Daily Harvest -- 9/25/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: National Teach Ag Day celebrates with a recruiting mission
- Thursday is National Teach Ag Day and the agricultural community will celebrate by encouraging students to enter the profession, which is facing a critical shortage while dealing with important issues such as sustainable food production, a growing global population, the state of the environment, and improving public health.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $59 million in funding to encourage rural development
- USDA has selected 85 utilities and cooperatives for grants and loans totaling more than $59 million to encourage economic growth in rural communities.
Des Moines Register: Purdue study uncovers details on plant building blocks
- Purdue University researchers said Wednesday they have discovered the structure of the enzyme that makes cellulose, a finding that could make it easier to break down plant materials used to make biofuels and other products.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Politico: Soda fight’s last stand
- Here in one of the most liberal corners of the nation, health advocates are preparing for what could be their last stand in the battle over taxing soda. Voters in San Francisco and Berkeley will consider a 1 or 2 cents per ounce sin tax on sugar-sweetened drinks on the ballot in November.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USTR says no progress on ag issues in TPP talks with Japan
- (Subscriber only) Two days of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks between top negotiators for the U.S. and Japan failed to produce any progress on critical issues involving agriculture and automobiles, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said.
Agri-Pulse: Increasing exports of distillers grains
- (Audio) Coming up next month is the 2014 Export Exchange sponsored by the USGC and RFA bringing together international coarse grains buyers and U.S. suppliers with a particular focus on distillers grains.
The Economist: Britain's biggest retailer is in worse trouble than previously thought
- In the third week of the job, the last thing a new chief executive wants to hear is that there is a £250m ($410m) black hole in his new employer's accounts. Yet this is exactly what happened to Dave Lewis, the new boss of Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, on September 19th.
Financial Times: Commodities: Cereal excess
- As the largest agricultural exporter, the US sets the direction for world markets, traders say. Illinois and other states in America’s Midwestern “corn belt” are on track to produce a record US corn harvest for a second consecutive year.
Wall Street Journal: France to Provide Aid for Farmers Hit by Falling Revenues
- The French government said Wednesday that it would provide aid for the country's farmers, in a bid to appease fruit and vegetable producers whose frustration with falling revenues has culminated in violent protests.
Associated Press: Drought Worsens China's Long-Term Water Crisis
- The corn has grown to only half its normal height on Yan Shuqin's ranch in the hills of Inner Mongolia this year, as a swath of northern China suffers its worst drought in 60 years.
Bloomberg: EU, Canada to Hail Draft Trade Pact That May Take Effect in 2016
- The European Union and Canada are poised to celebrate the end of five years of negotiations on a free-trade accord when both sides hold a summit later this week.
Bloomberg: Cross-Border Swap Dispute Risks Trade War, CFTC’s Giancarlo Says
- U.S. and European regulators risk a permanent breakdown in financial markets if they can’t end a dispute over transatlantic oversight of the $700 trillion swaps industry, a Commodity Futures Trading Commission member said.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack welcomes new Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture
- USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today said he welcomes the launch of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, announced at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York.
Agri-Pulse: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative aims at curbing nutrient runoff
- The federal government today unveiled the second phase of an inter-agency action plan designed to protect and restore the health of the Great Lakes, the largest system of fresh surface water in the world.
CNN: How to equip farmers for climate change
- This week in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening world leaders at Climate Summit 2014 to discuss actions the world must take to address the tremendous challenges of climate change.
Bloomberg: No Drought Relief in U.S. West Without Deep Mountain Snow
- The drought in the U.S. West is unlikely to end any time soon, and that makes the coming winter one of the most crucial in recent years.
Los Angeles Times: Drought triggers Southern California tumbleweed infestation
- Three years of drought have triggered an infestation of tumbleweeds across Southern California, raising the risk of wildfires, especially in the foothill areas.
New York Times: Are Bees Back Up on Their Knees?
- Bees are still dying; it’s just that we’re finding the dead bodies now, whereas with C.C.D., they were vanishing. Bees are still threatened by at least three major enemies: diseases, chemicals (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.) and habitat loss.
Wall Street Journal: Hunters Take a Hit to Preserve Sage Grouse
- As eight states across the West hold what could be one of the last sage-grouse hunting seasons this month, many hunters are cutting back on the traditional pastime, either by choice or because they are being forced to do so by wildlife managers.
Des Moines Register: New halls to help ISU ag engineers meet lofty goals
- Iowa State University's newest buildings — Sukup and Elings halls — have agriculture written all over them, sometimes literally. Think the Archer Daniels Midland student center and Iowa Pork Producers Association learning community.
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