Daily Harvest -- 9/3/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: New USFRA consumer sustainability attitudes study
- (Audio) During the Farm Progress show in Illinois this week the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance announced the results of a new survey on consumer views about farming and ranching sustainability.
Reno Gazette Journal: Growing problem: Drought hits Nevada agriculture hard
- Weeds take hold on fallowed fields. Ranchers sell off cattle their land can no longer support. Crop insurance that has carried growers through the drought thus far is drying up, no longer available for many should the drought continue even longer.
Atlanta Business Chronicle: Atlanta to hire urban agriculture director
- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is looking to get rid of so-called “food deserts” by hiring a full-time urban agriculture director responsible for developing agricultural policy for the city and converting brownfields into urban gardens.
GreenBiz: Where is the 'electric car' for the agriculture industry?
- The “electric car of agriculture” might be right under our nose (or rather, under our feet): soil. Soils store three times more carbon than does the atmosphere, but this capability to store carbon has been rapidly depleted in many areas.
Wall Street Journal: Government Report Finds Economic Benefits of Oil Exports
- A long-awaited study by the Obama administration concludes that lifting the nation’s four-decade ban on oil exports wouldn’t increase U.S. gasoline prices and could even help lower them, raising the stakes in the debate about whether to lift or relax the ban.
Wall Street Journal: Cnooc Canadian Oil-Sands Plant to Shutdown Amid Pipeline Probe
- The Canadian unit of Chinese state-controlled energy giant Cnooc Ltd. said Wednesday it will halt production at a 50,000 barrel-a-day oil-sands plant indefinitely as part of its effort to comply with an order from regulators.
Nasdaq: Shell, Exxon Ordered to Pay Groningen Earthquake Compensation
- A Dutch court ruled Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp must compensate homeowners for a drop in house prices caused by earthquakes linked to production at the Groningen gas field.
Des Moines Register: Dwight: Why clean energy is necessary for a sustainable future
- (Opinion) As more candidates come through Iowa to speak to caucusgoers and appeal to Iowan’s interests, I realized that clean energy is becoming a top tier issue.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Missourian: Anti-GMO movement, ag research funding strike nerve with McCaskill
- Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, turned up the Midwestern charm Tuesday morning slamming the movement against GMOs and assuring MU researchers she wouldn't abide any bias against agricultural research from the National Science Foundation.
ABC News: Egg Group Scrambled Over Eggless Mayo Maker
- The American Egg Board, which is responsible for the "Incredible, Edible Egg" slogan, waged a campaign to counter the emergence of Hampton Creek's Just Mayo spread, and even tried to prevent its sale at Whole Foods grocery stores.
Huffington Post: In Defense of School Food
- (Opinion) As the deadline for the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act approaches, the debate around school food has reached a cacophony of opinions. The politics of the debate are intense.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Port of Oakland Container Fees Face Delays
- Oakland’s plan to charge for loading and unloading containers during busy periods may be pushed back after federal regulators requested more information about the program.
Reuters: Farmers Head Hundreds of Tractors for Paris in Protest
- Hundreds of tractors were heading towards Paris for a protest due to take place on Thursday where French farmers will call for more help with low prices and high costs in the European Union's largest agricultural producer.
Reuters: EU regulators clear Shell's takeover of BG Group
- Royal Dutch Shell gained EU approval on Wednesday for its $70 billion acquisition of Britain's BG Group, the second of four key markets needed to clear the deal.
Fox Business: Venezuela says it has secured $5 billion loan from China as part of oil-for-loans agreement
- China is Venezuela's largest creditor and has loaned it more than $40 billion during the last five years, much of which has been paid back with oil. Venezuela sells China more than 600,000 barrels of oil a day.
Reuters: To stem migrant flow, Tanzania offers climate-stressed farmers loans
- The Tanzanian government, in a bid to revive the economically vital but ailing farming sector and stem the rush of rural people to the cities, has launched an agriculture bank to train farmers in modern techniques and help them needed loans.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Bee protections could put crops at risk, farmers say
- (Subscriber only) Pesticide restrictions that the Obama administration has proposed to protect bees go further than necessary and will put crops at risk, farm groups say.
Agri-Pulse: Judge blocks Endangered Species Act listing of lesser prairie chicken
- The Western District Court of Texas vacated a 2014 threatened listing of the lesser prairie chicken Tuesday on the grounds that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) incorrectly determined that voluntary conservation action wouldn't be enough to protect the bird.
New York Times: Obama, Visiting Arctic, Will Pledge Aid to Alaskans Hit by Climate Change
- President Obama pledged to step up government aid for Arctic communities whose shorelines and infrastructure are crumbling as warming seas melt their foundations, intensifying his administration’s effort to cope with the effects of climate change where they are being felt most acutely.
DTN The Progressive Farmer: Ozone Standard Questioned
- A proposed tightening of national ambient air quality standards for ozone either could be devastating to rural states like Nebraska or in the end mean little or nothing to farmers and ranchers, depending on which analyses you believe.
Washington Post: How a devastating forest fire revealed a tree as close to fireproof as a tree can get
- Amid the devastation, they saw a sign of hope: a stand of 946 Mediterranean cypress trees, each taller than a two-story house that formed a perfectly square patch of green in the scorched landscape.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Lawsuit: Western sheep operators colluded against workers
- Two former shepherds from Peru are accusing key players in the sheep industry in the western U.S. of conspiring to keep wages low for foreign workers.
Pork Network: Is Canada’s seasonal worker program a model?
- Canada’s program for connecting seasonal workers with agricultural employers has kicked into high gear. Officials there feel it’s one of the best programs in the world.
The Guardian: Child labour on Nestlé farms: chocolate giant's problems continue
- Children younger than 15 continue to work at cocoa farms connected to Nestlé, more than a decade after the food company promised to end the use of child labour in its supply chain.
Washington Post: USDA to stop referring to small raisins as ‘midgets’
- When the Little People of America heard from a concerned member of the group’s community that some small-sized raisins were referred to as “midgets,” it petitioned the federal government to make it stop.
U.S. News & World Report: Service with a wag: Group's specially trained dogs help disabled farmers with chores, herding
- The pairing was made possible through PHARM Dog USA, a nonprofit believed to be the only one of its kind in the United States, that trains dogs specifically for farmers with disabilities. "She's made it possible for me to be a productive person, to keep the life we've built," one farmer said of her dog.
Washington Post: Lost Australian sheep yields 30 sweaters worth of fleece
- A lost, overgrown sheep found in Australian scrubland was shorn for perhaps the first time on Thursday, yielding 40 kilograms (89 pounds) of wool — the equivalent of 30 sweaters — and shedding almost half his body weight.
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