Daily Harvest -- 7/29/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces first investments in Rural Infrastructure Fund
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the first round of investments in rural infrastructure projects through the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, which was created just over a year ago.
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers seek to change Medicare payment requirements for rural hospitals
- A House Ways and Means subcommittee met Tuesday to discuss two Medicare payment requirements that the panel's Republicans called "bureaucratic red tape" for rural hospitals.
New York Times: Future Unsure for Troubled New Mexico Green Chile Production
- Green chiles have defined New Mexico for generations, gaining fans and fame around the globe. However, as this year’s harvest begins, labor shortages, shrinking acreage, drought and foreign competition have hurt production in the state.
WRAL: US expects to pay farmers $191 million for birds lost to flu
- The U.S. government expects to spend $191 million to pay chicken and turkey farmers for birds lost to avian flu, Vilsack said Tuesday as he called for Congress to consider a disaster program for poultry producers similar to that for other livestock farmers.
Des Moines Register: Vilsack: More effective bird flu vaccine in the works
- Racing for ways to prevent another massive bird flu outbreak, Vilsack said the federal government is pushing ahead a new vaccine that's more effective in protecting birds and looking to build in better disaster protections for the industry.
Agri-Pulse: Solid economic year awaits ethanol plants
- (Subscriber only) A moderately big U.S. corn crop on the way, combined with soaring gasoline demand, spells an economically steady year ahead for U.S. ethanol plants.
Agri-Pulse: Senate panel starts 'mega-markup' of energy reform bill
- (Subscriber only) The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee started its markup on a broad energy bill today, only finishing about a third of the 94 amendments that senators submitted for consideration.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Export Momentum
- (Opinion) The Washington news isn’t all bad these days: Republicans and some Democrats are working hard to gather enough votes to repeal the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil.
Miami Herald: Interstate gas pipeline re-routed to avoid fragile NY forest
- A section of the planned Constitution Pipeline, designed to bring natural gas to New York City and New England, has been redrawn to avoid a 1,000-acre private forest with fragile wetlands.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Stabenow's COOL Legislation Guarantees Retaliation
- COOL is a program that has had no benefit to U.S. beef producers or consumers and it violates our trade agreements. Regardless of how you measure impact: demand, price, or consumer trust; COOL fails them all.
New York Times: How Changing Attitudes Went Along With a Drop in Calories
- America had its misgivings about excess weight, even as it packed on the pounds.
NPR: Cheap Eats: A Cookbook For Eating Well On A Food Stamp Budget
- Brown guessed that she could help people in SNAP find ways to cook filling, nourishing and flavorful meals. So she set out to write a cookbook full of recipes anyone could make on a budget of just $4 a day.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: ASA supports livestock industry TPP concerns
- (Audio) Animal agriculture organizations are expressing concerns about TPP negotiations and the need for key concessions regarding market access in different countries for products including beef, pork, poultry and dairy.
Reuters: Dairy trade impasse holding up Pacific trade deal
- The United States, Canada and Japan have to make concessions on dairy trade before a wider Pacific trade deal can be wrapped up, New Zealand's agricultural trade envoy said on Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal: Australia Seeks Sweeter Sugar Deal From Trans-Pacific Partnership
- As final talks for the 12-nation trade deal take place, Australia looks to boost sugar exports to North America.
Wall Street Journal: Small Businesses Bear Burden of Ex-Im Bank Shutdown
- Political opponents have managed to shut the U.S. Export-Import Bank for most of the summer by arguing it rewards politically connected corporate giants. But the bank and its supporters say the burden of the agency’s shutdown for now will hit small businesses.
Reuters: French farmers' protests trigger European tensions
- The European Commission called on France to ensure goods could flow freely through Europe on Tuesday after French livestock and dairy farmers this week blocked imports from German and Spanish producers in a growing row over prices.
Reuters: Obama Says Aid to Farmers Cuts Child Stunting Across Africa
- U.S. President Barack Obama, wrapping up a visit to the continent of his father's birth, toured an Ethiopian factory making baby food on Tuesday to show how investment in farming can cut hunger and stunting.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
US News and World Report: Ohio City Detects Lake Erie Toxins That Led to 2014 Crisis; mayor says water safe
- Toledo has detected the first signs in Lake Erie of the dangerous toxin that resulted in a water crisis last year that left 400,000 people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan without safe tap water for two days.
Yahoo News: Oregon Governor orders state agencies to reduce water consumption
- Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday ordered state agencies to reduce water consumption as the West Coast state languishes under an ongoing drought that is also prompting water-use limits and warnings in neighboring California and Washington state.
Washington Post: The way we pay for wildfires could be making them worse
- The federal government hasn't had enough money to pay for fighting wildfires in at least a decade. And its patchwork method for paying for the fight could actually be causing more fires to happen.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Christian Science Monitor: FDA cilantro ban: Why cilantro from Puebla, Mexico is prohibited in the US
- News that some Mexican farm workers have been relieving themselves in fields of cilantro bound for American tables may worry consumers. But it also raises health issues for the farmworkers.
The Californian: New coalition supports T&A farm-worker housing
- Twenty-four hours before Tanimura & Antle’s farm-worker housing project was to get its first hearing before the Monterey County Planning Commission on Wednesday, a newly formed coalition of agriculture, business and community activists rallied in favor of the 800-person apartment project.
Washington Post: Scientists find the single letter in corn's DNA that spurred its evolution
- About 10,000 years ago, the tough greenish husks surrounding the teosinte plant's golden grains disappeared, and it began its long evolution into what we now call corn.
Reuters: DuPont sees 'challenging' months ahead as farm sales weaken
- Chemical and crop company DuPont (DD.N) said the remainder of the year would be "challenging," as a strong dollar and persistently weak demand for its farm products continue to chip away at sales.
Wall Street Journal: BP Swings to Second-Quarter Loss on Lower Oil Price, Deepwater Horizon Deal
- BP swung to a $6.3 billion loss in the second quarter, with low oil prices and a massive charge for settling the Gulf of Mexico spill battering profit as the company tries to chart a forward course.
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