Daily Harvest -- 8/31/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Aug. 31, 2016
- Donald Trump Jr. on Dad's immigration proposals: “He didn’t change his stance on anything." Also: USDA offices reopening after threats; autonomous tractors; EU's regulatory environment; gnatcatcher still protected.
The Oklahoman: Oklahoma City Council considers stance on right-to-farm question
- "It's just bad government — the idea that the Legislature would pass this law that if you vote for this we would never be able to regulate the agricultural industry ever again," said Pete White, Oklahoma City Ward 4 councilman. "We've got all these livestock restrictions and all of that would be at risk."
AgWeb: CoBank: Steepest Drop in Farm Income Since Great Depression
- Brace yourself. According to a new study from CoBank, the drop in farm income over the past three farming seasons has been the biggest plunge since the Great Depression.
Agri-Pulse: New NRECA chief hopes bipartisan clout will protect customers
- Jim Matheson, a Democrat who was elected to seven terms in the U.S. House from a reliably Republican district in Utah, knows something about what it takes to work across party lines. He'll need that experience in his new job as CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Quartz: Chinese people want renewable energy more than anyone, but nobody’s selling it to them
- It turns out a staggering number of Chinese people are willing to pay more for renewable energy. But businesses that sell green power to consumers, prolific elsewhere, haven’t yet got a single foothold in the biggest market on earth.
Yahoo News: Grassley says Trump can get rid of wind energy ‘over my dead body’
- Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the author of the original wind energy tax credit in 1992, said a hypothetical President Trump wouldn’t be able to get rid of wind power in the U.S. as long as he’s alive. The GOP nominee has railed for years that wind farms are “ugly,” “obsolete” and “terrible for the environment,” among many other criticisms.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wisconsin Public Radio: Dane County Company Donates Unused Food To Local Pantries
- The grassroots group Healthy Food for All is using the donated vehicle to help stock food pantries and community centers around Dane County. The bulk of the prepared food donations are coming from Epic, the health care software company located in the Madison suburb of Verona.
Baltimore Sun: 14 Baltimore-area retailers indicted in alleged $16 million food stamp fraud
- Fourteen Baltimore-area retailers from Glen Burnie to Park Heights have been charged with defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture of more than $16 million from in a practice known as "food stamp trafficking," federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Port City Daily; Various fresh vegetables sold in North Carolina, other states, recalled due to listeria
- A Texas food processing company is recalling 30,000 cases of fresh cut vegetable products, some sold in North Carolina, due to concerns about listeria.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
MarketWatch: Potash has best day in 6 years on deal talks; agriculture ETF extends 2016’s gain
- Shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. POT, +10.84% soared on Tuesday, notching their biggest one-day advance in more than six years after the company confirmed that it was in preliminary talks for a possible merger of equals with Agrium Inc. AGU, +7.02%
Reuters: Trudeau touts agricultural safety amid China canola dispute
- Canadian farm goods are high quality and safe, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Beijing on Tuesday as his trade minister said Canada was working hard to resolve a canola import dispute that threatens $2-billion in business.
Reuters: Potash Corp, Agrium talk merger; competition scrutiny expected
- Canada's Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO) said on Tuesday they are in talks to merge, a deal that would create a fertilizer and farm retailing giant worth more than $25 billion but also trigger U.S. regulatory scrutiny.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Bringing economic development and water quality in Iowa
- (Audio) A new alliance is focusing on the dollars and cents of water quality for Iowa agriculture.
KPBS: Feds Deny Developers’ Bid To Take Gnatcatcher Off Endangered Species List
- The California Building Industry Association and others asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove federal protections because the gray songbird is not a valid subspecies. The petition argued the California gnatcatcher is closely related to another gnatcatcher that is plentiful in Baja California, Mexico.
St. Petersburg Times: Let Pinellas use GMO mosquito to fight Zika
- (Editorial) Let them fly. A bipartisan group of influential elected officials in Pinellas County is asking the Obama administration to allow the use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the county to fight the Zika virus. There is no reason to wait, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should authorize their use as
another means of curbing the spread of the virus while Congress fiddles.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart collaborating to improve farm soil, water quality
- Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart and several other giant food, agricultural and environmental groups will announce a partnership on Wednesday to accelerate programs and research to improve soil health and water quality on farms.
AP: In drought, drones help Calif. farmers save every drop
- In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Forbes: The Future of Agriculture Could Rest With Self Driving Tractors
- With all the talk of autonomous cars from Tesla’s master plan to take on Uber to the legacy automotive players like Ford and Audi pursuing the self-driving agenda, there’s little talk on self-driving vehicles outside of the consumer universe. Until now.
WHOTV.com: Farm Progress Show: New Thinking on Traditional Combine
- An Indiana farmer had an idea which he hopes will change the way corn is harvested. He invented something called the Tribine, a huge combine, which is hinged in the middle with a 1000 bushel grain cart attached on the back side.
Sacramento Bee: Farm laborers exult, farmers worry about California overtime bill
- “For those of us who work in the farms, we are out there in the hot sun, doing the work that nobody else wants to do,” said Florentino Reyes, speaking in Spanish on a cellphone. Agricultural business groups protested the legislation, warning of dire economic consequences for farmers and field hands alike.
Agri-Pulse: Threats force closure of USDA offices
- The Agriculture Department plans to reopen on Wednesday most of the offices that were shut down because of anonymous threats that had been emailed to employees.
Des Moines Register: Frugal farmers see bit brighter forecast for income
- Average household farm income this year is projected to be $21,647, down from $24,717 last year. Just two years ago, the average household farm income topped $31,000.
AP: Drought-stricken Upstate NY Farmers Get OK for Federal Aid
- Federal agriculture officials have declared 15 upstate New York counties as "primary natural disaster areas" because of this summer's drought.
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