Daily Harvest -- 9/14/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Senators struggle to reach deal on school nutrition
- Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts is trying to reach a sweeping agreement on child nutrition programs in time to move a reauthorization bill this week. However, disputes over several key policy issues stand in the way.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with J.B. Penn, chief economist for Deere and Co.
- (Audio) In this interview you’ll hear Dr. Penn’s perspective on renewable fuels, a pending domestic interest rate increase and how a slowing, instead of a growing economy, will affect U.S. agriculture.
Agri-Pulse: Sen. Rand Paul opens up on trade, the RFS and GMO labeling
- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spent the weekend crisscrossing Iowa's mid-section to rev up sagging voter support for his GOP presidential nomination. He believes his straight talk on a number of issues will resonate with farmers and ranchers.
Agri-Pulse: USDA trims estimates for corn yields, production
- USDA on Friday trimmed its yield and production estimates for the U.S. corn crop, which is still expected to be the third-biggest on record.
The Economist: Growing pains
- Farming is more efficient than ever, but the search for high yields has also made it more concentrated, and more risky.
Civil Eats: What the Sale of Niman Ranch Could Mean for Farmers
- As one of the go-to brands behind Chipotle’s antibiotic-free pledge, and a relatively accessible alternative to industrially-produced meat, Niman Ranch has carved out an important niche in a market where demand for antibiotic-free and humanely produced foods are steadily on the rise.
Ag Professional: Research reveals resistant genes could beat soybean aphids
- Research shows aphid-resistant varieties of soybean containing two genes – called Rag1 and Rag2, which stand for ”resistant to aphis glycines” – perform as well or better than insecticides, virtually eliminating aphids from the field.
EurekAlert!: Kansas State University study uncovers new approaches for sorghum breeders
- A study on a sorghum population at Kansas State University has helped researchers better understand why a crop hybrid often performs better than either of its parent lines, known as heterosis.
Toledo Blade: Report supports energy mandates
- Ohio needs to let its two-year freeze on renewable energy mandates expire next year to become more competitive in the global marketplace, according to a report issued last week.
Seward City News: Seward approves grant for ocean-warmed clean energy project
- Seward, Alaska, recently applied for an $850,000 grant from the Alaska Energy Authority Renewable Energy Fund to construct an innovative ocean-warmed heat-district system, and promised that the city would contribute $85,000.
Wall Street Journal: South Africa Pushes to Expand Renewable Energy
- From rooftop solar panels to vast fields of groaning wind turbines, renewable energy is growing in Africa. And that has utilities racing to upgrade and expand dilapidated power grids so they can carry the electricity generated by a constellation of new producers large and small.
Triple Pundit: Productive Energy Use: A Catalyzer for Rural Energy and Water Access
- (Opinion) Pico-solar lighting and solar home systems have kick-started a base-of-the-pyramid push toward energy independence, and it is critical to continue this forward momentum in order to deliver a real long-term solution for rural energy and water access.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA issues draft guidance for calorie menu labeling
- The Food and Drug Administration today released a draft guidance document to help chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations comply with a new rule that requires calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards.
Agri-Pulse: Feed industry studying new FDA rule
- (Audio) FDA has released the Food Safety Modernization Act final rule regarding manufacturing practices, hazard analysis and preventative controls for animal feed.
New York Times: Longer Lunch Periods Mean Fuller Students
- In schools with short lunch periods, children eat less and discard more than in schools where they are allowed more time to eat, a new study has found.
Thomas Reuters Foundation: Kale or steak? Change in diet key to UN plan to end hunger by 2030
- Later this month, world leaders are set to endorse a U.N. goal to eliminate hunger by 2030, but they will have to convince their citizens to adopt new eating habits first, experts say.
Washington Post: Honey isn’t as healthy as we think
- So you might think that honey is better for you. But a study published this month compared the health effects of honey and high-fructose corn syrup and found no significant differences.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Pork exporters expect decade-long Japanese tariff reduction in TPP
- Officials in the U.S. pork industry expect the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will mean greater access for their products to the Japanese market, but they say it may be years before exporters feel big results.
Agri-Pulse: Obama urged to push China on biotech approvals
- Farm groups and biotech companies want the White House to press China harder to accelerate its approval of new genetically engineered crops.
Washington Post: Sowing self-sufficiency in Africa with Anacostia-based ‘Hello Tractor’
- Nigerian farmers send a text to Hello Tractor’s U.S.-based dispatchers, who locate the nearest GPS-embedded Smart Tractor and ping the service provider. The Smart Tractors, which can be rented for $75 a day, are used with tiller attachments and typically arrive within three days.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
LA Times: Towns burn as destructive California wildfire overruns residents
- The Butte fire that began southeast of Sacramento and has plowed through 65,000 acres started Wednesday, doubled in size the following night, then doubled again the next day — prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.
The New Yorker: Will the Sage Grouse Win the West?
- Yet the greater sage grouse, as the bird is formally known, and its ancestors have survived for forty million years, overcoming every climate shift and predator except, perhaps, man.
Seattle Times: Feds: Sage-grouse populations threatened by wildfires
- Fires raging throughout the Intermountain West are reported to be a long-term threat to sage-grouse populations as Fish and Wildlife officials contemplate protection for the game bird.
Des Moines Register: How do we fix Iowa’s nitrate pollution?
- The underground drainage system that has turned the state into an agricultural powerhouse is also being blamed for environmental problems that the state’s settlers couldn’t have imagined when they dug the first tiles more than a 100 years ago.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Augusta Chronicle: Robots replace workers on smaller dairy farms, upping milk production and cutting costs
- Robots have taken up residence at some small- and medium-sized dairy farms across the country, providing reliable and more efficient labor and helping the businesses remain viable. Plus, farmers say, the milking technology makes for happier, more productive cows.
The Californian: Immigrants to U.S. find opportunities amid strawberries
- (Opinion) In California, farm worker regulations are much more protective than the rest of the nation. These regulations are intended to keep the workplace and the workers safe, and include rules governing wages, working conditions, and health and safety precautions.
Agri-Pulse: Federal Judge dismisses some claims in Syngenta's Viptera lawsuit, while others advance
- (Subscriber only) A U.S. federal district court judge on Friday dismissed a number of the legal claims filed against Syngenta regarding U.S. sales of Viptera, but will allow some challenges to be potentially amended and others to go forward.
KFOR News: Drone shot down at Inhofe fundraiser
- An infamous fundraiser that involves shooting pigeons has taken down another flying object: a drone.
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