Daily Harvest -- 9/9/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Sept. 9, 2016
- At AC21 meeting, Vilsack calls for establishing White House food council to coordinate food policy across the government, says cage-free egg pledges will be difficult to fulfill. Also: biotech overhaul; CFTC vacancies; Conaway and Roberts; lesser prairie chicken; Ryan says TPP doesn't have the votes.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: Sept. 8, 2016: Congress back on Capitol Hill
- Congress was back in town this week after taking seven weeks off for their summer recess. In this week's video, Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase discuss what's in store for the rest of 2016, including continuing resolution discussions and an energy bill conference.
Agri-Pulse: Relationship with landlord key as cash rents decline
- Commodity prices have been steadily on the decline and some inputs are starting to follow suit. The biggest input, land, is even showing signs of price relief for cash-strapped producers.
Agri-Pulse: John Block talks death taxes
- (Audio) I haven't talked about today's subject for awhile, but that doesn't mean that I have forgotten about it. I'm talking about the estate tax, or death tax as it is commonly referred to.
AP: With hopes fading, lawmakers meet on energy bill
- Congressional efforts to approve the first major energy bill in nearly a decade got a jump-start Thursday as lawmakers convened a long-delayed meeting aimed at finding a bipartisan agreement.
L.A. Times: Federal appeals court upholds $200-million penalty for California energy crisis
- In a 34-page opinion released Thursday by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a three-judge panel affirmed a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that large energy companies manipulated California’s power market during the state’s 2000-01 energy crisis.
The Log: Could big changes be in store for ethanol mandate and Renewable Fuel Standard?
- One presidential candidate reportedly sought advice from a California agency of how to alter the national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which sets mandates on the supply of ethanol in our gasoline. Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was called out in a federal report for failing to meet its statutory reporting requirements under the RFS.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Guardian: Teenage obesity rates could be linked to body's 'energy saving mode'
- The 12-year study found that 15-year-olds use 400 to 500 fewer calories while at rest each day than when they were 10 years old - a drop in resting metabolism of around a quarter.
Chicago Tribune: Mondelez unit opens food plant in southern Indiana
- The plant in Jeffersonville will employ about 200 people when production is fully shifted there from Schiller Park. The company is spending more than $39 million to lease and equip the plant, which is about twice the size of the Schiller Park plant.
N.Y. Post: Judge cracks food jokes during Chipotle exec’s court appearance
- A Manhattan judge mocked a top Chipotle executive indicted in a cocaine ring by cracking food jokes during the suspect’s brief court appearance Thursday.
Motley Fool: J.M. Smucker: Transformational Growth Story or Stagnating Food Business?
- After reporting earnings on Aug. 23, J.M. Smucker shares dropped 9%. It was the first reported quarter after the investor presentation back in June that highlighted the company's transformational growth of the last decade and plans going forward. How is the company executing on those plans so far?
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Bayer seeks to shape the future of farming
- Bayer officials are not officially commenting on any details related to its latest offer to purchase U.S-based seed and crop protection company Monsanto, but the life science company is making the case for how it plans to be a long-term industry player with an expanded portfolio of outcome-based solutions for farmers.
Reuters: Top Bayer Investor Comes Out in Opposition of New Monsanto Offer
- The investor, who declined to be named, said Bayer’s revised $127.50 a share offer for Monsanto would represent a “heavily overpaid” takeover, if the controversial deal should proceed.
Voice of America: Push for Agricultural Renaissance in Africa Gets $30B Boost
- The organizers of this week's Africa Green Revolution Forum in Kenya say the continent is well on its way to an agricultural renaissance.
Irish Times: GM may be crucial to forge a more sustainable route for agriculture, says food expert
- “The reality is that much of the beer, wine and cheese in Europe is produced with GMOs, it’s just that Europe’s labelling laws don’t require it to be labelled,” chief communications officer for US biotech company Intrexon Jack Bobo told The Irish Times.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA allots $26M to spur Ag innovation
- USDA is investing $26.6 million in 45 projects aimed a spurring innovative conservation initiatives on both rural and urban farms across the country.
Sacramento Business Journal: Brown approves far-reaching climate change laws
- California now has a guiding compass for environmental regulations spanning over the next decade, as Gov. Jerry Brown approved a package of stringent climate change laws on Thursday bemoaned by some business groups as overzealous mandates.
Journal-Sentinel: Farm group to offer aid on bad wells
- A farm group in northeastern Wisconsin announced plans on Wednesday to supply water to residents with tainted wells in Kewaunee County, where the practice of manure spreading — especially by large-scale farms with thousands of cattle — has been a contentious political topic.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Western Farm Press: Can California agriculture remain sustainable?
- The recent passage of a bill that eliminates the exemptions to overtime rules for farm workers has been called the “death nail” for agriculture by farm groups.
The Packer: Markon Cooperative Labor of Love event surprises packing crew
- Surprising a harvest crew with breakfast burritos, Wal-Mart gift cards and other items, Salinas-based Markon Cooperative is the latest Central Coast company to join the Labor of Love program and formally express appreciation to farm workers.
Wyoming County Free Press: USDA Ag Statistics Service is conducting its biannual farm labor survey
- The survey asks participants to provide information about farm labor on their operations, including total number of hired farm workers, hours worked, and wage rates paid for the weeks of July 10 through 16 and Oct. 9 through 15. For their convenience, survey participants will have the option to respond online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail. NASS will compile, analyze and publish survey results in the Farm Labor report, to be released on Nov. 17.
WBBJ: Tennessee agriculture license plate marks 20th anniversary
- Since being introduced to drivers, the plate with the little barn has generated more than $5.4 million for the Tennessee agricultural community.
CBS SF Bay Area: Central Valley Farmers Aim To Sting Bee-Hive Thieves
- A growing number of thieves are targeting farmers in California’s Central Valley by stealing bee hives, but those farmers are planning to fight back with a sting operation of their own.
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