Daily Harvest -- 9/5/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Farm subsidies among OECD nations continue to fall
- Government support for agriculture in the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development continued to trend downward in 2013, but much of the support remained in a form that distorts markets, an OECD report shows.
Agri-Pulse: Field hearing held in Fargo by Surface Transportation Board
- Surface Transportation Board officials held a field hearing Thursday in Fargo, N.D., to address rail service issues that continue to impact North Dakota and surrounding states.
Agri-Pulse: A first ever Bison study to be done by USDA
- (Audio) The first-ever survey of bison production in the United States is underway. The goal is to get a better understanding of the bison industry.
Washington Post: Senate women blaze a trail in Africa
- Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, this week led an all-woman delegation — possibly the first ever — on an 11-day trip to Africa via business-class military jet, with stops in Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rome.
Cincinnati.com: More veterans look to farming
- USDA data shows that even though rural America makes up 17 percent of the country’s population, it accounts for 44 percent of the men and women who served in the military. Ohio is home to more than 870,000 veterans.
DTN: Grasping Farm Program Changes
- Winter wheat farmers face a Sept. 30 deadline to sign up for Supplemental Coverage Option insurance, a policy they should consider buying just to keep their options open for commodity programs.
Agri-Pulse: USDA awards loan guarantee for jet fuel biorefinery
- USDA is awarding Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels LLC a loan guarantee for $105 million to build a biorefinery to produce jet fuel from municipal solid waste.
Christian Science Monitor: On England farm, manure drives 100 percent sustainable cheese
- Wyke Farm is the UK’s biggest cheesemaker and is now the first U.K. cheddar brand to be 100 percent self-sufficient with several green projects like an anaerobic digester plant that converts manure into energy.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Bloomberg Businessweek: Have We Reached Peak Burger?
- In recent years, however, the companies that made Big Macs and Whoppers into icons of American pop culture have seen robust domestic expansion disappear from their menus.
Wall Street Journal: How the Feds Distort Their 'Food Insecurity' Numbers
- If the past is any guide, the survey will be wrongfully invoked by politicians and pundits as proof of a national hunger crisis.
Reuters: A hot cup of genome: Scientists percolate coffee's genetic secrets
- If you prefer your genetic research to be rich, bold, flavorful, steaming hot and with a bit of a kick, try a mug full of this: Scientists have deciphered the coffee genome and found genetic secrets that may make your cup of joe even better in the future.
The Atlantic: The Food Gap Is Widening
- Nutritional disparities between America’s rich and poor are growing, despite efforts to provide higher-quality food to people who most need it. So says a large study just released from the Harvard School of Public Health that examined eating habits of 29,124 Americans over the past decade.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: Hit by Russian Boycott, European Union Increases Marketing Budget for Its Farm Goods
- The European Union’s agriculture commissioner said Wednesday that he planned to double the amount of money available for promoting the sale of farm goods, in an effort to counteract the effects of a boycott by Russia, an important export market for European producers.
Wall Street Journal: Can Ethanol Save Brazil’s Sugar Sector?
- Brazil is the world’s biggest producer of sugar and of ethanol made from sugar cane. Years of low prices for both have prompted dozens of mills to close and growers to cut back crop investments.
NPR: Russians React To Western Food Ban With Pride, Resignation
- One month into the food ban Russia imposed on most Western imports of produce, meat, fish and dairy, the city's grocery shelves are still stocked. And average Russians don't seem particularly perturbed about the ban, an answer to sanctions over Russia's involvement in Ukraine.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Reuters: U.N. chief tries to kick-start sagging enthusiasm for climate deal
- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this month hopes to reinvigorate the years-long effort to forge a global climate deal, even as concerns grow over whether the final pact will be rigorous enough to address threats to the environment.
New York Times: Hundreds of Fast-Food Workers Striking for Higher Wages Are Arrested
- Hundreds of fast-food workers and labor allies demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested in sit-ins around the country on Thursday, as the protesters used civil disobedience to call attention to their cause.
Wall Street Journal: GOP Sends Help for Now-Vulnerable Kansas Senator
- Senate Republicans raced Thursday to shore up the campaign of a suddenly vulnerable incumbent, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, after the Democratic challenger withdrew from the race Wednesday and eased the path for a potentially stronger independent candidate.
The Hill: McCarthy slams feds' tips for making s'mores
- "This perfectly captures what is wrong with our government. Hard-earned tax dollars supporting bureaucrats who can’t pass up an opportunity to tell us how to live our lives."
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