Daily Harvest -- 5/26/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 26, 2016
- California’s drought has taken center stage this week in the House as Republicans have pressed forward with two bills that would roll back environmental protections that limit the flow of irrigation water into the Central Valley. Also: Trump urged to stand by ethanol; Ryan and SNAP; Vilsack on catfish; more.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review
- This week's video gives an update on the GMO labeling debate and the appropriations process, but Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase also provide members of the Organic Trade Association with a look ahead to the next farm bill and the presidential election.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack: Different approach needed on next farm bill
- He's not opposed to saving money, but said that starting the conversation with that goal in mind can lead to shortchanged programs.
Agri-Pulse: House OKs energy bill conference in party-line vote
- The full House voted Wednesday to approve its version of an energy bill, setting up what should be an interesting conference with the Senate to reconcile differences between the two pieces of legislation.
KQED: Pipeline at Center of Altamont Pass Oil Spill Also Ruptured Last September
- California’s fire marshal has launched an investigation into an oil pipeline rupture that spilled at least 20,000 gallons of crude near Tracy over the weekend — eight months after the same pipeline had a break in a similar location.
Detroit News: Senate panel approves energy policy overhaul
- A Michigan Senate panel on Wednesday approved sweeping legislation to rewrite the state’s energy policy, moving away from renewable energy mandates and toward goals and new requirements for alternative “choice” suppliers.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: 'Use-by' labels contribute to food waste, House Ag panel told
- Witnesses told the House Agriculture Committee today that “sell-by” and “use-by” labels on food products need to be standardized to help consumers make better choices and to help reduce food waste in the richest country in the world.
Washington Post: Chefs joining the push to curb food waste.
- The average family of four spends an average $1,560 each year on food they never eat, and according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, we throw away 25 percent of the food we purchase.
N.Y. Times: Taxing Sugar to Fund a City: Philadelphia
- The tax is being pitched as one that will pay for services for the city’s needy, and especially children — community schools, universal prekindergarten (which has overwhelming support), parks, recreation centers, libraries — rather than as one that will discourage people from consuming a damaging product.
Washington Post: America can’t eat its way out of this massive cheese problem
- As if we didn’t have enough to worry about already, here comes a new issue: The Great Cheese Glut of 2016. The Wall Street Journal reports that as of March 31, 1.19 billion pounds had accumulated in commercial cold-storage freezers across the United States, the largest stockpile ever.
Santa Rosa Press-Democrat: GMO ban headed to voters in Sonoma County
- Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday advanced a highly disputed initiative to ban genetically modified crops and seeds in Sonoma County, while also voicing strong opposition to the proposed ordinance submitted by a group of citizens concerned about the spread of GMOs.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Vetter: T-TIP will need ag backing
- (Audio) Agriculture has been skeptical thus far of trade negotiations with the European Union, but Amb. Darci Vetter, the administration's top agricultural negotiator, hopes they come around and support a potential agreement.
Daily Mail: Australian lawmaker links trade dispute with asylum seekers
- Australia's deputy prime minister has come under fire for suggesting that a temporary ban on cattle exports to Indonesia five years ago hindered ties with Jakarta that contributed to an influx of asylum seekers arriving on Australian shores by boats from Indonesia.
Financial Times: Bayer courts environmental bogeyman
- Emotion swirls in Germany around Bayer’s blockbuster bid for a US company that is the global green movement’s bogeyman-in-chief.
Reuters: Childhood goes up in smoke for Indonesian tobacco farm workers
- Thirteen-year-old Siti Maryam says she suffers headaches and nausea after harvesting tobacco leaves with her bare hands during four years of working on her family's farm in Indonesia.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Big Food to Congress: Show us you're serious about climate change
- Large food companies have said they are taking climate change and sustainability more seriously, but now firms like Mars and Unilever want Congress to back their efforts to become greener.
AP: Land O'Lakes, Minnesota partner on water quality initiative
- The state of Minnesota and Land O'Lakes announced a partnership Wednesday to improve water quality in farm country, leveraging the farmer-owned cooperative's retail network to help expand a state program that encourages farmers to voluntarily implement conservation practices.
Winston Salem-Journal: Wetland to replace Asheville tobacco warehouse
- Asheville officials say they will use part of a $50 million city infrastructure project in the River Arts District to replace a tobacco barn with a constructed wetland.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Better data needed on injuries at meat plants, GAO says
- Workers at meat and poultry plants continue to get injured and sick at higher rates than workers in manufacturing overall, the Government Accountability Office said in a report that recommended the federal government collect better data.
L.A. Times: Farmworkers are treated unfairly in California. Sacramento has a chance to right that wrong
- (Editorial) Farmworkers in California don't get extra pay until they’ve put in 10 hours in a day, or 60 hours in a week. That’s patently unfair, and California legislators are in a position to do something about it.
SunNews: Cal/OSHA Cites Agriculture Company in Farm Worker Death
- Cal/OSHA has cited Big & Deep Ag Development Company for serious safety violations following an investigation into a Nov. 13, 2015 explosion in Bakersfield that killed a bulldozer operator and destroyed a nearby residence, resulting in injuries to the occupants including serious burns and smoke inhalation.
L.A. Times: At a rowdy but peaceful rally in Anaheim, Trump hits immigration hard
- Donald Trump showed no sign of letting up on his harsh immigration rhetoric as he returned to California on Wednesday with a message decidedly out of step with a state that has roundly rejected a hard-line approach to the issue.
CNN: Trump to meet privately with farmers in Fresno on Friday
- Donald Trump will sit down privately with leading political players and donors in California's agriculture industry, educating himself on some of the local, granular policy fights that could shape state-by-state battles this fall.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Harvesting data: Farmers go digital
- Modern agriculture, like other industries, is plugged into the world of big data. Moreover, some farmers are capitalizing on the information gleaned from their fields by selling it to agribusinesses such as seed and chemical companies.
Alaska Dispatch News: High-ranking agriculture official visits Valley farms
- Elvis Cordova, a deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, toured several Matanuska Valley farms in the Palmer area Wednesday morning.
Des Moines Register: Checking in with Iowa's nationally acclaimed pig farmers
- Lucky George Farm is owned and operated by Jason and Angela Johnson, and they take pride in the fact that they have every genetic line of Large Black pig in the United States.
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