Daily Harvest -- 8/15/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Missouri members of Congress speak out on WOTUS
- (Audio) Members of Missouri’s congressional delegation were at the state fair this week to talk about problems they see with the proposed rule by the EPA regulating waters of the United States.
Des Moines Register: Fed: Iowa farmland values may have "plateaued"
- Farmland values in Iowa and other parts of the Corn Belt have likely "plateaued," the Federal Reserve Bank said Thursday after acreage prices posted a modest increase during the second quarter of 2014.
NASDAQ: Midwestern Farmland Values Flatten as a Hot Market Cools
- Farmland values in the U.S. Midwest remained mostly stagnant in the second quarter, the latest sign of a slowdown in the market after a multiyear boom, according to Federal Reserve reports on Thursday.
Reuters: Slow pace of rail recovery stirs fear of future woes
- More than eight months after an extreme winter began snarling North American rail traffic, a Reuters analysis of industry data shows delays lingering, raising the risk of a second winter of chaos on the rails.
San Francisco Chronicle: Pigs, cows and votes: Candidates try for farm cred
- For candidates in the Midwest, almost nothing tops a photo opportunity with a barnyard animal or a colorful anecdote about life on the farm.
Durango Herald: Food stamp use up in rural areas
- Jon Bailey, director of rural public policy program for the Center for Rural Affairs, authored the report, which examines the use of food stamps, now called SNAP benefits, from 2008 to 2012.
CBS: People preparing now to avoid another winter propane crisis
- Experts say last winter's propane crisis took everyone by surprise, and there was no playbook on how to handle it. They say now, people have a better idea what should be done before winter rolls back around.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Bloomberg: California Raspberries Hit Most by Russia Sanctions, AmCham Says
- Californian raspberries and cherries are the U.S. foodstuffs most affected by Russia’s counter-sanctions, according to Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.
Forbes: Got Soy Milk? Not Consumer Reports, Which Throws Science Under The Bus In Warning About GMO Soy
- Jon Entine: Heavy metals are a new obsession on the green left, particularly on alternative product sites that try to scare people into buying ‘natural’ products that are often untested, useless or worse.
Nature World News: Introducing Genetically Edited Crops: the Alternative to GMOs
- Experts are trying to promote the recent creation of Genetically Edited Organisms (GEOs) as a preferable alternative to gene-insertion-based Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: NPPC insists that Japan eliminate pork tariffs
- In a letter sent today to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) asked U.S. negotiators on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to insist that Japan eliminate its tariff system for pork imports.
The Moscow Times: Putin's Import Bans Disappoint Hopes of Renaissance for Russian Agriculture
- Russian politicians have declared the recent bans on Western imports a golden opportunity for Russian agriculture — but farmers and economists warn that upping production is a question of years, not months, and closing the market will not be enough to solve its problems.
Wall Street Journal: Cloud-Seeding Can’t Save China’s Farmers from Serious Drought
- Nearly every year, drought conditions pop up somewhere in China, often accompanied by an official warning that it’s the worst in 50 years or even a century.
Wall Street Journal: EU to Compensate Farmers Hit By Russian Import Ban
- The European Union next week will start a program to compensate farmers particularly hard hit by Russia's ban on imports of European fruit and vegetables, the first step in what will likely be a broader drive to cushion the blow to producers.
Financial Times: EU to pressure Egypt and Turkey on Russia food embargo
- Egypt and Turkey are set to join Latin American nations in facing heightened diplomatic pressure from the EU, which insists they should not take advantage of Moscow’s food embargo against European producers.
New York Times: Russia’s Import Ban Creates ‘Huge Opportunity’ for China Growers
- Russia’s recent ban on most food imports from Western countries has presented a “huge opportunity” for Chinese producers, a general manager at one of China’s major exporters said this week.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Bloomberg: El Nino’s Delay Spurs Memories of 2012 When It Never Came
- In 2012, forecasters and researchers entered the summer convinced an El Nino would form in the equatorial Pacific and its weather-changing effects would be felt around the world.
New Haven Register: Researcher working to develop ladybugs as ‘biopesticide’
- A company in Ibaraki Prefecture began selling the new ladybug as a new type of “biopesticide” in June.
Los Angeles Times: In a decaying resort area, a pot war erupts
- A coalition of growers and activists is pushing a plan that it says would promote reasonable, regulated and limited growing of medical cannabis.
San Francisco Chronicle: Ebola puts focus on drugs made in tobacco plants
- It's an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: The drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned into living pharmaceutical factories.
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