Daily Harvest -- 8/4/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Report: U.S. cowherd to grow by more than 3 million head
- The U.S. cow-calf industry will grow by over 3 million head in the next four to six years, according to a report released Monday by Rabobank, an agribusiness research firm that monitors and evaluates global agricultural markets.
Agri-Pulse: Court rules Idaho 'ag gag' law unconstitutional
- The U.S. District Court of Idaho has ruled that the state's so-called ag gag law, which criminalizes surreptitious videotaping at an agricultural operation, is unconstitutional.
Post Bulletin: How big is too big for dairy farm?
- The heart of a disagreement about whether a family on a dairy farm should be allowed to build a large milking facility is differing ideas about what's best for farming and the environment.
NPR: Wanted: More Bulls With No Horns
- About 85 percent of milk sold in the United States comes from Holstein cows born with horns, but it's standard practice for farms to remove horns to prevent injury.
Insurance Journal: OneBeacon Sells Crop Agency to Amtrust, Exits Crop Insurance Market
- OneBeacon Insurance Group is exiting the crop insurance business, making it official with the sale of its exclusive managing general agency – Climate Crop Insurance Agency – to AmTrust Financial Services.
Scottsbluff Star Herald: 2015 wheat harvest rushing to finish line
- Most producers who haven’t already wrapped up the season, expect to complete the annual task by the end of the week — barring any more interruptions.
Wall Street Journal: Farmland Investments Take Root
- Farmland is attracting growing interest from pension plans, hedge funds and even mom-and-pop investors as they seek to diversify assets and capitalize on an agriculture-industry slump that has pushed down land prices in some regions.
CNBC News: Three charts explaining Obama's energy regulations
- Obama’s Clean Power Plan is expected to reduce dependence on coal, pushing companies toward greener energy sources, including natural gas and renewables.
Wall Street Journal: The U.S. Digs Itself Into a Hole on Vital Minerals: Lisa Murkowski
- (Opinion) The United States is turning the tables on the global oil market, going from one of the largest importers of crude oil to a country that could and should export it, thanks to an energy renaissance that has made America the largest oil producer in the world.
Wall Street Journal: A Clean-Energy Breakthrough: Fred Krupp
- (Opinion) With the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan now final, the era of unlimited carbon pollution from U.S. power plants is finally coming to an end.
New York Times: President Obama’s Tough, Achievable Climate Plan
- (Opinion) President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced on Monday, is unquestionably the most important step the administration has taken in the fight against climate change.
FOOD & NUTRITION
LA Times: L.A. Unified food chief resigns under fire but maintains innocence
- David Binkle, L.A. Unified's food services director who won national acclaim for improving school meals, has resigned following a recent audit that found massive waste, ethical breaches and financial mismanagement under his watch.
Quartz: Golden Rice—a star among GMO foods—has a major study retracted
- Golden Rice, often touted as a shining example of the benefits of genetic engineering, might not be as golden as originally thought.
Business Insider: An unstoppable problem is making it increasingly difficult for the world to produce enough food
- Recent reports suggest changes to the climate - linked to warming, drought and flooding - threaten the way food is produced around the world and lead to higher food prices.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: U.S. sugar producers meet to forge economic outlook and strategy
- American sugar beet and cane growers and sugar processors will polish their strategy and shore up their defenses on several fronts at their annual summer meeting, running through midweek here.
Reuters: Tyson sales growth slows as port disruptions hit beef exports
- Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. meat processor, cut its full-year profit forecast after posting its slowest sales growth in nine quarters as customers overseas refused to accept shipments delayed by West Coast port disruptions.
Forbes: TPP Is Still Alive But Prognosis Is Iffy at Best
- (Opinion) Last week’s failure to close the deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership set the clock ticking. Negotiators are running out of time to reach an agreement and get it ratified by the 12 governments involved.
Wall Street Journal: Supersized Cargo Skips Small Ports
- Now Idaho’s farmers—along with Oregon’s grass seed growers as well as manufacturers and other exporters across the Pacific Northwest—need a new route to the global market.
ABC Rural: Australia's largest single-site dairy to double herd size after being acquired by Chinese-backed consortium
- A deal joining two of Australia's largest dairy farming families, the Moxeys at Gooloogong near Forbes and the Perichs at Bringelly near Sydney, has been finalised.
Mediamax: Boost for cotton farmers
- The Kenyan government has taken the first steps to revive the textile industry with plans to give cotton farmers 750 tonnes of certified seed this year. Its announcement follows the U.S. government’s extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) for 10 years.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA preparing for WOTUS implementation despite lawsuits
- (Audio) The Clean Water Rule, formerly known as the “WOTUS” – waters of the United States – rule is scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month.
Seattle Times: Spokane sues Monsanto over Spokane River contamination
- The city of Spokane is suing the international agrochemical giant Monsanto, which it blames for pollution in the Spokane River.
New York Times: Methane in Atmosphere May Greatly Exceed Estimates, Report Says
- A device commonly used to measure the methane that leaks from industrial sources may greatly underestimate those emissions, said an inventor of the technology that the device relies on.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
WFPL News: Fancy Farm Turnout Shows Labor Opposition To Right-To-Work
- To date, Kentucky supporters of right-to-work laws have run into multiple roadblocks — namely, the Democratic-controlled House and a Democratic governor. But in December, one of those obstacles could disappear when a new governor takes office.
Business Standard: India's real skilling challenge: 263 million farm workers
- As India's economy has developed, the share of the agriculture sector is shrinking, but 600 million people are still dependent on the sector.
NBC News: Farm System: Rooftop Garden Is a Hit at Boston's Fenway Park
- Just above Yawkey Way is a garden that is the envy of everyone who sees it: thousands of square feet of squash, beans, tomatoes, herbs and eggplant.
Reuters: BASF lines up financing for potential Syngenta takeover – sources
- German chemicals group BASF has lined up a loan package from large multinational banks for a potential takeover offer for Syngenta, the Swiss crop chemicals maker, but will bide its time, several people familiar with the matter said.
St. Louis Business Journal: Syngenta investors want more lucrative Monsanto deal: poll
- A recent poll of current and former Syngenta investors has found that they overwhelmingly favor the Swiss agribusiness company negotiating with Monsanto Co. on an acquisition deal.
Fansided: Running down the best sports-themed corn mazes in agricultural history
- Our latest example is a stellar modeling of Rex Ryan’s face from an Upstate New York Farm.
Washington Post: 14 Republican candidates not named Trump did some political speed dating. Here’s how they tried to stand out.
- The two-hour question and answer session in New Hampshire Monday night felt like a round of political speed dating – sans Donald Trump – that came three days before the first televised debate.
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