Daily Harvest -- 5/16/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 16, 2016
- (Audio) Federal GMO labeling legislation still stalled; Trump welcomes House GOP support; Chicago Fed: Farm land values falling; more bad news for the farm economy; mechanically tenderized beef labeling starts; rice sector takes aim at breakfast; and this America is for you.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: SNAP store limits, organic livestock rules under fire
- Senate appropriators will step up pressure on the Agriculture Department to back off from tightening regulations for convenience stores that accept food stamps, and there also could be a fight this week over proposed new restrictions for organic livestock operations.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: May 13, 2016: Trump, appropriations, and GMO labeling
- (Video) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump came to Washington for meetings with GOP leaders, and he picked up a key ag endorsement along the way. Agri-Pulse’s Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase dig into that and some news out of the Senate in this week’s video.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado
- (Audio) Sen. Gardner shares his experience with the cyclical nature of the agriculture industry; along with his thoughts on recent EPA action, the Endangered Species Act, transportation infrastructure investments and free trade agreements.
Washington Times: Organic, conventional farmers deal with pesticide conflict
- With urban areas growing and demand for farmland increasing, conventional and organic producers and their vastly different practices may clash.
Lincoln Journal Star: Farmers sue Monsanto over alleged Roundup cancer link
- Three Nebraska farmers and an agronomist, all diagnosed with cancer, have filed a lawsuit against Monsanto alleging the seed and chemical giant of purposely misleading the public about the dangers of the world’s most widely used herbicide.
Agri-Pulse: Buis sees little hope for anti-ethanol bill
- (Audio) Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill that would cap nationwide ethanol blending at the so-called blend wall, but one renewable fuels advocate isn’t really worried about the legislation.
New York Times: Biofuels Plant in Hawaii Is First to Be Certified as Sustainable
- The certification is intended to help clean fuel producers distinguish themselves to customers seeking green products — a kind of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the environmentally conscious.
Coloradoan: Xcel Energy proposes $1 billion Colorado wind farm
- The state’s largest electricity provider is asking utilities commissioners to approve a $1 billion wind project. Construction on the Rush Creek Wind Project could start in late 2017.
Wall Street Journal: Oil and Gas Giants to Join Wind-Energy Battle, Says Dong CEO
- The offshore wind-energy industry will soon be flooded by competition as big oil companies join utilities and small renewable players in the growing sector, said the chief executive of the world’s biggest offshore wind company, Dong Energy.
Toledo Blade: Trump taps climate change skeptic as energy adviser, pushes back on taxes
- Donald Trump on Friday picked a prominent climate change skeptic to help him craft his energy policy and pushed back against renewed calls that he release his income tax returns, saying his tax rate is “none of your business.”
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Confused about GMO, non-GMO, or organic? You're not alone.
- (Subscriber only) As the debate continues over whether or not foods containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) should be labeled with a federal standard, more and more marketers are trying to promote their products as non-GMO - even if they contain no GMO ingredients or if a GMO version doesn't really exist.
New York Times: I Run a G.M.O. Company — and I Support G.M.O. Labeling
- (Opinion) Like 88 percent of my fellow scientists, I believe that genetically engineered foods are safe. But unlike many of my colleagues, I’m among the 89 percent of Americans who believe that bioengineered ingredients should be identified on food packaging.
Food Safety News: Problems found at frozen veg plant linked to outbreak
- Damaged equipment at a frozen food plant — described by federal inspectors as being impossible to clean — could be a contributing factor in a Listeriosis outbreak that began in 2013 and is ongoing.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Seed Capital: Japan Looks to Grow Startups on the Farm
- Budget pressures are limiting the government’s ability to keep up longstanding generous support for farmers. And aging farm communities need new ideas to keep young people from moving to cities.
Reuters: Colombia's War-Weary Farmers Head Home Amid Hopes and Fears
- More than five decades of conflict have forced 6.7 million Colombians to flee their homes, many of them poor farmers, making the country home to the second biggest internally displaced population after Syria.
New York Times: Solar Project Pairs Muslims and Jews to Aid West Bank Farmers
- The $100,000 solar project is the largest to ever have both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims on its technical team. In addition to its environmental benefits, the solar project gives an economic push to farmers who struggle with unreliable and expensive electricity.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Neonic-treated seed lawsuit moves ahead in federal court
- A lawsuit challenging EPA's regulation of neonicotinoid-treated seeds will proceed following a federal judge's rejection of EPA's motion to dismiss the case.
The Gazette: Linn County to create better habitat for the butterflies, other pollinators
- The city of Cedar Rapids plans to convert 1,000 acres of unused, unproductive city property — mostly lawn that has to be regularly mowed and sprayed at considerable expense — to habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
Modern Farmer: Honeybee Deaths Getting Worse: We Lost 44% of Colonies Last Year
- This year, summer mortality rates were 28.1 percent – a truly alarming statistic that indicates that the travails of cold months may not be a primary cause at all.
Washington Post: Is organic agriculture really better for the environment?
- (Opinion) Twenty-three years of USDA test plots and research have found organic systems have more fertile soil, use less fertilizer, herbicide and energy, store more carbon in the soil, and are more profitable for farmers. On the flip side, conventional systems have higher yields and are best at reducing soil erosion when no-till is used.
DTN The Progressive Farmer: Des Moines Water Case Delayed
- The Des Moines Water Works nutrient runoff lawsuit against 10 drainage districts in Iowa has been pushed back a year.
Wall Street Journal: An Ill Wind: Open Season on Bald Eagles
- (Opinion) The Fish and Wildlife Service’s new rule would allow wind-energy producers to kill or injure as many as 4,200 bald eagles every year. That’s a lot. The agency estimates there are now about 72,434 bald eagles in the continental U.S.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
CNY Central: Republicans to Gov. Cuomo: Don't let NY farmworkers unionize
- Republican state lawmakers say Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision not to defend a state law prohibiting farmworkers from unionizing could devastate New York's agricultural industry.
LA Times: Trump's border rhetoric emboldens officials on local level to target immigration, activists say
- In Indiana and more than a dozen other states, lawmakers have pushed legislation targeting immigrants in the country without legal authorization in a year when Trump’s campaign has thrust the issue into the spotlight.
NPR: 'Embodiment Of Grit': How Children Of Farm Workers Became Tech Professionals
- In a field dominated by white and Asian men, this first cohort of graduates defies the demographics. It's more than 80 percent Latino and nearly 50 percent women.
Ohio.com: Ohio moves to protect corn mazes, farm markets from lawsuits
- Farmers who run pumpkin patches, corn mazes and petting zoos say they can’t always stop an aggressive goat from chomping down on a visitor’s hand or prevent someone from stumbling in a field.
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