Daily Harvest -- 1/2/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA extends comment period on AC21 recommendations
- USDA is extending its comment period on agricultural coexistence, specifically on how the department oversees traditional, organic and genetically-engineered crops, from Jan. 3 until March 4.
Agri-Pulse (audio): Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh on Open Mic
- Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh, a noted agricultural economist and emeritus professor at Kansas State University, tells Agri-Pulse what what one Christmas gift he wishes Congress could grant him.
The Hill: $1T spending bill nears unveiling
- Congress is set to unveil a giant spending bill next week that staff for appropriators have been preparing on a near daily basis throughout the holiday break.
International Business Times: American Agriculture Could Slump In 2014, Confronting Farmland Bubble
- U.S. farms and related agricultural industries could be entering a harsh years-long winter in 2014, if analysts are right about declining capital spending and potential asset bubbles in U.S. farmland.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA reopens comment period for genetically modified apple
- USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced the apple's plant pest risk assessment and draft environmental assessment will be reopened for public comment through Jan. 30.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Corn Finishes Year as Worst-Performing Commodity on S&P GSCI
- Corn futures fell on the last trading day of 2013, bringing this year's loss to 40% and making the grain the worst performer on the S&P GSCI Index of 24 commodities.
Washington Post: Brazil’s ethanol sector, once thriving, is being buffeted by forces both man-made, natural
- This should be a golden era here on Brazil’s farming frontier, where some of the world’s biggest corporations have invested billions of dollars in land, equipment and mills to turn sugar cane into ethanol.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Immigration reform dead in 2013 likely to revive in 2014
- During a short pro forma session the day after Christmas, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland expressed his disappointment that Congress would adjourn for the rest of 2013 without comprehensive immigration reform.
New York Times: Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration
- Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has signaled he may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation’s immigration laws in the coming months, giving advocates for change new hope that 2014 might be the year that a bitterly divided Congress reaches a political compromise to overhaul the sprawling system.
Wall Street Journal, Opinion: A Bumper Crop of Bureaucracy
- Since the 1970s, annual federal appropriations bills have explicitly prohibited the federal workplace overseer from descending on small family farms. But OSHA officials have found a novel way to circumvent this statutory restraint.
Agri-Pulse: $3 Million raised to help South Dakota ranchers hurt by October blizzard
- A fund aimed at helping the ranchers has raised $3 million, three times as much as expected.
New York Times: The Risks of Investing in Animal Medicine
- Recent questions about Zilmax, a feed additive made by Merck, show that an increasingly complicated global food chain carries its own investment risks.
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