Daily Harvest -- 8/8/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Lucas, Conaway ask USDA to restore grain inspections at Vancouver port
- House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting he restore grain inspection services at the Port of Vancouver in Washington State.
Agri-Pulse: FSA Administrator Garcia retires
- USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan Garcia is retiring after 37 years with USDA, the agency announced today.
Wall Street Journal: USDA's World Cotton Price Nears Level to Trigger Loan Assistance
- A closely watched international price for cotton has fallen to just above a threshold that triggers U.S. government loan-repayment assistance to farmers.
National Journal: Is It Too Soon After the Recession to Roll Back Food-Stamp Programs?
- States with high unemployment are rejecting a federal option that makes food stamps more accessible.
Washington Post: How rural poverty is changing: Your fate is increasingly tied to your town
- It’s the kind of poverty that can affect anyone who finds themselves in a place when the native industries disappear, as they have in Southeast Colorado and other rural areas across America.
DTN: AGs Press EPA: Interpretive Rule Seen as Invalid
- Fifteen state attorneys general have asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to withdraw a rule that even agency officials have said created confusion in the agriculture community.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: FutureFuel cites EPA renewable fuel delay for falling profits
- Delayed federal guidelines on the amount of renewable fuel the nation must use again crimped Clayton-based FutureFuel Corp.’s earnings, the company said Thursday.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Bloomberg: World Food Prices Drop to Six-Month Low on Grain Supplies
- Global food prices fell to a six-month low in July as costs for grain tumbled on prospects for ample harvests, the United Nations said.
Wall Street Journal: The GMO Fight Ripples Down the Food Chain
- "Non-GMO" is one of the fastest-growing label trends on U.S. food packages, with sales of such items growing 28% last year to about $3 billion, according to market-research firm Nielsen.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Russia food ban offers big opportunity for Brazil
- Russia's ban on many western food products presents a massive opportunity for meat and grain exports from agricultural powerhouse Brazil and a smaller one for its Latin American neighbors.
Washington Post: Western farmers take hit from Russia food ban
- Although the U.S., Canada and the European Union together will take more than a $17.5 billion hit from the one-year ban, Russian consumers may feel it more than Western farmers.
The New York Times: Russia Sanctions Itself
- The sad truth of the tit-for-tat sanctions that Russia has imposed against the West is that they will hurt Russians far more than they will hurt Westerners.
Reuters: Russian bans to have no impact on grain exports – minister
- Russian bans on various food imports from the United States and the European Union will have no impact on the country's massive grains exports, agriculture minister Nikolai Fyodorov said on Thursday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Michigan ag taking proactive water quality steps
- (Audio) Following on the heels of last week’s toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie that shut down water supplies in Toledo, Ohio, Michigan’s livestock and crop producers this week announced proactive steps on water quality issues.
Los Angeles Times: California's severe drought unchanged despite record thunderstorms
- A series of thunderstorms that have hit California in recent weeks may have delivered devastating torrents of rain in some areas, but on the whole they were "inconsequential" in terms of easing the state's worsening drought, according to a report issued Thursday.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: WH eyes limits of immigration powers
- Top administration officials are trying to determine how far President Obama can act on immigration reform through executive action while remaining on the right side of the law.
Agri-Pulse: USPS releases farmers market stamps
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe at a ceremony today to launch the release of new Farmers Markets Limited-Edition Forever stamps.
The Hill: Alexander beats back Tea Party challenge
- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) easily survived his Tea Party challenge on Thursday, dealing a final blow to conservative insurgents who hoped to oust a Senate incumbent this cycle.
Agri-Pulse: Walsh pulls out of Montana Senate race
- (Subscriber only) Sen. John Walsh of Montana has pulled out of the general election, weeks after allegations surfaced that the Democrat had plagiarized a research paper while at the U.S. Army War College.
The Hill: EPA taps new No. 2 in staff shuffle
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Lisa Feldt as acting deputy administrator on Tuesday, replacing the outgoing second in command.
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