April 27 federal court ruling denying the organization's attempt to halt Vermont's mandatory GMO labeling law.
Business Insider: Chipotle's flashy ban on GMOs is totally backfiring
- Chipotle's recent ban on genetically modified ingredients is facing mounting criticism. The move, which was initially praised, is being called "bad science" and "opportunistic."
Los Angeles Times: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams describes how it's fixing listeria issue
- Nearly two weeks after recalling all its ice cream products and temporarily closing its scoop shops, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams announced Wednesday that it believes it has found the root of its listeria problem and outlined plans to protect more aggressively against contamination.
New York Times: Cuomo Moves to Raise Wages for New York Fast-Food Workers
- Frustrated by his inability to persuade lawmakers in Albany to raise the statewide minimum wage, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says he will try a different approach to raise the pay of thousands of fast-food workers.
New York Times: Opinion: Let’s Make Food Issues Real
- Mark Bittman: There is some talk about the food movement’s winning. I’m not even sure such a thing as a food movement exists.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Senate GOP sets up first key fast-track trade vote
- Senate Republican leaders are pushing ahead with a fast-track trade bill, setting up the first key vote for next Tuesday.
Reuters: Farm sector no savior for Brazil's economy as credit tightens
- When Brazil's economy faltered in the past, the farm sector often helped break the fall with steady growth. But that trend may not hold up this year under tougher credit conditions and weaker commodities prices.
New York Times: More Land in Colombia Used to Grow Coca, U.S. Says
- The amount of land in Colombia used to grow coca, the plant that drug traffickers use to make cocaine, increased significantly last year, according to an annual survey by the United States government.
New York Times: With Imports Banned, Russian Cheese Fills the Need for Brie
- Practically overnight, the farm’s phones started ringing with orders. Restaurant chefs and grocery store managers were clamoring, “‘We want cheese, we want cheese,’ ” said Daniel G. Sokolov, who manages the farm with his wife, Maria V. Sokolova.
Reuters: Argentina cuts March export taxes on biodiesel
- Argentina's government on Wednesday cut export taxes on biodiesel retroactively for March to 5 percent from 8.9 percent in a bid to support a sector hurt by the fall in oil prices and by trade obstacles with the European Union.
Portland Business Journal: Why Nike might be the perfect place for President Obama's trade speech
- President Obama’s choice to use Nike Inc.’s World Headquarters as a backdrop on Friday for a stump speech on foreign trade agreements is a curious one.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers seek to limit gas escaping from wells on public lands
- Three Democratic lawmakers are asking the Interior Department to place limits on the unnecessary releases of natural gas from oil and gas wells in light of a new Government Accountability Office report that found that officials have not improved natural gas capture standards despite two previous reports urging reforms.
Agri-Pulse: USDA's Harden says farmers, policy makers must collaborate on climate change
- Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden used a State Department forum Wednesday to encourage greater collaboration between farmers and policy makers as they try to deal with climate change.
Reuters: Drought forces California into first mandatory rules to save water
- California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year.
Washington Post: Wild animals in drought-stricken Western states are dying for a drink
- Endangered kangaroo rats are just one falling tile in the drought’s domino effect on wildlife in the lower Western states. Large fish kills are happening in several states as waters heated by higher temperatures drain and lose oxygen.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Bloomberg: Hillary Clinton's Immigration Stance May Haunt Republicans Until Election Day
- The fast-growing sector of the electorate is receiving a lot of early attention in the presidential race.
Washington Times: Kentucky hemp production up in 2nd year of crop’s comeback
- Kentucky’s second hemp crop in decades is expected to surpass 1,700 acres, up from about three dozen acres a year ago, as the versatile crop’s comeback starts to attract interest from processors looking to turn it into products, state agriculture officials said Tuesday.
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