Daily Harvest -- 8/18/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Walker, Fiorina and Graham look for competitive edge in crowded GOP field
- Three Republican presidential hopefuls tried to woo Iowa caucus goers and burnish their conservative credentials at the Iowa State Fair today, with mixed results.
Reuters: Cargill buys Norwegian salmon feed maker Ewos for 1.35 bln euros
- U.S. agribusiness firm Cargill Inc said on Monday it will buy Norwegian fish feed maker Ewos in a deal worth 1.35 billion euros ($1.50 billion), allowing private equity firms Altor and Bain Capital to cash in after two years' ownership.
The New Republic: Corn Wars
- If China hopes to feed (and pacify) its growing population while also loosening the very real stranglehold that America has on its national food supply, its farmers have to start producing a lot more corn.
Quartz: The new frontier for Big Agriculture is aquaculture
- The latest sign comes from a bid by Cargill, the agriculture giant, to buy a leading Norwegian salmon-feed supplier for just shy of €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion).
Bloomberg: Fish Farming Becomes Bigger Business Than the Open Sea
- For the first time, the world is eating more fish from farms than from the open sea, spurring billions of dollars of takeovers as one of the largest food companies seeks to capitalize on rising demand.
KCCI: Poultry producers plan for possible return of bird flu
- Iowa poultry farmers are bracing for the possibility that bird flu will return this fall when wild birds migrate, but they hope the disease won't return.
KCRG: Iowa Farm Bureau issues bird flu impact study
- The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation released study results Monday indicating the avian flu outbreak in Iowa cost producers nearly 8,500 jobs and nearly $427 million in lost revenue when the disease forced the depopulation of 34 million birds on 77 farms earlier this year.
Chicago Tribune: Crop-insurance claims jump after weather curbs planting
- Insurance claims filed by U.S. farmers for crops they couldn't plant have jumped 48 percent this year, government data show, the latest indication of how adverse weather is curbing production of corn and other crops.
DTN: Insurance Industry Seeing More Mergers as Profitability Declines
- The crop insurance business is catching up in the merger, acquisition and consolidation departments. Wells Fargo sent a signal last week that it is looking to sell its crop insurance arm, Rural Community Insurance Services.
LA Daily News: California’s Clean Energy Jobs Act fails to create promised green jobs
- Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean-energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.
Forbes: Riding the Energy Wave to the Future
- This week’s yuan devaluation was big news, but it’s really part of a much bigger saga. Events around the globe are combining to create huge economic change over the next few years. We are watching giant, multidimensional chess games played by some master players.
Reuters: Ethanol acts as lone bright spot amid China commodity gloom
- Recent news from China makes depressing reading for commodities producers, with a slowing economy, tumbling stock prices and a currency devaluation all signaling weaker demand.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Gouda news: Maine's cheese making boom continues sharp rise
- The number of retail cheesemakers in the state grew from 40 in 2010 to 80 this year, state officials said. And applications for more licenses are in the pipeline.
Rapid City Journal: High beef prices fueling rustling revival in Plains states
- Cattle prices have been at record levels, and reports of missing or stolen cattle have followed. The nearly 5,800 livestock reported as such in Texas in 2014 was the most in five years, and the value of the animals — in excess of $5.7 million — the most in a decade.
Washington Post: Blue Bell to resume distributing ice cream to select markets
- Blue Bell Creameries will resume distributing ice cream to select markets in Texas and Alabama this month after halting sales and production following listeria contamination.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Chicago Tribune: Chicken war shows free trade threat to Vietnamese farmers
- Farmers such as Tuyen say the only way American companies can undercut Vietnamese poultry prices is if they export chicken at artificially low prices or ship damaged meat to the Southeast Asian country.
Chicago Tribune: Zimbabwe stocks shelves with corn that most struggle to buy
- In January, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's government reversed a ban on private imports of corn as a drought looked set to slash harvests. Poor Zimbabweans like Jessica Musoni will struggle to afford it.
Reuters: Damage from Tianjin blasts keeps John Deere factory closed
- Deere & Co.'s John Deere said on Sunday it has suspended operations near the Chinese port of Tianjin indefinitely after huge explosions there last week killed more than 100 people and injured some of the company's 1,300 workers.
Reuters: Cuba on edge as drought worsens
- Cuba put its civil defense system on alert on Monday due to a year-long drought that is forecast to worsen in the coming months and has already damaged agriculture and left more than a million people relying on trucked-in water.
New York Times: A Fading Tradition in Spain Gets an Unusual Boost: Shepherd School
- Mr. Jordana said he was still coming to terms with the idea that shepherding could be taught in a school and rewarded with a certificate delivered by the regional ministry of agriculture. “It used to be just something that you learn from your dad,” he said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Interior Department sets seed strategy to restore damaged land
- The Interior Department released a National Seed Strategy to restore wildlife landscapes, especially for land damaged by rangeland fires, as well as invasive species, severe storms and drought.
Washington Post: Records: California plans taking land for huge water tunnels
- State contractors have readied plans to acquire as many as 300 farms in the California delta by eminent domain to make room for a pair of massive, still-unapproved water tunnels proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to documents obtained by opponents of the tunnels.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
San Diego Union Tribune: Committee to review CA immigration bill
- A bill that would grant work permits and temporary deportation relief to farmworkers living in California without authorization will undergo fiscal analysis by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Indianapolis Monthly: So You Think You Can Farm?
- Farming can be prohibitively expensive, labor-intensive, high-risk, and usually all three. Survival often requires going against the grain—sometimes literally. Here, a beginner’s roadmap based on three recently sprouted farmsteads.
Times Union: Rain Crow Ranch temporarily shuts down processing plant
- A Missouri beef processor has shut down, leading to shortages of its grass-fed beef as well as heritage-breed pork and pasture-raised chicken for the St. Louis groceries and restaurants that sell and serve them.
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