Daily Harvest -- 6/2/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Bill would add farmers to student loan forgiveness program
- The National Young Farmers Coalition announced the introduction of a bill in the House today that would encourage young people to take up farming as a career by reducing the burden of their federally backed college loans.
Wall Street Journal: The World’s Coming Broadband Divide
- Several events last week pointed out how much business success, economic development and even international competition is starting to depend on once unimaginably fast Internet speeds.
Phys.org: Organic agriculture more profitable to farmers, study says
- A global study found profit margins for organic agriculture, despite lower yields, were significantly greater than conventional agriculture.
Des Moines Register: Bird flu shows U.S. not ready for next big outbreak
- The fight to contain avian influenza, which has forced the destruction of nearly 45 million birds in 15 states, is raising red flags about America's biosecurity and its ability to fight even more virulent diseases in the future.
Environment & Energy Daily: Berkshire Hathaway advances utility legislation despite Cantwell pushback
- Berkshire Hathaway Energy appears to be successfully pushing legislative language through both chambers of Congress that would scrap federal requirements for utilities to buy power from small renewable and cogeneration units.
Reuters: The U.S. oil fracker's dilemma: crouch or pounce?
- U.S. shale oil producers, having weathered the worst price plunge in their industry's brief history, now face a dilemma: whether to stay in a defensive crouch after slashing their rig fleets, or start drilling more wells to capture a partial recovery in prices.
The Hill: Maryland bans fracking
- Maryland’s ban on hydraulic fracturing became law after Gov. Larry Hogan (R) decided not to veto it. The legislation bars fracking for two and half years and requires state standards for the extraction method when the ban lifts.
Washington Post: Va. panel recommends new fracking regulations
- A Virginia advisory panel is recommending that energy companies disclose the chemical ingredients they use in horizontal fracking.
Reuters: CHS buys ethanol plant, in long-term biofuels bet
- Grains and biofuels marketer CHS Inc has bought Patriot Renewable Fuels' Illinois ethanol plant, its second such purchase in a year, to boost its footprint in ethanol at a time of high inventories and low margins.
Yahoo Finance: Oil prices stabilize, firm demand counters oversupply
- Crude oil prices stabilized on Tuesday due to firm demand after dipping in early trade on expectations that OPEC would not cut output at its meeting this week.
Washington Post: Tesla Motors co-founder wants to electrify commercial trucks
- Twelve years ago, Ian Wright and some fellow engineers launched Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley company that has helped jumpstart the market for electric cars.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Food Business News: Consumers fear some ingredients more than pathogens
- (Opinion) The International Food Information Council’s 2015 Food and Health Survey found 36% of responders put “chemicals” at the top of their food safety concern followed by 34% who were concerned about food borne illness from bacteria.
Wall Street Journal: ‘Eight-Legged Chicken’ Rumors Spur Lawsuit by KFC
- Yum Brands Inc.’s KFC is suing three companies in China for allegedly spreading rumors about the quality of its food, including that its chickens have eight legs, a move that comes as the fried-chicken company fights to regain lost ground in one of its most critical markets.
LA Times: Foster Farms to shift away from using antibiotics in its poultry
- California poultry giant Foster Farms has joined the flock of meat companies eschewing the use of antibiotics, pledging to eliminate all those used to combat infection in humans.
ABC News: Whataburger Changes Breakfast Times, Citing Egg Shortages
- Whataburger says it is limiting its breakfast-serving hours, citing egg shortages due to the Midwest bird flu crisis.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: South Korea, China sign free trade deal
- South Korea and China signed a free trade deal Monday that will remove tariffs on more than 90 percent of goods over two decades. South Korea’s rice industry is not part of the pact but trade in 70 percent of agricultural goods will be liberalized.
Nebraska Radio Network: Sen. Sasse says Nebraska agriculture will benefit from TPA
- Sen. Ben Sasse says he understands some of the opposition to Trade Promotion Authority, but still believes Nebraska will benefit from TPA.
Reuters: Thousands of tonnes of Yemen food aid diverted by fighting: U.N. officials
- It is the latest setback for aid agencies trying to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate people in the Arabian peninsula's poorest country amid a Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi fighters.
The Hill: Oil giants call for global carbon pollution fees
- Six major European oil companies are asking the United Nations to help impose carbon dioxide emission pricing in all countries.
Wall Street Journal: Western Canadian Wildfires Shut in Oil Sands Production
- Wildfires that have crimped Alberta’s oil sands production for more than a week continue to burn, officials said Monday, dealing another blow to producers already spooked by low crude prices and expected royalty increases.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: NRCS opens Conservation Client Gateway
- (Audio) USDA opened a new gateway to conservation last week by establishing an easier, online way of working with NRCS.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Pollinator Decisions Should Be Based on Science - Not Hype
- American Agri-Women call on the Administration to ensure that all potential pollinator issues raised in the report are looked at carefully with sound science at the core of any investigations and subsequent decisions.
New York Times: Drought Is Bearing Fruit for Washington Wineries
- Even in an off year, wineries in California produce more than 20 times as much wine as the vineyards here in Washington State, the perennial No. 2 in the rankings.
News Tribune: Plans would let California farmers avoid water cuts
- Moving to meet voluntary water conservation targets, dozens of farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have submitted plans to the state saying they intend to plant less thirsty crops and leave some fields unplanted amid the relentless California drought, officials said.
Agriculture.com: 11 Things the EPA Says the Clean Water Act Rule Doesn’t Do
- Agree or disagree, here are 11 points that the EPA says the Clean Water Act Rule does not do.
Washington Post: How Europe’s climate policies have led to more trees being cut down in the U.S.
- Soaring demand for woody biomass fuel has led to the construction of more than two dozen pellet factories in the Southeast in the past decade, along with special port facilities in Virginia and Georgia where mountains of pellets are loaded onto Europe-bound freighters.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Does Immigration Suppress Wages? It’s Not So Simple
- Rick Santorum blamed the country’s stagnant wages on immigrants to the U.S. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and President Barack Obama have drawn the same connection, but the economics of their claims, are far from clear.
New York Times: Obama Plans to Nominate Roberta Jacobson to Be Ambassador to Mexico
- President Obama will nominate Roberta S. Jacobson, the top State Department official for Latin America and his point person in negotiations to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, to be the United States ambassador to Mexico, the White House said Monday.
New York Times: Medical Marijuana Feeds Familiar Hopes of Renewal Around New York State
- Daniel Depew was a 4-H member and raised heifers as a child. Given the town’s history, he questioned, what could be more appropriate than medical marijuana, with its blend of horticulture and health?
PBS Newshour: What does Lindsey Graham believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues
- The South Carolina Republican has three terms in the U.S. House under his belt and is now in his third term in the U.S. Senate. Graham has never sent an e-mail and has never lost an election for public office. Here’s where he stands on 10 key issues.
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