Daily Harvest -- 9/11/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Rail backlogs in upper Midwest described in Senate hearing
- (Subscriber only) Rail availability continues to be a hot topic on Capitol Hill as the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a two-paneled hearing Wednesday to look at the issue.
Agri-Pulse: Chairman Rogers introduces ‘clean’ continuing resolution
- House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced what he described as a “clean” short-term Continuing Resolution, H.J.Res.124, to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2014 and change a few existing laws.
Agri-Pulse: Stabenow receives World Food Program USA’s highest honor
- Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow was presented today with the World Food Program USA's McGovern-Dole Leadership Award - its highest honor -- for her efforts in fighting global hunger.
Politico: Farm bill foes find trouble of their own
- “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” was Chiffon margarine’s famous line in the ’70s. Turns out, that’s true, too, for the farm bill.
Los Angeles Times: Opinion: City liberals lose out to rural Republicans for control of House
- Folks in the hinterlands who complain that they want their country back should stop whining. They have a lock on the House of Representatives and a good shot at owning the Senate, too. Meanwhile, the majority of Americans, who live in cities and close-in suburbs, are stuck with having their government tilted in favor of the rural minority.
Associated Press: Senators Chide Freight Railroads on Delays
- Senators and shippers complained Wednesday that widespread delays in freight rail shipments are hurting a wide array of industries and driving some companies out of business, and they expressed doubt that the railroad companies are doing all they can to fix the problem.
Reuters: U.S. grain glut is testing rail and storage system -official
- A stockpile of U.S. Midwest grain will likely increase in the coming months and tax farmers already desperate to house or haul corn, soybeans and other products ahead of an expected record harvest, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said on Wednesday.
Reuters: US cellulosic fuel makers press Obama to alter biofuel plan
- The nascent U.S. cellulosic ethanol industry has urged the White House to change course on targets for biofuel use, warning in a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday that current policy risks losing investments to China and Brazil.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reuters: Wal-Mart joins U.S. crop-tour fever seeking food chain edge
- Retail giant Wal-Mart joined a group of volunteers counting corn ears and soybean pods in fields in the United States recently in a clear sign traditional crop tours are expanding their appeal from farmers and traders to all those with a stake in the U.S. food chain.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USTR cites progress in TPP but not on market access
- (Subscriber only) The U.S. Trade Representative's Office (USTR) says negotiators made “important progress” on a range of issues during 10 days of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in Hanoi, but apparently the contentious issue of market access wasn't among them.
Financial Times: UN trade body criticises free trade
- The UN’s trade body has joined a chorus of criticism of globalisation, warning that developing countries reap little value from taking part in global supply chains and that the costs of joining free-trade agreements may outweigh the gains.
Bloomberg: Australia Agriculture Seen Luring Foreign Buyers on Demand
- Overseas investment in agricultural assets in Australia, the world’s third-biggest beef and sugar exporter, is set to expand as countries outside of China step up their push to secure access to farms and food supplies.
Reuters: India notifies WTO of $56 billion farm support in 2010-11
- India spent $56.1 billion on support for farmers in 2010-2011, it said in a World Trade Organization filing on Wednesday, a document that will be pored over for evidence that it breached agreed limits on agricultural subsidies.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA should broaden sustainability analysis, NRC says
- The EPA should broaden its decision-making approach from its traditional emphasis on reducing emissions and waste releases from individual point sources to “consider life-cycle effects of business processes along the entire ‘value chain' of a product's development, including raw material extraction, manufacture, consumer use and reuse.”
Agri-Pulse: Agriculture calls for Endangered Species Act Reform
- (Audio) Agriculture interests offered perspective on how the ESA is impacting farmers and ranchers during a House Natural Resources Committee field hearing this week.
CNBC: California rice farmer: Drought may make us 'quit'
- Nearly 25 percent of California's $5 billion rice crop will be lost this year due to lack of water, say experts. And while analysts say the loss is not a crisis just yet, at least one rice producer is ready to call it a day.
Bloomberg: California’s Water-Starved Farmers Stymied by Fish Protections
- Environmental protections for endangered salmon in California’s rivers and streams are drawing complaints from drought-stricken farmers who say water that could be pumped to them is allowed to empty into the ocean.
Los Angeles Times: Brazil says rate of Amazon deforestation up for first time in years
- The deforestation of the Amazon in Brazil increased by 29% in the last recorded year, according to figures released Wednesday by the country's National Institute for Space Research, or INPE.
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