Daily Harvest -- 9/26/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate creeps forward on legislation to avoid government shutdown
- The Senate overcame a procedural hurdle today, with a 100-0 vote, to advance a continuing resolution (H.J.Res.59) that would keep government departments, including USDA and FDA, funded at FY 2013 levels through mid-December.
Agri-Pulse: Sen. Thune: Farm bill still seeking food stamp 'sweet spot'
- House and Senate will have their work cut out for them in reconciling their wildly different farm bills, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., emphasized today during a media call.
Agri-Pulse: Farm policy expert comments on farm bill
- (Audio) Jim Miller, current Growth Energy Vice President and former policy advisor for the Senate Budget Committee, said the process for developing a farm bill this year has been a disaster and that it will be difficult to reconcile.
Agri-Pulse: Report shows cost of E15 for retailers
- (Audio) A report from the Petroleum Equipment Institute found that the cost for retailers to offer 15 percent ethanol blends is less than detractors have been proposing. The Renewable Fuels Association’s Robert White said the EPI report done at request of USDA shows that many will be able to offer E15 for $1,200 for the entire station.
Roll Call: Shutdown or Not, Farm Bill Extension Expires on Oct. 1
- It’s also important to remember that the expiring farm bill extension didn’t provide any additional mandatory funding for 37 programs that were left without a funding baseline when the 2008 law expired a year ago, according to the Congressional Research Service.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Organic advocates decry new USDA substance review protocols
- (Subscriber only) A seemingly innocuous change to organic substance review protocols by USDA's National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is drawing fire from some in the organic industry, who say the modification will dramatically decrease the likelihood that certain synthetic materials could be banned from use in USDA-certified organic foods.
NPR: Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground
- While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green.
The Oregonian: GMO bill's entry into PERS/taxes special session causes backlash
- With a week to go before a special Oregon legislative session on public employee pensions and taxes, sparring already has begun over an agriculture bill that has become part of the mix.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: WTO decides for U.S. in Chinese chicken dispute
- United States Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted an August 2, 2013 dispute settlement panel report in favor of the United States in a major trade dispute with China, proving that China's imposition of supposed antidumping duties on U.S. chicken “broiler” products violates international trade rules.
Agri-Pulse: Japan and United States agree to accept each other’s organic imports
- The United States and Japan have agreed to make it easier to import each other’s organic products. The Agriculture Department is planning to announce Thursday that organic products certified in Japan or in the United States may be sold as organic in either country.
Wall Street Journal: Shinzo Abe: Unleashing the Power of 'Womenomics'
- That strategy and other ways of helping farmers develop and implement their own action plans are part of what is known as the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment Project, or SHEP. Japan is preparing to promote this model in 10 countries in Africa. It is Womenomics for Africa.
Agri.EU: Deal to trim biggest payouts completes EU farm policy reform
- European Union negotiators have agreed a 5 percent minimum reduction in subsidy payments above 150,000 euros a year to individual farms, in a deal which finalises sweeping reforms to the common agricultural policy.
Bloomberg: Rattlesnake Frontier Answering Brazil’s Land Shortage
- Driven by rising global food demand, stricter environmental laws and expansion of protected areas, arable land prices have risen as much as sevenfold in some regions over the past decade.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Crop diversity: Our best hedge against natural disasters?
- Despite the fact that researchers have made great strides in plant breeding, there's not been enough attention paid to conserving and maintaining the world's most important food crops in seed banks, says Cary Fowler, the former executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
Roll Call: EPA Seeks Definition of 'Bodies of Water' for Clean Water Act
- The EPA took a giant step toward finally defining which bodies of water are subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act last week, when it filed a draft rule with the White House regulatory czar designed to settle the confusion created in recent years by a series of court decisions.
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