Daily Harvest -- 9/11/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: Iran, Planned Parenthood, Immigration and Food Safety Modernization Act.
- Editors Spencer Chase and Philip Brasher discuss actions on Capitol Hill this week, along with key regulatory measures on food safety.
Charlotte Observer: Drought’s effects intensify in Charlotte area
- One farmer reports that he’s gone from producing over 200 bushels of corn an acre two years ago to 60 bushels an acre.
Wall Street Journal: Shell CEO Tries to Calm Fears Over BG Deal
- Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s chief executive told investors privately that only “something cataclysmic” could derail the company’s $70 billion takeover of BG GroupPLC, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces states to receive blender pump infrastructure funding
- After much anticipation, USDA released the list of twenty-one states that will receive grants aimed at doubling the number of pumps offering higher blends of ethanol at gas stations.
Agri-Pulse: Sec. Vilsack touts new biofuels infrastructure funding
- (Audio) Sec. Vilsack says the USDA funds will be matched in 21 states for pump expansion.
USA Today: Records: Energy Department struck by cyber attacks
- Incident reports submitted by federal officials and contractors since late 2010 shows a near-consistent barrage of attempts to breach the security of critical information systems.
Business Green: India gives green light to new offshore wind farm zones
- India's government has introduced its first policy to govern the development of its nascent offshore wind industry in the country's latest push to boost renewable energy investment.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA finalizes new safety controls for food, feed
- The Food and Drug Administration finalized the first major food safety regulations under a sweeping federal law that's intended to prevent illnesses linked to both domestic and foreign-produced foods.
Wall Street Journal: Beef Prices Sizzle With U.S. Demand
- Americans’ love of the humble hamburger and a good steak is keeping beef prices at records in Australia and New Zealand, even as China’s economic slowdown eats away at demand for other agricultural commodities.
Reuters: World food prices fall sharply in August, extending slide
- World food prices fell sharply in August, dragged down by ample supplies and external factors including a slump in energy prices and concerns about an economic slowdown in China, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
Grist: A class action lawsuit against Chipotle says the chain is lying to diners about GMOs
- A closer look at the class action lawsuit claiming Chipotle has been sneaking GMOs into its “non-GMO” menu offerings.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: China to investigate illegal domestic GMO crops: agriculture ministry
- Following reports that GMO soybeans have been found, China will launch a nation-wide investigation over the suspected illegal cultivation of GMO crops.
Reuters: French court confirms Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning
- A French court upheld a 2012 ruling in which Monsanto was found guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer who says he suffered neurological problems after inhaling the company's Lasso weedkiller. The firm plans to appeal.
Salt Lake Tribune: U.S. soybean farmers losing out to Brazil
- As U.S. farmers start harvest, they're seeing their share of the global export market shrink, reflecting the growing interdependence of Brazil and China in agricultural trading.
Express: Jihadists seize control of Syria’s cotton industry
- Jihadists are said to have seized vast numbers of fields and now control around three-quarters of the production of cotton in the entire country.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Court stings EPA approval of Dow pesticide, citing need for more bee research
- The U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals vacated the EPA's approval of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, concluding that the agency violated federal law when it approved the registration without additional studies regarding potential impact on honeybees.
Sacramento Bee: Water Files: Mapping drought a surprising mix of art, science
- The federal government’s weekly map of drought severity is an important tool to track the crisis, and an unexpectedly hands-on exercise.
Los Angeles Times: California voters hopeful that El Niño will ease drought, poll finds
- On Thursday, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said that computer models unanimously favor a strong El Niño.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Conaway: More than 'meat cleaver' approach needed in GOP immigration debate
- Republican presidential candidates need to get beyond a “meat cleaver” approach to immigration policy and ensure that farms and food processors have an adequate supply of labor, says House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway.
Miami Herald: Female farm workers win $17 million sex-harassment case in Miami federal court
- Five female vegetable packers say they felt terrified and worried about losing their jobs over their supervisors actions at a Florida farm.
Iowa Farmer Today: Program helps farmers work with disabilities
- The AgrAbility Unlimited program helps eliminate or minimize obstacles that prevent farmers from performing their jobs.
SkiCurbed.com: Bill Koch’s Bear Ranch involved in $1.8 million cattle judgement
- The dispute centered over the breeding of prized Akaushi cattle at Koch's Bear Ranch.
The Weather Channel: One surprising advantage farm kids have over city kids
- The research is linked to the hygine hypothesis, which argues a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents increases the susceptibility to allergic diseases later in life.
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