Daily Harvest -- 5/20/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: COOL ruling reignites hot debate
- (Audio) The final WTO ruling against the United States over country-of-origin labeling has reignited the debate over the law originally passed by Congress in the 2002 Farm Bill.
Agriculture.com: Still Time to Fix COOL?
- The House and Senate reacted very differently Tuesday to Monday’s announcement by the World Trade Organization that its appellate body had issued a final ruling against the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling Law.
Reuters: Google Ventures leads $15 million deal in Farmers Business Network
- Google Inc and two venture capitalist firms are investing $15 million in a U.S. tech company that helps farmers maximize their crops based on data gathered by agricultural equipment and shared between growers.
Fortune: Farming data continues to be hot in Silicon Valley
- Between 2013 and 2014 Silicon Valley’s interest in backing agriculture and food-related startups soared, doubling in terms of deal size, according to data from the Cleantech Group.
Des Moines Register: Des Moines donates trees to help with bird composting
- Des Moines is donating trees and wood waste that will be turned into shavings and used to help compost birds that have been stricken with avian influenza in more than a dozen Iowa counties.
Agri-Pulse: Like oil drilling, writing new energy law is a high-stakes, high-risk venture
- Tuesday's Senate Energy Committee hearing on energy supply issues considered 26 legislative proposals vying for inclusion in a comprehensive energy bill package.
Washington Examiner: States push EPA on energy efficiency plans
- The prospect of using increased energy efficiency to comply with federal emission rules could prove a heavy lift for states without new standards from the Obama administration to guide them.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Big industry, utilities win on energy legislation in Minnesota
- Iron mines, electric utilities and the biofuel industry came out winners in energy-related measures passed at the close of the Minnesota Legislature.
Politico: The energy union road trip
- EU countries jealously guard their national sovereignty when it comes to national energy policies, but that isn’t stopping the Commission’s energy chief Maroš Šefčovič from embarking on a road show this week to push the Commission’s flagship energy union project.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Delivering innovation today will help meet tomorrow's food and nutrition needs
- Paul Schickler, President DuPont Pioneer: It's hard to look at the global food situation and not feel overwhelmed. World population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, requiring us to boost food production by a whopping 50 percent over the next several decades.
CBS: Egg prices are climbing, thanks to bird flu
- Egg prices have surged higher as the death of millions of hens from bird flu is beginning to tighten supplies.
New York Times: Los Angeles Lifts Its Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour
- The nation’s second-largest city voted on Tuesday to increase its minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020, in what is perhaps the most significant victory so far for labor groups and their allies who are engaged in a national push to raise the minimum wage.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Australia has a new food pyramid
- Fats, sugar and "junk" foods have been eliminated from Nutrition Australia's pyramid.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: China lifts three-year embargo on Brazil beef imports
- China has ended an embargo on Brazilian beef imports, Brazil's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday, lifting a three-year old ban and opening the door to half a billion dollars of new sales.
Bloomberg: Pricier Pork Eases China's Deflation Threat
- For China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, worried about deflationary risks in the world's No. 2 economy, the plunging number of sows and rising pork prices may come as a big relief.
Bloomberg: How an American With a Knack for Math Saved India From Famine
- Brown's eyes misted over as the 81-year-old resource economist recalled the reaction of a U.S. agriculture attache in New Delhi to his discovery that famine was imminent in India that autumn.
New York Times: Yingluck Shinawatra Pleads Not Guilty to Negligence Over Thai Rice Subsidy
- Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of criminal negligence over a plan to prop up rice prices, which her political opponents called a corrupt bid to buy support from the country’s farmers.
Reuters: Bird flu epidemic hits 35 countries since early 2014 – OIE
- More than 35 countries have been hit in a surge in bird flu outbreaks since early last year, killing tens of millions of poultry, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said on Tuesday.
McClatchy Washington Bureau: White House looks to farmers to help close trade deal
- President Barack Obama and top administration officials are counting on the nation’s farmers to make noise on Capitol Hill, hoping it will win some votes in Congress for the president’s embattled trade proposal.
CBC News: Gerry Ritz, Ed Fast say Canada will retaliate after WTO win on U.S. meat labelling law
- Lawmakers in Ottawa are threatening to impose punitive measures against the U.S. after winning a contentious trade dispute at the World Trade Organization over U.S. meat labelling laws that Canada says have cost the industry as much as $1 billion in lost sales each year.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: White House bee strategy calls for restoring pollinator habitat
- The White House today released its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, calling for the restoration or enhancement of 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next five years through federal actions and public/private partnerships.
BBC: Organic farming 'benefits biodiversity'
- Organic farms act as a refuge for wild plants, offsetting the loss of biodiversity on conventional farms, a study suggests.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Newsweek: Court Ruling on Immigration Could Rock Obama, 2016 Race
- Thanks to a little-watched court case in California, the Obama administration’s immigration policy faces a shake-up next week—and the court’s ruling could reverberate in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Hill: Conservatives press case for immigration reform
- Outside conservative groups are pressuring GOP leaders to take up targeted immigration reforms ahead of the 2016 elections.
Associated Press: GOP Primary for Governor in Kentucky Too Close to Call
- Kentucky's volatile Republican primary for governor ended in a virtual tie Tuesday night as less than 100 votes separated Matt Bevin and James Comer.
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