Daily Harvest -- 5/20/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 20, 2016
- (Audio) Roberts ‘very hopeful’ on reaching agreement on biotech labeling; Farm Credit pressed on GMO labeling impact; biotech salmon wins in Canada, loses in Senate; U.S. to press Vietnam, Japan on TPP implementation during Obama trip; USA Rice not swayed on TPP; regulations still worry Iowa growers; and EU glyphosate decision delayed.
Agri-Pulse Farm Opinion Poll: Farmers Ready to Act on Upturn in Soybean Prices
- Soybean farmers have crops to sell and a $2-per-bushel improvement in market prices during the past two months will pry inventory loose, according to feedback provided by Iowa producers.
Agri-Pulse: Senate panel OKs extra farm payments, GMO salmon labeling
- (Subscriber only) The Senate's agriculture spending bill that advanced Thursday would provide supplemental payments to farmers who believe they have been shortchanged by the Agriculture Risk Coverage program that was created by the 2014 farm bill.
Agri-Pulse: Senate Ag takes its turn at Farm Credit oversight
- Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard the same story their House counterparts listened to at a hearing last December: The nation's conventional banks aren't happy with the Farm Credit System.
Agri-Pulse: Senate Ag Appropriations clears full committee
- (Audio) The bill to fund the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration cleared another procedural hurdle on Thursday when it advanced out of the full Senate Appropriations Committee.
Washington Post: State program permanently preserving farms in Delaware
- More than 120,000 acres of Delaware farmland have been permanently preserved through a state program.
Agri-Pulse: Asia leads in projected world energy growth
- World energy consumption is projected to increase by 48 percent over the next three decades, led by strong increases in the developing world – especially in Asia – according to the Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Outlook 2016.
Agri-Pulse: Summer driving forecast: Lower prices at the pump
- Crude oil prices have increased about 80 percent since January, but current supplies of gasoline and expected production this year should keep prices at the fuel pump 40-60 cents per gallon lower than last summer, according to Purdue University economist Wally Tyner.
Agri-Pulse: Better Buildings Challenge saves partners $1.3 billion, DOE says
- The Energy Department says its Better Buildings Challenge has resulted in energy cost savings exceeding $1.3 billion since its inception in late 2011, avoiding 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Agri-Pulse: New accelerator programs boost energy security
- Partners who are working on broad, portfolio-wide strategies can now engage in another DOE program called Better Buildings Accelerators.
Washington Post: Pro-nuclear GOP senator urges Tennessee to reject wind farm
- Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is urging his fellow Tennesseans to oppose what he calls an “unsightly” wind farm near the Cumberland Mountain State Park.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Organic sector posts record sales despite supply crunch
- Organic Trade Association (OTA) members headed to Washington for the group's annual policy meeting next week are in for some good news. Sales of organic products in the U.S. reached $43.3 billion last year, the highest ever, an OTA survey shows.
The Australian: A silky solution to the problem of wasted food?
- Researchers at Tufts University developed an invisible, silk-based coating that may cut food waste by protecting fruits from deteriorating for days without refrigeration.
Nature: The race to create super-crops
- Old-fashioned breeding techniques are bearing more fruit than genetic engineering in developing hyper-efficient plants.
Washington Post: Scientists refute the scaremongering about GMOs
- (Opinion) A new report finds no harm from using genetically engineered crops, but calls for more research to boost their efficacy.
National Review: Mitch Daniels Takes on ‘Callous, Heartless and Cruel’ Anti-GMO Activists
- The former Indiana governor, now president of Purdue, says agricultural technology will save millions of lives.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Ocean Carriers Seek Agreement With Ports on Container Weights
- An industry group representing ocean carriers said Thursday it will work with six major ports in the U.S. to develop a common solution that would help exporters comply with a new container-weighing safety measure.
KGW News: Port of Portland loses its only remaining container service
- Puyallup, Wash.-based Westwood Shipping's last call to Portland will be Saturday, further exacerbating the state of the marine container cargo service at the port's Terminal 6.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Argentine farmers urge gov't to clinch GMO deal with Monsanto
- Argentine soy growers urged the country's government on Wednesday to strike a deal with Monsanto Co, a day after the U.S. seed company suspended the launch of a new variety of soybean seed that would help ensure the country's international competitiveness.
ABC News: Crippling Drought in Central India Leaves Millions on Brink
- Some 400 farmers have killed themselves so far this year in the parched Marathwada region of India, which is home to about 19 million people. It's located in the otherwise prosperous Maharashtra state. And it's not alone in its sweltering misery.
New York Times: Prosperous Mexican Farms Suck Up Water, Leaving Villages High and Dry
- “Nafta is all about high-intensive-labor crops,” said Dylan Terrell, the director of Caminos de Agua, an organization that works with universities in the United States to test water quality in the Guanajuato wells.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
NPR: Can A Tiny Wasp Save The Citrus Industry?
- Researchers in Arizona are collecting new data on a wasp that may help slow the spread of citrus greening, a plant disease that has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops, particularly in Florida.
LA Times: Holy bat sounds! Unusual library will help scientists track bat species
- Using the collection of over 4,500 sounds, scientists have developed a new computer program that can automatically identify bat species based on audio recordings made in the field – making research a great deal less invasive for bats.
LA Times: Impact of the U.S.-Mexico border fence on wetlands is mixed
- The prime environmental threat to the wetlands is water pollution (trash, sewage, sediment) from the Tijuana River and its tributaries. Those challenges have continued to varying degrees since fencing and related projects were undertaken.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
WSHU Radio: L.I. Farmworkers March For Improved Working Conditions, Equal Rights
- Long Island farmworkers and advocates are marching the almost 200 miles from Smithtown to Albany to call for passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.
Niagara Gazette: Farmworkers Bill of Rights represents costly mandate
- (Opinion) This latest round of politically-driven theatrics from downstate progressives stems from legislation, the Farmworkers Bill of Rights, they’ve been pushing for years. It would essentially mandate costly overtime and time off provisions and encourage farm workers to unionize.
Wall Street Journal: Why Governors Need an Immigration Plan
- (Opinion) No one disputes that the U.S. immigration system is broken. In a glimmer of hope, the Senate did pass a bipartisan compromise bill in 2013, but the House failed to act.
Agri-Pulse: John Block on ‘Too much government’
- (Audio) This week, first let me give you my take on the “bathroom bill brawl.” Why won’t the federal government back off?
Agri-Pulse: Bayer, Monsanto confirm merger talks
- Monsanto and Bayer have confirmed news reports that they are discussing a merger.
Des Moines Register: Slumping farm economy fueling 'merger mania'
- Consolidation so far has centered on big seed and chemical companies, but mergers and buyouts could potentially push into farm equipment manufacturers, such as Deere & Co. and Caterpillar, say experts.
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