Daily Harvest -- 6/30/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for June 30, 2016
- (Audio) GMO labeling clears key first hurdle, Nobel laureates jump in GMO debate, USDA clarifies Sodsaver, ITC report details trade benefits, and acreage, stocks reports due today.
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling compromise passes first Senate test
- (Subscriber only) With a large margin voting in favor, the procedural vote signals that the biotech bill will easily have the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster next week.
Agri-Pulse: USDA finalizes crop insurance rules
- In an announcement that will be published in the Federal Register today, RMA's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will leave its 2014 proposal largely untouched save for some native sod provisions.
Washington Post: 107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs
- In a letter, the laureates urge Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in general and Golden rice in particular. The campaign has a website and plans a press conference this morning.
Agri-Pulse: Vermont grocer concerned about new GMO labeling law
- (Audio) As the July 1 date for Vermont’s GMO labeling law nears, a Vermont grocery official says many state grocers are still unprepared and unaware of how to comply.
Bloomberg: ‘Tesla Solar’ Wants to Be the Apple Store for Electricity
- Tesla Motors Inc.’s bid to buy the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer has little to do with selling cars and a lot to do with selling solar
The Daily Caller News Foundation: Wind turbines in China aren’t working and it’s becoming a huge problem
- China shut down numerous wind turbines because much of the new electricity cannot be absorbed, potentially causing serious damage to the country’s electrical grid.
UtilityDive.com: Massachusetts Senate bill pushes bigger wind, hydro targets than House bill
- Lawmakers in the Massachusetts Senate could vote today on a measure that could one-up a renewables mandate passed weeks ago in the House, broadening a push for renewable resources.
The New York Times: Sungevity, a solar panel provider, to go public in merger
- Sungevity, one of the leading national providers of rooftop solar panels, plans to merge with an asset management firm to become a publicly traded company and gain easier access to financing.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Growing Greens in the Spare Room as ‘Vertical Farm’ Start-Ups Flourish
- FarmBox Greens resides inside a two-car garage behind a Seattle home, producing fresh produce without soil or sunlight and is profitable enough that the co-owner quit his day job.
Wall Street Journal: Amazon Begins Selling Perishable Private-Label Foods
- With little fanfare, Amazon this week began offering for sale coffee under its new Happy Belly label, pitting itself against crosstown rival Starbucks Corp, and also has rolled out bottled Mama Bear baby food.
Huffington Post: Here’s How Congress Plans To Save Food From The Trash
- Legislation introduced Wednesday in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal aims to dramatically reduce the amount of food being wasted in the U.S. and is a companion to legislation by Rep. Chellie Pingree.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
CNN: Obama, Trump throw down on trade
- During a trip to Canada to visit other North American heads of state, President Barack Obama laid into Donald Trump's protectionist trade stance, as the presumptive Republican nominee also fights a public war with the business lobby over the issue.
Reuters: Indonesia watchdog aims to abolish cattle import quotas to fight cartels
- The country’s anti-monopoly agency has proposed abolishing a cattle import quota system and replacing it with tariffs, in a bid to break the stranglehold of local cartels blamed for surging beef prices.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA's enforcement efforts go too far, GOP senators contend
- (Subscriber only) GOP Senators argued that EPA focuses too much enforcement and not enough on assistance, while Democrats disagreed.
Agri-Pulse: Farm Bureau asks court to toss sage grouse land-use regs
- The American Farm Bureau Federation and its Utah affiliate are asking a federal court in Utah to toss out a host of what they say are illegal land-use restrictions hampering ranchers in Western states.
Fortune: The Paradox of American Farmers and Climate Change
- The author notes that farmers are perhaps the segment of the population most affected by climate change - yet a significant number of them don’t believe in it—especially the notion that it’s man-made.
Kansas City Star: Wanting to kill wild pigs itself, Missouri bans public hog hunting
- The Missouri Dept. of Conservation wants to do the job itself on state lands, using tools like the BoarBuster.
CNBC: Flooding in West Virginia impacts state's agriculture
- The state Agriculture Department said the full extent of the damage to the farm sector was still being tallied but cattle and hay will probably be the most affected.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Des Moines Register: Farmer: I broke immigration laws and paid for it
- An Iowa dairy farmer, with only a handful of employees, describes what happened after Homeland Security showed up on his farm and he learned that he could go to prison, pay huge fines and possibly lose his farm.
Wall Street Journal: What Really Drives Anti-Immigration Feelings
- Research suggests the current backlash against immigration has less to do with jobs and wages and more to do with concerns about national identity and control of borders.
Financial Times: Monsanto in strategic talks beyond Bayer
- (Subscriber only) As Monsanto reported worse than expected third-quarter earnings, the firm’s CEO said he had been in discussions with Bayer’s management along with others, but appeared to stress a strategy of forming joint ventures and making smaller acquisitions over a takeover.
Wisconsin Public Radio: Lawmakers To Study Rural Broadband Expansion Program
- A legislative committee will begin studying whether the state’s broadband expansion program is helping businesses grow and create more jobs in rural areas.
The Daily News: Robotic milkers attract hundreds to Attica farm
- The author says the machines are like something out of science fiction, but the cows love it.
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