Daily Harvest -- 6/2/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: CFTC eases hedging rules, pleasing grain traders
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has responded to the concerns of agribusiness by loosening its restrictions on the type of hedging strategies that can be exempted from position limits.
Cache Valley Daily (Utah): Animal welfare activists, state spar over 'ag-gag' law
- Utah's law banning secret filming of agricultural facilities is unconstitutional and should be struck down just as Idaho's measure was last year, argue animal welfare activists in a new court filing.
Scientific American: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thinks Farmers Can Help Solve Global Warming
- Vilsack says, "We can double the rate of emission reductions related to agriculture. We can contribute a 2 percent overall reduction compared to 2005 levels, which will help the U.S. meet its Paris goals. "
Fortune: The Future of Clean Energy Meets in San Francisco This Week
- The world’s clean energy leaders have descended on the Bay Area this week to meet for the first time following the historic climate change agreements that happened in Paris last December.
Bloomberg: Renewable Energy Isn't About to Doom Oil
- (Opinion) One might think the energy revolution is fast displacing fossil fuels. Not really. Although investment in renewables and in the oil industry are of comparable magnitude -- $522 billion was invested in oil last year -- sustainable energy is growing from a very low base.
WRBL: Fort Benning, Ga., houses largest renewable solar energy project in state
- The solar farm covers 220 acres with nearly 135,000 solar panels.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA issues draft voluntary sodium reduction targets
- FDA says the targets are aimed at helping the public gradually cut sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day, a level recommended by the leading experts and the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.
Agri-Pulse: Study details economic benefits of GM crops
- A study by U.K.-based PG Economics finds that farmers around the world who use genetically modified (GM) seeds reaped economic benefits averaging more than $100 per hectare (about 2.5 acres) in 2014 while at the same time improving the environmental sustainability of their operations.
L.A. Times: Why the FDA wants food manufacturers to put one-third less sodium in their products
- The “voluntary sodium reduction targets” on Wednesday would reduce Americans’ average sodium consumption by nearly one-third over a decade.
Reuters: Cargill acquires specialty food maker Five Star Custom Foods
- The Texas-based company specializes in cooked protein products, soups and sauces for restaurants and food processors.
Reuters: FDA takes action against Kansas food manufacturer for repeated food safety violations
- The complaint alleges that Native American Enterprises in Wichita made ready-to-eat (RTE) refried beans and sauces that were "prepared, packed and/or held under unsanitary conditions," which could lead to contamination. FDA used a technique called Whole Genome Sequencing to identify persistent strains of L. mono.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: 2016 has been a tough year for meat exports - 6/2/2016
- (Audio) Based on figures from the first few months of the year, meat exports in 2016 have increased in production, but not in payment.
Agri-Pulse: European Commission proposes temporary glyphosate authorization
- The European Commission is proposing to extend the authorization of glyphosate in Europe for 12 to 18 months so that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) can review its carcinogenicity.
The Missouri Times: Missouri governor returns from Cuban trade mission optimistic about agriculture
- The first shipment of rice from the United States to Cuba since 2008 was accepted by the Cuban government Monday morning, and it came from a farm in Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon announced.
Daily Mail Australia: Dairy farmers receive just a fraction of the government's $555million rescue package
- Struggling dairy farmers will be forced to repay loans from a Commonwealth $555 million rescue package at almost double the 1.5 per cent rate the federal government has accessed the funds.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Tech Times: Bees Get Highest Concentration Of Pesticides From Homes
- In a new study, Purdue researchers found that pesticides used in agricultural production, although important, were not the contaminants that posed the highest risks in honey bee-collected pollen.
Scientific American: Shiny, Metallic Snake is a Critically Endangered New Species
- Many scientists dream of discovering new species. Not all of them imagine having that new species crawl across their face while they’re actually dreaming.
AP: Hundreds of toads hop free, offering hope for at-risk animal
- Wildlife officials are releasing more than 900 toads in Wyoming, saying they could help researchers find ways for the endangered species and other amphibians to resist a devastating fungus.
The Guardian: The concept of species is flawed. So why is it so important to us?
- At its most basic, this traditional species concept, useful for theoretically dividing up life into groups is flawed for a number of reasons. For one thing, it’s impossible to experimentally test whether every organism can or cannot interbreed with each other, raising ethical as well as cost issues.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Santa Ynez Valley News: Planners approve farmworker housing project
- The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission unanimously approved a farmworker housing project Wednesday capable of housing up to 600 people under the federal H-2A program.
BuzzFeed: Cesar Chavez’s Son: Not True That My Father Would Have Supported Sanders
- On Sunday, David Villarino, a son-in-law of labor leader Cesar Chavez, told a crowd at a Bernie Sanders rally in Bakersfield, that if he were alive today, Chavez would support Sanders for president. That energetic proclamation did not sit well with Paul Chavez, Cesar Chavez’s son and president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, who told BuzzFeed News the family largely supports Hillary Clinton.
The Monitor (McAllen, Texas): Historic melon strike in South Texas was 50 years ago
- (Opinion) Texas celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic day in 1966 when farm workers in Starr County launched a strike against six melon growers demanding that their wages be raised from the 40-cents-per-hour pittance they were being paid, and helped changed the face of the Texas civil rights movement.
Agri-Pulse: Former SD ag secretary tapped to lead Pork Board
- The National Pork Board has selected Bill Even to serve as its next CEO. Even is currently global industry relations lead with DuPont Pioneer, where he has worked in some capacity since 2010. Before then, he served as South Dakota agriculture secretary for three years under then-governor Mike Rounds, who now is a U.S. senator.
Corvallis Gazette-Times: Art About Ag 2016: Agriculture of the American Landscape
- Eleven artists from three Northwest states share their interpretations of agriculture and the American landscape in the 34th annual Art About Agriculture exhibit at Oregon State University.
Madison County (NY) Courier: Magee’s new law boosts agriculture and cuts red tape for farmers
- Legislation authored by Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson), which would streamline the creation of agricultural districts and encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production, has been signed into law.
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