Daily Harvest -- 5/26/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review
- (Video) The Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority before heading into Memorial Day recess, capping off a tumultuous week that also included committee action in the House and Senate ag panels and a final ruling from the World Trade Organization on a country-of-origin labeling law.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Representative Adrian Smith
- In this week's feature, Smith shares his support for renewable fuels and his concern over attempts to further define food labeling laws.
Phys.org: California farmers agree to drastically cut water use
- California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid one of the worst droughts on record.
Sacramento Bee: California farm economy surprisingly resilient amid drought
- With deliveries of surface water through state and federal pipelines slashed by 70 percent overall, the state’s 77,000 growers are struggling to produce the diverse agricultural bounty that makes California the nation’s leading farm state.
New York Times: Doctoring, Without the Doctor
- There are just a handful of psychiatrists in all of western Nebraska, a vast expanse of farmland and cattle ranches. So Murlene Osburn, a cattle rancher turned psychiatric nurse, thought starting a practice in this tiny village of tumbleweeds and farm equipment dealerships would be easy.
Economic Times: Oil prices steady but indications rally running out of steam
- Robust demand for crude oil in Asia and the driving season in the United States is being met by near record output, especially from the Organization Of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), although U.S. production seems to have been peaked, at least temporarily.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Companies Look to Join Climate Debate
- Oil companies are ratcheting up their involvement in the debate over climate change as governments, activists, churches and some big investors gear up for a global summit on the issue at the end of the year in Paris.
LA Times: Latest oil spill echoes 1969, but with less of the political fallout
- Though there was dissent among California politicians about offshore oil drilling after the 1969 spill, there is almost none now. Climate change and fracking have filled the vacuum.
New York Times: One-Two Punch of Earthquakes and Landslides Exposes Hydropower Vulnerability in Nepal
- (Opinion) Nepal faces a host of pressing challenges in the aftermath of the disastrous 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25 and its many powerful aftershocks.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Walmart moves to improve animal welfare conditions in supply chain
- Walmart, the biggest U.S. grocery retailer, today announced new farm animal welfare policies, joining a long list of food companies taking steps to improve the conditions of the cattle, hogs and poultry in its supply chain.
Sacramento Bee: GMO debate heats up in Sacramento
- To help you decide if eating GMOs is right for you, we’ve put together a primer.
Sacramento Bee: Big money, increasing acreage make almond latest water war villain
- Every political cause needs a villain, and for many environmental activists who have weighed in on the state’s current water woes, that bad guy is the almond.
Des Moines Register: Poultry producers frustrated with bird flu response
- One of the biggest questions poultry producers face is determining when facilities can again be filled with birds and whether they will be able to protect birds once businesses are again operating.
Wall Street Journal: Japan Faces New Butter Meltdown
- It’s the second year of butter shortages in Japan that last year left supermarket shelves dry and forced butter makers to increase production, amid tight import controls and falling domestic production of raw milk.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Bipartisan fast-track trade bill clears Senate
- With crucial Democratic support, the Senate agreed to give President Obama fast-track negotiating authority to wrap up a 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement and complete a second deal with the European Union.
LA Times: Opposing the TPP makes no sense in California
- (Opinion) This is a state in which Latinos have become the largest ethnic and racial group and in which Asian Americans now represent the fastest-growing immigrant communities. Yet our politicians lead the charge against a trade agreement that would strengthen relationships with the countries whose emigres now represent our identity and our future.
Reuters UK: Zimbabweans go hungry as drought hammers southern Africa
- Even in the best of times, life is harsh in Siyagijima, a desolate village in southwest Zimbabwe. After the worst regional drought in nearly a decade and the failure of nearby crops, it is likely to be even harsher.
Reuters: China-led lender adds urgency to Japan's pursuit of pan-Pacific trade pact
- China's drive to create a Beijing-led Asian development bank seen as a threat to U.S. and Japanese regional clout is adding to a sense of urgency among Japanese officials keen to get a 12-nation pan-Pacific trade pact off the ground.
Reuters: Mozambique agriculture plan could displace 100,000 farmers – activists
- Mozambique is mulling a plan to lease 240,000 hectares of prime farmland to investors to grow crops for export, threatening to displace more than 100,000 local residents, activists and academics said, citing a leaked document.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Next move for EPA neonics in soybeans report
- (Audio) The administration's multi agency pollinator health strategy has now been released, but it remains to be seen whether EPA and USDA are on the same page when it comes to neonicotinoid pesticides.
ABC News: Kansas Logs First Sighting of Tropical Piratic Flycatcher
- The piratic flycatcher, a migratory bird that nests as far away as Argentina, has been seen as far north as New Mexico, Texas and Florida. But it never had been reported in Kansas until earlier this month.
New York Times: Scientists Make Novel Attempt to Save Giant Turtle Species
- Earlier this month, an international team of scientists, veterinarians and zookeepers gathered at the Suzhou Zoo near Shanghai to save the Yangtze giant softshell turtle — thought to be the largest freshwater turtle in the world.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Group says California immigration policies contributed to drought
- In a television commercial that has aired across the state, a young boy asks: "If Californians are having fewer children, why isn't there enough water?” The group that paid for it, has long called for stricter enforcement of immigration laws.
USA Today: Meet the immigration fixers
- The odds of getting into one of the world's hottest economies just got even slimmer, but some companies are now employing little-known immigration fixers or testing out schemes to grab international talent.
Associated Press: Hawaii groups plant coconut trees, protest against Monsanto
- Demonstrators planted coconut trees and waved signs in rallies across the Hawaiian Islands as part of an international day of protests against agriculture business Monsanto.
LA Times: Charter nears $55 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable
- Charter Communications is poised to scoop up Time Warner Cable in a $55 billion deal that would make it the largest pay-TV provider in Southern California.
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