Daily Harvest -- 5/12/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Focus on Water, Highway Transportation
- The House is in recess this week but the Senate has a busy schedule, with lots of news expected on the transportation front - both on water and on land.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla.
- In this wide ranging interview, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., shares his thoughts about why it was so difficult to pass a new farm bill and his perspective on issues like the definition of “actively engaged” as USDA works on implementation.
Agri-Pulse: Members of Congress urge EPA to back down on WOTUS
- (Audio) Members of Congress sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy last week asking her to halt action on the proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule under the Clean Water Act.
Agri-Pulse: Smaller wheat supplies seen as harsh weather cuts production
- (Subscriber only) U.S. wheat supplies for the marketing year beginning June 1 will total 2.7 billion bushels, down 10 percent from the current year, as continuing drought and freeze events cut production, USDA said today. The report contained the department's first projections for the 2014-2015 crop year.
Des Moines Register: Ending antibiotics for animal growth 'right decision'
- A recent industry-wide move to phase out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animals raised to produce food will not have a long-term financial effect on the animal-health unit of Eli Lilly & Co., which has made an aggressive move in recent years to invest in the business, a top executive said in an interview.
Des Moines Register: Data tools boost farmers' returns but raise worries
- Agribusiness giants such as Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer are spending millions of dollars to help farmers mine ever-increasing amounts of data from their fields through "precision agriculture" technology to help them boost yields, lower their costs and reduce their risk, all the while increasing the amount of revenue they squeeze out of every acre.
Washington Post: Big data is coming. Should we be afraid?
- Americans should not fear a future of big data, in which vast amounts of information about people’s homes, habits and health, among other things, can be collected, stored, accessed and analyzed. But they should be cautious.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: A Lesson in Farming, Classroom to Cafeteria
- Hagerstown, population 1,769, is like many rural communities confronting the cost of population decline and concerns that local agricultural ties are disappearing, but they are turning to their classrooms for local food production.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Dumped Mexican sugar harming U.S. producers, ITC finds
- The U.S. International Trade Commission is siding with U.S. sugar producers who claim they've been harmed by subsidized sweetener from Mexico that is being dumped on U.S. markets at less than fair value.
Reuters: U.S. regulators vote to investigate sugar imports from Mexico
- U.S. trade regulators ruled on Friday in favor of investigating allegations that Mexico is dumping cheap sugar in the United States, taking Washington closer to imposing penalties on sweetener imports.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Tulsa World: Rep. Frank Lucas: EPA proposal could harm U.S. food security
- Even with an open mind, giving the EPA the benefit of the doubt, it is difficult to read the proposed rule and not feel concerned – maybe even outraged.
Washington Post: Western states worry decision on bird’s fate could cost billions in development
- Some state officials fear a decision to list the sage grouse, which would severely limit everything from grazing to energy development on a huge swath of land, could create a slew of new Bundys all over the rural West.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
AZCentral.com: McCain: N.C. results good news for GOP, migrant reform
- Arizona's two Republican U.S. senators say last week's GOP primary results in North Carolina are a good sign for their party — and for the future of immigration reform in Congress.
Wall Street Journal: Rural Hospitals Feel Pinch
- Rural hospitals have long been under financial pressure from the rising cost of providing health care, the dwindling number of patients staying overnight and the shift of more profitable services like cardiac care to bigger medical centers.
Agri-Pulse: Aspen Institute's Mensah tapped for USDA rural development post
- President Barack Obama said he plans to nominate Lisa Mensah, the executive director of the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute, as the USDA's under secretary for rural development.
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