Daily Harvest -- 7/13/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for July 13, 2016
- House ready to clear biotech bill; House debates Interior-Environment amendments; McGovern warns on splitting farm bill; farm groups fear EU pesticide rules would impact trade; weedkillers to get Calif. warning labels; DeLauro warns against lame duck TPP vote; Fast and furious at FFAR.
Agri-Pulse: Cattlemen question NCBA's lobbying efforts
- The U.S. Cattlemen's Association has sent a letter to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association asking why the organization lobbied for rules that would have limited Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to checkoff organizations.
Agri-Pulse: More than 1,100 groups, firms appeal for House passage of GMO bill
- More than 1,100 organizations and companies are appealing to House leaders to pass legislation that would set national disclosure standards for genetically engineered ingredients.
Agri-Pulse: Farm groups offering reluctant support to GMO labeling bill
- (Audio) The House is expected to vote today on a rule to govern debate of the GMO labeling bill currently before the chamber, and ag groups hoping the bill can pass before Congress takes it summer break.
Agri-Pulse: Senate votes to launch energy bill conference with House
- Capping years of committee work and weeks of tough House/Senate negotiations on comprehensive energy legislation, the Senate voted 84 to 3 Tuesday afternoon to convene a conference to reconcile competing House and Senate bills.
Bloomberg: The Value of an Energy Asset Is Deteriorating Underneath Europe
- For decades, one of the most profitable parts of Europe’s energy industry was giant, underground reservoirs used to store billions of dollars worth of natural gas. Traders stockpile fuel there during the summer to sell in winter, when the continent’s consumers need to heat their homes. Not anymore.
Sacramento Bee: Green energy created about 30,000 blue collar jobs in California, study finds
- For years, Elohim Cofield hopped from job to job without landing a stable career that supported him and his family. His luck changed two years ago when he joined an apprentice program that promises steady work at more than $40 an hour installing solar panels and other energy infrastructure.
Seattle Times: Puget Sound Energy agreement to shut part of Montana coal- power plant
- Puget Sound Energy has announced an agreement to close two of its Montana coal-power generating units by July 2022. The Colstrip Generating Station is considered one of the highest-polluting coal plants in the country.
Washington Post: Why Obama's top scientist just called keeping fossil fuels in the ground 'unrealistic'
- White House science adviser John Holdren's comment Monday that it was "unrealistic" to halt fossil fuel extraction altogether in the U.S. may have seemed like stating the obvious. But it has further highlighted the tensions that exist even among top American policy makers and environmental advocates concerned about curbing the rate of climate change.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Chicago Tribune: Will food shoppers really seek out GMO information using QR codes?
- Most shoppers don't use QR codes, according to some consumer data. Opponents of the bill say the food industry-backed legislation is another attempt by Big Food to prevent consumers from knowing whether their food contains GMOs, ingredients derived from crops, such as corn and soybeans, that are bioengineered to resist herbicides and pests.
Wall Street Journal: Robots Eye Jobs in Food Service, Manufacturing
- Manufacturing, food service and retailing are the most susceptible to automation, based on currently available technology, while sectors like health care and education were less likely, according to the report.
Fayetteville Observer: Regional food hub idea greeted hungrily in Cumberland County
- About two dozens farmers, chefs and agricultural experts that make up the Regional Local Food Hub met Tuesday, marking the first time the group has met in Cumberland County. This fall, the group hopes to sell crops grown on local farms directly to local institutions.
Investing.com: GMO Industry: The Dumbest Guys In The Room
- (Opinion) By supporting a deeply flawed GMO labeling bill in the U.S. Congress--some would say intentionally deeply flawed--the industry is about to open a Pandora's Box of PR nightmares for years to come.
Colorado Springs Gazette: Pikes Pub: Big beer labels set to include nutrition, calorie count
- Thanks to a weigh-in by the Washington, D.C.-based Beer Institute encouraging its members to embrace full product disclosure, America’s more familiar suds soon will bear labels that align with those found on grocery store shelves.
ABC Radio: Food computer: How Caleb Harper inspires us to be future farmers
- Caleb Harper’s farm sits in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the size of a shipping container. Here, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, where Harper is now a research scientist, crops like basil, broccoli and even cotton are flourishing under LED lights. He created these “food computers” as a tool for the next generation of farmers.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Financial Times: Tanzania’s farming blighted by lack of modern infrastructure
- Despite all the efforts to transform it, farming is badly lagging, both as a provider of a decent living for rural families and as a driver of economic growth. Agriculture employs three-quarters of the workforce, yet produces only one-quarter of economic output. It contributes to exports, but much of it in unprocessed form.
Lancaster Farming: Brexit Fallout
- It’s probably too early to know how the recent Brexit vote to withdraw Great Britain from the European Union will affect agriculture. But the spread of anti-immigration and anti-globalization sentiment indicated by the outcome could have a lasting impact on U.S. farmers.
Nature: Policy: Five cornerstones of a global bioeconomy
- More than 40 nations are proposing to boost their 'bioeconomy' — the part of the economy based in biology and the biosciences. But conflicting national priorities make it hard to align bioeconomy policies to meet the SDGs on a global scale.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Sacramento Bee: Rice farms receive federal help to provide waterbird habitat
- With habitat for California waterbirds drying up, conservation groups and rice farmers are collaborating to flood fields and enhance waterbird habitat on roughly 550,000 acres of California’s rice fields. NRCS is contributing $7 million, matched by partner agencies, for helping share farmers’ costs of implementing new practices that align rice growing with waterbird needs.
USA Today: House subcommittee hears water debate between fish and farmers
- Whether the temperature management of the runoff of Northern California water reservoirs, including Shasta Dam, results in improved survivability of endangered fish or uncertainty for human water users was debated at a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday.
SCPR: Western Monarch butterfly population has declined 74 percent in past 20 years
- The monarch butterflies along the California coast are dying: Their population is down 74 percent from 20 years ago. But because Western Monarchs aren’t nearly as well-studied as their Eastern counterparts, scientists aren’t really sure what’s killing them.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Daily Coffee News: Coffee Farmworkers: The Next Step, from Research to Action
- Labor is a key factor for the success and viability of the coffee industry, yet farms are currently struggling to recruit and retain field hands due in part to urban migration and low incentives for performing rural work.
Bloomberg BNA: Groups Criticize EPA Funding Bill Ahead of Floor Vote
- Conservation groups, environmental lobbyists and workers rights advocates pushed lawmakers in recent days to strip dozens of controversial riders from legislation (H.R. 5538) that would fund the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department.
CNN: Pence, Gingrich make the final cut in Trump's VP search, sources say
- Also still in the mix: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Trump will likely make the announcement on Friday, the source said.
WAOW: Farmers seeing bountiful crop, low profit
- Farms across Central Wisconsin are lush and green thanks to consistent rainfall, setting the season up for a potential record year in the fields. But that doesn't mean a profit for the ones tending to the crops.
Grand Forks Herald: Hail, rain and strong wind produce woes for Red River Valley farmers
- Kyle Funseth said he has seen hail damage crops in his five years of farming, but nothing like the hail that pummeled his soybean crop Saturday near his home west of Hatton.
Motley Fool: 3 Embarrassingly Cheap Dividend Stocks
- Today, three companies really fit the description of steady dividend payers with oddly low stock valuations: integrated oil and gas companies Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Total SA (NYSE:TOT) and agriculture giant Mosaic (NYSE:MOS).
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