Daily Harvest -- 7/14/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for July 14, 2016
- House ready to OK biotech bill. Also: Spending bill curbs EPA enforcement of ChesBay TMDL; downer calves will have to be euthanized; key lawmaker calls for U.K. trade pact; U.S. takes on China export duties for magnesia.
Agri-Pulse: Ag groups say USDA laid an egg with organic welfare rule
- The comment period for USDA's proposed organic animal welfare standards expires at midnight July 13, having drawn nearly 6,000 comments since the draft rule was announced in April.
Agri-Pulse: White House: Obama to sign 'bipartisan' GMO disclosure bill
- The White House confirmed that President Obama will sign the GMO disclosure bill that is expected to receive final congressional approval from the House on Thursday.
Agri-Pulse: Senators form new caucus to support rural broadband
- A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators has formed the Senate Broadband Caucus to focus on strengthening broadband infrastructure and deployment across the country.
Hoosier Ag Today: Rural Banks Feeling Farm Economy Pressure
- Three years of lower farm income has small bankers on notice. Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank executive director Esther George said this week, “I wouldn’t say we’re in a crisis, but we are seeing signs of underperforming loans.” She suggested the Fed should consider raising interest rates now.
Agri-Pulse: After the expiration of the RFS comment period, now what?
- (Audio) The comment period for the 2017 blending levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard closed on Monday, but Randall Doyal with the Renewable Fuels Association says the group will maintain its push for higher volumes.
The Hill: House chairman: Energy bill unlikely before election
- A conference committee working to combine House and Senate energy bills likely won’t finish its work before November’s elections and will probably yield a stripped-down reform package, a top negotiator said on Wednesday.
Ars Technica: The amount of energy needed to run the world’s economy is decreasing on average
- According to a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the world is getting better, on average, at using energy to power its economic activity.
Bloomberg: Energy Storage Would Get U.S. Tax Credits in Bipartisan Bill
- Energy storage would gain access to the same tax incentives that helped make renewable energy the biggest new source of electricity in the U.S. last year under a bill introduced in the Senate.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: 10 great places to eat in Philadelphia, for convention-goers and the rest of us
- Anyone attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at month’s end is bound to discover that the City of Brotherly Love ranks among America’s best food cities: No. 6, by my reckoning.
Supermarket News: Organic Seed Growers withdraw from OTA
- The organic farmer-controlled Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) has withdrawn its membership from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) after “a small number” of OTA board members endorsed the Senate bill that would preempt state-based GMO labeling laws such as Vermont’s recently implemented mandate.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Economist says 'Brexit' unlikely to affect global food balance
- The United Kingdom's decision to pull out of the European Union may have major impacts for both the U.K. and the remaining EU members but isn't likely to have significant effects on the United States or other countries, three experts said here today.
Agri-Pulse: US, Iraq sign agreement to boost rice trade
- U.S. and Iraqi officials today signed a memorandum of understanding to boost U.S. rice sales to the Middle East country over the next six months, the USA Rice Federation said.
Agri-Pulse: Traders' "secret sauce" threatened by CFTC plan, House Ag told
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's efforts to regulate algorithmic trading fall short of practical rulemaking, a panel of experts told the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday.
Nature: Scientists fuming over new pick to lead French agriculture agency
- French president François Hollande said on 4 July that he envisaged nominating Mauguin, which prompted an online petition and a flurry of protests by INRA staff and associated researchers. But their efforts to thwart the appointment failed. The cabinet is expected to rubber stamp the decision on 20 July.
Wisconsin Ag Connection: USDA seeks women -- but also men -- for Ag Trade Mission to Hong Kong, China
- Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor will lead the September trade mission.
Candy: Olam predicts major issues beyond 2020 for smallholders
- In recent years, the confectionery industry has spent millions of dollars to create a sustainable cocoa supply chain by investing in smallholders and cocoa-producing communities — but the Olam Livelihood Charter says it's not enough, that smallholder productivity across Africa, Asia, and South America will be massively hindered by a lack of access to finance, equality for women and climate change impacts.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Oshkosh Northwestern: Omro farm helps Monarchs flourish
- An Omro dairy farm is one of a number of farms around the state working to help the butterflies flourish.
Inside Climate News: Number of Americans 'Alarmed' by Climate Change Rises in Latest Poll
- More people say they will vote for candidates who support action on climate change, but the gap between them and those dismissive of the issue has grown larger.
AP: Lawsuit goes after dams to aid fish
- More than two dozen dams operating in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana are harming bull trout and violating the Endangered Species Act, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies says.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
WECT: Columbus County (N.C.) farm worker charged in hog heist
- He was charged with larceny of swine, as well as two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, in connection with the alleged theft from the Evergreen farm.
USDA Awards More than $26 Million for Affordable Farmworker Housing
- The funding will support 439 rental units in California, Florida, Kansas and Texas.
Monterey Herald: Celery harvesters win $1 million in sexual harassment lawsuit
- Two celery harvesters who worked for Jackpot Harvesting on and off from 2007 until 2011 reached the settlement against a labor contractor after a jury found in their favor, their California Rural Legal Assistance attorneys announced Tuesday.
Reuters: Fed policymakers say immigration key to leaving rut of slow growth
- Two top U.S. central bankers jumped into the debate over immigration this week with surprising candor, with one calling for engagement in what he said would be "a horribly difficult debate" so as to ensure better economic growth.
Agri-Pulse: FFAR announces $100,000 prize for ag research
- The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) today announced its first major initiative - and it's a doozy: a $100,000 prize to be awarded annually to a mid-career scientist.
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: On the Farm: Women breaking grass ceiling in agricultural fields
- But women are still struggling to find an equal playing field when it comes to farming.
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