Daily Harvest -- 9/18/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: House approves measure to avoid government shutdown
- The House approved a continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the government running beyond the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year along with an amendment that provides for arming and training the Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Agri-Pulse: USDA approves new Dow corn and soybean traits
- USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced a determination of nonregulated status for Dow AgroSciences' genetically modified Enlist corn and soybeans that are resistant to several herbicides, including one known as 2,4-D.
Agri-Pulse: Updated FAPRI outlook shows bigger crops, lower prices
- The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) has released a new snapshot updating its five-year outlook for crop prices.
National Journal: Farm Groups Stick With Senate Republicans Despite Farm Bill Opposition
- No farm bill? No problem. That's the unexpected message from some of the nation's largest farm bureaus to Republican Senate candidates this year, several of whom got endorsements after either voting against or disavowing the biggest piece of legislation affecting the industry.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack vows vigilance over SNAP job pilot programs
- USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack used what was probably the last full House Agriculture Committee hearing of the 113th Congress to vow vigilance over pilot programs designed to help recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) find and keep good jobs.
Agri-Pulse: (Subscriber only) STB reform bill approved by Senate Commerce Committee
- A bill aimed at reforming the Surface Transportation Board, a government agency charged with resolving railroad rate and service issues, was unanimously approved by the Senate Commerce Committee.
Agri-Pulse: Scientists urge Obama to speed up FDA’s bio approval process
- (Subscriber only) An international group of 89 scientists and technology company executives is urging President Obama to order the FDA to speed up its approval process for new biotech products, saying the current process takes way too long and is damaging the agency's credibility.
New York Times: Altered to Withstand Herbicide, Corn and Soybeans Gain Approval
- The Agriculture Department has approved the commercial planting of corn and soybeans genetically engineered to survive being sprayed by the herbicide known as 2,4-D, according to documents it posted on a federal regulatory website on Wednesday.
The Hill: Senators back ‘technology-neutral’ energy taxes
- The Senate’s top tax lawmaker Wednesday expressed support for moving toward a “technology-neutral” system of tax incentives for energy production.
Agri-Pulse: CFTC action praised by House Ag Committee
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted to loosen a regulation on the energy market that lawmakers say will stabilize energy costs and benefit American consumers.
The Hill: OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House GOP to vote on massive energy bill
- House Republicans on Thursday will vote on a laundry list of energy bills and send them to the Senate, wrapped and with a bow on top.
Senate holds hearing on energy tax credits
- Agri-Pulse: (Audio) The Senate Finance Committee, with Chairman Wyden at the helm and ranking minority member Orrin Hatch, held a hearing Wednesday on reforming the outdated energy tax code.
RT.Com: Germany opens first renewable energy storage facility
- Germany has launched what it claims is Europe’s first and largest commercial battery plant, which will help to store renewable power sources.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Poor Fitness in Military Poses Peril, Report Says
- An increase in the number of overweight and out-of-shape service members who are unable to run long distances or perform physical tasks poses a direct threat to the United States’ ability to protect itself, a group of retired military leaders said.
Detroit News: 148K Mich. families face 15% cuts in November to food aid
- About 148,000 low-income Michigan families will see 15 percent cuts in their food stamp assistance in November under the federal farm bill Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law in February.
Bloomberg: Food Babe’s Ingredient Attacks Draw ‘Quackmail’ Backlash
- ‘Food Babe’ Vani Hari belongs to an emerging tribe of Web activists who use attention-grabbing -- some say outlandish -- methods to pressure companies to change their way.
Munchies: Texas Ag Commissioner has a bone to pick with Meatless Mondays
- The writer asks: What’s so wrong with offering tofu, seitan, beans, or legumes as a protein source? Commissioner Todd Staples wants to make sure that students and parents have a meat option every time that they go in a cafeteria.
Food Safety Magazine: GMA, Chinese Food Industry Group to Partner on Food Safety
- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Chinese National Food Industry Association (CNFIA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to intensify their joint food safety efforts in China and the United States, GMA announced today.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Japan's Amari, USTR Froman arranging TPP talks next week
- Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman are due to meet next week in Washington for talks on a bilateral deal that is crucial to clinching a broader multilateral Pacific rim trade pact.
ITAR-TASS: Russia may raise spending on agriculture to 204 billion rubles in 2015
- The Russian government plans to increase federal budget spending on the agriculture industry, including the fish sector, by 27.5 billion rubles ($708.4 million) to 203.5 billion rubles in 2015, according to the Finance Ministry’s documents seen by PRIME on Tuesday.
USA Today: Queasy stomach for food stocks
- Food stocks suffered a minor case of stomach flu Wednesday after General Mills dumped a bowl of lower-than-expected quarterly results on investors’ laps.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
National Geographic: Amid Drought, New California Law Will Limit Groundwater Pumping for First Time
- Despite California's reputation as an environmental policy leader, its regulation of groundwater extraction has long been among the weakest in the nation.
Time: (Video) Watch How California’s Drought Will Affect Your Wallet
- California’s drought means higher food prices for Americans. The West Coast has been in a persistent drought for the past 15 years. California, which grows more than 200 different crops, is being hit the hardest.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Newark Advocate: Don’t forget about the economics of immigration reform
- The crisis on the border might be dominating headlines when it comes to immigration. It’s an important aspect of the issue, but it should not be our only focus when it comes to improving our broken system.
Washington Post: Mr. Obama’s immigration stutter-step
- The editorial board argues that the president’s goals are right; his method, depending on how far he goes, seems ill-advised.
Agri-Pulse: FCC Wheeler commits to equal Internet access for rural America
- Testifying at a House hearing Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler voiced strong support for an “Open Internet” and for eliminating the “digital divide” that has saddled rural areas with slow-or-no Internet and dropped calls.
M Live: Backyard farm animals 'significant hazard' in the wrong neighborhoods, Michigan Agriculture Commission agrees
- By a vote of 4-0, Michigan's commissioners of agriculture Wednesday adopted changes in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program that make raising farm animals in areas zoned primarily residential ineligible for livestock verification.
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier: Ag economy complicates outlook, expert tells business audience
- In the short term, things are looking up for the U.S. economy, economist Anirban Basu told a gathering of more than 200 local business leaders and politicians at the 11th annual Economic Outlook Luncheon on Tuesday at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo.
Denver-based Leprino Foods terminates contract with abusive dairy
- Denver-based Leprino Foods Co. on Wednesday said it has terminated shipments from a New Mexico dairy where workers were caught on video abusing cows.
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