Daily Harvest -- 6/24/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for June 24, 2016
- GMO labeling agreement: Just as importantly, plants and animals that are modified through the new techniques of genetic engineering, including gene editing, won’t be considered biotech; challenge now is to get floor time for vote. Some activists still fighting it. Also: Agribusiness execs to meet Clinton campaign; ruling sets back immigration reform; Brazilian pork and poultry industries desperate for feed; USAID nominee approved.
Agri-Pulse: Roberts, Stabenow reach deal on GMO labeling
- A landmark Senate agreement on national disclosure standards for genetically engineered foods would allow companies to disclose GMO ingredients through digital codes rather than on-package language or symbols.
Agri-Pulse: Bruce Knight - 2018 Farm Bill-Soil Health
- (Opinion) Turning again to the next farm bill, I want to focus on soil health. We need to be asking, “Do we need to change agricultural policy or research emphasis or programs to address soil health more effectively?”
News-Star: Politics on the farm: Ag wields powerful influence in La. elections
- Gov. John Bel vividly remembers last year's Farm Bureau Federation Convention, where one of the first gubernatorial forums gave the candidates a stage.
Agri-Pulse: New report takes aim at the 'food vs. fuel' debate
- The Renewable Fuels Association says it is satisfied with a report finding that biofuels from crops do not harm fuel supplies. The report, Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action, was funded by the Energy Department, the World Bank and other groups, and recently published in the journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy.
Agri-Pulse: Robots help shape the future of agro-energy
- Finding ways to grow biofuels faster and more efficiently is key to unlocking the huge potential these sustainable energy resources have as a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels for transportation, says the Department of Energy (DOE).
Cantwell: Energy Bill Needs ‘Very Progressive’ Efficiency Title
- Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said on Thursday she has high expectations for the energy efficiency title of any bill that comes out of the long-delayed conference committee between House and Senate lawmakers.
Bloomberg: Energy Investors Celebrate Price Rebound, Then Call the Lawyers
- With U.S. crude almost doubling in price since February and natural gas gaining about 38 percent just since May 26, stakeholders in at least three bankrupt energy companies are contending that corporate assets have risen so much in value that they deserve a bigger payout.
FOOD & NUTRITION
AP: Senators reach deal on GMO labeling
- The deal announced Thursday by the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee would require the nationwide labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in packaged foods for the first time. But it would be more lenient than Vermont’s law, allowing food companies to use a text label, a symbol or electronic label accessed by smartphone.
KTUU: National food contaminations affect hundreds of products in Alaska
- A dozen food recalls have affected Alaska this month, forcing grocery stores across the state to pull hundreds of items off their shelves.
Anniston Star: Few people using SNAP benefits at Anniston farmers market
- Farmers markets such as the Downtown Market and the Main Street Farmers Market in Oxford accept SNAP, which distributes benefits to recipients through special debit cards. Not many people use their SNAP benefits at farmers markets though, according to Jean Ann Oglesby, market manager for the Downtown Market in Anniston.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: South American weather could be beneficial for US grain exports - 6/24/2016
- (Audio) Lower yields in South America bring the opportunity for expanded U.S. grain exports. The lower forecast for Argentina and Brazil leaves to door open to buyers who traditionally purchase grain from South America.
Agri-Pulse: John Block talks trade
- (Audio) He remains optimistic that trade agreements can get done, but it won't be easy.
Bloomberg: U.K. Backs Brexit as Cameron Resigns After Historic Rupture
- The U.K. voted to quit the European Union after more than four decades in a stunning rejection of the continent’s postwar political and economic order, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to resign and sending shock waves around global markets.
DTN: Agriculture will be affected by Britain's Brexit vote
- Agricultural trade between the U.S. and UK is small but it makes up a significant percentage of sales to the EU.
San Angelo Standard Times: Texas ag embraces trade with Cuba
- In the push for free trade with Cuba, Texas has managed to sell rice and other states have sold soybean oil. In turn, we have bought some coffee, but what we really want are those Cuban cigars, John Block, former U.S. secretary of agriculture, said.
Reuters: EU regulators to rule on $130 billion Dow, DuPont deal by July 28
- EU antitrust authorities will decide by July 28 whether to allow the $130 billion merger of U.S. chemical company Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N) and its rival DuPont (DD.N), one of several large agribusiness deals.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Biochar found to improve soil quality
- When biomass is heat-treated using a process called torrefaction, the result is a charcoal-rich substance called biochar. This “torrefied biomass” can improve the quality of poor soil found in arid regions, says a study conducted by researchers at Japan's RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science and recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Voice of America: Cities Form World's Largest Alliance to Fight Climate Change
- More than 7,100 cities in 119 countries on Wednesday formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a network for exchanging information on such goals as developing clean energy, organizers said.
WickedLocal Weston: AG's office files lawsuit over Weston wetlands violation
- A week after a Northborough man convicted of violating environmental laws argued for a new trial in Worcester Superior Court, the state’s top prosecutor Thursday announced a lawsuit accusing his father and brother of illegally filling wetlands in Weston.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
North Country Public Radio: Farm Bureau president says labor rights would disrupt NY agriculture
- New York's Farm Bureau announced this week it will fight to block bargaining rights for tens of thousands of agricultural workers. The group hopes to intervene in a court battle over the issue sparked by a labor dispute here in the North Country.
Capital Press: Ag’s reaction to Supreme Court’s immigration ruling mixed
- The U.S. Supreme Court’s deadlock on President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration doesn’t alter the labor situation for agriculture and drew predictable reactions from various quarters.
DTN: New labor rules hit salaried workers
- Agriculture’s 24/7 workload poses special issues for payroll. Most farmers assume they are not required to pay overtime for any farm work performed by their employees, points out Paul Neiffer, a CPA with CliftonLarsonAllen in Yakima, Washington. But given the new rules imposed by the Department of Labor starting December 1, you need to carefully review that policy and the impact on your labor expense, he advises.
San Angelo Standard-Times: Windmill Country: Farm labor shortage reaching crisis proportions
- The age-old problem of a shortage of farm labor — now held up by visa backlogs — is fast approaching crisis proportions again, all but guaranteeing that crops will rot in the field on many farms this year, said Vincent "Zippy" Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Reuters: Bayer, Dupont join ag-tech investment boom to ease grain pain
- Dupont and Bayer AG have teamed up to invest in a new fund that will back agricultural technology startups, becoming the latest companies to pile into the multibillion-dollar industry as farm profits shrink.
Missouri Farmer Today: Science of Agriculture: Saint Louis Science Center dedicates new exhibit
- The GROW exhibit — encompassing more than an acre as part of the popular metropolitan museum — tells the story of the production and use of food and fiber.
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