Daily Harvest -- 5/11/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: First key test for President Obama’s trade agenda
- (Subscriber only) Congress is moving closer to securing authority for the president to finalize a multi-lateral trade deal with Asia Pacific countries, only if congressional leaders can secure the necessary votes from a minority party skeptical of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Rep. Collin Peterson, Minn
- (Audio) This week's guest on Open Mic is Minnesota US Representative Collin Peterson. In this interview Peterson discusses his position on Trade Promotion Authority for the Obama administration and the dangers of change to the nation's crop insurance program.
Agri-Pulse: USDA proposes new regulation to improve humane handling of veal calves
- The Department of Agriculture is proposing new regulations that it says will improve the food safety and humane treatment of veal calves at USDA inspected facilities.
Agri-Pulse: Protect the Harvest working on policy issues nationwide
- (Audio) Protect the Harvest is an advocacy group that was started in Missouri five years ago to fight against animal activist groups working at the state level.
New York Times: Iowa: Bird Flu May Claim 4 Million More Chickens
- Iowa agriculture officials say bird flu could claim an additional four million of Iowa’s egg-laying chickens on two more farms in a county already hit by the disease. Officials are waiting for preliminary tests on two farms in Wright County to be confirmed.
DTN The Progressive Farmer: Iowa Dealing With Bird Deaths
- Iowa is facing a crisis trying to destroy and dispose of roughly 23 million birds from poultry operations infected with highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Why do some Pennsylvania farmers avoid community-supported agriculture?
- For Mr. Morris, the idea of a subscription-based CSA makes him nervous. He is worried that he might take someone’s money and then have a bad growing season and be unable to fill the farm boxes for the summer.
Newsweek: Old MacDonald’s Stolen Barn: Farm Theft Is on the Rise
- Around the country, farmer advocates and law enforcement officials say, farm theft is on the rise. Misplacing equipment or miscounting livestock happens, but as agricultural commodity prices rise, criminals are helping themselves to animals and harvesting other people’s crops. Thieves are taking machinery and fuel too.
New York Times: Pressure on Sygenta From Monsanto Offer
- A $45 billion takeover proposal from Monsanto, the world’s biggest provider of seeds to farmers, to Syngenta, the top seller of crop-protection chemicals, was quickly rejected as too cheap and too risky. The target has a point on the difficulties, but it needs to lay out just how it will create more standalone value.
Venture Beat: Apple promises to boost renewable energy use in China
- Apple announced a series of initiatives to embrace renewable energy and “green” practices in China. The announcement mentions a few programs, including a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, a plan to “significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China,” and a promise to expand “renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Ethanol industry looks to drivers and exports for path out of a slump
- Increased driving and gasoline consumption are helping the ethanol industry pull out of a first-quarter slump. Producers of the corn-based fuel reported steep declines in operating income for the first quarter, marking a sudden end to companies’ record 2014 profits.
World Oil: America’s oil boom sputtering back to life one rig at a time
- While rigs are returning to some fields, the total U.S. count has continued to decline, losing 11 this week.
Iowa News Service: New Report Shows Iowa Leads Nation for Wind Energy
- The move to more renewable sources of energy is proving to be a breeze locally, with a new study showing that Iowa leads the nation for wind power.
USA Today: Energy, retail job cuts fuel 3-year high in layoffs
- Announced layoffs hit a three-year high in April as cheap oil pummeled energy company payrolls and failed to provide an expected lift to retailers and consumer products companies.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Action and Dysfunction in the U.S. Food-Safety Effort
- As some food safety specialists see it, the oversight system is a study in dysfunction. “It’s slow to react to science — it’s slow to react to change,” Dr. David Acheson told Retro Report. Dr. Acheson, now an adviser to food companies, used to be the chief medical officer at the Food Safety and Inspection Service and at the F.D.A.
New York Times: Giving the Poor Easy Access to Healthy Food Doesn’t Mean They’ll Buy It
- The neighborhood welcomed the addition, and perceived access to healthy food improved. But the diets of the neighborhood’s residents did not.
Omaha World-Herald: Beef industry backers wait and see on proposed dietary guideline changes
- The industry is protesting possible revisions to federal nutrition guidelines, saying they could weaken demand for one of Nebraska’s biggest agricultural products at a time when U.S. beef consumption already is falling amid high prices and health concerns.
Sacramento Bee: Capay Valley farmers turn to food hub to tap bigger market
- The Farm Shop is one of a growing number of food hubs that are giving farmers a new avenue to sell their wares – and allowing stores, restaurants and institutions to buy locally grown, fresh produce in bulk.
PBS: Fast food kills gut bacteria that can keep you slim, study finds
- While the highly processed ingredients and huge portions typically aren’t doing you any favors, new information says it can also kill off beneficial gut bacteria that help burn calories.
Yahoo: Is Food Addiction Real?
- In the brain, food has the potential to act a lot like drugs. It spurs a release of feel-good dopamine in the brain, the nucleus accumbens, which regulates motivation and reward, lights up, and over time the brain’s neurons down-regulate so that you need more and more of the good stuff (be it pot or pizza) to feel better, explains Brad Lander, Ph.D., clinical director of addiction psychiatry at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: US wheat heads to Jordan to aid with Syrian refugee crisis
- The U.S. will provide Jordan with 100,000 metric tons of wheat as part of a pledge to support agricultural development and trade with the Middle Eastern country.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack endorses G-20 plan for improving food security worldwide
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today endorsed a plan to combat food insecurity developed by the G-20 agriculture ministers, representing the world's major economies.
Omaha World-Herald: Migrants in Italy toil to put food on Europeans' plates
- The desperate quests of record numbers of migrants to cross the Mediterranean have been well-documented. But few know that those who make it here often spend years trapped in an immigration limbo where the only way to make money is to do the back-breaking farm labor that locals shun — but which is critical to feeding the continent.
Oregon Live: Oregon vintners back Obama's trans-Pacific trade deal
- Oregon's wine industry has come into its own in recent years, spurring the growth of wineries and newly planted acres of vineyards from the California border to the Columbia River.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Seattle Times: Ohio asks neighboring states to help fight Lake Erie’s algae
- Ohio’s governor and environmental chief are starting to ask some of their neighbors to look into what else they can do to cut down on the pollutants — primarily phosphorus — that end up in Lake Erie’s tributaries.
Washington Post: Could drought slow America’s most vibrant economy?
- This region of the country has powered the recovery from recession, leading in job growth and the development of cutting-edge industries that drive innovation and deliver higher-than-average pay for all sorts of workers.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Immigration debate roils GOP
- A group of dissident Republicans in the House are clashing with their colleagues on President Obama's deferred deportation program for illegal immigrants.
Fusion: Top immigration officials pitch new fingerprint-sharing program to wary activists
- That’s the feeling among activists who met with two high-level federal officials this week in California to discuss the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), a new version of the government’s immigration enforcement partnership with local police.
Washington Post: Beer-fueled fight in Fairfax prompts officials to look at state farming law
- Plans for a farm brewery in the Clifton area that could have tapped into a growing thirst for locally made beer were scrapped last week because of vehement opposition from residents in the historic Northern Virginia community.
Indy Star: U.S. Rep. Stutzman enters the race for Coats' Senate seat
- U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman entered Indiana's U.S. Senate race on Saturday, telling supporters he wants to replace retiring Republican Sen. Dan Coats because the nation needs more conservative leaders to boost economic growth, rein in spending and face national security threats.
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