Daily Harvest -- 8/31/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Iowa farmers brace for another year of belt-tightening, survey finds
- Iowa farmers are bracing for another year of belt tightening - cutting back on everything from cash rent, to fertilizer and farm equipment - as they expect farm income to drop once again in 2015-16.
Agri-Pulse: Big drop in farm profitability this year
- (Audio) Farm sector profitability is forecast to be lower in 2015 for the second straight year, according to the latest report from USDA.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Frank Gasperini, CEO for the National Council for Agricultural Employers
- (Audio) In this interview, Gasperini talks about how difficult it can be for the ag industry to find an adequate hourly workforce to harvest crops and care for livestock each year. He also goes into detail explaining why some proposals for immigration reform legislation could decimate facets of ag and threaten our nation’s food security.
Wall Street Journal: Trying to Teach Big Agra in a Hotbed of Locavores
- (Opinion) The U.S. is the economic power it is today in large part because of the historical success of its agricultural sector, which was organized along market lines almost from the start—directed by enterprising, commercially-minded farmers operating in a system that protected and promoted private property rights.
Des Moines Register: Country first, cities second: Is it hurting Iowa?
- (Opinion) If the governor seems to identify more closely with rural Iowa than with metropolitan Iowa, he is not alone. State government in Iowa has always responded to the needs and wants of rural Iowans more assiduously than to those of city dwellers.
Reuters: Appalachian coal country wants Republican nod for federal aid
- A small but growing number of Appalachian coal communities are urging Republicans in Congress to support a proposed $1 billion federal aid program from the Obama administration to save local economies ravaged by the decline of the coal industry.
Reuters: Italy's Eni makes mega gas discovery off Egyptian coast
- Italian energy group Eni said on Sunday it had discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast, predicting the find could help meet Egypt's gas needs for decades to come.
Bloomberg: Alberta Regulator Orders 95 Nexen Pipelines Shut Down After Leak
- The Alberta Energy Regulator has ordered the immediate suspension of 15 pipeline licenses issued to Nexen, the Canadian unit of China’s Cnooc Ltd., after finding “noncompliant activities” at the company’s Long Lake oil-sands operations.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA approves Simplot's GE potato
- USDA has approved a potato genetically engineered by J.R. Simplot Co. to resist late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century and still threatens crops around the globe.
Des Moines Register: Editorial: Antibiotics make hogs fatter; humans don't matter
- Using millions of pounds of antibiotics each year in animals ultimately jeopardizes human health. Resilient bacteria can move from animals to humans, making it more difficult to treat our infections.
Food Safety News: FSMA: No Safety, No Modernization
- (Opinion) In the midst of food prices that are already on the rise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will vastly increase costs, but it’s not likely to change food safety nor will it modernize our approach to food safety.
Wall Street Journal: The Difficulty of Taking a Bite Out of Food Waste
- Food waste means that the significant amounts of energy, water and chemicals used to grow the food are wasted. As it rots in landfills, food waste also produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. And if it weren’t discarded, the food could help feed the hungry.
Wall Street Journal: Campbell’s Quest for Souped-Up Sales
- In the past year, Campbell Soup Co. started making organic varieties of classic products like tomato bisque, cut its use of artificial ingredients, and pledged to remove high-fructose corn syrup from more foods.
U.S. News & World Report: After US lawsuit linked to cat food, Nestle says forced labor has no place in its supply chain
- Nestle says "forced labor has no place in our supply chain" following a U.S. class action lawsuit that alleges the Swiss food company knowingly supported a system of slave labor and human trafficking to make its Fancy Feast cat food.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Arkansas Online: U.S. sugar program snags Pacific trade talks
- Sugar lobbyists are still fighting to keep long-standing protections for the sugar industry against the wishes of Australia and other TPP partners that have called for the loosening of the U.S.’s quota system that protects domestic suppliers and makes the product more expensive for consumers.
Associated Press: In reversal, abundant grain trains available for harvest
- Grain train cars will be in abundance just in time for near-record corn and soybean harvests due to unprecedented spending on track upgrades, political pressure from politicians in agriculture-rich states and a drastic decrease in trains hauling crude and freight to and from western North Dakota's oil-producing region.
Romania-Insider: Romania’s trade deficit in agricultural products goes down
- This year's drought has cost local producers almost EUR 2 billion in crop losses. In the most affected regions, corn crops were nearly ruined and more than half of sunflower crops were lost.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack, Wyden rally to bolster support for 'fire borrowing' legislation
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., held a teleconference Friday afternoon from Portland, Oregon, where wildfires are raging to stress the necessity of reforming the wildfire suppression budget.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: General Mills sets ambitious goal for greenhouse gas cuts from farm to fork to landfill
- General Mills has set an ambitious goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025 — not just within its own operations but from farm to fork to landfill.
Business Insider: Golf club owner agrees to pay $100,000 over manure incident
- The owner of a Southern California golf club, who raised a stink by spreading chicken manure on the course, has agreed to pay $100,000 to air pollution regulators.
Washington Post: Far below South Dakota, a cave holds pure, promising water
- Hundreds of feet beneath the Black Hills, a team of scientists and researchers snake through dark, narrow and silent corridors of ancient rock to reach their goal: what is thought to be some of the purest water on Earth.
LA Times: Obama to rename Alaska's Mt. McKinley as Denali
- North America's tallest peak is getting a new name as the Obama administration resolves a decades-long dispute between Alaska and Ohio.
LA Times: This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea.
- There is no space left to build homes for the living. The dead are now flown to the mainland so the ocean won't encroach upon their graves.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Christie Stands By Plan to Track Immigrants With Help From FedEx
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t back off his plan Sunday to use FedEx package-tracking technology to better monitor immigrants who overstay their U.S. visas.
ABC News: Trump's Mass Deportation Idea Was Tried in the 1930s
- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for mass deportation of millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, as well as their American-born children, bears similarities to a large-scale removal that many Mexican-American families faced 85 years ago.
Associated Press: Oregon hemp farmer says startup going slow
- One of Oregon's first hemp farmers says a lack of seed is making it tough to get going.
New York Times: Food Truck Controversy Hits a Missouri Town Seeking Growth
- Shortly after the trucks began rumbling into Macken Park this month, complaints rolled in from owners of nearby restaurants. “They bring the truck in, they compete against us for four hours, and then they drive away,” Monte Martello, 66, who owns a Dairy Queen, said during a recent City Council meeting.
Wall Street Journal: Some Syngenta Shareholders Unhappy After Monsanto’s Bid Was Rejected
- Some Syngenta AG shareholders are angry about the Swiss agribusiness giant’s rejection of takeover proposals from rival Monsanto Co., raising the possibility that they could seek changes to Syngenta’s board to make it more amenable to a deal.
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