Daily Harvest -- 8/26/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Hog farmers have questions about new veterinary feed directive rule
- (Audio) The FDA recently published a new final rule amending the veterinary feed directive under the Animal Drug Availability Act, which is set to take affect in October.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Farm Income to Fall to Lowest Level in Nine Years
- USDA predicts a 36% decline amid a slump in commodity prices and another large harvest.
Des Moines Register: Editorial: The DeCosters belong behind bars
- Four months ago, Iowa egg producers Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son, Peter, were each sentenced to 90 days in prison for their role in the nation’s largest egg-related salmonella outbreak. But major business organizations are fighting to keep the DeCosters out of prison.
Iowa Public Radio: Officials, Farmers Preparing for Fall Bird Flu Outbreak Amid Ongoing Mystery
- Farmers and agriculture officials are gearing up for another round of bird flu this fall, an outbreak they fear could be worse than the devastating spring crisis that hit turkeys and egg-laying hens in the Midwest, wiped out entire farms and sent egg prices sky-high.
Business Insider: The Department of Agriculture is being sued for withholding information about GMOS
- A food safety advocacy group sued an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, saying it illegally withheld public information on genetically engineered crops.
Forbes: Precision Agriculture Eats Data, CPU Cycles: It's A Perfect Fit For Cloud Services
- Given their rural isolation, toiling miles away from the coastal centers of technology and finance, it’s easy to overlook the remarkable growth in productivity on the average farm.
Agri-Pulse: Presidential candidates divide sharply over the RFS
- (Subscriber only) Many of the 2016 presidential candidates naturally are reluctant to outline specific policies this early in the campaign - particularly when GOP front-runner Donald Trump's lack of positions seem to be helping him surge in the early polls, rather than hurting.
LA Times: Obama invokes free-market principles to promote clean-energy plan
- President Obama cited free-market principles in making the case for alternative energy Monday night, speaking on a day when his administration also announced new government support for clean-energy industries.
Reuters: Iran Says Will Reclaim Full Oil Market Share Post-Sanctions
- Iran will ramp up crude oil production and reclaim its lost share of exports shortly after international sanctions on the OPEC member are lifted, Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal: Moody’s Cuts Credit Rating of Canadian Oil Sands
- Moody’s Investors Service on Monday cut the credit rating of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. to one notch above speculative grade, citing the oil-sands producer’s “elevated leverage” as a result of lower crude oil prices.
Washington Post: D.C. Regulators Reject Pepco-Exelon Merger
- The D.C. Public Service Commission Tuesday denied Chicago-based Exelon’s proposed $6.4 billion takeover of Pepco Holdings, a major setback for the giant utility marriage.
Bloomberg: Encana Sells Louisiana Gas Land for $850 Million to Cut Debt
- Encana Corp., in North America’s largest energy land deal of the year, agreed to sell natural gas properties in northern Louisiana for $850 million to a venture run by GSO Capital Partners LP and GeoSouthern Haynesville LP.
Nasdaq: Southern Co. to Buy AGL Resources for $8 Billion
- Southern Co. has agreed to buy natural-gas company AGL Resources for about $8 billion, a deal that will create the second-largest utility company in the U.S. by customers.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Schools struggling with costlier meals, survey says
- Changes to the school lunch program mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 are leaving school lunch programs across the country hungry for money, a new study says.
Washington Post: The FDA is making a big change to nutrition labels. And it's probably a big mistake
- The good news is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is poised to make the Nutrition Facts label on many packaged foods significantly more honest. The bad news is that this well-intentioned fix could seriously backfire.
San Francisco Chronicle: Big school districts contract for compostable lunch trays
- Officials say a Maine fiber plant is the first in the country to make compostable lunch trays, and it will sell the trays to six large school districts as an alternative to polystyrene foam.
Wall Street Journal: Sanderson Farms Results Disappoint as Chicken Prices Slide
- Prices remain under pressure on weak export demand, hampered by bird flu in the U.S., a strong dollar and lower oil revenue.
New York Times: Maker of Just Mayo Is Warned by F.D.A. That 'Mayo' Needs Eggs
- The maker of eggless spread Just Mayo has gotten a warning from regulators: 'Mayo' needs eggs.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
U.S. News & World Report: Polish govt to compensate farmers hit by unusual heat, drought; crops, meat and milk down
- Poland will pay more than 500 million zlotys ($135 million) in compensation to the thousands of farmers who have lost crops and fodder because of drought and unusually high temperatures, the agriculture minister said Tuesday.
Reuters: Hunger hits 1.5 million in Zimbabwe as maize production halves: WFP
- Around 1.5 million Zimbabweans are predicted to go hungry this year after a dramatic fall in maize production, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: We need public discussion of Iowa's water problems
- (Opinion) The political organization founded and primarily funded by the Iowa Farm Bureau is making good on its promise to hold a discussion on Iowa’s nitrate polluted water.
ABC News: Deforestation in Mexico Butterfly Reserve Nearly Triples
- Illegal logging has almost tripled in the monarch butterfly's wintering grounds in central Mexico, reversing several years of steady improvements, investigators announced Tuesday.
Washington Post: Pollinator Pockets: small plots with nectar-rich plants
- It doesn't take massive flowerbeds to make beneficial insects happy - just a few pollen- and nectar-rich plants in a small area, a "pollinator pocket."
New York Times: Waukesha Plan for Lake Michigan Water Raises Worries
- Waukesha, Wisconsin, a 70,000 person city that sits about 17 miles from the shore of Lake Michigan and about a mile and a half outside of the lake’s basin, is being forced to address a growing contamination problem in its aquifer without tapping into the “big lake.”
New York Times: Coca-Cola Expects to Reach Its Water Replenishment Goal 5 Years Early
- The Coca-Cola Company is years ahead of schedule in its efforts to replace the water that it uses around the world to make its beverages, it announced on Tuesday.
NorthJersey.com: Judge approves Christie's $225M settlement with Exxon
- A state judge Tuesday approved a controversial $225 million settlement negotiated between ExxonMobil and the Christie administration related to decades of extensive pollution at two of the oil giant’s former refineries in Linden and Bayonne and other sites around the state.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Bovine Veterinarian: Study: Farm workers carry more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals
- Researchers in South Africa investigating staphylococcal populations responsible for causing bovine mastitis, a potentially fatal bacterial inflammation of the mammary gland in dairy cows, found that humans carried more antibiotic-resistant staphylococci than the farm animals with which they worked.
LA Times: Editorial: The shameful campaign against birthright citizenship
- Unfortunately, Trump isn't alone in the 2016 Republican presidential field in proposing a rollback of so-called birthright citizenship.
International Business Times: Monsanto sweetens offer for Syngenta to $47bn
- U.S. agribusiness Monsanto has sweetened its offer to acquire Swiss agrochemicals firm Syngenta, valuing the latter at around $47 billion. Syngenta earlier rejected a $45 billion offer, saying it fundamentally undervalued its prospects.
Chicago Tribune: Deere opens talks with UAW
- Moline-based Deere said Tuesday that it has opened negotiations with the United Auto Workers union over a labor deal covering 10,000 manufacturing jobs.
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