Daily Harvest -- 5/19/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: WTO rules against US in final COOL appeal
- The World Trade Organization (WTO) has once again ruled a U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule for meat non-compliant with international trade obligations, setting in motion the potential for billions in economic retaliation by Canada and Mexico.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Moving beyond Comcast-Time Warner cable: The need for video policy updates
- Shirley Bloomfield and Chip Pickering: To foster more choice in rural America, more work needs to be done to ensure that all providers continue to have the opportunity to compete and offer high-quality broadband and video services to their subscribers.
Reuters: Canada plans retaliation against U.S. after WTO meat ruling
- Canada plans to seek permission to retaliate against U.S. imports after a World Trade Organization ruling that U.S. meat labeling laws are discriminatory, Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said on Monday.
Associated Press: Bird flu could cost nearly $1 billion in Minnesota and Iowa
- Bird flu could cost nearly $1 billion in the economies of the two states hardest hit, Minnesota and Iowa, agricultural economists said Monday, and the virus is still spreading.
Farm Journal: Where America's Milkshed Is Growing
- California may be the nation’s top milk producer, but other states are eclipsing the Western powerhouse in their pace of dairy growth.
Reuters: Frost threatens northern U.S. corn; rains soak southern Plains
- Freezing temperatures will threaten emerging corn plants in North Dakota while rains linger this week in the southern U.S. Plains wheat belt, an agricultural meteorologist said Monday.
Fortune: Why 2015 is the year agriculture drones take off
- For the first time agriculture drones will legally be able to gather widespread data across an entire growing season, allowing companies to test their business models and technologies together for the first time—and ideally make a profit in the process.
NPR: Urban Farmers Say It's Time They Got Their Own Research Farms
- The agricultural arms of these universities have historically focused on regions far from cities where the majority of our food is still grown. But their research on crop varieties, soil quality and pest resistance is just as relevant — and now in high demand — inside the city.
Washington Times: Obama seeks to end immigration enforcement by local, state police
- The administration issued a report Monday saying that in order to rebuild trust between police and their communities, the federal government should stop enlisting state and local police in most immigration enforcement, setting up another challenge as President Obama tries to please immigrant rights advocates while carrying out deportations.
Agriculture.com: Rural Economy Feeling More of Ag's Pain as Crop Revenues Flounder -- Fed
- But the symptoms of the illness of lower farm incomes are starting to become systemic, reaching their way into other parts of the rural economy further away from the farm.
MLive: Drug-tainted oil, sold as food-grade, caused Michigan turkey farm disaster, FDA says
- Federal authorities say an Ohio-based recycling company continued selling tainted soy oil weeks after an earlier shipment of the product cost a West Michigan farm more than $1 million, killing 47,000 turkeys and ruining 500 tons of feed.
New York Post: Warren Buffett fights green energy bill in Nevada
- Warren Buffett is pitting customer vs. customer to keep the profits rolling in at NV Energy — the Nevada utility owned by his Berkshire Hathaway.
ExtremeTech: Hawaii pushes ambitious renewable energy effort
- In a 74-2 vote by the Hawaiian legislature, lawmakers have passed a bill that requires the state to be 100% dependent on renewable energy by the year 2045.
Time: How The Transportation Sector Is Moving Away from Petroleum
- The transportation sector is moving away from oil slowly but surely. Driven by growth in the use of biofuels and natural gas, non-petroleum energy now makes up the highest percentage of total fuel consumption for transport since 1954, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
PBS: African American Population Rises with Oil Boom in Rural Western States
- Over the last few years, Wyoming's African American population has grown faster than in any other state. According to U.S. Census data, between 2010 and 2013, the number of black residents doubled. In some counties, especially those with a lot of energy development or tourism, that increase was more like 300, 500 or even 800 percent.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA under bipartisan pressure to delay menu labeling
- The Food and Drug Administration's requirement that restaurants start posting calorie counts later this year is raising concerns across the political spectrum.
Associated Press: Shoppers Could Soon Have Difficulty Finding Meat's Origin
- The current labels on packages of steaks and some other meats say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.
CNN: 'Natural' and other food labels that sound legitimate but may not be
- Even foods that could never be genetically engineered to start with, such as salt, are being promoted as GMO-free.
NPR: How We Store Food At Home Could Be Linked To How Much We Eat
- Keeping food out of sight could be a way to keep it out of your mouth. That's the hunch of Charles Emery, a psychologist at Ohio State University, anyway. His latest research suggests that how food is set up around the house could be influencing how much people eat and, ultimately, how heavy they might be.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: World Bank, Japan Agency Offer Farm Loan for Philippines
- The World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are preparing a $250 million loan package to support foreign investment in agriculture in Mindanao, the conflict-plagued southern region of the Philippines.
Wall Street Journal: How the Family Got in the Way of an Outright Ban on Child Labor in India
- The government approved a set of amendments to India’s child labor law last week to allow children under 14 years of age to work in non-hazardous family enterprises, some entertainment industries and sport so long as they work after school or during vacations.
Reuters: Shrouded in secrecy, one of Africa's biggest land deals stalls
- In one of Africa's largest and most secretive foreign agricultural investment deals, oil-rich Libya, under the leadership of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, signed a 50-year, renewable lease for the land with Mali's government in 2008.
Reuters: Brazil prosecutors seek $16 million from pesticide makers
- Brazilian prosecutors said on Monday they would seek at least 50 million reais ($16.6 million) from multinational pesticide manufacturers for alleged safety violations at a collection facility for used pesticide containers.
Bloomberg: Modi May Spend $11 Billion to Bring Rural India Online
- India is considering doubling spending on a high-speed Internet grid to connect villages across the country to 700 billion rupees ($11 billion), Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA allots $21 million to drought-stricken states for water conservation
- USDA today said it will make $21 million in financial and technical assistance available in eight states hit by drought to help farmers and ranchers weather the effects of water scarcity this season and to mitigate water shortages in years to come.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces additional drought assistance funding
- (Audio) USDA’s NRCS will invest an additional $21 million to help farmers and ranchers in eight drought-stricken states.
Washington Times: Hillary’s agribusiness ties give rise to nickname in Iowa: ‘Bride of Frankenfood’
- Just last year, Mrs. Clinton gave a paid speech at a biotech industry conference in San Diego, where she championed GMOs and advised the executives and investors to give their products an image makeover.
Capital Press: Governor candidate has agriculture background
- An international trade consultant and Port of Seattle commissioner has announced his candidacy for Washington governor.
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