Daily Harvest -- 6/13/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate Democrats enlist military to back school lunch standards
- The Senate Agriculture Committee hosted school and military leaders Thursday during a hearing to support the Obama administration's school meal reforms in the face of efforts by House Republicans to ease certain nutrition requirements.
Agri-Pulse: House passes bill boosting write-off limits for capital purchases
- The House passed legislation Thursday that would make permanent a tax provision that allows farmers and other small businesses to immediately write off up to $500,000 in equipment purchases such as combines and large tractors rather than follow a depreciation schedule.
Agri-Pulse: USDA increases wheat ending stocks estimate
- U.S. supplies of unsold wheat at the end of May 2015 will total 574 million bushels, up 34 million bushels from the month ago estimate, as exports and use in food and animal feed decline, USDA said today in a monthly report.
Agri-Pulse: Food groups file suit against Vermont GMO labeling law
- (Subscriber only) On Thursday, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Snack Food Association and the International Dairy Foods Association filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Vermont had exceeded the state's authority under the U.S. Constitution.
Agri-Pulse: Seed industry dealing with public perception of GMOs
- (Audio) Public perception of GMO crops and foods is one of the biggest issues being discussed at the American Seed Trade Association annual meeting in Indianapolis this week.
New York Times: House Delays Vote on Easing School Meal Standards
- A House vote on an Agriculture Department spending bill containing a provision that would allow schools to opt out of the Obama administration’s nutrition standards for school meals has been delayed until sometime next week, a senior Republican aide said Thursday.
ABC: Court Rules for Pom Wonderful in Dispute With Coke
- Coca Cola's version of pomegranate juice is not quite the real thing, and a competitor has another chance to prove it in court.
The Hill: First lady vows to fight for school lunch nutrition 'until the bitter end'
- First lady Michelle Obama encouraged parents Thursday to fight with her "until the bitter end" to preserve tougher new school lunch standards that House Republicans are working to roll back.
The Hill: Lawmakers push EPA over water rule
- A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Connecticut governor vetoes bill banning chocolate milk in schools
- Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy vetoed legislation today that would ban the sale of chocolate milk in the state's schools.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Nunes says US must push for tariff elimination in TPP talks
- The chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade says the U.S. should complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership without Japan if the Asian nation insists on retaining tariffs on certain commodities.
Bloomberg: EU Nations Back Flexibility on Biotech-Crop Cultivation
- European governments agreed to go their own way on the cultivation of genetically modified crops, ending years of legislative deadlock.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $31.5 million in funding for research to fight citrus greening
- United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $25 million in funding for research and Cooperative Extension Service projects to combat huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease.
The Epoch Times: General Mills and Unilever Adopt Sustainability Programs for Farmers
- U.S. companies relying on farmers for the raw materials in their products must take a more active role in ensuring the crops are grown in a way that minimizes damage to water, soil, and environment, a report released Wednesday said.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: The shared responsibility of immigration reform
- Kam Quarles: The legislative days are fleeting for immigration reform. Once Congress reaches its annual August recess, the deadline will arrive as the Obama Administration undoubtedly takes steps to address the issue.
Newsweek: Immigration Reform Activists Pressure Obama After Cantor Loss
- Immigration reform advocates said on Wednesday that U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary election loss spelled doom for immigration legislation and that they planned to step up pressure on the White House to enact changes without waiting for Congress.
Fox News: Veterans join those demanding immigration reform
- Veterans gathered in Washington on Thursday to call for immigration reform that acknowledges the efforts of their immigrant comrades as well as the diversity and richness they contributed to the ranks of the U.S. Armed Forces, and they also asked for equal treatment for their families.
Agri-Pulse: Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan Grant Contest closes next month
- As part of The Good Growth Plan launched last fall, Syngenta is awarding ideas that support one or more of the plan's six commitments to address global food security.
Reuters: Kevin McCarthy lone contender for U.S. House No. 2 job after rivals quit race
- California lawmaker Kevin McCarthy emerged as the sole contender in the Republican contest to fill one of the top positions in the U.S. Congress after two candidates dropped out on Thursday, but some lawmakers said McCarthy was not conservative enough and hoped others would jump in the race.
Phys.org: Harvesting the power of big data in agriculture
- WID experts characterize Big Data by three components: volume (how big the data is), velocity (how fast the data is being collected) and variety (how diverse the data being collected is).
Bismarck Tribune: Reservation hopes for results from Obama's visit
- While it's an honor to host Obama, residents say, they want to hear solutions from the man who as a presidential candidate six years ago declared, "This election is about Indian Country."
The New Yorker: David Brat, the Elizabeth Warren of the Right
- In his campaign against Cantor, Brat turned every issue into a morality tale about big business cheating ordinary Americans. He attacked Cantor for supporting the farm bill.
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