Daily Harvest -- 9/29/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: House clears bill extending grain standards, livestock reports
- With two days to spare, the House cleared legislation to extend grain inspection standards and livestock price reporting.
Agri-Pulse: Market survey finds staple food prices slightly lower than last year
- Americans are paying slightly less for a supermarket basket of 16 staples than they did a year ago, thanks in part to lower prices for dairy, bacon and apples and a drop in energy prices, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual Fall Harvest Marketbasket Survey.
LA Times: MacArthur 'genius' grant winner creates artificial leaves that photosynthesize
- Yang and his collaborators have created a synthetic leaf that uses the same ingredients as photosynthesis - water, sunlight and carbon dioxide - to produce liquid fuels like methane, butane and acetate. And just like nature's version of photosynthesis, it releases oxygen into the air.
The Guardian: Shell abandons Alaska Arctic drilling
- Shell has abandoned its controversial drilling operations in the Alaskan Arctic in the face of mounting opposition in what jubilant environmentalists described as “an unmitigated defeat” for big oil.
Huffington Post: Jeb Bush To Roll Out Energy Plan At Company With A History of Violations
- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush plans to release his energy policy at an event near Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and the site of his announcement has a history of environmental violations in the state.
Bloomberg: Energy Transfer Connects More Dots to Become One-Stop Shipper
- Energy Transfer Equity LP’s $38 billion acquisition of Williams Cos. fits with CEO Kelcy Warren’s long-standing formula for building an energy empire: Buy companies that connect the dots in the industry to leapfrog competitors.
Boston Herald: Renewable energy bills subject of Statehouse public hearing
- (Opinion) One bill would require Massachusetts utilities to work with the state Department of Energy Resources to pursue long-term contracts for bringing hydropower into the state. And a second would raise existing caps on the state's "net metering" program that allows homeowners, businesses and local governments to sell excess solar power they generate back to the electrical grid in exchange for credit on their bills.
Santa Cruz Sentinel: Santa Cruz County unveils cost-saving energy storage system
- Six new lithium-ion battery towers housed in the basement of the Santa Cruz Governmental Center will create savings for taxpayers during the next 10 years, county representatives said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.
Scientific American: Flow Battery Could Smooth Irregular Wind and Solar Energy Supply
- Scientists in the US have developed an alkaline flow battery that they hope will help to tackle the tricky problem of storing energy from renewable power sources such as wind and solar.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: Chipotle Resumes Suspended Pork Sales at Most of its Restaurants
- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said it is now serving carnitas at 90% of its restaurants, after having suspended sale of pork in about a third of its locations while it addressed animal-welfare standards among its suppliers.
USA Today: Whole Foods to Cut 1,500 Jobs
- Whole Foods (WFM) is cutting 1,500 jobs over the next two months, or about 1.6% of its workforce, as it focuses on its strategy to lower prices for customers, the grocery chain said Monday.
Battle Creek Inquirer: Kellogg acquires Egypt cereal company Mass Food Group
- Kellogg Co. continues to expand its reach into Africa with the announcement Monday the company has acquired Egypt's top cereal company, Mass Food Group.
DTN Progressive Farmer: Food Security Challenges: A Risky Course of Action
- Executive chairman of the board for Cargill Inc., Page leads the outreach to production agriculture for the ad hoc group Risky Business. Since last year, the group has issued various reports on the economic risks of climate change in the U.S.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: With cap and trade plan, China adopts emissions policy that couldn’t get through U.S. Congress
- China may be the world’s largest greenhouse gas producer, but Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to make his new commitment to introduce a nationwide cap and trade program to limit greenhouse gas emissions a centerpiece of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly Monday morning.
Reuters: Germany's Gabriel doubts U.S., EU will make trade breakthrough this year
- German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel expressed doubts on Monday that the European Union and the United States would reach an agreement in TTIP trade talks by Chancellor Angela Merkel's December target date.
U.S. News & World Report: Brazil pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of Paris climate pact
- Brazil, the world's seventh biggest greenhouse gas polluter, said it would cut its emissions by 37 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels by reducing deforestation and boosting the share of renewable sources in its energy mix. It also indicated an "intended reduction" of 43 percent by 2030.
New York Times: Limited Progress Seen Even as More Nations Step Up on Climate
- The pledges that countries are making to battle climate change would still allow the world to heat up by more than 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a new analysis shows, a level that scientists say is likely to produce catastrophes ranging from food shortages to widespread extinctions of plant and animal life.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Monarch butterfly projects receive $3.3 million in grants
- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded $3.3 million in Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund grants to help restore up to 33,000 acres of key monarch habitat, propagate over a half-billion milkweed and other nectaring seedings, and create 24 full-time positions for monarch conservation work.
New York Times: Congress Should Give the Government More Money for Wildfires
- (Opinion) Congress needs to start budgeting for forest fires in a different way, treating them more like natural disasters rather than a continuing expense. The Agriculture and Interior Departments have been making this case for some time, and it’s a good one.
Capital Public Radio: California Drought: Grape Growers Treat, Reuse Wastewater On Vineyards
- Grape growers have been recycling the water used for bottling and cleaning to irrigate their vines. UC Davis researcher and lead author Maya Buelow says wastewater can be used for irrigating other agricultural products, too.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: EPA tightens pesticide safety rules for farm workers
- The EPA announced Monday it will prohibit children from handling pesticides and require farm workers to complete pesticide safety training more frequently, bolstering protections for 2 million U.S. farm laborers and their families.
Agri-Pulse: New farm worker rules were multi-agency project
- (Audio) The EPA has released updated farm worker standards to provide health protections similar to other industries.
Yahoo News: Immigrants will drive U.S. population growth in next five decades: Pew
- Immigrants and their descendants will drive U.S. population growth over the next half century, transforming the country into one where no racial or ethnic group is a majority, a Pew Research Center report released on Monday said.
Agri-Pulse: Pets are us: Safety first
- (Opinion) The pet food industry is worth $24 billion – or $60 billion, if you include pet care. Pet food is an important business with many of the same issues faced by other agriculture stakeholders and companies that produce food for human consumption.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Cargill spinning out Black River financial operations
- Cargill Inc. said Monday it will unwind its Black River Asset Management subsidiary, spinning out operations into three independent companies that will be run by their current money managers.
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