Daily Harvest -- 7/2/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: As farmers flex social media muscles, food groups express fears
- (Subscriber only) What happens when farmers start using social media and new communication strategies to tell their side of the food production story? Apparently, they start to get under the skin of some food and environmental groups who are suggesting that those doggone food producers have apparently gone too far.
Agri-Pulse: Dairy MPP sign up underway
- (Audio) Enrollment for the 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program is officially underway.
Monterey Herald: Monterey County ag generates $8.1 billion a year, report says
- Even in the midst of a historic drought, agriculture in Monterey County, California, generates $8.1 billion a year for the local economy and more than 76,000 jobs, according to a report released Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal: Deere, Potash Face a Glutted Market
- Agricultural prices face a 10-year bear market, says the OECD. That is bad news for companies supplying tractors and fertilizer.
Washington Post: Drones to deliver medicine to rural Virginia field hospital
- The research mission is expected to be the first federally approved flight of its kind.
Agri-Pulse: Senators encourage unified federal policy on biomass
- A bipartisan group of senators led by Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., are urging the USDA, EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) to uniformly recognize and support biomass energy as a sustainable and economically significant energy source.
Wall Street Journal: Venezuela’s Biggest Oil Refinery Confronts Challenges
- Amuay faces cash-flow problems, chronic shortages of replacement parts, frequent mishaps and the risk of worker injuries.
Oregon State University News: Rising fossil fuel energy costs spell trouble for global food security
- In an analysis of food preservation and transportation trends, scientists warn that new sustainable technologies to preserve, store, and transport food products will be needed to avoid food shortages in the future.
Reuters: Discovery brightens solar's future, energy costs to be cut
- Scientists in Switzerland announced a clean-energy breakthrough on Wednesday; a cheaper, solar technology that splits water molecules to create clean-burning hydrogen fuel.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: BRAC founder named 2015 World Food Prize Laureate
- Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder and chairman of BRAC - a 40-year old anti-poverty organization that focuses on empowering the poor, and in particular women and girls - was named the 41st World Food Prize Laureate Wednesday during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
Washington Post: Big Corn vs. Big Sugar could have a sweet outcome for taxpayers
- (Opinion) The Corn Refiners Association, headed by giant grain processors such as Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, is taking aim at the federal sugar subsidy program — which shares both Ex-Im’s birth year, 1934, and its propensity for wasting resources and distorting markets.
Washington Post: Pizza farms offer reverse twist in farm-to-table movement
- As the farm-to-table movement connects more consumers with local farmers, some farms have shortened the distance between the plow and the plate with pizza parties.
Wall Street Journal: JBS to Buy Cargill’s U.S. Pork Business for $1.45 Billion
- Brazil's JBS S.A, the world's largest meatpacker, said Wednesday that its U.S-based subsidiary Swift Pork Co. has entered in an agreement to buy Cargill Inc.’s pork businesses in the U.S. for $1.45 billion.
NPR: Communities Get A Lift As Local Food Sales Surge To $11 Billion A Year
- There's a renaissance in local and regional food, and it's not just farmers markets in urban areas that are driving it.
Forbes: GMOs: Symbolic For What's Wrong With America's Food System?
- (Opinion) USDA has already developed a voluntary government certification and labeling program for foods that are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but the issue continues to cast a large shadow over the food and beverage industry.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USDA, USTR announce new members of trade advisory committees
- USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced the appointment of 129 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs) late Tuesday.
Reuters: Meat and dairy to eclipse biofuel in agriculture demand - FAO/OECD
- Changing diets in emerging countries will boost global demand for meat and dairy products in the next 10 years, shifting grain supply towards livestock feed as use of crop-based biofuel is curbed by lower oil prices, the FAO and OECD said.
Wall Street Journal: Global Dairy Prices Hit a Six-Year Low in Auction
- International dairy prices fell to a six-year low in the overnight GlobalDairyTrade auction for July 1, an international trading platform established by New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-Operative Group.
Wall Street Journal: Brazil Ready to Meet Growing Global Demand for Food, OECD Says
- Country’s land use for major crops is projected to increase 20% by 2024, the Paris-based organization said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Washington Post: Is it endangered? More study for alligator snapping turtles
- Federal protection may be needed for three amphibian species and seven reptiles, including the hard-biting, spiky-shelled alligator snapping turtle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says.
Forbes: Saving California's Drought-Plagued Agriculture: More Crop For The Drop With GMOs
- (Opinion) Genetic engineering to produce crop varieties that are drought-tolerant or that have a smaller “water footprint” in other ways could help to ameliorate the state’s historic drought.
Wall Street Journal: Snow Drought Saps Washington State’s Economy
- The May 1 reading of zero snowpack in the rugged range northwest of Seattle was the lowest since records there began in 1948, and came as statewide snow accumulations totaled a paltry 16% of normal.
LA Times: Recycled oil field wastewater is clean, Chevron test results show
- Results of the most recent testing of recycled oil field wastewater that Chevron sells to Kern County farmers for irrigation showed no traces of methylene chloride, an industrial solvent that had appeared in previous testing conducted by a clean water advocacy group.
New York Times: Cuba’s Environmental Concerns Grow With Prospect of U.S. Presence
- Some are worried about the effects that a flood of American tourists and American dollars might have on Cuba's pristine coral reefs, mangrove forests, national parks and organic farms — environmental assets that are a source of pride here.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Many but not all in GOP object as US, Cuba plan embassies
- Loud but hardly universal catcalls from Republicans underscored the obstacles and opportunities ahead as U.S. and Cuban leaders announced an opening of embassies in Havana and Washington and a resumption of diplomatic relations severed the year President Barack Obama was born.
TIME: Macy’s Is Cutting Ties With Donald Trump
- Macy’s said on Wednesday it was phasing out its Donald Trump line of menswear as a result of the Republican presidential candidate’s derogatory comments last week about Mexican immigrants.
St. Louis Business Journal: Peabody Energy CFO leaving; successor named
- Peabody Energy CFO Michael Crews plans to leave the St. Louis-based company by the end of July to take the top financial position “at a major industrial firm.” Amy Schwetz will assume his role and the executive vice presidency.
Baltimore Sun: Maersk Line resumes service to Baltimore
- Maryland officials welcomed the blue-hulled ships of the giant Maersk Line back to the port of Baltimore on Wednesday after an absence of nearly two decades.
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