Daily Harvest -- 8/13/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA crop projections unexpectedly bearish
- Farmers are on track to see the second highest corn yield on record and harvest their third biggest crop ever, the Agriculture Department said in a report that surprised traders and sent market prices falling.
Agri-Pulse: EPA considering limits for widely used insecticide
- Pressure is mounting on the Environmental Protection Agency to ban or further curb the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide widely used to protect crops such as soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, citrus and peanuts.
Agri-Pulse: New crop production forecasts from USDA
- (Audio) USDA is forecasting the third largest corn crop and second largest soybean crop on record. USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson said the season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast is the second highest ever, if realized.
CNBC: Agricultural commodities sink after USDA report
- A bearish U.S. Department of Agriculture report sent corn, wheat, and soybean futures sliding on Wednesday after it revealed harvests came in above expectations.
Associated Press: CHS Inc. pulls plug on planned $3 billion fertilizer plant
- Minnesota-based CHS Inc. says it will not move forward with a planned $3 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern North Dakota.
Charlotte Business Journal: Wells Fargo considers selling crop insurance business
- Reuters reported Tuesday that Wells Fargo is taking the bank’s wholly owned subsidiary Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS) to auction. The sale could bring in more than $1 billion, sources familiar with the matter told the news service.
Huffington Post: Why Green Energy Execs Don't Fear Falling Oil Prices
- Investors are sweating over falling oil prices. Renewable energy executives, somewhat counterintuitively, are keeping their cool.
Washington Post: Wind energy is flowing into D.C., but don’t expect your bill to decrease
- District officials announced Wednesday that the city is now receiving enough electricity from wind power to meet one-third of the local government’s electricity needs under a deal that took effect Aug. 1.
CNBC: Stocks recover from sharp losses as oil rise boosts energy
- U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday, recovering from sharp intraday declines as gains in energy offset earlier pressures from growth concerns.
Business Green: Iranian and Spanish firms sign agreement to boost renewables development
- Sunir, a state-run Iranian electrical equipment exporter, has signed an agreement with Bester, a Spanish renewable energy project developer, to jointly accelerate the development of Iran's renewable energy capacity.
The Guardian: Canadians pull the plug on renewable energy scheme
- The Canadian province of Nova Scotia, on the country’s Atlantic seaboard, has ended a programme which gave citizens an incentive to produce renewable energy.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Ads supporting Pompeo bill to air in Minnesota and Kansas
- The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF) is releasing advertisements in Minnesota and Kansas to encourage support for a bill that would bar states from enacting mandatory GMO labeling laws.
The Times of India: Trans-fat ups risk of mortality by 34%
- A large new review of existing research suggests that for healthy people, a reasonable amount of saturated fat in the diet poses no health risk. Transfats, on the other hand, were associated with an increased risk of death from any cause, death from cardiovascular disease and a diagnosis of coronary heart disease.
Forbes: Do People Care About GM Food Labeling When Shopping?
- In July of this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed controversial legislation blocking mandatory labeling of genetically modified food products. The bill also regulates the use of the term “natural” on food labels in addition to creating a federal “voluntary labeling standard”.
The Packer: GMO targets citrus greening
- Southern Gardens Citrus, a large Florida citrus growing and processing operation, is growing genetically modified fruit that’s resistant to the citrus greening disease.
BBC: India government sues Nestle for $100m over Maggi noodles
- The complaint against Nestle is that it caused damage to consumers through misleading advertisements related to its Maggi noodles product.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Associated Press: Estonia to Cull Pigs to Stop Spread of African Swine Fever
- Estonian authorities say they will cull about 3,700 pigs to prevent the spread of African swine fever.
New York Times: Protecting the Farmers of France
- The wheat harvest is winding down here in northern Normandy, the last region in France to bring in its crops. Farmers here say this promises to be a bumper year, but that doesn’t mean they are happy.
Reuters: European shares rally, bonds fall on China's yuan assurances
- European shares rallied on Thursday after China's central bank said there was no basis for further yuan depreciation after a devaluation this week that has seen the currency slide around 4 percent.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
CNN: Damage to Navajo Nation water goes beyond money
- On the Navajo reservation, the leader of the community of Shiprock worries about the corn, melons, squashes and other crops that could be lost if water from the San Juan River can't be drawn for irrigation.
Wall Street Journal: EPA Contractor Involved in Colorado Spill Identified as Environmental Restoration
- Missouri-based Environmental Restoration LLC was the contractor whose work caused a mine spill in Colorado that released an estimated 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into a major river system, according to an Environmental Protection Agency official and government documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Fox News: Environmental groups, EPA at odds over lasting effects of river spill
- Local citizen and conservation groups are at odds with the Environmental Protection Agency and some scientific observers as both sides evaluate the severity of the yellow-stained waters flowing through three Southwestern states.
Reuters: Puerto Rico seeks U.S. help as drought impact worsens
- As the effects of a drought in Puerto Rico grow more severe, the commonwealth's representative in Congress has called on the U.S. Department of Defense to provide assistance to the island.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: On U.S. Farms, Fewer Hands for the Harvest
- Last year, about a quarter of Biringer Farm’s strawberries and raspberries rotted in the field because it couldn’t find enough workers. Samantha Bond was determined not to let that happen again.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Former Rep. Emerson falls ill with brain hemorrhage, hospitalized in Italy
- Former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, suffered a brain hemorrhage and had surgery while vacationing with her family in Italy, a spokesman for the family said Tuesday.
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