Daily Harvest -- 6/25/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Student loan debt contributes to farmer shortage, survey says
- Results from a new survey conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) show that student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing young people from becoming farmers and ranchers.
Agri-Pulse: AGree calls on Congress to prioritize ag research
- AGree, an agricultural think tank with former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman as one of its co-chairs, released a report today on how to improve the food and agricultural research system, and called on Congress to hold hearings on the topic.
Agri-Pulse: New assistance for drought stricken California producers
- (Audio) A new federal-state partnership and more funding has been announced to help California farmers and ranchers better weather the extended drought.
Bloomberg: Monsanto Cuts Costs, Sees No Respite From Low Crop Prices
- Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, signaled low corn and soybean prices are likely to persist beyond 2015 as it prepares for potentially reduced revenue by cutting expenses.
CNBC: Vertical farming: The next big thing for food—and tech
- AeroFarms specializes in vertical farming. It grows leafy greens in stacked rows that reach to the ceiling without natural sunlight or soil, in half the time it takes a traditional farm.
Agri-Pulse: Gov. Kasich wants support for ethanol to go away
- Ohio Governor John Kasich made it clear Wednesday that he does not like subsidies, particularly anything supporting ethanol.
Chicago Tribune: Diesel's almost as cheap as petrol
- While retail gasoline has surged by 25 percent this year, diesel prices have fallen by more than a quarter a gallon. The difference between the two is the smallest in almost six years and may all but disappear in two weeks' time, according to Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.
Washington Times: GAO hits Obama administration on renewable energy projects: audit
- The Obama administration is feverishly pushing the U.S. to embrace wind and solar energy but isn’t doing nearly enough to ensure the eventual cleanup of the sites it has leased for renewable power projects, a government watchdog said this week.
Newsplex: EPA Hears Testimony on Ethanol Proposal
- A federal proposal to reduce the amount of renewable fuels required in gasoline would have a stifling impact on the ethanol industry and goes against the intentions of Congress when it set the standards eight years ago, opponents of the suggested changes said.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers told school nutrition policy could use some tweaking
- Witnesses told a House Education and Workforce subcommittee Wednesday that the school nutrition standards authorized by the Obama administration's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) are a good recipe for encouraging healthy eating in schools, but could be improved with some new ingredients in the law's reauthorization, due Sept. 30.
BBC: Whole Foods US grocery chain 'overcharged' customers
- Upmarket US grocery chain Whole Foods has been accused in New York of routinely overcharging customers. The natural foods and organic retailer, which has outlets in the UK, is said to have overstated weights of pre-packaged meat, dairy and baked products.
Food Safety News: State Legislatures Pass on Adopting GMO-Labeling Policies This Year
- This legislative season appears to be ending without another state willing to join Vermont in requiring that GMO food be labeled. State legislatures are adjourned in Hawaii, Alaska, the entire Western region except for the three Pacific Coast states, the Midwest, the South except for the Carolinas, and the Border States.
New York Times: G.M.O. Dilemma: Swaying a Wary Public
- The results suggest that there’s more to evaluating G.M. techniques than the food itself. Whatever its genetic code might say about the grain that it’s made from, man does not live by bread alone.
Chicago Tribune: GOP pushes back against dietary guidelines that wade into climate debate
- Congressional Republicans are pushing back against proposed dietary guidelines that urge Americans to consider the environment when deciding what foods to eat.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Trade promotion bill clears Congress
- The Senate has cleared a trade promotion bill that will give President Obama the authority he says he needs to wrap up a trade agreement with Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Presses China for Market Access
- Top U.S. officials this week pressed China for greater market access to its economy, reflecting growing corporate concerns that Beijing’s promised economic overhauls will prove to be more rhetoric than reality.
New York Times: Allies in Asia Welcome U.S. Progress on Trade Deal
- American allies in Asia on Wednesday welcomed a United States Senate vote that appeared to clear the way for a final round of negotiations over a sweeping trans-Pacific trade pact and may have made it easier for governments to make politically risky concessions.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: Data Centers and Hidden Water Use
- At a time when California authorities are telling waiters not to automatically offer water, data centers’ water use has largely escaped scrutiny.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed: Immigration reform: 'The California Package'
- While the federal government stalls on immigration reform, some states have begun acting on their own. Much attention in the last decade has focused on Republican-dominated areas that have tightened enforcement. Meanwhile, more quietly, California moved in the opposite direction, encouraging integration rather than deportation.
Des Moines Register: Jindal announces presidential bid, seeks Iowa traction
- The Louisiana governor, a born-again Christian and an Ivy League-educated conservative known for his policy ideas, formally leaped into the 2016 race Wednesday after squeezing in 14 days in Iowa over the last two years in between duties in Louisiana.
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