Daily Harvest -- 8/20/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Southerland bill would undo WOTUS
- (Audio) Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida is sponsoring legislation that would prohibit the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from extending federal regulatory powers through the “waters of the Unites States” proposal.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces funding to turn commodities into value-added products
- USDA today announced $25 million in funding intended to help rural businesses grow, diversify, and create jobs in the department's ongoing effort to support local and regional food systems.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Regulators Summon Two Rail Operators Over Crop-Transport Delays
- Federal regulators have called a hearing over two major railroad operators in the U.S., on fresh concerns over transportation snarls that have delayed the transport of crops in the upper Midwest and have saddled grain companies with higher shipping costs.
Bloomberg: Soybeans Decline as Rains Seen Boosting Bumper U.S. Crop
- Soybean futures fell in Chicago as a crop tour signaled larger yields in U.S. Midwest growing areas and rains this week are expected to boost the harvest. Corn and wheat rose.
The Hill: Rep. Polis to join Fat Tire brewer to back EPA water rule
- Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will join the Colorado-based brewery behind Fat Tire to promote the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to redefine its jurisdiction over bodies of water.
Wall Street Journal: Crop Tour Predicts Indiana Corn, Soybeans to Surpass Last Year's Harvest
- Indiana's soybean crop will outpace last year's production, according to an average of survey results collected in the state by scouts on a closely watched crop tour.
Scientific American: 49 Plants That Could Make Biofuel Less Troublesome
- Scientists searching for the next big energy-producing biofuel, something such as switchgrass that power plants could burn to make electricity and reduce their carbon emissions, have a very fussy wish list.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Farmer Veteran Coalition recruits states to promote products ‘Homegrown by Heroes’
- FVC, which supports veterans returning to or beginning careers in the farming industry, is working to expand the Homegrown by Heroes (HBH) program launched this year in every state and beyond farmers markets.
Bloomberg: Food Stamps' $80 Billion Mystery
- But after the U.S. Department of Agriculture lost a court case in January, in which it opposed telling the public which businesses get all that money, the government is reconsidering: This month it said it would think about revealing how much money individual retailers receive.
Christian Science Monitor: Food costs up, energy costs down as inflation rises slightly
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday that the Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent in July. One of the major drivers of the inflation increase was rising food prices, but they were offset by a dip in energy prices.
Wall Street Journal: Rough Times for Florida’s Signature Beverage
- As Americans shun the breakfast table for quicker, more portable alternatives, one former morning star is dimming: orange juice.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Fortune: Heinz recalls baby food in China after contamination scare
- China’s quality control police have struck again, this time nailing H.J. Heinz Co for excessive traces of lead in some of its baby food products.
RT: Govt approves fines for improper GMO labeling
- The Russian cabinet has approved the bill introducing heavy fines for businessmen who violate the rules on obligatory marking of foodstuffs containing genetically-modified products.
Reuters: Ukraine to lose 15 pct of grain crop in violence-hit regions
- Ukraine will lose 15 percent of its grain crop in two violence-hit regions in the country's east, a spokesman for Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said.
Reuters: As risk of drought rises, Australian farmers struggle to invest
- With a recurrence of El Nino, the weather pattern behind the drought, looming and dry conditions already affecting an area larger than South Africa, another major drought could be one struggle too many for farmers such as the Kendals.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: Economists Say South Asia Will Pay ‘Prohibitively High’ Price for Climate Change
- South Asia—with so much of its population destitute and dependent on the land for their livelihoods—stands to suffer “severe” economic and physical consequences from climate change, according to a report released today by the Asian Development Bank.
The Hill: Green groups look for compromise on sage grouse
- Environmental groups are looking for a compromise in a fight with energy developers over protections for the greater sage grouse.
The Hill: Mitch McConnell's Agriculture absences raise questions
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has touted his work for Kentucky farmers on the campaign trail, but back in Washington, he has a trend of skipping out on Senate Agriculture Committee hearings for events unrelated to his home state.
Roll Call: Peterson’s Greatest Challenge Yet, but GOP Still Looks to 2016
- Minnesota Democrats think Rep. Collin C. Peterson is nearly unbeatable in the 7th District. For the first time in more than a decade, that theory is about to be put to the test.
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