Daily Harvest -- 9/20/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Sept. 20, 2016
- Executives from five seed and crop protection giants will be on Capitol Hill to defend their merger plans before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Also: More on labeling; Khapra beetles; Danish trade, and Brazilian beef and pork.
Agri-Pulse: USDA ramps up battle against rural opioid abuse
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new USDA initiatives to counter an epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse that has killed thousands of Americans, with a disproportionate impact on rural communities.
Agri-Pulse: Meet the Lawmaker: Minnesota's Tim Walz
- Minnesota's Tim Walz is one of the top Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee, putting him a position to help shape the next farm bill. In this interview, he talks with Agri-Pulse about his path to Congress, which included a detour to China.
Agri-Pulse: Infrastructure dollars the big challenge in keeping US exports moving
- Kip Tom, who produces a big acreage of soybeans, corn and seed corn in northeast Indiana, says he has watched transportation dollars for his state and counties shrink for years while the demands on the highways continues to increase with ever larger farm production.
N.Y. Times: Rural America Has Already Begun to Rebound
- Despite concerns about the fate of rural America, a number of key benchmarks show these areas have been growing economically since 2014, says Ag Secy. Tom Vilsack. Many were surprised when the Census Bureau released data last Thursday showing median household income in non-metro areas of the United States had increased by 3.4 percent in 2015 and poverty rates had fallen.
Metro News: W.Va. Farm Bureau expresses beef with state Agriculture Department
- The Farm Bureau claims the Agriculture Department’s purchase of four breeding cows from Oklahoma for $33,000 presents unfair competition for West Virginia’s existing beef cattle farmers.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: 'Tectonic shifts' reshape energy landscape
- The falling price of renewable energy, efforts to address climate change and the proliferation of Big Data are key trends upending the way the power grid has operated for the last 100 years.
AP: Southern governors lift driver rules after gas spill
- The governors of three Southern states are lifting restrictions on the number of hours that truck drivers delivering fuel can work, hoping to prevent shortages in both states after the shutdown of a pipeline that spilled at least 252,000 gallons of gasoline in rural Alabama.
Oil&Gas360: An exclusive interview with N.D. Congressman and Trump Energy Advisor Kevin Cramer
- On Sept. 16, a federal appeals court ordered a halt to construction of a second portion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.
N.Y. Times: The Standoff Between Big Oil and Big Corn
- Even as the Renewable Fuel Standard exerts its powerful sway, there is hardly consensus about whether it has delivered on the lofty promises lawmakers made a decade ago.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Fortune: Digital Food Stamps Could Help Solve SNAP Problems
- USDA has taken a step toward digitizing its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps.
The Cannabist: Dr. Bronner’s pledges $660K to marijuana legalization efforts in Calif., four other states
- “Cannabis reform” was one of three commitments outlined by Dr. Bronner’s officials following a move to leave the Organic Trade Association.
The Atlantic: Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Food
- Trump’s explanation of obesity on Oz’s show was barely coherent and extremely consequential
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Struggling U.S. wheat sector cheers trade action against China
- U.S. wheat farmers, struggling to make money as prices sink and global supplies swell, could be the main beneficiaries if Washington wins a case it brought last week against China over an estimated $100 billion in domestic grain market supports.
Kansas City Star: Missouri, Kansas councils ready to push for trade with Cuba
- Kansas and Missouri on Monday became the 14th and 15th states to form councils intent on pressing Congress to end the travel and trade bans. Representatives of agriculture associations for wheat, soybeans, sorghum, corn, rice and livestock are involved.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Minn. ag comissioner says farmers should go ahead with seed purchases
- Frederickson also says announcement should not have come as a surprise.
AP: California governor backs rules on cow, landfill emissions
- California will begin regulating greenhouse-gas emissions tied to dairy cows and landfills under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown, escalating state efforts to fight climate change beyond carbon-based gases to include methane and other pollutants.
Washington Post: Scientists published climate research under fake names. Then they were caught.
- In 2011, the pair’s previous work sparked sometimes intense — and sometimes misunderstood, they said — discussion in the climate-skeptic blogosphere. To would-be publishers, that association was deadly.
Baton Rouge Advocate: USDA announces $328 million for Gulf coastal conservation work
- USDA announced a three-year, $328 million restoration strategy for Gulf of Mexico coastal parishes and counties Monday in response to damage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
ArkansasOnline: Environment Notebook
- Drilling to test for hog manure leakage is set to begin this week at C&H Hog Farms near Mount Judea in Newton County, according to an Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality news release. Allso: The Fourche Mountain salamander does not get ESA protection.
S.F. Chronicle: Clinton plans while Trump scoffs on water, environment
- Since the California primary in June, when Clinton cautiously sidestepped questions on the state’s five-year drought, she has laid out detailed policy positions on Western water issues that have surprised experts with their nuance but have gone almost completely unnoticed.
AP: Feds approve new geothermal project on Idaho public land
- The project will include a mitigation plan for sage grouse and ferruginous hawks.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Indian Country Today Media Network: Beyond Farming: USDA’s Sedelta Oosahwee Knows How to Help Tribes
- Oosahwee works with USDA Office of Tribal Relations director Leslie Wheelock to connect tribes to the resources and programs at USDA, such as Rural Development and the Food and Nutrition Service.
NBCNews: Trump Uses NY/NJ Bombings to Bolster Case For Immigration Vetting
- Donald Trump on Monday used the New York and New Jersey bombings as further evidence to support his plans for an immigration ban from certain regions of the world, an ideological test for immigrants to the United States, and to prove that Hillary Clinton is unfit to sit in the Oval Office.
Missourian: Commentary: Even organic farmers sacrifice sustainability
- I visited a family farm recently. It was small, and local, and certified organic. In theory, it was everything an eco-conscious foodie could want. And yet, it wasn’t. Their biggest expense is labor, so they do everything they can to reduce that expense, including employing machines. A lot of machines. Machines that run on fossil fuels.
AP: Drone operators seek permission to fly out of direct sight
- The companies who want them say the so-called line-of-sight exemptions are essential to someday use drones for such tasks as cleanup and repair after storm damage and monitoring widespread crop conditions.
FiveThirtyEight: Trump’s Appeal To Rural Voters May Win Him An Electoral Vote In Maine
- He has a shot at winning one of Maine’s electoral votes, something a Republican hasn’t done since 1992.
WDAY: One of the world's largest international agriculture conventions coming to the Fargodome
- The Agriculture Bioscience International Conference is making its United States Debut at the Fargodome.
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