Daily Harvest -- 8/7/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Trump takes heat as GOP rivals try to break out
- Donald Trump came out combative in the first Republican presidential debate and drew boos right off the bat by refusing to pledge his support for the eventual GOP nominee if it's not him.
Agri-Pulse: McConnell rules out shutdown, wants earlier tax extenders
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flatly ruled out a government shutdown this fall but was less certain on when Congress would revive a series of expired tax benefits, including biofuel credits and the popular Section 179 expensing allowance.
Agri-Pulse: USDA sets hearing to consider California Milk Marketing Order
- USDA will kick off a public hearing on Sept. 22 to consider setting up a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for California.
Wall Street Journal: Cargill Swings to Loss on Charges, Sluggish Emerging Markets
- Agricultural conglomerate Cargill Inc. said it plans some sweeping changes to the way it produces food as it grapples with rapidly shifting consumer tastes.
Ag Web: Kansas Cattle Inventory on the Upswing After Drought Years
- After several years of drought, the number of cattle on Kansas feedlots has been increasing, according to federal data.
Des Moines Register: Des Moines to host Democratic debate
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol Industry Celebrates a Decade of the RFS
- (Audio) The first Renewable Fuel Standard was signed into law on Aug. 8 2005 as part of the Energy Policy act and Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says he remembers that day very well.
Associated Press: Gov. Rauner signs bill assigning wind farm control to state
- Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a bill that transfers regulatory control over wind farm projects from counties to the state.
Wall Street Journal: Despite Glut of Oil, Energy Firms Struggle to Turn Off the Tap
- Despite all their spending cutbacks and idle drilling rigs, American energy producers are finding it hard to turn off the taps that have helped lead to a global glut of oil.
The Guardian: Is the Caribbean a paradise for renewable energy?
- What motivated Derek to get into solar power? Was it a desire to be green or combat climate change? “Climate change? I don’t even know what that is,” he says. “I just didn’t want to depend on the power company.” Electricity is expensive in Barbados. Derek bought a solar kit including one panel for $100.
New York Times: Coal Industry Wobbles as Market Forces Slug Away
- “Clean coal” remains an expensive and thus far impractical pipe dream. Coal is the world’s biggest source of carbon emissions by far and the leading culprit in global warming. Coal advocates like Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky senator and Republican majority leader, have accused the president of an out-and-out “war on coal.”
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Weekend of National Farmers Market Week approaches
- USDA is celebrating its 16th annual National Farmers Market Week, which started Aug. 2 and runs through Aug. 8, with Saturday and Sunday- the most popular days for markets-just around the corner.
Wall Street Journal: Big Changes in Food Industry Turn Activists Upside Down
- Three years after the old Kraft Foods split in half with the backing of activist investors, one of the activists is suggesting those businesses ought to reunite. The move is a testament to the seismic changes that have turned the food industry upside down in that short time.
Des Moines Register: Des Moines schools expand free meals program
- Des Moines Public Schools is expanding its free meals program this school year to offer more school-wide free breakfast and lunch.
Wall Street Journal: Coffee Disconnect Is Brewing
- A growing number of coffee roasters that deal in small farm-produced and best-flavored coffees are leaving the traditional, and more volatile, futures market, which they say has become so disconnected from their business models that it is no longer useful to manage risk.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Russian "food crematoria" provoke outrage amid crisis, famine memories
- Russian government plans for mass destruction of banned Western food imports have provoked outrage in a country where poverty rates are soaring and memories remain of famine during Soviet times.
Reuters: Chinese pig farms hit by new pollution regulations
- Chinese local governments are using tough new environmental rules to shut down or relocate pig farms, contributing to a sharp fall in hog stocks and a surge in domestic pork prices, government and industry bodies said.
Los Angeles Times: Negotiators hope to wrap up Trans-Pacific Partnership talks this month
- After a disappointing round of talks ended last week in Hawaii without resolution, negotiators of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership are hoping to meet later this month to try again to wrap up one of the world's biggest free-trade agreements.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: California Drought Dries Up More Than the Crops
- Rice farmers last year idled 140,000 acres when they realized they could make more money selling off their water rights than they could working their crops. So much for their employees. In Farmer Ted’s valley, over 22,000 acres of wine grapes were destroyed last year due to a glut in the market. They’re being replaced by almonds.
West Central Tribune: Frustration over water rules continues
- Look for lengthy litigation in the courts over the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Waters of the United States rules, some progress on country of origin labeling, and continued frustration over finding money for conservation programs that were approved in the farm bill.
Bloomberg: Making Water More Liquid
- People have been puzzling over how to share water for as long as civilization has existed: No one really owns the stuff. It refuses to be tamed, cycling restlessly from air to land to sea. In some times and places it’s precious, in others excessive.
Associated Press: Puerto Ricans Face Punishing Drought Amid Economic Slump
- Puerto Ricans are learning to live without water on an island that already was suffering an economic crisis.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Valley Public Radio: Central Valley Farmers Adapt To New Heat Protection Rules For Farmworkers
- Thousands of farmworkers travel all over the Central Valley on a daily basis to pick crops under some very hot weather. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports farmers now have to comply with new regulations to avoid heat illness and deaths among workers.
Bloomberg BNA: Questions Certified on Washington Farm Labor Contractor Law
- The Washington Supreme Court must decide the applicability of the state's farm labor contractor law to a class action involving former orchard workers before the appeal of a $1 million award can be decided, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Aug. 5.
Lafayette Journal and Courier: Take a closer look at Purdue's first hemp farm
- Turco, a professor of agronomy at Purdue, and a team of researchers planted in June Indiana's first industrial hemp in 80 years. Although derived from the same plant family, hemp contains a fraction of the THC — the plant's psychoactive ingredient — found in marijuana. It was legalized for research purposes at universities and state institutions of agriculture in a 2014 federal farm bill.
The Oregonian: Marijuana growers warned not to use illegal pesticides -- which is nearly all of them
- The Oregon Department of Agriculture is warning marijuana growers to stop using illegal pesticides, while the state scrambles to put together a list of acceptable chemicals.
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