Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 9/4/2015
Here's your daily summary of top news from and other national and regional headlines from across the country. Do you know of someone who should also be on our list? Please ask them to click here.


Agri-Pulse: How will agriculture finish 2015 on Capitol Hill?
Link - (Video) As Congress returns from August recess, a long list of agricultural issues awaits them. In this video, which also contains thoughts from Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, Agri-Pulse's Spencer Chase and Phil Brasher look ahead to the rest of 2015.

Agri-Pulse: Ag groups state priorities for highway bill fixes
Link - A group of 28 agricultural organizations sent a letter to the House of Representatives today stating their objectives in the transportation funding process, which has become a political football most recently punted at the end of July.

Agri-Pulse: Update from Illinois Congressman
Link - (Audio) Congress will be back in session after Labor Day with still much to accomplish.

Agri-Pulse: Indiana farmer Kip Tom enters Third District congressional race
Link - A prominent Indiana farmer, Kip Tom, this week joined the crowded field of Republicans who want to succeed U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman in Congress.

Wall Street Journal: Fitness Trackers May Catch on With Cows
Link - Wearable fitness trackers have become a hot must-have gadget among the tech-savvy and health-conscious, but the devices have still not taken off to the point where beef cattle are wearing them. That is, not until now. Corn Belt Land Values Shrink
Link - Cropland values are down in the major corn- and soybean-growing states, the result of slumping commodity prices and expectation of higher interest rates. The decline is largest in Iowa, off 6% from mid-2014 to an average $8,200 an acre, says USDA’s annual Land Values report.

Yellowhammer News: Alabama Agriculture commissioner says food safety in jeopardy if cuts are made
Link - The commissioner said chicken houses could go untested for avian flu, meat could go un-inspected, and underfunding the state’s seed lab could disrupt the $75 billion a year industry.


Live Science: 'Synthetic' Leaves: The Energy Plants of the Future? (Kavli Roundtable)
Link - A research team at UC Berkeley has achieved synthetic photosynthesis by combining nanoscale semiconductors and genetically modified bacteria, creating a biologically inspired, but completely artificial, system that converts the sun's rays into fuel and chemicals.

The Desert Sun: Renewable energy bill far from perfect, experts say
Link - With one week until California’s Legislature closes shop for the year, lawmakers are scrambling to pass an ambitious climate and energy plan. At stake are several top priorities for Gov. Jerry Brown: a 50 percent cut in oil use, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings, and a 50 percent clean energy mandate.

The News & Observer: Hijacking conservatism in the renewable energy wars
Link - (Opinion) We have all heard about President Obama’s “war on coal,” but the challenges facing the coal industry are much more complex than the “war” label would imply. There is a war on energy, but the target is not coal, it is wind and solar energy.


Agri-Pulse: New price reports seen boosting non-GMO, organic markets
Link - Keeping up with the growing demand for non-GMO and organic products is proving to be a challenge. The Agriculture Department is betting that providing farmers with information on market prices will help.

Agri-Pulse: Retirement muddies future of school nutrition standards
Link - The chairman of the House committee that oversees child nutrition programs is retiring from Congress next year, raising questions about prospects for reauthorizing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Agri-Pulse: Project targets nutrition-related Native American health problems
Link - The University of Arkansas School of Law's Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative is formulating a comprehensive set of model food and agricultural codes for Indian tribes in an effort to fight obesity, diabetes and other nutritional health problems that affect Native Americans at disproportionate rates compared to other ethnic groups.

CBS Minnesota: General Mills Selling Green Giant, Le Sueur For $765M
Link - General Mills is selling its Green Giant and Le Sueur vegetable businesses to B&G Foods Inc. for about $765 million in cash.

Wall Street Journal: Ocean Spray Turns to Oculus Rift to Promote Cranberry Harvest
Link - The 85-year-old cranberry cooperative this month is rolling out its first campaign using Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual technology with a five-minute film documenting the flooding of a cranberry bog for the fall harvest.


Wall Street Journal: China Plows Big Money Into Australian Agriculture
Link - Australian deal makers are swapping hard hats for cowboy hats as Chinese investors increasingly explore a new natural-resource boom: agriculture.

Wall Street Journal: French Government Pledges More Aid for Farmers, After Tractor Protest in Paris
Link - The French government pledged to increase aid for agriculture on Thursday, after thousands of farmers converged on Paris and blocked the city’s streets with more than 1,500 tractors to protest against high costs and low prices.

New York Times: U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows; More File for Jobless Claims
Link - The trade deficit in the United States fell in July to its lowest level in five months as exports rose broadly, signaling underlying strength in the economy despite concerns about a global growth slowdown.

St. Catharines Standard: Army of migrant workers power Niagara's farms
Link - About 16,000 overseas workers come to Ontario throughout the year, with 2,860 of them working this year on Niagara farms, orchards and greenhouses. They come from Mexico, Jamaica and the Caribbean islands and have to apply through their home country's ministry of labour.


Washington Post: Forest Service spends a record $243M last week on wildfires
Link - The agency has spent all the money Congress provided for fighting wildfires in the 12-month budget period, forcing it to borrow money from forest restoration work designed to reduce the risk of fires. That’s happened in six of the past 10 years, Vilsack said.

Mesquite Local News: Successful grouse conservation efforts should prevent listing of bird
Link - (Opinion) Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval took the opportunity to bend the ear and twist the arm of President Obama when he was in Las Vegas this past week, urging him to throw his weight around and prevent the greater sage grouse from being listed this month under the Endangered Species Act.

EP News Wire: Endangered bird populations rebound thanks to Michigan DNR and conservation work
Link - The Michigan DNR announced Tuesday that two endangered species of birds, the piping plover and the Kirtland’s warbler, have been observed in record numbers in the state this year, which the wildlife agency attributes to conservation efforts enacted with the help of partners.


LA Times: Europe's migrant crisis dwarfs U.S. problems on the Mexican border
Link - The United States has a challenge dealing with illegal immigration from Latin America, but it pales in comparison with what Europeans are facing.

Washington Post: Inspectors: Poultry company doesn’t properly report injuries
Link - Federal inspectors have accused poultry producer Allen Harim Foods of using a First Aid station at its Harbeson processing facility to avoid reporting worker injuries.

New York Times: California Heat Puts Farm Workers at Risk
Link - California’s drought has forced cities to cut back on water and (some) farmers to let their fields go fallow. But increasingly hot, dry weather in the state may have its most dire effect on some of the people who plant and pick its crops.

Lincoln Journal Star: Farm and Food: The cost of hunger for deportation
Link - No one in U.S. agriculture has a hard count on how many undocumented workers are employed in American food production. Recent estimates, however, suggest roughly 70 percent of the 1.2 million employed by American farms have no legal right to be in the U.S.


Agri-Pulse: Syngenta to sell seeds business as it moves to placate shareholders
Link - Syngenta today said it plans to divest its global vegetable seeds business and buy back $2 billion in shares as part of a plan to accelerate shareholder value creations.

Washington Post: More evidence that the key to allergy-free kids is giving them plenty of dirt - and cows
Link - People who grow up on farms -- especially dairy farms -- have way fewer allergy and asthma problems than the rest of us. Now one research team thinks they've brought science closer to understanding why.

SFGate: Albany enlists goats to clear land around city reservoir
Link - Albany city officials are experimenting with goat power to help clear overgrown land around a reservoir.

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