Daily Harvest -- 6/29/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Report shows pork industry continuing to recover from PED virus
- An estimated 66.9 million hogs and pigs were being raised in the U.S. on June 1, up 9 percent from a year earlier and up slightly from March 1, USDA said today in a quarterly report, more indication that the U.S. pork industry has recovered from the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv).
Agri-Pulse: Numbers of interest in hogs and pigs report
- (Audio) Hog producers are expected to cut farrowings more than expected this year, according to the newest report from USDA.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Representative Ron Kind
- (Audio) As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Wisconsin Democrat discusses why free trade was such a difficult vote for many Democrats and further changes to the Farm Bill he’d like to see in crop insurance and other farm programs.
NBC News: The Rural America Divide
- There are many divides in American politics, but some of the starkest differences exist between rural and urban America. And events in the news this past week only highlighted the size of those divides.
Wall Street Journal: Heavy Rains Boost Cotton Prices
- Heavy rains in April and May delayed cotton planting in several states, including top producer Texas, but investors are betting the land that was planted with cotton will fall short of the 9.5 million acres U.S. farmers had said they intended to sow.
Wall Street Journal: Wheat Prices Up Nearly 6% on Heavy Rains in U.S. Midwest
- Wheat futures soared nearly 6% Friday, extending a sudden bounce that has put the grain in bull market territory as pounding rains have drenched crops in fields across the eastern Midwest just as farmers are supposed to be harvesting.
Des Moines Register: Iowa farmers reeling from rainfall
- Standing water has encroached on the roadways and invaded the fields, reducing sizable patches of leafy green to a faded brown. Many of the soybean plants here are nearly submerged.
Des Moines Register: Green Fields: Iowa group calls for repeal of meat labeling
- The head of the Iowa Farm Bureau says the U.S. risks losing jobs and leaving many of its businesses open to retaliation unless the Senate withdraws a meat labeling rule declared illegal by an international trade group.
Wall Street Journal: Hawaii Wrestles With Vagaries of Solar Power
- With 21% of its power now coming from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels, Hawaii has become a laboratory for those intent on reinventing the grid. A new law mandates that renewables supply all of the state’s electricity by 2045.
Wall Street Journal: Realistic Goals for the Paris Climate Conference – Mike Bloomberg
- (Opinion) There is a good chance that in five months the United Nations’ conference on climate change in Paris will set the world on a path to taming global greenhouse gas emissions, but the definition of success in Paris has been widely misunderstood.
FOOD & NUTRITION
NPR: Missouri Food Pantries Help Clients Grow Their Own Produce
- Grow Well Missouri, a program that travels to food pantries around central Missouri, is one of several food-aid groups helping to teach pantry visitors how to grow their own food, passing out seeds and starter plants to low-income locals.
Wall Street Journal: Judge Explains Reasons for Blocking Sysco-US Foods Merger
- During nearly two weeks of court proceedings last month, the legal battle between U.S. antitrust enforcers and would-be merger partners Sysco Corp. and US Foods Inc. appeared to be a close call. Turns out it wasn’t.
New York Times: A Farmer Reclaims Liberian Roots in New Jersey
- Ethnic crops are a thriving business for small farmers in New Jersey, with farmers often focusing on “high-value crops” like peaches and blueberries to remain “economically sustainable,” but niche markets, like West African produce, are also becoming more viable.
ABC News: USDA Proposes Healthier Fare for Child, Adult Day Cares
- More vegetables and less sugar lead USDA proposals; grain-based desserts, such as cookies and cakes would no longer be reimbursable and children younger than 1 would no longer be offered juice.
Take Part: On Farm-vertising: How Fast-Food Chains Have Gone Small to Sell Big
- (Opinion) Fast food companies are self-promoting through agricultural nostalgia, called farm-vertising. The soft-focus videos, farmers market interviews, and carefully inscribed chalkboards at New American restaurants—it’s all just more marketing.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Trump says trade deal is a disaster, hair will improve
- Donald Trump says if he were elected president he would negotiate trade on an individual, country-by-country basis, rather than some of the multi-lateral deals currently being negotiated.
Agri-Pulse: Ag groups urge congress to coordinate international development efforts
- A coalition of more than a dozen farm organizations, international development groups and agriculture-related foundations sent a letter today to congressional committees calling for a coordinated approach from the federal government to meeting global food security needs.
New York Times: Saving the Cows, Starving the Children
- (Opinion) The chief minister of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh struck down a proposed pilot project to introduce eggs in free government nursery schools in districts populated by economically disadvantaged indigenous groups.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: It's official: WOTUS rule takes effect Aug. 28
- The Obama administration's new definition of the "waters of the United States" regulated by the Clean Water Act will be formally published on Monday and will take effect Aug. 28.
Yahoo News: San Francisco told to stop taking some water during drought
- Regulators on Friday told San Francisco to stop taking some of the river water it routinely stores in the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.
Washington Post: Forget almonds: Look at how much water California’s pot growers use
- One of the arguments against the liberalization of marijuana laws appeals to our environmental sensibilities: many illegal grow operations happen on public land, outside the regulatory purview of the EPA and they can have devastating consequences for the surrounding landscape.
Fresno Bee: Agriculture irrigation transforming farming
- Much has changed in the way farmers water their crops. More than two decades ago, 67% of the farmers in California relied on flood or furrow irrigation while just 16% used drip irrigation. Now, 42% of California agriculture uses drip irrigation.
Wall Street Journal: For Water Rights in Montana, It’s Still the Wild West
- (Opinion) Chiefs from the Salish and Kootenai Tribes signed the Hellgate Treaty that created their Flathead Indian Reservation in 1855, but 160 years later their water rights are still up for debate.
KOMO News: Agriculture department investigating Portland bee die-off
- The fifth mass bee death in Portland in the past several days has state investigators on the hunt for a cause.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Exporters Tally the Damage From West Coast Port Delays
- A panel of shippers recounted their experiences from late 2014 through the first quarter of 2015, as labor contract negotiations dragged on between the West Coast dockworkers’ union and the terminal operators and shipping lines at the 29 ports they serve.
Wall Street Journal: Despite Critics, Lawmakers Seek Extension of Green Card Program
- The popular EB-5 program is set to expire in September, but under a bill introduced this month by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), it would be extended another five years.
Wall Street Journal: ConAgra’s New CEO to Talk Strategy
- CEO Sean Connolly will be under pressure to perform when it comes to the future of a private-label unit, as well as the main part of the company, whose brands also include Chef Boyardee canned pasta, Healthy Choice frozen meals and Peter Pan peanut butter.
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