Daily Harvest -- 8/6/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Democrats walk out on efforts to block Clean Power Plan, clarify pesticide permits
- Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and fellow Democrats walked out of a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meeting held today to consider several bills, including one to block the president's Clean Power Plan and another that would alter Clean Water Act pesticide permit regulations - in an effort to deny Republicans a quorum.
Reuters: Illinois stokes debate over U.S. corn yield
- Grain traders and analysts are putting unusual attention on the second-largest corn producing state because variable weather conditions this spring fueled a wide range of opinions about the condition of its crops.
Reuters: USDA lobbies sugar industry to support Pacific trade deal
- A U.S. Department of Agriculture official on Wednesday used a sugar industry gathering to press the importance of the Trans-Pacific trade pact that U.S. sugar farmers worry could overwhelm the market with excess supplies and hurt prices.
KCRG: USDA data shows thousands of jobs coming in agriculture industry
- According to new data from the USDA there will be 57,900 annual job openings in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields between 2015 and 2020.
Agri-Pulse: EPA Clean Power Plan guarantees legal challenges, frustrates farmers
- (Subscriber only) After a year of battles over the Obama administration's controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP) proposal to limit power plant carbon emissions for the first time, the EPA finalized the plan. What the administration couldn't achieve through cap-and-trade legislation in a divided Congress, it now hopes to mandate through EPA regulation.
Zee Media: Bill Gates to invest $1 bn of own money in clean energy
- The philanthropist Bill Gates is investing USD 1 billion of his own money in clean energy technology over the next five years as he believes that many breakthroughs will take place during the period that will help solve climate change.
Gizmodo: See Where Every US State Gets Its Energy From
- While the goal for the entire country is to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by a third by 2030, as you can see from this map, some states are already getting almost all of their power from carbon-free sources.
New York Times: Liquefied Natural Gas Makes Qatar an Energy Giant
- Natural gas, when chilled to minus 260 degrees, turns into a liquid with a fraction of its former volume. The process has reshaped the natural gas business, allowing the fuel to be pumped onto ships and dispatched around the world.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Dems call in celebrity reinforcements to fight GMO bill
- Hollywood royalty in the personae of actresses Blythe Danner and daughter Gwyneth Paltrow came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to support legislation offered by Senate Democrats that would require labeling of foods containing genetically-modified ingredients.
Agri-Pulse: Food makers seek OK to keep using trans fats
- The food industry is asking the Food and Drug Administration to allow the continued use of partially hydrogenated oils in a wide variety of foods.
NPR: Green Pie In The Sky? Vertical Farming Is On The Rise In Newark
- From the outside, the AeroFarms headquarters looks like any other rundown building in downtown Newark, N.J. It used to be a store, and more recently a nightclub. Now it's a test farm.
Wall Street Journal: Where Grocery Stores Are Rare, Service Is Rarefied
- Some upscale neighborhoods have limited options for grocery shopping, but the few existing supermarkets offer homeowners chic choices and service.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Dairy clouds TPP progress
- (Audio) After a week of meetings on the Trans Pacific Partnerhsip, trade ministers from a dozen nations left Hawaii last weekend with issues still unresolved, but US Trade Representative Michael Froman says they remain optimistic.
Wall Street Journal: In India, Beef Bans Ignite Debate Over Religion and Politics
- In March, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh called for a nationwide prohibition on beef, saying: “How can we accept that cows should be slaughtered in this country? We will do our best to put a ban on this, and we will do whatever it takes to build consensus.”
Reuters: Captured by cotton: Girls duped into "bonded labour" in India's textile mills
- Promising a better life, "agents" have for years visited these poor, rural parts of Tamil Nadu and taken a steady stream of girls and women to work in thousands of cotton spinning mills, part of a textile and clothing industry that is one of India's biggest employers and a major exporter.
Reuters: German agricultural trading group BayWa expands in barley trade
- Leading German agricultural trading group BayWa AG said on Wednesday it was buying German barley trader Evergrain to expand its international malting barley business.
Bloomberg: Europe Readying for Sugar Market Grab When Export Curbs Expire
- European sugar companies are getting ready for a surge in overseas sales when export restrictions end in 2017, opening the door for competition with major producers such as Brazil.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Environmental Health News: Feeding people on our stressed planet will require a “revolution”
- Two renowned scientists—Stanford's Paul Ehrlich and UC-Berkeley's John Harte — argue that feeding the planet goes way beyond food. Revolutionary political, economic and social shifts are necessary to avoid unprecedented chaos.
New York Times: California Fire, Aided by Drought, Defies Tactics to Defeat It
- As firefighters on Wednesday embarked on their sixth day of battling the largest of the many wildfire s that have flared across the state, fire officials said the Rocky Fire, which has grown to consume nearly 70,000 acres here in the northern reaches of wine country, was still nowhere near under control and may not be until perhaps Monday.
Times Union: To bee, or not to bee: This is no bumbling insect audit
- Maine's counting effort is called the Maine Bumblebee Atlas, and it has a budget of about $50,000. The state has been using its website, press releases, newspaper announcements and social media to recruit volunteers — and it's been wildly successful.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: EPA proposes stricter standards for certain pesticide applicators
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing stricter rules for applicators of “restricted use pesticides,” which make up about 5 percent of all pesticides registered at EPA, according to Jim Jones, the agency's assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
Safety and Health Magazine: OSHA issues fact sheet on farm workers and ATVs
- A new resource from OSHA explains how employers can help protect agricultural workers who operate all-terrain vehicles.
Sioux City Journal: Iowa women in agriculture weather ups and downs with family farm
- While Iowa has the third highest number of farms in America, only 8 percent are run by women, compared to 39 percent in Arizona, according to the latest census report. Overall, states in the Northeast, Southwest and West had the largest concentrations of women-run farms.
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