Daily Harvest -- 5/13/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: House votes to kill WOTUS rule
- The House voted to kill the Obama administration's proposed Clean Water Act rule, but the margin was far short of the two-thirds support that would be needed to override a likely presidential veto.
Agri-Pulse: Organic Trade Association petitions USDA for check-off
- The Organic Trade Association (OTA), representing over 8,500 organic businesses across the U.S., has officially petitioned USDA for a check-off program that could raise $30 million a year for research and promotion.
Agri-Pulse: Avian flu spreads to two more states; more than 32 million birds now affected
- The avian influenza outbreak spreading across the country has now entered its 14th and 15th states, increasing its reach to Indiana and Nebraska.
Agri-Pulse: Specialty crop growers seek clarification on conservation compliance backlog
- As the June 1 deadline draws nearer, specialty crop growers who purchase crop insurance are increasingly concerned that the forms they filed to meet new conservation compliance requirements are not being processed by USDA staff. Failure to comply could result in producers being denied crop insurance premium subsidies - making the premiums unaffordable for many.
Associated Press: Egg, Turkey Meat Prices Begin to Rise as Bird Flu Spreads
- Prices for eggs and turkey meat are rising as an outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest claims an increasing number of chickens and turkeys. Market experts say grocery stores and wholesalers are trying to stock up on eggs, but there's no need to worry about having enough turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Wall Street Journal: Monsanto’s Rivals Could Be Help for Syngenta – Overheard
- Monsanto has sown the seeds of consolidation in the agriculture industry with its takeover offer for Swiss rival Syngenta. Could European rivals try to plow the same furrow?
Wall Street Journal: Soybean Prices Fall as USDA Forecasts Big Crop
- U.S. soybean prices sank to a one-month low Tuesday after federal forecasters projected a larger-than-expected harvest this autumn and a sharp increase in supplies of the oilseed next year.
Agri-Pulse: Senate looks to move major energy bill, minus controversial issues
- (Subscriber only) A Senate committee is gearing up to try to enact the first comprehensive energy bill since the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
Agri-Pulse: Questions loom over pending RFS announcement
- (Subscriber only) If the EPA follows its court-ordered deadline, three years' worth of Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) volume requirements could be announced June 1, but what lies within that pending announcement is anyone's guess.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol industry launches major RFS campaign
- (Audio) The ethanol industry is asking the Obama Administration to choose between the oil industry and consumers when it comes to setting volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: EPA approves protein development to fight citrus greening
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Southern Gardens Citrus to move forward with its development of a spinach protein for genetically modified oranges that could help control citrus greening disease plaguing the orange industry.
Bloomberg: How McDonald's Could Conquer Kale
- The kale fad has reached America's ailing burger behemoth. McDonald's has confirmed plans to test the leafy superfood in an experimental breakfast bowl that will be served in nine southern California locations.
The Joplin Globe: Cooperative agriculture delivery services growing
- "I like the notion of 'shared risk' that makes CSAs work: we take a gamble on the crop, and help the farmer by paying in early so he can get seeds in the ground and get growing," said Casie Hermansson, a Pittsburg resident who purchased a full share this season to feed a family of four.
Associated Press: Ala. school district offering free dinner to local children
- The superintendent of a central Alabama school district says officials are planning to expand a program that offers free dinner to local children under age 18.
Wall Street Journal: It’s More Than Just the GMO Label
- Opinion: The FDA operates a voluntary consultation program for genetically engineered foods but it has been very slow in performing those reviews.
The Maine Wire: How Junk Science Has Infiltrated the GMO Debate in Maine
- Proponents of labeling claim that there is something inherently dangerous about GMOs. The scientific consensus on GMO foods, however, is that they are as safe to consume as “traditional” foods. Why then, do so many Mainers sincerely believe that GMOs are inherently dangerous?
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Democrats block fast-track trade bill
- Senate Democrats at least temporarily sidelined President Obama's trade agenda, blocking advancement of a bill to provide a fast-track approval process for trade agreements.
Politico: The Democrats' meaningless trade revolt
- For all the buzz there was, you might have thought we were witnessing a revolution against the prevailing world order. Led by Democrats who ganged up against President Obama over additional worker protections and other add-ons, the Senate on Tuesday failed to muster enough votes to start debate on “fast-track” authority for the Obama administration on trade.
International Business Times: TPP Fast Track Vote: Why Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Didn’t Pass The Senate
- Democrats generally oppose the TPP altogether, but a package with more Democratic-supported measures could gain enough votes in the future. In particular, Democrats shot down the deal in hopes of securing bipartisan support for two other trade provisions.
The Guardian: Indian land bill: 'We’re losing not just land, but a whole generation of farmers'
- The bill aims to streamline the currently cumbersome process of land acquisition. But critics argue that this will come at the cost of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable – its forest-dwelling tribes and farmers.
Forbes: The Controversy Over Immigration And New Trade Authority
- A controversy has emerged about whether granting the president Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) would result in expanded immigration.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Reuters: Weather centers to arm Central Africa's farmers against climate shifts
- For many of the past five years, Marthe Efoulan, a 42-year-old farmer in Meyomessala, in southern Cameroon, has been fooled into planting her crops too soon.
Delta Democrat-Times: State approves new mosquito pesticide
- A new pesticide has recently been approved by the State of Mississippi for use in the Delta, where, years ago, organophosphate-based pesticides were heavily applied to counter the cotton-infesting boll weevil.
Fortune: Wal-Mart criticized for sourcing bottled water in drought-hit California
- The world’s largest retailer sources some of its bottled water in drought-stricken California, eliciting complaints. But it does not seem inclined to follow the lead of Starbucks, which last week said it would stop the practice.
Los Angeles Times: Drought update: Dry wells, debate over water cutbacks
- With Californians increasing efforts to deal with the drought, lawmakers got an update Tuesday on exactly how bad things are and heard little to cheer them.
Washington Post: Navajo president pledges to walk road to true sovereignty
- Russell Begaye was sworn in Tuesday as president of the Navajo Nation, agreeing to support several of his predecessor’s projects including an aerial tram at the east rim of the Grand Canyon and a rail port that could export agriculture and coal from the reservation.
Lafayette Journal and Courier: Purdue agriculture ranked in top five globally
- Purdue tied with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in QS Top University’s 2015 World University Rankings of top agriculture and forestry programs. Last year, Purdue’s agriculture college was ranked eighth.
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