Daily Harvest -- 5/12/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA earmarks $100 million in loans to boost rural electrical service
- USDA celebrated the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Rural Electrification Service today by announcing more than $100 million in loans to build or improve 1,000 miles of rural electric transmission and distribution lines.
Wall Street Journal: Ranchers Beef Up Cattle Herds
- For the first time in nearly a decade, ranchers in the heart of cattle country are expanding their herds, betting that a recent break in a multiyear drought will persist.
Des Moines Register: Agriculture to be fertile ground for job-seeking grads
- College students worried about getting a job after graduation might consider a degree in agriculture, according to a study released Monday.
Seattle Times: Different bird flu strain detected in Indiana backyard flock
- Bird flu has been found in a backyard poultry flock in northeastern Indiana, and it’s the first time the specific strain in question has been detected in the central U.S., animal health officials said Monday.
Environment and Energy News: Cellulosic refiners hamstrung by chaos in RFS-credit market
- Quad County Corn Processors produced the Midwest's first gallons of cellulosic ethanol last summer with new technology added to a corn-ethanol plant in western Iowa.
Forbes: American Eagle Energy Becomes Fourth U.S. Bankruptcy Of The Oil Bust
- American Eagle Energy became the fourth U.S. energy producer to file for bankruptcy protection in the aftermath of the big drop in crude oil prices.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reuters: Cheap junk food expands waistlines in emerging economies - researchers – TRFN
- Eating healthy is becoming an expensive luxury in emerging market countries, where vegetable prices have spiked while high fat, sugary junk foods have become cheaper, economists said on Monday.
Time: The GMO Controversy Misses the Point
- Several food companies have recently reformed their menus: McDonald’s will stop using chicken treated with human antibiotics, Chipotle is going GMO-free, Panera is eliminating a long list of ingredients, Pepsi is abandoning the use of aspartame, and Kraft is removing the colors from its mac and cheese.
PBS: Millions in the U.S. impacted by food allergies, but a cure may be on the horizon
- The question on many people’s minds, including my own, is why do so many children have allergies these days? Dr. Nadeau and other scientists are still trying to figure that out, but they are starting to make some progress.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Democrats demand pledge on trade bills for fast-track support
- Senate Democrats whose votes are critical to passing a fast-track trade bill have been pressing for a last-minute commitment from Republicans to move a separate enforcement measure.
Agri-Pulse: Ag groups hopeful Congress will pass TPA
- (Audio) Agricultural interests in favor of trade promotion authority are cautiously optimistic that the Senate will have enough votes to move it forward this week.
Reuters: Canada says will defend dairy protection at Pacific trade talks
- Canada will continue to defend a system of tariffs and quotas that protect dairy farmers, a senior official said on Monday, in comments that could worry nations negotiating a Pacific trade treaty.
New York Times: Fear of Ruin as Disease Takes Hold of Italy’s Olive Trees
- Across the stony heel of Italy, a peninsula ringed by the blue-green waters of the Mediterranean, olive trees have existed for centuries, shaping the landscape and producing some of the nation’s finest olive oils. Except now, many of the trees are dying.
Yahoo: France's Hollande meets Fidel Castro and urges end to Cuba embargo
- French President Francois Hollande called Monday for an end to the US embargo on Cuba, as he met with Fidel Castro during the first visit by a Western leader since Washington and Havana moved to restore ties.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Conservation Cuts: Precursor to Regulation?
- Bruce Knight: I have long been a proponent of voluntary action as the best approach for addressing environmental concerns. But the ongoing cuts in conservation funding are now putting the success of that strategy at risk. What troubles me most is that no one seems to notice or care.
Associated Press: USDA drought declaration expanded in Utah, Nevada
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded a natural disaster declaration to include several additional counties suffering from drought in Nevada and Utah.
Reuters: El Nino seems all but certain, Asia braces for crop damage
- In 2009, the El Nino brought the worst drought in four decades to India. It razed wheat fields in Australia and damaged crops across Asia. Food prices surged. A closely watched forecast by Japan will confirm its return this year as all but certain now.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Bloomberg: Jeb Bush Says He Wouldn't Repeal Obama's Immigration Actions Right Away
- He may be a staunch critic of President Obama's executive orders on immigration, but Jeb Bush wouldn't rush to repeal them if he's the next White House resident.
MPR News: Dying breed? 'Blue Dog' Peterson fired up to run
- Even after a years-long battle to pass a farm bill and a tough re-election race last fall, he says he's energized to keep his job in Minnesota's sprawling and increasingly Republican 7th District — the most Republican district in the nation to elect a Democrat.
Bloomberg: Cofco Hires ADM Executive to Head Noble Agri
- Cofco Corp., China’s largest food company, poached a senior executive from U.S. rival Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. to lead its push into global agricultural trading.
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