Daily Harvest -- 9/17/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack sees RFS higher than EPA’ original proposal
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he expects blending requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard will end up being raised from the EPA's draft proposal for 2014, but he cautioned those in the ethanol industry not to focus too much on the numbers.
Businessweek: Cattle Is ‘Last Bull’ as Herds Dwindle: Riskless Return
- As bulging supplies of commodities such as corn and sugar drive most raw materials lower, cattle futures are providing a haven for commodity investors. Prices are up 23 percent in the past 12 months and are on pace for a sixth straight annual gain.
Ohio’s Country Journal: Farm Bill decision hot topic at Farm Science Review
- As growers consider their options under the new provisions of the 2014 farm bill, economists and policy experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences were discussing what the changes mean for farmers.
Agri-Pulse: (Audio) State agriculture officials sound off on federal overreach
- State agriculture commissioners added their voices to the chorus sounding against EPA’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule.
Politico: Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell agree on continuing resolution, Syria
- Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are on the same page: The Senate will pick up and pass the House’s government funding bill that authorizes arming of Syrian rebels, then head home for the election.
Gannett: White House committed to ethanol, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack says
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday offered support to ethanol producers facing challenges now, saying the White House is committed to boosting use of the fuel in the country's gasoline supply.
Reuters: USDA chief says urged Buffett to ready BNSF for record crops
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack met with Warren Buffett last week to urge the billionaire investor to make sure his BNSF railroad is ready for an expected record corn and soy harvest this year.
Reuters: Syngenta faces second lawsuit over GMO corn rejected by China
- A second company has sued Syngenta AG over sales of genetically modified corn seed not approved by China, raising the stakes for the Swiss-based seed maker by including byproducts used for animal feed in its complaint and seeking class-action status.
GreenBiz: How 3 biodiesel companies defy the odds in a challenging industry
- While biodiesel companies across the United States await government decisions on updates to the Renewable Fuel Standard and the Blender’s Tax Credit, the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network checked in with three West Coast biodiesel companies for an insider’s look at the state of the industry.
Clean Technica: ADB Set To Release $150 Million For India’s Renewable Energy Transmission Network
- The Indian government is working rapidly towards setting up a renewable energy infrastructure as it plans to push for an aggressive expansion in renewable energy capacity.
The Washington Examiner: EPA extends comment period for power plant rule
- After lawmakers pressed for more time, the Environmental Protection Agency has extended by 45 days the comment period for its proposal to limit power plant emissions, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.
FOOD & NUTRITION
ABC News: Cuts to Food Stamps Will Only Hit 4 States
- Cuts to the nation's food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, an Associated Press review has found.
WebMD: High-Fat Dairy May Lower Diabetes Risk
- New Swedish research shows that eating and drinking high-fat dairy products is linked to a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes, appearing to contradict current guidance.
Reuters: Weak gasoline, food prices dampen U.S. producer inflation
- The Labor Department said on Tuesday falling gasoline and food prices restrained its producer price index for final demand last month.
USA Today: Free 'healthy' food for fast-food receipts
- One of the nation's largest recipe-kit delivery services is betting that thousands of new customers will bite on their food in exchange for trading fast food receipts.
Star Tribune: Urban agriculture comes home at a small farm in New Brighton
- It all started with “Super Size Me.” Watching the 2004 documentary, which highlighted the ills of a fast-food diet, made Kristie Kellis determined to change the way she ate.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
USA Today: Poll: Americans among most skeptical about global trade
- People around the world view a globalized, interconnected economy as a driver of job creation, increased wages and overall good for their economies, a new poll shows.
Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Moves Reflect Moscow's Long Shadow: Parliament Ratifies Deal with Europe After Concessions, While Rebels Hedge on Autonomy Plan
- Ukraine sought to draw a line under its confrontation with Moscow by ratifying a landmark trade-and-political deal with the European Union and approving limited autonomy for territories now controlled by Russia-backed separatists.
The Australian: China’s dairy churn: we can get more milk out of your cows
- One of China’s biggest milk companies is buying up dairy farms in Australia, convinced it can generate higher milk production and bigger profits here than most local dairy farmers are achieving.
Wall Street Journal: Irish Dairy Board aims to double U.S. Sales by 2020
- (Subscriber only) Ireland's main dairy cooperative aims to double its U.S. sales over the next six years, its top executive said, betting that Americans will be willing to trade up for more expensive, imported butter and cheese even amid already record dairy prices.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says
- In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions: that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free.
LA Times: Gov. Jerry Brown signs historic groundwater management legislation
- Gov. Jerry Brown signed a trio of bills Tuesday establishing a framework for statewide regulation of California's underground water sources, marking the first time in the state's history that groundwater will be managed on a large scale.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Door County farm has state's largest manure spill since 2005
- The state Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday that about 640,000 gallons of manure spilled from a farm in Door County. The accident is believed to be the largest spill in Wisconsin since 2005.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
WKU Public Radio: Outside Group Launches Immigration-Themed Attack Ads Against Grimes
- An outside group supporting Senator Mitch McConnell is spending nearly $1 million over the next week to run ads attacking his opponent on the immigration issue.
Businessweek: Group levels abuse allegations against NM dairy
- The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an investigation into a southern New Mexico dairy after an activist working with an animal welfare group recorded secret video which it plans to release publicly later today.
Washington Post: The decline of the small American family farm in one chart
- The Wonkblog discovers that while a number of farms continue to grow on one end of the spectrum, the rest are shrinking on the other, leaving fewer and fewer mid-sized farms. No mention of mechanization or other technological advancements that have driven the changes.
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