Daily Harvest -- 8/28/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Judge blocks WOTUS rule one day before scheduled implementation
- A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction stopping the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule from going into effect on Friday in some states, a victory for agricultural interests who brought lawsuits to halt the rule.
Agri-Pulse: Agriculture gets the attention of Hillary Clinton
- (Audio) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made some points with farmers and ranchers in Iowa this week by coming out with her vision for agriculture and rural America and getting the endorsement of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Agri-Pulse: “Back to Illinois” with John Block
- (Audio) Last week I flew to Springfield, Illinois, to attend Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair.
Chicago Tribune: Targeted by animal rights group, McDonald's, Tyson cut ties with farm
- McDonald's and supplier Tyson Foods have made moves to cut ties with a Tennessee chicken farm after the restaurant chain found itself in the cross hairs of an animal rights group for sourcing poultry from the farm that the group says mistreats chickens.
Agri-View: Minnesota funds value-added agriculture
- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is providing $1 million in grants established by the state legislature to help farmers, producers and processors add value to their operations.
Fusion: Thank almonds, pistachios, wine, and groundwater for California’s record harvest
- A new study this week from the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think tank, has found that even as California undergoes an extreme drought, agricultural output—which accounts for 80% of California’s water use—is at a record level.
New Haven Register: Study: Lack of energy infrastructure would cripple New England
- A study funded by trade groups representing the oil and natural gas industries is predicting dire consequences for New England if the region doesn’t improve its energy infrastructure by the end of the current decade.
Clean Technica: German Investors To Back Wind Energy Project In Iran
- With changes in the international diplomatic environment, several countries are looking to expand cooperation with Iran in the renewable energy sector.
Wall Street Journal: Western Canadian Crude Oil Stockpiles Rise to a Record
- Stockpiles of Western Canadian crude reached a new high last week, according to a report from a leading energy market data provider, in a further sign of the North American oil glut rising as energy prices fall.
Wall Street Journal: Sanctions Bite Massive Gas Project in Russian Arctic
- A $27 billion energy project is rising rapidly on this icy peninsula jutting above the Arctic Circle, but the race to shore up its finances has emerged as a test of Moscow’s ability to weather Western sanctions.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: School Lunches Becoming Healthier, Statistics Indicate
- New federal data released Thursday indicates that the nutritional profile of public school meals has improved substantially since higher government standards went into effect in 2012.
Bloomberg: Dole CEO, Ex-President Must Pay $148 Million Over Buyout
- Dole Food Co. Chief Executive Officer David Murdock and a former executive of the fresh-fruit producer were ordered to pay $148.1 million over allegations they drove down the value of the company so Murdock could take it private on the cheap in a $1.2 billion deal.
Wall Street Journal: Guest Voices: Labels Aside, Companies Need Transparent Supply Chains
- (Opinion) In a commentary, MIT’s Alexis H. Bateman says it is in the interest of businesses to shine a light on their supply chains before new GMO-labeling requirements are imposed.
Reuters: FDA wants food companies to hand over their pathogens
- Investigations into foodborne illness are being radically transformed by whole genome sequencing, which federal officials say is enabling them to identify the source of an outbreak far more quickly and prevent additional cases.
New York Times: Free Tuna Being Offered After StarKist Settles Lawsuit
- People who bought certain varieties of StarKist tuna could be eligible for $25 in cash or $50 worth of tuna, after the settlement of a class-action lawsuit. StarKist was accused of underfilling its five-ounce tuna cans. It denies any wrongdoing.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Ag exports to drop slightly from FY 2015 but still strong, USDA says
- Agriculture exports for fiscal year 2016 are projected at $138.5 billion, down $1 billion from the revised $139.5 billion for the current year, USDA said today in a report.
Reuters: Latvia, Greece win opt-out from Monsanto GM crop
- Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia's and Greece's requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science.
EurActiv.com: Pesticides pose risk to bees, EU watchdog says
- Widely-used pesticides made by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta pose a risk to bees, the European Union's food safety watchdog said yesterday, reinforcing previous research that led to EU restrictions.
Daily News and Analysis: Russian authorities burn 1.5 tonnes of imported food for BMW racing team
- Russia's food safety watchdog has burned 1.5 tonnes of food imported for a BMW car racing team taking part in an event in Moscow, TASS news agency reported on Thursday.
Washington Post: Why are Brazil’s environmentalists being murdered?
- Between 2002 and 2013, at least 448 environmentalists were killed in Brazil, according to Global Witness. That equates to roughly half of all the environmentalists murdered worldwide during that period.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA pledges additional $211 million in sage grouse protection funds
- USDA announced today it plans to invest an additional $211 million over the next three years in its 11-state, public-private partnership conservation effort to save the greater sage grouse.
Washington Post: Californians cut water without state imposing fines
- For the second straight month, Californians exceeded hefty water conservation mandates during the relentless drought without the state imposing fines, officials said.
Capitol Press: Incremental attacks on agriculture continue
- (Opinion) Incremental demands made of the dairy industry threaten the well-being of farmers across the U.S.
AgWeek: Experts: Latin America water security depends on curbing use by agriculture
- Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean must rein in their thirsty agriculture sector to ensure water security, as extreme weather takes a toll on the region's growing cities, experts said.
LA Times: Sea levels will rise, experts warn, and 'it's not going to stop'
- California and the rest of the western United States have actually seen ocean levels fall, but that's about to change thanks to a shift in weather patterns, and scientists are sounding the alarm.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
NPR: Farmworkers See Jobs, Earnings Shrivel In California Drought
- More than 21,000 people are out of work this year from California's drought, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The majority are in agriculture.
Latin Post: Hillary Clinton on Immigration: GOP 'Out of Touch, Out of Date' With Birthright Citizenship Debate
- During a campaign stop in Ankeny, Iowa, Clinton mentioned crop producers have raised pay for workers but still can't find enough employees. To solve this issue, the Democratic frontrunner sees immigration reform as the solution.
New York Times: A Patch of the Bronx Where the Corn Is as High as a Cabdriver’s Eye
- The farm began about 15 years ago with a few tomatoes and beans planted along a thin, unused strip of land behind a 30-story apartment building. It has grown into a thicket that stretches about a quarter-mile.
Wall Street Journal: FDA Warns Cigarette Makers on ‘Natural’ Labeling
- The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday sent warning letters targeting the owners of top-10 cigarettes brands Winston and Natural American Spirit for violating federal law by marketing the brands as “additive-free” or “natural.”
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