Daily Harvest -- 5/14/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate deal clears way for fast-track trade bill
- Republicans and Democrats reached agreement to clear the way for likely Senate passage of legislation to fast-track new trade agreements.
Agri-Pulse: USDA funding available to develop new products
- (Audio) USDA is making $30 million available to farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs to develop new product lines.
Los Angeles Times: Bug wars: In Utah farm fields it's ladybugs vs. a plague of aphids
- Farmers had hoped nature could beat back the aphid assault, but this infestation was too big even for the ladybug brigade.
Des Moines Register: USDA, rapped on bird flu, says hundreds deployed
- Iowa chicken and turkey producers need more help from the federal government — more equipment, more people — as facilities struggle to destroy and dispose of millions of birds being stricken with avian influenza, industry and congressional leaders said Tuesday.
WILX: Demand Increases for High-Skilled Jobs in Agriculture
- A new study shows there are about 60,000 job openings across the country each year, but only 35,000 graduates to fill them.
The Grand Island Independent: Nebraska governor declares emergency to help battle bird flu
- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an emergency to make sure state agencies have what they need to battle bird flu in the state.
Washington Post: Bird flu adds to woes at Minnesota turkey litter power plant
- A Minnesota power plant fueled by turkey litter flopped and fell into receivership even before a virulent form of bird flu shook the Midwest’s poultry industry in recent months, yet its new managers say they’re confident they can keep it running for the long haul
Wall Street Journal: Japan Struggles to Find Balanced Energy Strategy
- Defenders of the energy strategy, released late last month, say it’s a balanced approach for a country with few natural resources of its own. Critics say it’s a blown opportunity for a bolder move toward energy self-sufficiency and future economic growth through the development of Japanese companies’ energy technologies.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Gillibrand bill would give USDA mandatory recall power over contaminated meat
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced legislation today that would provide USDA mandatory recall authority over contaminated meat and poultry, citing what her office called a “devastating investigation” by PBS' Frontline of the American food safety system.
Agri-Pulse: USDA finalizes labeling rule for mechanically tenderized beef
- The Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced a final rule for labeling of mechanically tenderized beef and will accelerate its implementation to reduce the chances of further illnesses linked to the product.
Washington Post: USDA develops first government label for GMO-free products
- The Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients.
Wall Street Journal: Food-Stamp Use Is Now the Lowest Since 2011
- The number of people receiving food stamps in the U.S. slipped to the lowest level in almost four years, a sign of an improving economy as well as more stringent qualification rules.
Food Safety News: Vermont GMO-Labeling Law: ‘Harm to Industry’ Issue to be Appealed
- A federal trial court judge’s April 27 decision allowing the state of Vermont to proceed with new rules requiring labels for genetically modified food is being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: After Lobbying by Obama, Senate Agrees to Vote on Trade Bill After All
- Senate leaders, after personal intercessions by President Obama, reached an agreement Wednesday on a path to grant the president accelerated power to complete a sweeping trade accord ringing the Pacific Ocean — just a day after fellow Democrats had blocked him.
Yahoo: South Africa eyes Brazil and Argentina for likely GMO maize imports: official
- South Africa could import maize from Brazil and Argentina, fellow producers of genetically modified maize, to boost local supplies curbed by drought, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Times: Badgers, beef, fish: Letters show Prince Charles' passions
- Britain's government on Wednesday published a series of letters between Prince Charles and senior officials, written about a decade ago, that have been kept private until now.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers push USDA and EPA to get in sync on bee health
- Rep. Rodney Davis, chairman of the House Agriculture subcommittee on biotechnology, horticulture and research, said lawmakers are concerned about a lack of communication between USDA and EPA, particularly regarding issues on pollinator health.
Wall Street Journal: Honeybee Crisis Worsens As Summer Die-Offs Mount
- More than 40% of U.S. honeybee colonies died in a 12-month period ending in April, extending a troubling trend that has scientists scrambling for a solution and professional beekeepers struggling to stay in business.
Associated Press: Study: Spring heat poses greater danger to wheat yields
- Spring heat poses a greater danger to winter wheat crops than early freezes in the fall, according to a new Kansas State University study that highlights the need develop more heat-tolerant varieties as climate change increases global temperatures.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Salt Lake Tribune: In Utah speech, U.S. immigration chief says system is unjust
- The son of Cuban immigrants said it is time to change that, and called for Congress to make the immigration system more just, and he defended President Barack Obama's executive orders seeking to defer deportation of millions.
Huffington Post: House Panel Tees Up Another Immigration Fight On Defense Bill
- The House of Representatives will soon get another chance to add to its record of voting against measures friendly to Dreamers, the young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children -- or to make a rare vote in their favor.
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