Daily Harvest -- 6/21/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for June 21, 2016
- Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts and ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow say they continue to work toward an agreement on biotech labeling standards. But time is fast running out for anything to get enacted before House members leave town for their Independence Day break. Also: Vietnamese catfish products recalled in U.S.; groups map CAFOs in North Carolina; USA Poultry & Egg Export Council gets new chairman.
Agri-Pulse: USDA acts to ease credit crunch for guaranteed farm ownership loans
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has notified Congress that he plans to tap a $500 million discretionary fund to cover a projected shortfall in demand for guaranteed farm ownership loans for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, according to USDA's Farm Service Agency, which administers the loan program.
Agri-Pulse: Baenig to head US Beet Sugar Association
- Brian Baenig, a former chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, is joining the US Beet Sugar Association as executive vice president and will take over as president in January following the retirement of longtime President James W. Johnson.
AP: Dairy farmers say safety net on milk prices is not helping
- Northeast dairy farmers who have been strapped for months by low milk prices say a voluntary insurance program that was supposed to be a safety net isn't helping.
The Hill: Overnight Energy: GOP chairman ramps up fight with states over Exxon
- House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is standing strong in his call for documents from states investigating Exxon Mobil Corp.'s climate science. In letters to 17 state or territory attorneys general, Smith said Congress has the power and the "duty" to oversee the state investigations into Exxon.
Wash. Post: This is how China can live up to its huge wind energy potential
- In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Energy, researchers from MIT and Tsinghua University in Beijing developed a model to predict how much wind energy China could generate and integrate onto its electricity grid in the coming years. The model suggests that wind-generated electricity could deliver 11.9 `
percent of China’s primary energy demand in the year 2030 — and by improving the flexibility of the nation’s coal fleet, that number could even jump to 14 percent.
L.A. Times: Temperatures in excess of 100 degrees prompt calls for energy savings
- Sweltering temperatures across Southern California prompted calls Monday for electricity customers to reduce their energy use to help reduce strain on a system already weakened by the absence of the troubled Aliso Canyon natural gas storage plant.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reuters: Bayer apologizes to farmers after Twitter gaffe endorsing 'going vegetarian'
- Bayer AG's crop science division apologized on Monday for a tweet that suggested reduced meat demand could benefit the environment, in a bid to appease outraged farmers who buy the company's seeds and chemicals.
Magic Valley: Beans Keynote Pest Management Tour
- Dry beans have been an integral part of Magic Valley crop rotations for decades, but changes in management practices and markets have eaten away at acreage. Researchers at the University of Idaho are hoping to change that by identifying strategies for reducing production costs.
L.A. Times: Do nutritional labels work?
- (Editorial) These new-and-improved labels may not help those who need nutritional information the most.
Newsday: Dave Matthews Band supporting Long Island, other tour locales with 'farm-to-stage' diet
- Rock star is dedicated to local, sustainable food and cares deeply about farmers and their crops.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
N.Y. Times: A Rush of Americans, Seeking Gold in Cuban Soil
- For months, Havana’s government offices and its prettiest urban farms have been filled with American bureaucrats, seed sellers, food company executives and farmers who spend their evenings eating meals made with ingredients often imported or smuggled into restaurants that most Cubans can’t afford.
Reuters: France to vote against continued EU use of weedkiller glyphosate
- France will vote on Friday against the continued use of weedkiller glyphosate, its environment minister said, adding to uncertainty over the future of widely-used products such as Monsanto's Roundup in the European Union.
AP: British Farmers Crave Independence but Fear Cost of EU Exit
- Rob Warnock is a proud British farmer and the son of a proud British farmer, and he hopes his son will follow in his footsteps one day. He's also a European Union farmer, but that is not a legacy Warnock wants to pass on to his 6-year-old son. Warnock plans to vote this week for Britain to leave the EU, even though it could cost his struggling dairy business dear.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
High Country News: Climate change looms large over Obama’s Yosemite visit
- The park’s scientists and resource managers were straining to borrow the president’s bully pulpit to educate the public about a beloved landscape in transition.
ABC News: President Obama and the First Family Visit Yosemite National Park
- Standing in front of one of the most breathtaking backgrounds of any during his time in office, President Obama used a speech at Yosemite National Park today to tout his conservation legacy while calling for more action to prevent climate change.
HuffingtonPost: Scorching Hot Southwest Is Climate Change In Action
- Deadly, record-breaking heat and wildfires sweeping across the Southwestern U.S. are a clear sign of manmade climate change at work, scientists say.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Muskogee Phoenix: Labor officials reach out before peach festival
- Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in Tulsa plan to offer employment guidelines in advance of the peach festival season.
Albany Times-Union: Farm Bureau fights lawsuit calling for the unionization of workers
- If Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t defend himself in a lawsuit, the state Farm Bureau says it wants to go to court to prevent farm workers from unionizing.
AP: Uphill battle to get seasonal farmworkers health insurance
- Julie Pittman, a paralegal with the Farmworker Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina, visited with a group of seasonal agricultural workers, just finishing a meal after a long day of planting sweet potato seeds, telling them they are required to have health insurance.
The Atlantic: The Immigration Battle at the Heart of Brexit
- A former British minister’s apparent about-face on the U.K.’s continued membership in the European Union illustrates the central role immigration is playing both sides of the “Brexit” debate.
Washington Post: Why Hillary Clinton eats a hot pepper every single day
- Say what you will about the trustworthiness of Hillary Clinton. The candidate who could make history as the first female U.S. president has been nothing but transparent about the fact that she’s a hothead. “I started using hot sauce back in 1992, because I read an article that said it would help my immune system stay healthy.”
Rolling Stone: Luke Bryan Reveals First-Ever Farm Tour EP
- The project was unveiled Monday, while Bryan was co-hosting NBC's Today, and it coincides with the announcement of his eighth annual Farm Tour, which is set to visit eight small farming communities.
Fortune: Kellogg's to Invest $100 Million in Food Startups
- With eighteen94 capital, it becomes the latest big food company to enter the business of trying to find “winners” among the hundreds of startups that are crowding grocery store aisles.
Archaeology: Farming invented twice in Middle East, genomes study reveals
- Two Middle Eastern populations independently developed farming and then spread the technology to Europe, Africa and Asia, according to the genomes of 44 people who lived thousands of years ago in present-day Armenia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Iran.
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