Daily Harvest -- 7/6/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Rep. John Shimkus
- (Audio) The Illinois Republican is pleased with the results of the first six months of the 114th Congress, but admits difficult votes lie ahead on spending and regulatory overreach. Shimkus also talks about his position on free trade, the renewable fuels sector and GMO labeling in this Open Mic interview.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: House Republicans take aim at environmental rules
- Lawmakers head into the final stretch before the August recess with a bunch of unfinished business, including fiscal 2016 appropriations bills, highway funding and the country-of-origin labeling law for meat.
Agri-Pulse: White House orders updated biotech regulatory process
- The White House issued an executive memorandum today requiring the USDA, EPA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update their strategy for regulating biotechnology products.
Wall Street Journal: Highway Funding Presents New Test of Bipartisanship
- Fresh off their victory on trade legislation, President Barack Obama and the Republican Congress in the coming weeks will face another test of their ability to work together on an issue important to business: highway funding.
ABC News: Farm Use of Drones to Take off as Feds Loosen Restrictions
- The small, relatively inexpensive vehicles could replace humans in a variety of ways around large farms: transmitting detailed information about crops to combines and sprayers, directing them very precisely to problem spots and cutting down on the amount of water and chemicals that a farmer needs to use in those areas.
CNS News: Federal government to step up bird flu monitoring this fall
- USDA issued a pair of plans aimed at minimizing the impacts on domestic poultry flocks if any bird flu viruses return or mutate in migrating waterfowl and other wild birds.
Agri-Pulse: Biodiesel industry testifies RFS is better but could improve
- (Audio) While ethanol got most of the attention at the recent EPA hearing on the proposed volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard, biodiesel producers had their say as well.
Economic Times: US Republican climate advocate makes $500,000 donation for 2016 presidential campaign
- A Republican entrepreneur seeking to push his party to fight climate change and support clean energy said on Sunday he has given his first big campaign gift to Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Renewable-Energy Fantasy
- (Opinion) President Obama committed the U.S. to the goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, nearly tripling the amount of wind- and solar-generated electricity on the national grid.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Cargill pork assets acquired in $1.45 billion deal with JBS
- JBS USA Pork will purchase Cargill's U.S.-based pork assets in a $1.45 billion agreement, the companies said in a joint release.
LA Times: Whole Foods CEO admits overcharging: 'Straight up, we made some mistakes'
- A week after a New York City investigation found that Whole Foods Market Inc. stores were overcharging for pre-packaged products, the company's co-chief executives admitted pricing mistakes were made.
Wall Street Journal: McDonald’s, KFC Look to Get Faster in China by Adding Digital Pay Option
- McDonald’s Corp. and Yum Brands Inc. are looking to add digital options in China that will make their fast-food sales even faster and win back business after a rough year in the critical Chinese market.
Wall Street Journal: Trans Fats Transphobia
- (Opinion) FDA recently moved to eliminate trans fats from the American diet, and food activists and the public-health lobby are claiming a historic victory. Yet this is a rare case of the Obama Administration regulating from behind. Markets had as much to do with the fall of trans fats as government did with their rise.
New York Times: The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten
- (Opinion) As many as one in three Americans tries to avoid gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Get Ready to Weather the Price of El Niño
- The return of the so-called El Niño weather phenomenon this summer is forcing agricultural commodity players, from wheat farmers in Australia to traders in high rise office blocks in Singapore, to prepare for low crop yields and heightened price volatility.
Financial Times: Yamaha aims to unlock US and EU markets with agricultural drone
- Yamaha, which already sells agricultural drones in Japan, South Korea and Australia, hopes the FAA exemption for the RMax drone in the U.S. will not only unlock this market, but also those in European countries.
FOOD Magazine, Australia: $4 billion investment announced in Agriculture White Paper
- The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper pledged $200 million funding increase for biosecurity across Australia to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally, including in northern Australia.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Groups file complaint over EPA WOTUS rule
- A coalition of 12 groups from a wide variety of industries filed a complaint today against the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers over the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, claiming the new provision goes beyond the intentions of the Clean Water Act.
Agri-Pulse: EPA cooks up barbecue research
- Backyard grillers beware: That barbecue you are planning for the Fourth of July may be hazardous to your health!
Des Moines Register: High nitrate levels plague 60 Iowa cities, data show
- More than 60 Iowa cities and towns have battled high nitrate levels in their drinking water over the past five years, evidence of a contamination problem that reaches across the state, state environmental data show.
Washington Post: Farmers go high-tech in bid to reduce bay pollution
- Farming, that most traditional of livelihoods, has evolved over the years into a high-tech business.
Wall Street Journal: California’s Water Rates Rise
- Millions of Californians expecting relief on their water bills for taking conservation measures instead are experiencing higher rates and drought surcharges.
LA Times: Cities' food supplies are eating into groundwater reserves, study finds
- The study's authors looked at the foods that groundwater is used to grow — and who gets to eat them: rural residents or urban dwellers?
Washington Post: California’s rural poor hit hardest as groundwater vanishes in long drought
- For many Californians, the state’s long drought has meant small inconveniences such as shorter showers and restrictions on watering lawns. But in two rural valleys, farmworkers and other poor residents are feeling its impact in a far more serious and personal way.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: Farm Labor Groups Make Progress on Wages and Working Conditions
- With many farmworkers frustrated by low pay and substandard housing, innovative movements are sprouting across the country to improve wages and working conditions for America’s more than two million farmworkers.
New York Times: Helping Immigrant Farmers Sow Seeds From Home on American Soil
- Once focused almost exclusively on Latino participants, FARMroots is now teaching a more diverse group how to farm in the U.S., with participants from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
Washington Post: Immigrant children given adult dose of hepatitis A vaccine
- About 250 immigrant children were given an adult dose of a hepatitis A vaccine at a Texas detention facility where they were being held with their mothers, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
New York Times: Morton Salt Owner K&S Rejects Takeover Bid From Potash Corporation
- The German potash and salt mining company that owns Morton Salt, K&S, said on Thursday that its board had rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from a Canadian rival, the Potash Corporation, because the offer of about $8.6 billion undervalued the company.
Wall Street Journal: Hot Dog-Eating Champ Matt Stonie Looks Forward to a Rematch
- Matt Stonie, who won the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Saturday after swallowing 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes, took Sunday to ‘rest and digest.’
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