Daily Harvest -- 5/23/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate panel debates amendments on GMO salmon, horse slaughter
- (Subscriber only) The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday narrowly approved a bill authorizing $20.6 billion in discretionary spending for USDA and FDA in FY 2015, while adding amendments that would effectively ban horse slaughter in the U.S., mandate labeling for genetically modified salmon, and allow potatoes to be purchased in the Women and Infant Children (WIC) nutrition program.
Agri-Pulse: Senate passes California drought relief bill
- The Senate Thursday evening passed by unanimous consent a bill designed to help California and other Western states through one of the region's worst droughts on record.
Agri-Pulse: Senate overwhelmingly approves waterways bill to restore ailing infrastructure
- The Senate approved the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) conference report by a huge margin, 91-7 today, just two days after the House of Representatives passed the $12.3 billion package with a vote of 412-4. President Obama is expected to sign the bill within a few days.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announcing funding for advanced communications technology in rural areas
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to enhance telecommunications and broadcast services in rural areas.
Agri-Pulse: Senators introduce rural health care bill
- Senators Pat Roberts, (R-Kans.), Al Franken (D-MN), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced a rural health care bill today that makes changes to Medicare regulations for rural hospitals and providers.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Northern corn farmers and crop insurance
- The late spring is causing headaches for northern Minnesota corn farmers, and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson has asked federal officials to give them some slack.
Star-Telegram: Government can't extend ND corn planting deadline
- The federal government says regulations prevent it from even considering a request by U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to extend a corn planting deadline to ease farmers' insurance concerns in North Dakota.
Wall Street Journal: Planting Corn at Warp Speed Using High-Tech Tools
- A yearslong boom in the agricultural sector driven by gains in farm income due to rising crop prices, which jumped on increased global consumption and weather-related production problems, made planting technology offered by Deere & Co. and rivals such as Agco Corp. a big draw for farmers.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Memorial Day BBQ could be pricey as beef, pork prices surge
- This year, Memorial Day celebrations could come with a high price tag. Extreme weather and disease outbreak have caused price increases in barbecue goods beef and pork.
Roll Call: Keep Nutrition Science in the WIC Program
- Dan Glickman and Ann M. Veneman: If implemented, this change would mark the first time that Congress, rather than the USDA, legislates a specific food for inclusion in the WIC food packages.
The Hill: FDA delays $150M food safety rule
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying an estimated $150 million food safety rule intended to prevent contamination during transit.
Des Moines Register: Experts: Charges show government serious on food safety
- Charges filed Wednesday against two executives and their Iowa company, Quality Egg LLC, are the latest to rock the food industry, which has come under increasing scrutiny because of concerns about food safety.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: House panel focuses on trade barriers
- (Audio) Trade barriers were the topic of a House Small Business subcommittee hearing this week, where the president of the Colorado Farm Bureau testified. He discussed non science based restrictions on genetically modified crops, particularly in the European Union.
Reuters: Mexico reports deadly pig virus in 17 states out of 19 tested
- Mexico reported outbreaks of a deadly pig virus in 17 states out of 19 tested, the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) said on Thursday.
Reuters: U.S. Senate eyes early June vote on nominees for swaps regulator
- The U.S. Senate aims to vote to confirm three candidates to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in early June, a senior Democratic aide said on Thursday, to fill a leadership gap at the futures and swaps regulator.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Egg farmers prepare to meet challenges of growing population, climate change
- Recent reports on climate change indicate that farmers' plights may be even more perilous in the future, affecting not only their livelihoods but also all aspects of food security including food access, utilization and price stability for consumers.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Roll Call: Harry Reid Offers 2017 Effective Date for Immigration, Sets August Deadline (Video)
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered to make 2017 the effective date for an immigration overhaul Thursday so Republicans no longer can use President Barack Obama as an excuse not to pass a bill — and set an August deadline for the House to act.
Associated Press: Immigration advocates focus on House GOP leader
- Immigration advocates angry that legislation has stalled in Congress are increasingly focusing their ire at one person: Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.
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