Daily Harvest -- 9/2/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA oversight of Recovery Act spending faulted by OIG
- A USDA Inspector General's review has determined that the department was not sufficiently prepared to handle the mountain of cash - more than $28 billion -- that it was handed by the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with David Friedberg, CEO of The Climate Corporation
- (Audio) David Friedberg, CEO of The Climate Corporation says new sensor technologies, data management and storage is bringing a transformation to the agriculture industry.
Agri-Pulse: Cotton economic outlook
- (Audio) NCC oficials and leaders met recently for the mid-year board meeting in Memphis. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the size of the U.S. cotton crop, noted an NCC economic outlook.
Wall Street Journal: Food-Stamp Use Starting to Fall
- After soaring in the years since the recession, use of food stamps, one of the federal government's biggest social-welfare programs, is beginning to decline.
San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. property owners to get tax break from creating urban farms
- A new law taking effect next week will mark another innovation for San Francisco: The city will be the first in the country to offer a financial incentive for urban farming.
Financial Times: Rail delays knock north US grain prices
- Protracted rail shipping delays have led to deep discounts for grain prices in the north central US, weeks before a huge harvest is expected to put the transport network under new stress.
Bloomberg: Corn Declines as Investors Assess Record U.S. Crop With Ukraine
- Corn fell for a second session on expectations output will climb to a record in the U.S. and as investors weighed the outlook for supplies from the Black Sea region amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
KCRG: Companies seek to boost agricultural productivity
- A new generation of plant-friendly microscopic bacteria and fungi is increasing crop yields as much as 10 percent in test plots, according to Monsanto and Novozymes executives speaking last week at a BioAg Alliance Media Day.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Chicago Tribune: Pistachios may help reduce diabetes risk: study
- For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide, according to a new trial from Spain.
The Verge: How to feed the cities of the future
- At MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Caleb Harper’s CityFARM demonstrates the future of food production. He grows plants through aeroponics, a system that produces plants without soil.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: It Pays to Count China's Little Piggies
- While China's government doesn't officially disclose the weightings in its inflation index, economists figure food makes up 30% of the inflation basket. Pork is a chunk, and a volatile one at that.
Reuters: Ebola threatens food security in West Africa: FAO
- The world's worst Ebola epidemic has put harvests at risk and sent food prices soaring in West Africa, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday, warning the problem would intensify in coming months.
Wall Street Journal: As China Property Prices Fall, One Developer Makes $1.6 Billion Bet on Agriculture
- In the case of the closely held Evergrande Group, the answer lies in another great Chinese passion: food. Last week, Evergrande said it’s spending 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) to take a crack at China’s cooking oil and grain markets.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Washington Post: Five myths about California’s drought
- Will conservation and new water-saving technologies be enough to weather this dry period? Let’s consider five myths about the California drought.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Thai worker settlements with Hawaii farms at risk
- A federal judge in Hawaii says she won’t consider approving $2.4 million in settlements for hundreds of Thai farm workers until the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission holds a news conference clarifying that the agreements are still subject to court approval.
White House strife stalls Obama immigration plans
- White House officials are locked in an intense debate over whether President Barack Obama should announce a plan to defer deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants before Election Day — mindful that whichever choice they make could be tagged as the reason that Democrats lost the Senate.
The Hill: Rubio's new tune on immigration
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is singing a new tune on immigration as he eyes a possible 2016 presidential run, but it may not be enough to win over disaffected conservatives just yet.
Agri-Pulse: Judge Dismisses McDaniels’ challenge to Cochran primary victory
- (Subscriber only) A state judge in Mississippi today dismissed Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel's challenge to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's June Republican Party primary victory.
New York Times: In a Tough Place to Farm, Discovering Much to Love
- Advocates for local food are now pushing back against the widespread notion that eating food grown or raised in Alaska is impossible or too expensive.
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