Daily Harvest -- 5/27/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Meat production increases expected
- (Audio) The number of cattle and feed in April was up 1 percent from a year ago, but marketings were down 8 percent and placements were down 5 percent, according to USDA livestock economist Shale Shagun.
Reuters: USDA chief vet says bird flu cases waning, sees end by July
- The number of cases of bird flu in the United States has started to decline and the epidemic is likely to be over within a couple of months, helped by warm weather in the summer, the U.S. chief veterinary officer said on Tuesday.
Des Moines Register: Second central Iowa farm infected with bird flu
- A second case of bird flu was announced Tuesday in central Iowa, with an egg-laying operation in Adair County, housing 975,000 hens, believed to be infected, the Iowa Department of Agriculture said.
Wall Street Journal: Cotton Ticks Higher as Rain Falls in Texas
- Cotton prices eked out a gain Tuesday after five sessions of losses, with a rainy forecast in the Texas Panhandle leading traders to bet the U.S. could plant less of the crop.
Washington Post: Vilsack lauds USDA budget savings; employee morale needs work
- During these tight budget times, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service” has saved $1.4 billion since 2012, without, he said, sacrificing service or employee furloughs.
LA Times: In Central Coast cattle region, drought continues to shrink the herds
- Roughly 75% of the cattle in San Luis Obispo County have been sold or taken out of state over the last four years to escape conditions in the most drought-stricken region in California.
LA Times: L.A. County supervisors delay vote on water cuts after complaints
- Los Angeles County supervisors agreed Tuesday to postpone a vote on proposed water use restrictions for customers served by the county waterworks districts after residents expressed alarm at the reductions and questioned the method used to calculate target levels.
Agri-Pulse: Renewables gaining ground among states, despite pushback
- (Subscriber only) Critics say that chances are slim to none that Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., will succeed in having his national Renewable Electricity Standard Act (S. 1264) become federal law.
Yahoo News: China coal production falls in first 4 months of year
- Coal production in China, the world's biggest coal-consuming nation, fell by 6 percent in the first four months of this year as the economy slows and the government makes a concerted push to reduce carbon emissions.
Seattle Times: Deal reached to clean up radioactive sludge at nuclear site
- An agreement has been reached to clean up a radioactive basin on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site, two federal agencies said Tuesday.
New York Times: French Bill Seeks to Boost Renewable Energy, Cut Nuclear Use
- France's lower house of parliament has approved a bill aimed at boosting renewable energy and reducing the country's reliance on nuclear power, among other environment-friendly measures.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Health professionals praise Dietary Guidelines' push for reduced meat consumption
- A group of 700 physicians and other healthcare professionals sent a letter of strong endorsement today praising the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's (DGAC) emphasis on lowering consumption of red and processed meat in its 2015 recommendations.
Reuters: Pizza Hut, Taco Bell to remove artificial colors, flavors from foods
- Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, two of Yum Brands Inc.'s largest restaurant chains, said they would remove artificial colors and flavors from their food as consumers shift to products perceived as healthier.
Sacramento Bee: Sacramento City Council votes to ease food truck rules
- After nearly four years of discussion and debate, the Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to lift restrictions on food trucks in an attempt to encourage more mobile meal vendors to operate within city limits.
Washington Post: The last thing Africa needs to be debating is GMOs
- The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving African agriculture, isn’t trying to deliver American-style agriculture to Africa but to bring the basics to a place that has largely not seen their benefit.
New York Times: Similac Advance Infant Formula to Be Offered G.M.O.-Free
- The maker of Similac Advance, the top commercial baby formula brand in the United States, says it will begin selling the first mainstream baby formula made without genetically altered ingredients by the end of the month at Target.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: W.H.O. Plan Aims to Combat Resistance to Antibiotic Drugs
- United Nations member states agreed Monday to a plan to tackle resistance to antibiotic drugs, spurred by warnings of a catastrophe for public health and heavy economic losses if they did not act.
Reuters UK: India's Modi urges farmers to boost output, skirts issue of rural distress
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged farmers to boost lentils and oilseeds output to cut expensive imports but skirted the issue of rural distress that has turned peasants against his one-year-old government.
Wall Street Journal: China’s JD.com Invests in Produce Shipping With FruitDay
- Chinese online retailer JD.com, which got its start selling consumer electronics, is placing a bet on very different types of products: fresh avocados Mexico and American cherries.
Nasdaq: Mexico and Brazil Agree to Expand Their Bilateral Trade
- The leaders of Mexico and Brazil agreed on Tuesday to expand a trade accord they hope will double business between the two biggest Latin American economies over the next 10 years.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Valley News: The Business of Agriculture: Turning to Native Pollinators
- A growing movement is afoot in New Hampshire and Vermont where a diverse array of native insects may be used to accomplish the vital task of pollinating fruit and vegetable crops.
Wall Street Journal: EU to Revisit Question of Insecticides’ Responsibility for Bee Die-Offs
- The European Union two years ago approved restrictions on the insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, because of fears about their impact on the insects. The EU has now decided to review the bans, asking researchers from around the globe to contribute the latest science.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Obama suffers another defeat on immigration in federal court
- A federal appeals court dealt the Obama administration a defeat on Tuesday when it declined to lift a judge’s order blocking the president’s sweeping executive action on immigration.
New York Times: A Drive for Swing State Votes Has Colorado’s Latinos Listening
- This month, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced an immigration policy in Nevada (27 percent Hispanic) that calls for a path to citizenship, and said she would support and expand on President Obama’s immigration actions.
Agri-Pulse: Daniel Martin joins Agri-Pulse as summer intern
- Agri-Pulse is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Martin as a summer intern, effective May 26, 2015.
M Live: High-tech Dutch trend of 'city farming' grows food faster without sunlight
- Those who visit Brightbox, a high-tech horticulture lab in the Netherlands' agricultural hub of Venlo are invited to taste what is grown under light-emitting diodes, or LED lights.
Washington Post: Horses return to Mackinac Island in rite of spring
- Horses do the heavy lifting on Mackinac Island, hauling people and cargo across the car-free tourist destination in northern Michigan.
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