Daily Harvest -- 7/14/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: GMO bill altered to restrict milk labeling, regulate 'natural foods'
- A GMO regulation bill set for approval in a House committee Wednesday has been changed to ensure that milk could only be certified as non-GMO if the cows are fed non-biotech grain.
Agri-Pulse: WOTUS will be a major topic at NCBA summer conference
- (Audio) Waters of the United States is scheduled to be implemented at the end of August, but a flood of lawsuits is attempting to stop that from happening.
Agri-Pulse: Walker's conservative stance extends to agriculture
- The latest Republican to seek his party's presidential nomination, Scott Walker has a well-earned reputation as a fiscal and social conservative. The two-term governor of Wisconsin, the nation's No. 2 milk-producing state, is a firm believer in lower taxes and less government in all sectors including agriculture.
Bloomberg: Deere Machinery Sales Face Pressure From Corn, Soybeans
- Sales at Deere & Co. and other agricultural-machinery makers will continue to come under pressure from crop prices, despite the rally seen in recent weeks, Bloomberg Intelligence said.
Los Angeles Times: Deadly citrus disease found in San Gabriel Valley
- A deadly bacteria that can decimate citrus has been found in the San Gabriel Valley, the second such discovery in three years, according to agricultural officials.
ABC: Boating groups raise concerns over ethanol, while EPA proposes Renewable Fuel Standards
- The United States is always looking for ways to decrease dependence on foreign oil and help the environment. To meet these goals, the Environmental Protection Agency recently released standards on the percentage of renewable fuel that must be blended into gasoline from 2014 through 2017. But it seems, no one is happy with them.
Financial Times: Cheap oil endangers poorer nations’ switch to renewable energy
- After oil prices started edging back up above $100 a barrel at the start of this decade, a Canadian gold mining company called Iamgold decided it was time to try something new: solar power.
Wall Street Journal: Energy Companies to Merge in $15.8 Billion Deal
- A partnership controlled by Marathon Petroleum Corp., a refinery and pipeline company, will buy MarkWest Energy Partners LP for $15.8 billion in one of the biggest oil-patch deals since crude prices began to slump last summer.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA proposing that grocery delivery services accept SNAP
- USDA announced today a proposal to allow homebound seniors and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to use their benefits for grocery home delivery services.
Washington Post: Justice Dept.: Food companies risk prosecution for outbreaks
- Following a deadly listeria outbreak in ice cream, the Justice Department is warning food companies that they could face criminal and civil penalties if they poison their customers.
Wall Street Journal: How Can Big Food Compete Against Fresher Rivals?
- The top five food and beverage companies in the U.S. logged an aggregate sales increase of 1.4% over the past five years, while total U.S. packaged food and beverage sales rose 11.4%, according to Credit Suisse analysts.
Chicago Tribune: Edible bugs are all the buzz
- Scientists have discovered that more than 1,900 species of insects are edible. Most Americans might gag at the thought, but in Asia, Africa and Latin America, insects are treats and can even be more expensive than meat, according to "The Insect Cookbook."
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: New UN guidance on parasite could boost US pork exports, NPPC says
- A United Nations standard-setting body for food safety has issued new guidance that the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) says could lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in increased exports of American pork products.
Reuters: Thailand approves $1.8 billion in loans for farmers hit by drought
- Thailand has approved loans of up to 60 billion baht ($1.77 billion) to support farmers affected by drought, the finance minister said on Monday.
Washington Post: Iowa businessman convicted of fraud over halal beef exports
- A prominent Iowa businessman was found guilty Monday of falsifying documents as part of a scheme to export beef to Malaysia and Indonesia that didn’t meet those countries’ strict slaughter standards.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: California Drought Leaves Few Farmers Unscathed
- As holders of some of the oldest water rights in California, many farmers and ranchers here in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have never had their spigots turned off, a fate many of their counterparts in the parched state have endured.
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.
The Washington Times: Company plans to test new technology to vaporize hog waste
- A company plans to start testing new vaporizing technology on hog waste produced at the Sandy River Farm in Conway County this month.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
KUNC: Changes To Farmworker Housing Rules Worry Farmers, Advocates
- Many of the more than 3 million migrant farm workers that plant and pick the fruits and vegetables we eat in the U.S. live on the farms they work for. But the rules governing farmworker housing may be changing, worrying both farmers and migrant worker advocates.
Kansas City Star: Southeastern Illinois company says it's growing marijuana
- Illinois' medical marijuana program reached an important milestone Monday with the announcement that at least one of the authorized companies has started growing plants.
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