Daily Harvest -- 9/15/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA, DOD to provide transitioning service members with agriculture training
- USDA and the Department of Defense (DOD) announced a partnership Monday that would add agriculture to the career training and counseling provided to the 200,000 service members leaving the military and returning to civilian life every year.
Agri-Pulse: USDA reports reflect smaller corn, soybean crops than last year
- (Audio) The Department of Agriculture recently released two reports detailing projections for the upcoming corn and soybean crop, and this year’s commodities look to be a touch below last year’s record returns.
WTVY: Employment up in Florida agriculture; Crops generate $148B
- A new University of Florida report found there were more than 1.5 million people working in Florida agriculture in 2013.
Bend Bulletin: ‘Seed police’ protect our agriculture
- When you open a packet of seeds, you probably don’t worry whether the contents will actually produce the plants you’re intending to grow. That’s because a seed company that fails to deliver what the package promises answers to USDA’s Seed Testing and Regulatory Division.
Wall Street Journal: Solar-Power Sharing Programs May Be Poised to Take Off
- Although a relatively small business now, community solar is growing and could account for as much as half of the small-scale solar-panel market by 2020, according to a new forecast.
Rutland Herald: Report: Green energy drives jobs
- Gov. Peter Shumlin is touting a report commissioned by the Vermont Department of Public Service that shows rapid job growth in the clean energy industry.
KSFY: New $225 million energy project to boost South Dakota wind power
- A new $225 million energy project - billed as a game changer for South Dakota energy - will culminate with the construction of 70 new miles of high voltage transmission lines built to move electricty from turbines to the people who need it.
ABC News: Thai Villagers Say Gas Drilling Sickens Them, Ruins Crops
- Villagers in the northeast provinces of Udon Thani, Khon Kaen and Kalasin are trying to stop the hydraulic fracturing operations of American company APICO and its subsidiary Tatex Thailand.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Child nutrition bill delayed as talks continue
- The Senate Agriculture Committee has delayed action on a child nutrition bill with negotiations still continuing.
Washington Post: Don’t let lobbyists decide what your children eat at school
- (Opinion) The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is up for renewal this month, and the School Lunch Industrial Complex is trying to make it less healthful again.
Wall Street Journal: Gluten-Free Diet Has No Benefit for Children With Autism, Study Finds
- A diet popular as an alternative treatment for autism doesn’t appear to improve behaviors or symptoms of the condition, according to a small but rigorously conducted study published this month in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
TIME: Diet Soda Drinkers More Likely to Eat Unhealthy Food, Study Finds
- People may think they are avoiding calories when they opt for diet soda, but a new study claims that those who commonly choose diet drinks often compensate for the low calorie content by eating more unhealthy food.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: China, Brazil wheat subsidies hurting U.S. growers, study contends
- Excessive subsidizing by China, Brazil and other advanced developing countries is harming U.S. and world wheat farmers and could cost U.S. growers nearly $1 billion in revenue every year, according to a study commissioned by U.S. Wheat Associates.
Agri-Pulse: China to sign agreement allowing US rice imports, USRPA says
- U.S. and Chinese officials will sign a phytosanitary agreement next week that will allow U.S. rice exporters to ship the grain into the world's most populous country, US Rice Producers Association (USRPA) said.
Wall Street Journal: Poultry Dispute Threatens South African Trade With U.S.
- Trade officials from the two countries are meeting Monday in an attempt to assuage South Africa’s fears over an avian influenza outbreak in 15 states that has prompted the country to delay an earlier agreement to accept 65,000 tons of annual duty-free U.S. poultry imports.
Tech in Asia: Agriculture tech: next big opportunity in Southeast Asia?
- Agriculture has become – pardon the pun – a lucrative field for technology companies. A total of US$2.36 billion was invested into the global agriculture tech – or agtech – businesses in 2014, according to a new study.
Reuters: Asia trade deal unites U.S. Gulf and Vietnamese shrimpers in worry
- Gulf shrimping is among a group of U.S. industries - including textiles, autos and sugar - that look vulnerable as President Barack Obama's signature 12-nation trade pact nears its final negotiating stages.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Science: Bats are worth $1 billion to agriculture
- Corn farmers, look to the sky at dusk and mutter thanks to the bats swooping over your moth-ridden fields: Those winged mammals put more than $1 billion back into your collective pockets, a new study suggests.
LA Times: Sierra Nevada snowpack hit a 500-year low in 2015
- In a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists estimate that the recent Sierra Nevada snowpack was the lowest it has been in more than 500 years.
LA Times: As wildfires rage in West, ranchers lose cattle, rangeland
- In Oregon's Canyon Creek Complex alone, 125 of the 170 square miles burned were grazing allotments for some 4,000 cows.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Noozhawk: CAUSE Study Cites Health, Safety, Wage Concerns for Santa Barbara County Farm Workers
- A day before an Agricultural Labor Relations Board hearing in Santa Maria, a group of activists has released a study highlighting numerous health, safety and other concerns cited by Santa Barbara County farm workers about their workplace conditions.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Guest workers at Minnesota farm paid illegal fees, kept silent by threats
- A family-owned vegetable farm in Foley, Minn., is at the center of an alleged conspiracy to bring in workers with false papers from the Dominican Republic, force them to pay illegal fees and threaten them to keep them quiet.
Agri-View: Losing immigrant dairy workers a disaster
- A new report commissioned by the National Milk Producers Federation found losing immigrant farm workers on dairy farms would dramatically increase retail milk prices and cost the U.S. economy more than $32 billion.
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