Daily Harvest -- 7/13/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: House panel set to launch GMO labeling bill
- (Subscriber only) A long-anticipated congressional debate over biotech foods kicks off this week as the House Agriculture Committee takes up a bill that would block state GMO labeling laws.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Representative Cheri Bustos
- (Audio) In this informative interview you'll hear her thoughts on congressional consideration of trade agreements and angst against the EPA on implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Bustos wants a long term fix for highway spending and believes the charter for the Export/Import Bank should be renewed.
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling bill set to move next week
- A bill that would block states from requiring the labeling of foods with biotech ingredients will get its first vote next week in a congressional committee.
Agri-Pulse: USDA predicts higher meat and soybean, lower corn production in latest WASDE
- The Department of Agriculture released the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) today, projecting mixed returns in the grain sector but increased total meat production for the remainder of 2015 and the start of 2016.
Agri-Pulse: USDA: 'overwhelming response' on conservation compliance, but some still missing
- The Agriculture Department is trying to track down as many as 10,000 farmers who haven't reported compliance with conservation restrictions, but officials say the actual number of non-compliant farmers is likely much smaller.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: July 10, 2015: House action on appropriations
- (Video) In their first week back after the July 4th recess, the House of Representatives acted on key appropriations bills for agriculture. In this video, Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase discuss the path forward for those bills and the appropriations process as a whole.
New York Times: Court Limits California’s Power to Punish Farmers in Drought
- A judge ruled Friday that California regulators violated some farmers’ rights by telling them to stop diverting from rivers and streams, but the state said it can still punish those who illegally take water during the drought.
Kansas City Star: Shellfish industry, state seek common ground with new panel
- Connecticut's shellfish industry that sees state regulators as heavy-handed is backing an advisory council established by the legislature to seek common ground.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Flex Fuel infrastructure key to U.S. energy independence
- Ponsi Trivisvavet, President, Syngenta Seeds: The Syngenta dollar-per-acre donation supports the Prime the Pump Fund's strategy of aiding high-volume, progressive-minded, industry-leading fuel retailers, who will demonstrate the performance, cost savings and profit opportunity of marketing higher ethanol blends.
Des Moines Register: Green Fields: Pipeline opposition filed in Des Moines
- About 40 people from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition gathered outside the offices of the Iowa Utilities Board in Des Moines on Thursday to submit more than 2,600 written statements opposing plans to build an oil pipeline across Iowa, the Associated Press reported.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: New study looks at cost of ending world hunger by 2030
- A new report says that eradicating world hunger in 15 years will require an additional $160 annually for each person living in extreme poverty.
Washington Post: GMO labeling is at the center of a congressional food fight
- At the center of the conflict is a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) that would block state and local laws from requiring food labels to disclose genetically engineered ingredients.
The Hill: Opinion: Why the strongest science must prevail in nutrition policymaking
- Roger Clemens: When I served on the DGAC in 2010, the committee was the first to leverage the NEL which we used to address the majority of our research questions. As such, our recommendations were mostly adopted by the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with little controversy.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: U.S. weighs completing Pacific Rim trade deal without Canada: sources
- The United States, frustrated over the lack of progress with Canada over new rules for agriculture trade, is weighing "contingencies" that could include completing a Pacific Rim trade pact that excludes Canada, according to two sources familiar with the issue.
Wall Street Journal: Islamic State Squeezes Iraq’s Food Supply
- The government hopes the farm and others like it in the country’s south can fill a gaping food deficit created by Islamic State’s takeover of three northern provinces that produce about one third of Iraq’s grain.
Wall Street Journal: U.S.-Canada Dairy Spat Sours Trade Talks
- Because of a decades-old dispute between the U.S. and Canada, dairy is emerging as the thorniest issue souring final talks to conclude a sweeping trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, linking 12 countries around the Pacific.
Wall Street Journal: Opinion: Ukraine’s Farm Sector Is Growing
- Privatization is only one of the measures under way. Others include deregulation and fighting corruption. Unlike Russia, which in January restricted grain exports, Ukraine is encouraging free trade to unlock its potential.
Reuters: Farmers fight over water as Thailand suffers worst drought in 10 years
- Farmers in Thailand's rice-growing Suphan Buri province are becoming increasingly desperate for water to irrigate their parched fields as the nation, a leading producer of the staple food, suffers its worst drought in more than a decade.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: House passes bill to end 'fire borrowing'
- The House passed a bill, 262-167, Thursday that would reform how the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fund and conduct wildfire suppression and forest management on public lands.
Reuters: Sage grouse flies into U.S. species protection crossfire
- A wildlife protection fight over a quirky ground-dwelling bird highlights how two U.S. environmental groups have increasingly dominated the process of species protection, sparking a backlash from pro-business Republicans.
Reuters: Careful water use could ease climate threats to food: scientists
- Farmers face growing threats to their crops from more frequent drought and other extreme weather in coming decades, but using water more efficiently could help them protect food and water supplies, experts said.
Sacramento Bee: Ballot measure threatens California water tunnels plan
- Amid long-standing controversy surrounding Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two tunnels to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south, one advantage the project appeared to hold was that Brown could forge ahead without a public vote.
Washington Times: Agriculture specialists offering CAFO training session in SD
- Several ag specialists from across the state will be offering an environmental training session for operators of concentrated animal feeding operations.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Modesto Bee: Drought is making matters worse for farmworkers
- Last month, volunteers at a food distribution event in Firebaugh served hundreds of farmworkers out of work because of the relentless drought. Food was provided through emergency drought relief funds. Even the volunteers, like Fidel Fraga, took home food boxes; most had been laid off from their farm jobs.
Yakima Herald: How real is the
farm labor shortage?
- So the term “labor shortage” gets thrown around a lot these days, with percentages ranging from 8 percent to 15 percent to 20 percent attached to describe the gap. But not everyone is convinced that the industry has a labor shortage at all, especially with 8 percent of Yakima County residents receiving unemployment benefits.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces Johansson as Chief Economist
- USDA announced today that Robert Johansson is selected as the USDA's Chief Economist, effective July 12. He has been serving in the role of USDA's acting chief economist since Jan. 3, 2014, after the retirement of Joe Glauber.
Washington Post: Chickens find stately roost at Virginia governor’s mansion
- Behind the butter-yellow mansion that Virginia governors call home, four hens are doing what chickens do — clucking, laying eggs and fulfilling a critical campaign promise.
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