Daily Harvest -- 6/1/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Trade, regulations, spending top lawmakers agenda
- Lawmakers face a long to-do list as they head into June, starting with finishing work on a fast-track trade bill, moving fiscal 2016 appropriations measures and addressing a variety of regulations that Republicans want to block.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic Interview with Joel Brandenburger
- Brandenburger, President of the National Turkey Federation, tells Agri-Pulse how the turkey industry is poised for growth, but facing real challenges associated with the Avian Influenza outbreak. You’ll also hear him discuss antibiotics in turkey production, Cuban trade and the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Wall Street Journal: Weather Forecast Dampens Wheat Prices
- The price of wheat is tumbling as weather forecasts brighten and investors grow more pessimistic on the outlook for demand for the grain.
NPR: Secretary Of Agriculture: Bird Flu Poses 'No Health Issue' To Humans
- Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who spent last week meeting with farmers, producer groups and government officials in Iowa and Wisconsin, says in an interview that the outbreak poses no health risk for consumers — but is devastating for producers, and may impact food prices.
Reuters: States enlist prisoners, plan biosecurity to combat avian flu threat
- Indiana is training 300 prisoners to kill infected chickens and banning bird shows at county fairs. Mississippi is considering road barricades and planning biosecurity measures. Iowa is trying to figure out how to deal with a mountain of dead - and reeking - chickens.
News Today: New census data suggests growth in startup agriculture enterprises
- In 2013, Fairfield County sprouted solo agriculture businesses at a faster rate than all but one of the 18 sectors of the economy tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau - topped only by the mining and quarrying industry, which employs just a handful of people locally.
Indianapolis Business Journal: Baggott: Which innovation does agriculture need most?
- (Opinion) It was marketing technology that killed alternative ag and foods from 1920 to 2008, and it’s marketing technology that poses the biggest threat to the status quo of the oligarchies today.
Agri-Pulse: EPA's RFS proposal angers ag, oil interests alike
- (Subscriber only) Rather than bring peace to the fight over the Renewable Fuel Standard, today's announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency seems to have stirred up both sides.
Agri-Pulse: EPA releases RFS proposals for 2014-2016
- The Environmental Protection Agency today released proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014, 2015 and 2016 that show an increase in required blending, but still below statutory levels sought by the renewable fuels industry.
Agri-Pulse: USDA seeks to boost availability of E15, E85 at the pump
- USDA today said it will invest up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership with the goal of doubling the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuels to American consumers.
Agri-Pulse: USDA offers to help increase ethanol consumption
- (Audio) Most stakeholders in the renewable fuel industry – from farmers to biofuels producers to oil companies – have been critical of the EPA proposal for volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says there’s more to increasing biofuels consumption than just the RFS.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: States Target Animal-Rights Activists With Laws Banning Undercover Videos
- As animal-rights activists grow bolder in their efforts to document the treatment of animals on farms and ranches, state lawmakers are moving to restrict some of their efforts with laws that prohibit workers from taking undercover videos at the facilities and impose fines or jail time for those who do.
Wall Street Journal: Grocery Labels for Do-Gooders
- (Opinion) A Brooklyn startup says it has assembled the world’s largest database rating food products on feel-good factors ranging from employee pay and livestock conditions to pesticide practices and distribution methods.
New York Times: Our Water-Guzzling Food Factory
- (Opinion) The crisis in California is a harbinger of water scarcity in much of the world. And while we associate extravagant water use with swimming pools and verdant lawns, the biggest consumer, by far, is agriculture.
Washington Post: What it really means to rely on food stamps and welfare
- Who's poor changes with time and circumstance. And their ranks swell and shrink with the health of the economy, according to a report the Census Bureau just released on Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, welfare and Supplemental Security Income (which is meant to help the elderly and disabled) participants.
Salon: Monsanto’s sick new power play: Why we could all be eating their GMOs
- (Opinion) Earlier this month, Swiss seed and agrochemical company Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s second takeover bid in a year. Syngenta’s board said the offer undervalued the company and did not fully address regulatory risks.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Why Adesina's election is important for agriculture
- (Opinion) In a surprise upset, Dr. Akinwumi (Akin) Adesina, an agriculture economist trained at Purdue, was elected to be the next President of the African Development Bank (ADB), defeating seven rivals in six rounds of voting.
Hindustan Times: Mahindra to milk dairy business, connects with farmers
- The auto-to-aerospace conglomerate Mahindra Group is all set to roll out its dairy business in the next few months, starting with milk and milk products, as it looks to expand its agri-business not by buying cattle, but by sourcing milk directly from farmers.
Wall Street Journal: Nigerian Oil Hurt by Tussle Between OPEC and U.S.
- In the escalating duel between U.S. and OPEC oil production, few countries’ oil industries have been hit as hard as Nigeria, highlighting a challenge for the petroleum cartel ahead of its meeting Friday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA adding 800,000 acres to Conservation Reserve Program
- USDA announced Friday the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will be allowed to grow by 800,000 acres to include sensitive wetlands that help improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat.
AccuWeather.com: Drought Hurts Agriculture, Costs West Over $40 Billion
- While parts of the Plains and Southwest are dealing with record amount of rainfall and flooding, California – known for its palm trees and beautiful beaches – continues to deal with a devastating, four-year drought.
Oregon Live: Washington state grips for tough summer amid drought
- Some farmers and irrigators are forgoing watering crops and pastures for all or part of the season in exchange for lease payments from the state. Others are seeking permission to tap emergency wells or drill new ones.
LA Times: Drought scourges Utah farms
- This year, the state suffered its warmest and least-snowy winter since the late 1800s, when Utah was still a territory. The lowest-elevation snowpack has melted, and most of the higher altitudes will be quick to follow.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
International Business Times: Driver's Licenses For Immigrants: With New Law, Nebraska Becomes Final State To Give Driving Rights To Undocumented
- Juan Gallegos received his first driver’s license from Nebraska Friday morning after the state Legislature overturned Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto of a bill that sought to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.
New York Post: Behind the surprising drop in illegal immigration
- (Opinion) An ailing U.S. economy and demographic changes – Mexicans are having far fewer children in the past – have had some deterrent effect on illegal immigration, but the major reason behind the drop is better border security.
National Review: So Illegal Immigration Isn’t Inevitable After All? Who Knew?
- (Opinion) Several observations on the current status of illegal immigration from Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Des Moines Register: Iowa Poll: Walker maintains popularity with 7-point lead
- Scott Walker's popularity streak in Iowa is real: He's seven percentage points ahead of his nearest competition in the presidential horse race here, chased by a tight pack of four in a clear top tier: Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee.
Des Moines Register: Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders draws a crowd in Iowa City
- There were more than 300 people in the social hall – some resorted to sitting on rec center exercise balls after the 200 seats were filled – and more than 100 outside in the building's main hall as Sanders began to take the stage Saturday morning.
Star Tribune: Minnesota's last one-room schoolhouse counts on its longtime teacher
- Once common sights across the landscape of rural America, many one-room schoolhouses have shuttered or vanished. Linda LaMie is determined to keep hers alive, convinced that this unlikely geography demands a K-6 school, even in a more connected world.
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