Daily Harvest -- 9/21/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Sept. 21, 2016
- Vilsack on Hill, probably for last time. Also: School meal bill; WRDA; tax extenders; mergers; new group for organic growers; grades for fast food firms.
Agri-Pulse: Grassley, Judiciary Committee hold ag merger hearing
- (Audio) Ag executives were called before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and they did their best to sell the benefits of their respective proposed mergers.
AP: Monsanto, Bayer officials defend proposed $66 billion merger
- Monsanto, the American seed and weed-killer, and Bayer, the German medicine and farm-chemical maker, responded to concerns from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Fortune: Bayer Considers Letting Go of the Monsanto Name
- The latter’s $66 billion acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of next year, and Bloomberg reports that the company is considering getting rid of the infamous Monsanto name. Monsanto products like seed corn and Roundup herbicide could instead be sold as Bayer CropScience brands.
Cosmopolitan: What It's Really Like to Be a Farmer
- Doris Mold, who operates a small dairy farm in Wisconsin and is also the president of American Agri-Women, talks to Cosmo about the ins and outs of farming.
Agri-Pulse: Carbon pricing gains support but strings attached
- Long-time carbon-pricing advocate Bill McKibben insists that putting a steadily increasing price on carbon emissions is essential but won't be enough to avoid the worst consequences of global warming.
Politico: Oil executive Lucas on short list to lead Trump Interior Department
- An oil industry executive who has spoken out against animal rights is a leading contender for Interior secretary should Donald Trump win the White House, two sources familiar with the campaign’s deliberations told POLITICO on Monday — a prospect that drew immediate condemnation from environmental activists.
Biofuels International: Energy vouches for higher ethanol blends after pipeline leak leaves US petrol pumps dry
- US ethanol trade association Growth Energy is calling for higher ethanol blends to be introduced in the aftermath a petrol pipeline leak that has left the pumps dry on many stations.
WDSU: Helis Oil and Gas terminates fracking project
- After more than two years of controversy and court battles, Helis Oil and Gas announced Tuesday the termination of its proposed fracking operation in St. Tammany Parish.
FOOD & NUTRITION
UPI: Study quantifies enviromental impact of genetically modified crops
- The largest, most comprehensive analysis of genetically modified crops suggest the practice has led to a reduction in insecticide use but a spike in the employment of herbicides.
Austin American-Statesman: Whole Foods, EPA reach deal in $3.5 million fine
- Austin-based Whole Foods Market says it has launched a series of new environmental efforts related to certain hazardous waste after announcing a settlement deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday.
AP: Just how much sugar do Americans consume? It's complicated
- On average, Americans' total consumption of caloric sweeteners like refined cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup is down 15 percent from its peak in 1999, according to government data. That's when we consumed an average of 111 grams of sugar a day (423 calories).
National Law Review: Antibiotic Ire: Groups Petition FDA to Limit Antibiotic Use in Food Animals
- In light of FDA’s demonstrated preference for working with industry to gradually phase out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals for production purposes (e.g., to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency), it appears that the petitioners have a hard road ahead. Regardless of how FDA responds to this petition, it is clear that antibiotic resistance remains a hot-button public health concern.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Marshall Matz: African agriculture seizes the moment
- (Opinion) Last week, 2,000 delegates convened at the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya, with one single focus in mind -- to scale up African agriculture. The African Green Revolution Forum included heads of state (and former heads of state), leaders of the African Union, the business community and civil society, all seeking to grow the agriculture economy and fundamentally change the human condition.
The Packer: TPP agreement key to ag future, trade official says
- U.S. produce suppliers risk being left behind in key emerging markets if Congress fails to approve the Trans Pacific Partnership, a leading trade official told industry leaders.
Cattle Network: U.S. farm group influence on U.S. trade negotiators
- With respect to the TPP, nearly all U.S. farm groups have expressed public support for the agreement, except for the National Farmers Union, which opposes TPP and most FTA’s in general, and the USA Rice Federation, which has not yet taken a public position.
Nebraska Radio Network: Nebraska Congressman joins fight against “unfair” trade practices of China
- (Audio) Congressman Adrian Smith has joined a bipartisan group in Congress as well as representatives of the Obama Administration in support of an enforcement action taken against China at the World Trade Organization.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Mother Jones: The Government Says This Popular Pesticide Doesn’t Cause Cancer. Here's the Problem With That.
- EPA and EFSA have so far not taken a position on the stuff as it's actually used.
Iowa Public Radio: Farmers Feel the Pressure to Fight Agricultural Water Pollution
- Living in the Platte River Valley in central Nebraska means understanding that the water in your well may contain high levels of nitrates and may not be safe to drink.
Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Developer: Rare flower won’t stop Newhall Ranch
- The prospect of the extremely rare San Fernando Valley spineflower being added to the nation’s list of endangered species is not expected to hamper or impede plans to build homes as part of the Newhall Ranch project, a spokesman for the developer said Tuesday.
Wisconsin Public Radio: Fall Nights Bring Out The Bats As They Migrate
- The little brown bat migration in Wisconsin has started, so don’t be alarmed if you see some hanging around your porch lights during the day, said Jennifer Redell of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Daily Coffee News: Danwatch Casts Troubling Labor Allegations in Guatemala Coffee Report
- The Danish independent journalism source Danwatch has published the results of its second major investigation within the coffee sector, suggesting instances in Guatemala’s coffee industry of illegal child labor, indications of forced labor, and dangers in attempts to unionize workers.
Fox News: Trump campaigning heavy in rural N.C., where immigrant farmworkers abound
- At the Duplin County Events Center – a building that can hold 4,000 spectators on the outskirts of Kenansville – the GOP presidential hopeful will make his pitch Tuesday to the disaffected, working class white voters who have propelled his campaign.
Farm Futures: Clinton and Trump: Where they stand on ag
- The candidates' campaigns respond to questions about agriculture.
N.Y. Times: The cost of corporate-funded research
- The news that the sugar industry secretly financed research on heart disease in the 1960s to make sure its product escaped blame was only one of the more egregious examples of business funding science to help their interests. Does corporate funding of scientific research need to be reduced?
AP: Texas official won’t be charged for ‘Jesus shot’ trips
- The Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the Republican for possible abuse of power. In a memo released Tuesday, prosecutors said they had determined “criminal intent would be difficult to prove.”
States News Service: USDA declares most of Massachusetts "natural disaster area"
- Eleven of the state's 14 counties have been deemed "primary natural disaster areas" due to substantial crop losses that began with a February deep freeze and continued though a summer marked by severe drought.
Des Moines Register: If Field of Dreams needs justice, the Iowa Supreme Court will come
- Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones and other actors convened at a ball field carved out of the corn near Dyersville in the summer of 1988 to shoot the film, a tourist site that endures. The rural oddity also reliably has yielded bitter disputes among neighbors, including this case that made its way to Iowa’s top court.
Washington Post: Kissing chickens is bad for your health, CDC warns
- The backyard chicken trend is causing an “emerging public health trend” in the form of increasing salmonella outbreaks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.
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