Daily Harvest -- 7/18/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: EPA official admits RFS process taking longer than it should
- An official with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) that the renewable fuels standard (RFS) is still important to the agency despite the delayed rollout of the 2014 standard.
Agri-Pulse: AFBF isn’t buying EPA’s defense of ‘Waters of U.S.’ proposal
- Although EPA has been trying to ease controversy surrounding the agency's proposal to re-define “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the effort has had little effect on the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
Agri-Pulse: House passes conservation easement tax break
- The House of Representatives passed a bill today that provides tax breaks for charitable giving, including an enhanced tax incentive for conservation of farmland and other open areas.
Agri-Pulse: USDA makes available $13 million to aid organic certification
- (Subscriber only) USDA is making available $13 million in 2014 Farm Bill funding to partially reimburse farmers seeking certification for organic production.
The Hill: USDA withdraws GMO disclosure rule
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is backing down from a GMO disclosure rule that would have provided state regulators with critical information about the genetically modified organisms that farmers use to spray their crops.
The Hill: EPA’s No. 2 leaving for climate group
- Bob Perciasepe, deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will resign next month to lead an energy and climate advocacy group, the agency announced Thursday.
Kansas City Star: Pat Roberts’ years in Washington are both advantage, vulnerability
- GOP primary challenger Milton Wolf has mounted a serious insurgency, based almost entirely on criticism of Roberts’ years in the nation’s capital.
Insurance Business America: $2.2 billion agriculture loss in California may shift crop insurance purchases
- A combination of high insurance premiums and infrequent loss events has led a significant number of California crop insurance clients to limit their purchases to catastrophic crop insurance (CAT) policies only, shunning more robust offerings like yield or revenue coverage.
Agri-Pulse: USDA, DOE announce funding for biofuel feedstock improvement
- USDA and the Energy Department today announced the selection of 10 projects that are being awarded funding aimed at accelerating genetic breeding programs to improve plant feedstocks for the production of biofuels, biopower, and biobased products.
Los Angeles Times: Mayor at center of Dakota oil boom is optimistic about troubles
- The oil boom in the Williston Basin has brought with it thousands of people from out of state, but infrastructure, housing and essential services haven't kept pace.
Asbury Park Press: Feds open 344,000 acres of sea floor for wind power
- Wind energy advocates cheered the news Thursday that some 344,000 acres of sea floor off Long Beach Island and the southern Jersey Shore will be opened to wind power development, while skeptics worried about the impact on migratory birds, as well as whether the turbines would be visible from the beach.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Des Moines Register: Cargill to end use of growth-promoting antibiotics in turkey
- Cargill said independent farms that supply it with turkey would stop giving the birds growth-promoting antibiotics.
San Jose Mercury News: Sysco to pay nearly $20 million in improper food storage settlement
- A major food distribution company has been ordered to pay nearly $20 million in fines and restitution after an investigation revealed the company was improperly storing perishable foods.
Yahoo: Scientists unlock genetic blueprint of wheat
- The genetic blueprint of wheat has been deciphered for the first time, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could lead to improved plant breeding and protection against disease and drought.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
The Economist: Stressed are the cheesemakers
- A group has sprung up to fight the European threat: the Consortium for Common Food Names. Negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed free-trade deal between the EU and America, may stumble over the issue.
Wall Street Journal: South Korea to Scrap Rice-Import Caps
- South Korea said on Friday it will scrap rice-import caps starting next year, opening its market for the staple grain to foreign competition for the first time.
Reuters: China seeks to build railways in Brazil to ship out commodities
- Brazil hopes that during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping it can boost ties with its biggest trade partner beyond the exchange of commodities for manufactured goods, but that may be wishful thinking.
Reuters: Trading firms' dispute with Monsanto threatens soy sales in Brazil
- An impasse between U.S.-based Monsanto Co and soybean buyers in Brazil over royalty payments on a new seed technology may complicate the country's sales of the upcoming oilseed crop.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: California agriculture facing greatest water loss ever
- (Audio) A new study from University of California, Davis shows the current drought is the most severe on record and is responsible for the greatest loss of water ever seen for California agriculture.
Reuters: 'Peak soil' threatens future global food security
- The challenge of ensuring future food security as populations grow and diets change has its roots in soil, but the increasing degradation of the earth's thin skin is threatening to push up food prices and increase deforestation.
Breitbart: 'Farm Animal Sex' Sign Tries to Scare Off Housing Development
- Residents of a rural area in Florida are fighting a proposed housing development by putting up signs warning their potential new neighbors about what really goes on at farms in Englewood.
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