Daily Harvest -- 7/8/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Crop conditions and progress better
- (Audio) The progress and condition of the nation's corn and soybean crop seem to be rebounding somewhat, but there still are some troubled areas due to the wet weather.
Washington Post: U.S. poultry farmers’ rights are under siege: Willie Nelson, Marcy Kaptur
- (Opinion) The story of the modern poultry industry is one of corporate consolidation, where companies such as Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim’s Pride and Koch Foods exert almost complete control over farmers.
U.S. News & World Report: General Mills plans major move toward cage-free eggs in update to animal welfare policy
- The Golden Valley-based company committed itself to 100 percent cage-free eggs for its U.S. operations.
Business Insider: Scientists found a gene that could make it easier to feed more than half the world's population
- Finally, researchers think they may have a solution: GMO rice that's been modified to have longer, hardier grains that cook faster and taste better.
Agri-Pulse: Battery storage breakthroughs accelerate the race to renewables
- (Subscriber only) Calling Tesla not just a car company but an "energy innovation company," Tesla's founder Elon Musk unveiled his cost-cutting Powerwall and Powerpack battery systems earlier this year, designed to "move the electricity grid off of fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources."
Reuters: TerraForm to buy wind farms in North America for $2 billion
- TerraForm Power, a unit of SunEdison, said it would buy 930 megawatt of wind farms in the U.S. and Canada from Invenergy Wind for $2 billion. Invenergy will retain 9.9 percent stake in U.S. assets.
Watertown Daily Times: NY energy company fined $1.25 million
- A suburban New York energy company has been fined $1.25 million for lying to more than 25,000 customers about savings on their bills.
Bloomberg: China Extends Xinjiang Oil Block Bids to Non-State Companies
- China is spurring competition in oil and gas exploration, which has long been dominated by state-owned companies such as China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corp.
Wall Street Journal: Power Companies Are Overcharging U.K. Customers, Government Probe Finds
- Britain’s six biggest power companies have been overcharging customers by about 5%, a U.K. government investigation said Tuesday, releasing a report that blamed green-energy subsidies, a lack of competition and transparency and ineffective regulation for higher prices.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA pushed to delay trans fat phase-out
- (Subscriber only) House appropriators are pushing back on the Food and Drug Administration's efforts to remove trans fats from the food supply and reduce sodium consumption.
Agri-Pulse: Want ethical food produced in an ethical manner?
- (Opinion) The Wall Street Journal reports that Nestle USA is enjoying a boom in sales of bottled water to homeowners. At a time when unease about the environment, climate change, and "sustainability" is at a peak, this enterprise can't help but raise a red flag.
NPR: Why Sit-Down Meals May Be Just As Unhealthful As Fast Food
- Even if you're not counting your calories, date night at that restaurant down the street is still a more healthful choice than McDonald's, right? Don't count on it.
Washington Post: Twinkies are not just back from the dead. Their baker may now be worth billions.
- In 2012, Hostess was bankrupt, with plans to slash more than 18,000 jobs and close its doors for good amid a crippling nationwide strike. Then, in 2013, a snack-cake savior appeared.
Forbes: Can Shake Shack Be The Next Chipotle? Here Are The 14 Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chains
- From San Diego-based burger joint Jack In The Box to comeback chicken chain Popeyes, these 14 chains posted at least 5% growth in the latest quarter.
The Hill: GOP has knives out for school lunch rules
- First lady Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch regulations are coming under fresh fire from GOP lawmakers, who view impending reauthorization legislation as their best chance yet to dial back the controversial nutrition standards.
Civil Eats: Can the Ingredient Supply Chain Keep up With The “Non-GMO Tsunami?”
- Can the supply of non-GMO grains and ingredients meet the exploding demand? Industry experts say yes.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: West Coast Ports’ Import Share Falls in Wake of Slowdown
- West Coast ports’ share of container imports fell to 45% in May, down from 51.5% a year ago, as the effects lingered from massive delays earlier this year, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
International Business Times: Russia Equates Processed Food To Alcohol; Likely To Ban Advertisements Of Items With High Saturated Fat, Sugar And Salt
- Russian lawmakers are likely to pass a bill that would make it nearly impossible to promote food with high saturated fat, salt and sugar content.
New York Times: Global Poverty Drops Sharply, With China Making Big Strides, U.N. Report Says
- Dire poverty has dropped sharply, and just as many girls as boys are now enrolled in primary schools around the world.
The Globe and Mail: Supply management is about more than ‘the powerful dairy lobby’: John Morriss
- (Opinion) The real political issue goes beyond the interests of the dairy farmers themselves – it’s whether we want Canadian milk on Canadian tables.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
USA Today: Protect forests too much and they go up in flames: Rob Bishop
- (Opinion) What has made our nation's forests so sick? We did.
LA Times: Rock fall at Yosemite National Park could alter popular Half Dome climb
- A popular climbing route at Half Dome in the Yosemite National Park may have been altered after part of the iconic granite monolith's face collapsed last week, officials said Tuesday.
Agri-Pulse: Help us explore the Rural Route to the White House
- We know the roads you travel and we think your next president should too. That's why we've launched a new series, “The Rural Route to the White House,” designed to cover the 2016 presidential campaign with a special focus on issues important to agriculture and rural America.
Agri-Pulse: Obama rural campaign veterans bearish on 2016 election
- For years, major Democratic candidates for the nomination competed aggressively for farm and rural votes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case today.
Agri-Pulse: Clinton says climate change is one of the biggest threats
- Billed as an organizing event, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination seized the opportunity to compare and contrast her views with those of the Republican candidates.
Agri-Pulse: Clinton, O'Malley weigh in on clean, renewable energy
- When organizers of the Iowa Ag Summit asked presidential candidates earlier this spring to talk about their positions on farm and rural issues, there was only one thing missing: Democrats planning to run for president.
Agri-Pulse: Rubio outlines plans for innovation-friendly economy
- GOP presidential contender Marco Rubio spoke at a non-profit technology center for start-up companies today and outlined his “innovation agenda” that he said would revitalize the U.S. economy and create new job opportunities.
Wall Street Journal: Jimmy Carter’s Early Life on a Georgia Farm
- The former U.S. president recalls working the fields and what he learned from being a plowman.
Observer: Verlyn Klinkenborg Is Selling the Farm
- For nearly 16 years in the pages of the New York Times, Verlyn Klinkenborg documented the vagaries of life on his small upstate farm as though he were filing dispatches from a foreign land. Now, he’s hoping to put the farm up for sale in the next few months.
Business Insider: Monsanto CEO says bigger Syngenta break-up fee 'counterproductive': paper
- Agrochemicals group Syngenta rejected a $2 billion payment from its U.S. rival if the proposed takeover failed to get approval from regulators.
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