Daily Harvest -- 5/30/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: School lunch takes center stage at House Appropriations hearing
- (Subscriber only) Lawmakers on Thursday spent almost half of a four-hour House Appropriations Committee hearing debating the national school lunch program guidelines, continuing a battle that's drawn an unlikely cast of characters: school lunch ladies, produce advocates, anti-obesity crusaders and first lady Michelle Obama.
Agri-Pulse: Tax extensions and ag appropriations pass House committees
- (Audio) The House Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees this week both moved on legislation important to agriculture.
Agri-Pulse: Monsanto confirms security breach at Precision Planting unit
- Monsanto officials have been quietly alerting some farmers, dealers, employees and industry leaders in recent weeks that a computer server at their Precision Planting center in Tremont, Illinois, was remotely hacked, industry sources told Agri-Pulse.
Agri-Pulse: Rancher rips EPA ‘Water’ rule at House hearing
- Small business owners, including a Washington state cattle rancher, testified on Capitol Hill Thursday in opposition to the EPA's proposed rule defining “waters of the United States.” The rule, which is intended to clarify the scope of waters subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA), is open for public comment until July 21.
Agri-Pulse: Rabobank sees bearish outlook for fertilizer industry
- The outlook for the fertilizer industry will continue bearish through the second quarter of 2014, according to a report by the Rabobank Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory group, which looks at supply, demand and pricing for urea, phosphate, and potash in key international markets.
Agri-Pulse: USDA awarding $6 million to prepare farmers for new farm bill program
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $6 million to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and other materials and train experts to educate producers about several key farm bill programs.
Agri-Pulse: Bipartisan House majority want corn-ethanol mandate lowered in RFS
- A bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives is urging EPA chief Gina McCarthy to reduce mandated corn-ethanol production in the agency's final rule for 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard levels.
Agri-Pulse: Biodiesel industry seeks Obama support in RFS
- Some 117 biodiesel companies and affiliated businesses are urging President Obama to support continued growth for their industry under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to the National Biodiesel Board.
Augusta Free Press: Eric Cantor to farmers: Passing newest farm bill ‘was pretty rough’
- U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-7th, told members of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board that an “unholy marriage between food stamps and farm policy” complicated Congress’ ability to pass the 2014 Farm Bill sooner than it did.
New York Times: House Panel advances bill on school lunch options
- The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed an agriculture budget bill that included nearly $21 billion for child nutrition that would allow schools to opt out of White House nutritional guidelines passed in 2012.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: At the Meat Market, Chicken Companies Rule
- This week's competing bids for Hillshire Brands by the two biggest U.S. chicken companies shows how the poultry industry has roared back from a deep slump during the recession.
Reuters: California lawmakers reject bill requiring labeling on GMO foods
- California lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a bill that would require labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the second time in two years such legislation has failed to take hold in the state.
Newsworks.org: Why I'm pro GMO
- We all know that there are topics to avoid at dinner parties. Politics, religion, and money, for example, can quickly turn a fun evening into a screaming match. Nowadays, another of these touchy subjects is GMOs—genetically modified organisms.
Idaho Statesman: Meal programs expand summer nutrition for kids
- A federal government-backed nutrition program seeks to provide two million meals to Mississippi schoolchildren this summer.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: U.S. farm exports seen at record $149.5 billion in FY 2014
- U.S. farm exports will reach a record $149.5 billion in the year ending Sept. 30, up $6.9 billion from a February forecast, helped by the highest ever soybean purchases by China and surging sales of beef and dairy, according to USDA.
Reuters: Killer pig virus limits U.S. hog exports
- Russia said on Thursday that it was suspending hog imports from the United States due to concerns about outbreaks of a virus killing baby piglets.
Forbes: 'No Such Thing As GMO Contamination' Rules Australian Court in Landmark Decision, Rebuffing Organic Activists
- The Western Australian Supreme Court rejected claims by a farmer who contended that his organic certified farm was “contaminated” by a neighboring farmer growing GM canola.
NEWSinENGLISHno: Government wins new farm policy
- Just days after the International Monetary Fund scolded Norway over its high food prices, the country’s new conservative government coalition finally secured support in Parliament for its plan to reform agricultural policies that help keep Norway’s food the most expensive in the world.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Americans More Worried About ‘Warming’ Than ‘Climate Change’
- The choice of terms has important implications for polling because Americans give different answers to questions depending on which is used.
The Guardian: Obama to unveil historic climate change plan to cut US carbon pollution
- President Barack Obama will unveil a plan on Monday that will cut carbon pollution from power plants and promote cap-and-trade, undertaking the most significant action on climate change in American history.
Natural Products Insider.com: DuPont Nutrition & Health, AB-Biotics Announce Agreement
- DuPont Nutrition & Health and AB-Biotics have signed a global collaboration and licensing agreement on AB-Life, a probiotic that is clinically documented to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in at-risk individuals.
Wall Street Journal: Railcar Shortage in U.S. Pushes Up Lease Rates
- A shortage of railcars bedeviling farmers, auto makers and oil drillers has become a windfall for some railcar manufacturers, lessors and finance companies.
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