Daily Harvest -- 8/24/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson
- (Audio) In this wide-ranging interview, you’ll hear Johansson’s perspective on the drop in equity markets and commodity prices, countries like China and Brazil lowering their currency values, and the implications of the EPA’s upcoming decision on RFS volume standards for U.S. farm income.
Agri-Pulse: Christie, Jindal draw protests at Iowa State Fair
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kept his cool as two animal rights protesters jumped on stage during his speech at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday.
Agri-Pulse: Cruz pledges to curb 'locust' regulators
- Taking his presidential campaign to the Iowa State Fair, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz promised to rein in the “out of control” regulatory agencies that “descend like locusts on farms and ranches and small businesses.”
The Tribune: Drone delight: Expanded airspace allows night flights at higher altitudes across North Dakota
- The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved a plan that allows drones to be flown up to 1,200 feet above the entire state and permits flights at night, a combination that makes North Dakota unique.
Washington Post: Officials say 84 new poultry houses in the works in Accomack
- In Virginia, Accomack County’s poultry industry is burgeoning, according to a new report.
Wall Street Journal: Countries Slow to Pledge Emissions Cuts Ahead of Paris Climate Talks
- Less than a third of governments seeking a global climate agreement have submitted plans for reducing emissions, raising concerns over developing countries’ commitment to a deal months before talks are meant to culminate in Paris.
LA Times: California limits hybrid rebates to households earning less than $500,000
- Hundreds of Californians with household incomes of $500,000 or more have collected state subsidies for buying electric and hybrid cars under a program that is criticized as a taxpayer handout to the wealthy.
LA Times: Can California meet its ambitious greenhouse gas goals?
- (Opinion) When President Obama announced his controversial and ambitious Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Californians gave a collective yawn.
Salt Lake Tribune: 1st US tar sands mine set to open for business in Utah
- U.S. Oil Sands has invested nearly $100 million over the last decade to acquire rights to about 50 square miles, obtain permits and develop what it says is a brand-new, non-toxic method of separating out the oil with the use of an orange-peel extract.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Scientist: 'Vilification' of biotechnology risks food security
- One of the most distinguished scientists in the public policy sphere is warning that "the increasing vilification of GM foods as a marketing tool by the organic food industry" may be "the most counterproductive development" in the effort to increase food production.
Boston Globe: New England deserves a regional food plan
- (Opinion) Better coordination would cut down on duplicative efforts and inefficiencies.
New York Times: How the Social Mission of Ben & Jerry’s Survived Being Gobbled Up
- Ben & Jerry’s went to great lengths to fulfill its mission, according to Antony Page and Robert Katz, Indiana University law professors who wrote a paper on the Unilever acquisition.
Washington Post: Why salad is so overrated
- (Opinion) There’s one food that has almost nothing going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.
Washington Post: Martha's Table gives low-income families a taste of a farmers market
- Free produce sustains needy families in D.C. neighborhoods.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Fully Automated Lettuce Factory to Open in Japan
- Kyoto-based vegetable factory operator Spread Co. said it will begin construction of what it calls a fully automated large-scale lettuce factory in spring 2016, which will be able to produce 30,000 heads of lettuce per day with “a push of a button.”
Washington Post: An arugula-growing farmer feeds a culinary revolution in Cuba
- Funes advocates smart, resource-efficient artisanal farming as an alternative to both capitalist agribusiness and the disastrous state-run agricultural model implemented in Cuba during the 1960s, whose legacy is a country that imports 60 to 80 percent of its food.
Boston Globe: French Lawmaker Wants Mandatory Vegetarian Menu at School
- France has been grappling with how to reconcile religious and secular values when it comes to pork in school lunches. One lawmaker’s solution: vegetarian meals.
Reuters: Israeli Biogas Digesters Energize Isolated Palestinian Village
- Palestinian villagers living in desolate, off-grid areas in the West Bank have begun using Israeli-made biogas generators that supply free, clean energy by gobbling up organic waste.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Missouri lawmakers speak out against EPA clean water rule
- (Audio) With implementation just days away for the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, formerly known as waters of the U.S., agricultural states and lawmakers are continuing to do what they can to prevent it from happening.
Washington Post: EPA knew of 'blowout' risk for tainted water at gold mine
- U.S. officials knew of the potential for a catastrophic "blowout" of poisonous wastewater from an inactive gold mine, yet appeared to have only a cursory plan to deal with such an event when a government cleanup team triggered a 3-million-gallon spill, according to internal documents released by EPA.
Wall Street Journal: Why Is the EPA Cleaning Up Mines?
- (Opinion) Private mining companies have already shown they are better equipped to deal with the mess.
Phys.org: Feds Release Extra Water to Save Klamath Salmon From Disease
- With water scarce in Northern California's Klamath Basin, a federal agency is again releasing cool, clean water into the Klamath River to prevent a repeat of the 2002 fish kill that left tens of thousands of adult salmon dead.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: Immigration Crisis Shifts From Border to Courts
- Like thousands of other children who fled the violence gripping several Central American countries, Brayan, now 16, and José, 15, arrived safely in the U.S. only to spend the next 13 months navigating the justice system to prove they have a right to stay.
Yahoo News: 2 Lawyers Banned From Detention Center, Deepens Dispute
- Attorney Kim Hunter received a letter earlier this month from immigration authorities telling her she'd been banned from a family detention center in South Texas for being "belligerent" in demanding the release of her clients one late July night.
Chicago Tribune: Scott Walker takes yet another stance on birthright citizenship: Don't change the Constitution
- GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker appears to have again shifted his stance on allowing the children of illegal immigrants to automatically gain U.S. citizenship.
Des Moines Register: Rhetoric against Latinos: We're better than this, Iowa
- (Opinion) This week, we joined with other Iowans appalled by Jan Mickelson's rhetoric on her radio show in filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.
Nasdaq: Deere Profit Tumbles Amid Glut of Used Farm Equipment at Dealers
- Deere & Co.'s third-quarter profit tumbled 40% as a glut of used farm equipment at U.S. dealers continued to weigh on sales of new models.
Des Moines Register: Internship opens 'city girl's' eyes to ag realities
- (Opinion) Most of my life I didn't know the first thing about agriculture.
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