Daily Harvest -- 6/30/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse (audio): Open Mic: Congressman Collin Peterson
- The Minnesota Democrat says the appropriations process, tax issues and the highway trust fund are top issues before the Congress, but also shares concerns about EPA's regulatory action and the school lunch program.
Agri-Pulse: Bipartisan lawmakers urge Obama to maintain biodiesel Renewable Fuel Standard
- A bipartisan group of 52 lawmakers wrote President Obama yesterday to encourage biodiesel production by bucking an EPA proposal to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Des Moines Register: EPA water proposal rattles ag industry
- "This, in my career of farming, is the most scary and frightening proposition that I have witnessed," said Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
Twin Falls Times-News: Crapo: Farm Bill: Advancing Forest Health
- As work continues to address wildfire budgeting, invasive pests and other issues affecting the health of our forests, many Farm Bill enacted provisions are helping ensure the tools are in place to improve the health and production of our forest lands.
Kansas City Star: Protect Missouri farmers by passing Amendment 1
- If voters approve, Missouri will be protecting farms that raise food organically and growers that provide food for local farmers markets. We’ll also be protecting families that raise crops for commodity markets using the latest technology.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Study: GMO aversion driving organic sales
- Parents' desires to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO) are partially driving the increased sales of organic products, according to a study conducted by the Organic Trade Association.
New York Times: The Agriculture Secretary Sees a Smart (Phone) Solution to GMO Labeling Fight
- “The way to go, long-term, is to embrace a 21st-century answer to this problem… — an extended bar code or some mechanism [through which] consumers who are interested in all the information about a product could obtain it fairly easily,” Vilsack said.
New York Times: On Air Force One, No Lightening Up on Burgers and Cake
- The food on Air Force One is well known among White House staff members and reporters for being plentiful in quantity and broad in appeal, but not always the perfect mirror of the nutritional recommendations coming out of the office of the first lady.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Global food and nutrition security and trade: A great irony
- Renewed efforts to expand and reinforce global trade are essential to build food and nutrition security in the years ahead as regional demand-supply imbalances become more acute with isolation, and prices become more volatile.
Agri-Pulse: Industry groups ask Congress to act if COOL found noncompliant
- A broad group of agricultural organizations is asking Congress to take action on the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule if it is found to be in violation of U.S. international trade obligations.
Wall Street Journal (subscriber only): Slowing China Demand for Feed Ingredient Jolts U.S. Grain, Soy Markets
- The Asian country in recent weeks has curtailed purchases of U.S. dried distillers' grains, a co-product of corn ethanol that is fed to cattle and pigs, amid concerns the shipments may contain a genetic modification that Beijing hasn't approved.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: Fewer Bees Died Last Winter, but Lots Were Also Lost in Summer
- This year’s Annual Honeybee Colony Loss Survey delivered better news than usual: Fewer honeybees died over winter compared to the previous year. But bees are dying year round in substantial numbers.
Wall Street Journal (subscriber only): Efforts Grow to Take the Sting Out of the Bee Die-Off
- Beekeepers must now work year-round to replace lost colonies; farmers are paying higher pollination fees for a fixed number of hives; and scientists worry that persistent bee deaths could threaten the food supply.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
L.A. Times: Obama's bid to deport children complicates immigration reform effort
- President Obama's surprise request that Congress give him authority to quickly deport thousands of Central American children illegally crossing the border is likely to renew the on-again, off-again immigration reform debate that many Republicans had hoped to avoid.
Politico: Poll: More want less immigration
- According to a Gallup poll released Friday, 22 percent of those polled favor increased immigration, while 33 percent would like to see it remain at the present level and a plurality, 41 percent and nearly double the amount of those who favor increased immigration, believe it should be decreased.
Agri-Pulse (subscriber only): U.S. hog inventory plummets on deadly pig virus
- The U.S. hog and pig inventory totaled 62.1 million as of June 1, down 5 percent from a year earlier and down 1 percent from three months earlier, USDA said Friday in a quarterly report.
Agri-Pulse (audio): Hogs and Pigs report highlights
- USDA's quarterly hogs and pigs report out Friday revealed the lowest swine inventory since 2007.
Wall Street Journal (subscriber only): Restaurants, Grocers Respond to Rising Beef Costs
- The record costs are forcing beef purveyors from Ruth's Chris Steak House to Carl's Jr. to choose between asking customers to pay more for steaks and burgers and eating the costs themselves.
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