Daily Harvest -- 7/1/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Growers cut corn, wheat, cotton plantings
- Farmers seeded less than 89 million acres of corn this spring, the fewest since 2010, and slashed cotton acreage by 18 percent, the Agriculture Department says.
Agri-Pulse: Keepseagle v. USDA: The Case Continues
- (Opinion) Do you remember the class action litigation Keepseagle v. USDA claiming discrimination against Indian farmers and ranchers?
Nature: Super-muscly pigs created by small genetic tweak
- A South Korean and Chinese team are hopeful their genetically modified “double-muscled” pigs – made by editing a single gene – will give regulators only a short pause before the pigs are approved for human consumption.
Genetic Literacy Project: Failed GMO wheat trial only fits anti-GMO narrative if you don’t understand science
- (Opinion) The ‘failure’ of a genetically modified wheat field trial is not a ‘failure’ at all, in the conventional sense.
Telegraph-Forum: 695K signatures delivered for Ohio pot farm proposal
- Brace yourself for a potentially confusing fall ballot with two competing marijuana proposals: One would legalize 10 pot farms, and another would prohibit such monopolies in the state constitution.
Government Executive: Agriculture Secretary Links Small Business Goals to Larger Agenda
- USDA received an “A” on its contracting score card this week and Sec. Tom Vilsack is touting the high mark as a result of a strong focus on rural America, smart spending and a commitment to minority rights.
Agri-Pulse: Moving from fossil fuels to renewables 'at no net economic cost'?
- (Subscriber only) The International Energy Agency (IEA) argues that existing technology can halt the growth in the energy sector's global-warming carbon emissions by 2020 and do so without harming global economic growth.
Agri-Pulse: Bioenergy conference highlights progress and opportunity
- (Audio) Bioenergy was the topic of a conference held last week by the Department of Energy where biofuels starred.
New York Times: Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet
- Sometime this summer, a United Airlines flight will take off from Los Angeles International Airport bound for San Francisco using fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths a year, study says
- Scientists are asking people across the globe to lay off sugary drinks, linking the consumption to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year, including more than 25,000 Americans.
TIME: This Kind of Food Is Why America Is So Fat, Study Says
- A new study found both body weight and supply of high-calorie foods had increased in 56 of 69 countries since 1971.
Burleson Star: Federal judge rules Maui County ban on GMO crops invalid
- The county, which is a major center for research on genetically engineered crops and home to both Monsanto and Dow Chemical research farms, will abide by the decision, a spokesman said.
Wall Street Journal: Online Grocer Ocado Pushes Its Technology
- The brainchild of three former Goldman Sachs bankers, the Ocado Group, thinks it has found the answer to selling groceries online.
Washington Post: The key fact Americans are finally starting to understand about cheese
- Because cheese is an agricultural product, it’s seasonal.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
India West: R. Paul Singh Named World Agriculture Prize Laureate
- An Indian American professor at the University of California, Davis has been named the 2015 Global Confederation for Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences World Agriculture Prize laureate.
Reuters: India's next weapon against climate change? The heat-tolerant dwarf cow
- A team of researchers is now promoting a switch to Vechur and Kasargod cattle, two local varieties known for being easy to raise, resistant to diseases and – most importantly – better at tolerating high temperatures than the more popular crossbred cattle.
Irish Farmers Journal: EU Health Commissioner says current gridlock on GMO decisions must not continue
- EU Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, has called on EU negotiators to engage in talks on reforming rules on the use of GM animal feed imports, saying the current gridlock must not continue.
Wall Street Journal: Foreign Brands Losing Luster in China
- China’s 1.34 billion-plus consumers are filling their shopping baskets with Chinese-branded toothpaste, laundry detergent, juice, cookies and more, according to a new study from consultancy Bain & Co.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Climate Change: Scientific and Spiritual Matter
- (Opinion) Pope Francis decries a “throwaway culture” and calls for “swift and unified global action” to combat environmental degradation and global warming.
University of Illinois News: Study: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food security
- A study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.
Up North Live: Agencies release $60M plan for Asian carp detection, control
- Government agencies plan to spend nearly $60 million over the next two years in the battle to prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, where scientists say they could unravel food chains and harm native fish.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: U.S. and Cuba agree to open embassies and restore diplomatic relations
- In the most significant move yet toward normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the Obama administration said Tuesday that the two had agreed to open embassies in each other's countries.
LA Times: Pope plans to speak on immigration, religious liberty during Philly visit
- During two whirlwind days in Philadelphia in September, Pope Francis will speak about immigration and religious liberty outside Independence Hall and visit inmates at the city's largest prison.
New York Times: In St. Louis, an Urban Farmer Uses a Rooftop and Food to Spur Renewal
- While Urban Harvest STL’s undertaking represents the first roof farm in downtown St. Louis, over the last few years precursors – designed to spur community development and urban revitalization – have sprouted in New York, Seattle, Chicago and Milwaukee.
ABC News: Ex-Iowa Egg Farm Manager Gets Probation After Assisting Feds
- A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak.
Wall Street Journal: ConAgra Plans to Exit Private Brands
- ConAgra Foods Inc., under pressure from an activist investor, said it plans to jettison its struggling private-label business less than three years after spending $5 billion to buy it.
Des Moines Register: The carefully calculated mash-ups of new state fair foods
- State fairs are about deep-fried cherry gummy bears dipped in vanilla batter, topped with powdered sugar on a stick (thanks, Ohio) or deep-fried beer (big of you, Texas) and deep-fried bologna on a stick (why, Minnesota?).
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