Daily Harvest -- 8/27/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Clinton lays out four-part plan for rural America
- Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton returned to Iowa today to announce her policies to strengthen agriculture and support rural communities. With a John Deere tractor in the background, she was introduced by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who endorsed her candidacy for president on Tuesday.
Agri-Pulse: Monsanto abandons Syngenta merger efforts
- Monsanto today abandoned its efforts to buy Swiss agribusiness and chemical maker Syngenta, acknowledging that its nearly $47 billion bid had failed to "meet Syngenta's financial expectations."
New York Times: California Agriculture Posted Record Revenues During Drought
- Farmers have undeniably been affected by water shortages, some more than others, but a new report has found that the state’s agriculture industry as a whole has actually posted record revenues in the midst of the drought.
Reuters: Tyson Foods wins reversal of damages in Nebraska wage lawsuits
- Tyson Foods Inc, one of the world's largest meat processors, on Wednesday won the reversal of nearly $24 million of damage awards in two class action lawsuits claiming it cheated thousands of hourly workers in two Nebraska plants out of wages.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Congressional staffers get ground-level look at agriculture
- The goal of the three-day event is to give staffers a better understanding of how farmers and agricultural businesses are faring — and how they are affected by decisions made in Washington.
Fresh Plaza: US (NM): Chile industry wants new guest worker program
- Water for irrigation, foreign and domestic competition and an ever-growing challenge to get declining acres of the state's chile crop harvested before it spoils pose a deadly trio of problems the industry is facing in modern times.
Yahoo News: Report: Solyndra misrepresented facts to get loan guarantee
- A four-year investigation has concluded that officials of the solar company Solyndra misrepresented facts and omitted key information in their efforts to get a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Prices Fall on Less Gas Demand, Growing Glut
- EIA data forcing traders to forget about China and return to global oversupply worries.
Wall Street Journal: U.S., China Reach ‘Clean Coal’ Agreement
- U.S. and China officials took a major step Tuesday toward an agreement to advance “clean coal” technologies that purport to reduce the fuel’s contribution to climate change—and could offer a potential lifeline for an industry that has seen its fortunes fade.
New York Times: Midwest Gasoline Prices to Normalize After BP Refinery Repair
- BP has restarted a large distillation unit at a refinery outside Chicago that broke down on Aug. 8 and caused a jump in gasoline prices across the Midwest.
Wall Street Journal: Mexico Sweetens Oil Auction to Draw Firms Hit by Low Oil Prices
- Mexico’s hydrocarbons regulator approved a series of changes in both auction procedures and contract terms that reduce the risk to oil companies seeking to begin operations in Mexico following the nation’s energy opening to private and foreign firms.
FOOD & NUTRITION
USA Today: Activists accuse McDonald's chicken supplier of clubbing birds to death
- An animal rights group says it has obtained gruesome video footage that appears to show a Tennessee chicken supplier for McDonald’s clubbing small and sickly birds to death.
Fortune: Kraft Heinz is recalling 2 million pounds of bad bacon
- Kraft Heinz is recalling more than 2 million pounds of turkey bacon that can prematurely spoil, it was announced Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal: Burger King Calls for Cease-Fire With Archrival McDonald’s
- In full-page print ads running Wednesday, Burger King is proposing that the two fast-food giants combine their most iconic burgers–the Whopper & the Big Mac—to create: The McWhopper.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Will Senate move on COOL before next WTO action?
- (Audio) The World Trade Center Organization arbitration panel will meet in Geneva on Sept. 15 to determine the amount of retaliatory tariffs that Canada and Mexico will be allowed to impose on the U.S. over country of origin labeling.
Daily Mail: How Russia hurts UK dairy farmers: Sanctions banning import of EU products leads to slump in demand
- British dairy farmers are paying the price for sanctions imposed on Russia for its military aggression, the EU’S agricultural commissioner admitted yesterday.
Wall Street Journal: Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting
- Hours after they looted and set fire to a National Guard command post in this sun-baked corner of Venezuela earlier this month, a mob infuriated by worsening food shortages rammed trucks into the smoldering edifice, reducing it mostly to rubble.
Reuters: Haiti drought cuts harvests, lifts prices, food crisis looms: WFP
- A severe drought in Haiti has led to acute water shortages, shriveled harvests and raised food prices, weakening the fragile food supply and worsening hunger among the poor, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said.
Wall Street Journal: Nestlé Tries to Stir Up Indian Demand for Banned Noodles by Appealing to Single Men
- As Nestlé tries to clear the path for the return of its best-selling instant noodles to India, it has launched an advertising campaign around the consumers it assumes miss the Maggi 2-Minute noodles most: single men that can’t cook.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
NPR: Wildfire Smoke Becomes The Health Threat That Won't Go Away
- Lewiston, Idaho, is stewing under "very unhealthy" smoke, with older people, children and people with heart and lung disease urged to "avoid all physical activity outdoors." And it's hardly the only city affected.
Newser: Agriculture chief promises more sage grouse spending in West as bird becomes political issue
- The federal government plans to spend more than $200 million over the next three years on programs to protect greater sage grouse in Western states — regardless of whether the bird receives federal protections, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
Central Valley Business Times: Judge rejects Central Valley irrigators
- A Fresno U.S. District Court judge has refused a request by a coalition of Central Valley agribusiness and irrigators to turn off the water in northern California’s Trinity River.
Wall Street Journal: Water, Water Everywhere—in Bottles
- Despite obvious drawbacks—the plastic and the extra cost for something essentially free out of the tap—thirst for bottled water just keeps growing. U.S. bottled water volume rose 7% last year.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: GOP moving to right on immigration, mandatory E-Verify on agenda
- (Subscriber only) Donald Trump's immigration agenda is pushing the Republican debate well to the right and raising concerns in the agribusiness sector. Now neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is running second in recent Iowa polls, is saying he'd consider military drone strikes on the border and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is suggesting suspending authorization for Mexican border crossings.
Christian Science Monitor: Farmworkers reach agreement with Ben & Jerry's
- Food justice organizers recently reached an important agreement with Ben & Jerry’s to avoid wage theft, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions among migrant workers.
PBS NewsHour: What’s behind the ‘anchor babies’ buzz phrase?
- Donald Trump took heat when he spoke about “anchor babies” and seemed to relish the fallout from his latest provocation in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Then Jeb Bush echoed the phrase and found himself on defense — and increasingly exasperated.
LA Times: In Jorge Ramos, Donald Trump may have picked the wrong media star to tussle with
- In his latest showdown, Donald Trump ordered Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a news conference Tuesday, telling him to “go back to Univision.”
Agri-Pulse: Baenig to head BIO's Food and Agriculture Section
- Brian Baenig, who recently stepped down as chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, is joining the Biotechnology Industry Organization as executive vice president for BIO's Food and Agriculture Section.
AgriNews: Urban agriculture takes root in Indy
- The non-profit organization Growing Places Indy is spreading urban agriculture in Indianapolis by providing access to locally grown food and teaching the skills needed to operate a farm.
Washington Post: Man tries to copyright a chicken sandwich, learns that that’s completely ridiculous
- The "Pechu Sandwich," as it was christened when it was added to Church's menu in 1991, was made with fried chicken, tomato, lettuce, garlic mayonnaise, and bread. And it was wildly popular.
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