Daily Harvest -- 8/19/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Rain dampens Rubio's message of optimism in Iowa
- After losing ground in the presidential polls over the last month, U.S. Sen.Marco Rubio tried to reinvigorate his sagging Iowa campaign with stops at the Iowa State fair last night and again today.
Agri-Pulse: USDA animal health panel includes Humane Society vet
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named 19 members of his Advisory Committee on Animal Health that will serve through June 2017.
Agri-Pulse: USDA to stockpile avian flu vaccine
- Fearing a return of the avian influenza, the Agriculture Department is moving ahead with plans to stockpile a vaccine ahead of the next outbreak.
Agri-Pulse: Big drop in cotton forecast
- (Audio) USDA is forecasting a big drop in cotton production this year. The production estimate is 10 percent less than the previous estimate and 20 percent lower than last year.
Reuters: Syngenta plans to divest flower seeds unit
- Swiss group Syngenta plans to divest its premium flowers seeds business from its Lawn and Garden operating unit, it said on Wednesday.
Ag Professional: Stinkbugs stir up trouble in more soybean fields
- As the growing season progresses, stinkbugs continue to increase their impact on soybeans. Syngenta is reporting increasing populations of stinkbugs into the Midwest.
The Telegraph: Britain’s shale fracking revolution comes with big risks
- The Government has fired the starting pistol on the latest stage of the race to frack in the UK. In doing so at a time when the world is awash with oil and gas it has taken a massive gamble on how best to meet the country’s future energy needs.
Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Wind-Energy Lobby Gets Blown Away
- The avian symbol of American freedom has beaten the Obama administration and the wind industry in court, though the majestic birds still don’t stand a chance when flying near the subsidy-fueled blades of green-energy production.
Quartz: The UK’s top polluter wants to be its biggest renewable energy producer
- Drax, the biggest power plant in England, isn’t the coal-hungry beast it once was. Half of the plant continues to run on fossilized carbon, and the other half has been converted, in a multi-million pound project, to burn biomass—pellets made from wood.
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
Agri-Pulse: Surveys show support for healthy school meal standards, staff training
- The higher nutrition standards for school meals imposed by the Obama administration retain strong public support, according to a new poll.
Washington Post: Scientists want to use this trick to make your tomatoes tastier
- If you've ever compared a farm-fresh heirloom tomato to the average fruit from a grocery store, you know the latter is a pale substitution. But by slightly tweaking the way tomatoes are prepared for sale, scientists say, they can make them just a bit yummier.
The Hill: New regs for Wednesday: Roaster chickens, flame-retardants and vending machines
- Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register contains news rules from the Food Safety and Inspection Service for roaster chickens, a petition to ban products that contain additive organohalogen flame-retardants and the possibility of new energy efficiency standards for beverage vending machines.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Foreign Policy: Russian Authorities Destroy Geese and Ducklings in Jab at West
- In recent weeks and days, Russian police have stepped up enforcement of a ban on agricultural products imported from the West, resulting in a flurry of absurd headlines as customs officials have confiscated and destroyed a wide variety of foodstuffs.
Newsweek: No More Norwegian Salmon For Russians
- This August, the Russian government plugged the hole that allowed Norwegian salmon and other European delicacies to get to Russian shops.
Reuters: Russia lifts ban on some New Zealand dairy products
- Russia has lifted a ban on some New Zealand dairy imports, loosening restrictions imposed in 2013 as the country experiences a dairy shortage due to its ongoing ban on milk products from European countries.
Bloomberg: Iron Explorer Sells Eggs as Australia Goes From Mining to Dining
- The iron-ore business is so lousy that one Canadian mining company is shelving its biggest project and starting a new venture: selling Australian eggs to China.
Bloomberg: Russia Arrests Smugglers, Urges Informants in Crackdown on Food
- Russian authorities arrested six cheese smugglers and urged citizens to snitch on black-marketeers, raising the stakes in its effort to rid the country of U.S. and European food that President Vladimir Putin banned last year.
Washington Post: Lessons from the destruction of Iraq’s marshes
- The immediate aftermath of the Persian Gulf War saw the unfolding of one of the worst ecological and human catastrophes of the modern era with the destruction of the marshes of southern Iraq.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: Good Soil Is the Key To Good Agriculture
- Opinion: We in agriculture bioscience are collaborating with plant scientists and private industry to develop sustainable microbial nutrients—combinations of yeasts, fungi and bacteria—that replenish soils and help farmers increase yields with fewer chemical inputs.
Reuters: Ongoing drought to cost California $2.74 billion: researchers
- California's ongoing drought will cost the economy in the most populous U.S. state an estimated $2.74 billion in 2015 and lead to the loss of 10,000 seasonal farm jobs, despite overall health in the state's agricultural sector, researchers said.
Reuters: Insecticide linked by some to honey bee die-offs found in U.S. stream samples
- A type of insecticide under scrutiny by the White House because of fears about its impact on honey bees has been found in more than half of streams sampled across the United States, according to a study by government researchers published Tuesday.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Los Angeles Times: As immigration judges' working conditions worsen, more may choose retirement
- Immigration Judge Eliza Klein had more than 20 years' experience hearing cases in Boston, Miami and, most recently, Chicago when a surge of immigrants arrived last summer. In addition to the backlog of cases she already faced, Klein started seeing more Central American youths seeking asylum.
Fox News Latino: Huge immigration backlog taking toll on judges, 100 jurists expected to retire this year
- Federal immigration courts are struggling to review the large backlog of cases that has reached an all-time high, with more than 445,000 pending cases, according to a new report.
NBC News: Marco Rubio: Donald Trump's Immigration Plan is Unworkable
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he does not support ending birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented workers and that Donald Trump's immigration proposal could not pass Congress.
NPR: DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law
- Farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software.
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