Daily Harvest -- 1/3/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse (audio): RFA CEO reviews 2013 and looks ahead to 2014
- Even though 2013 was a rough year for ethanol policy, RFA President Bob Dinneen is optimistic about the new year,
Des Moines Register: Grassley sees Congress finishing farm bill work this month
- It looks “more like the end of the second week of January I would expect that we get a [farm] bill to the president,” Grassley told reporters in a conference call Thursday.
Wall Street Journal: Direct Payments to End, but Farm-Bill Policy Questioned
- The emerging compromise, which would replace direct payments with beefed-up crop insurance and other protections for farmers, has already triggered criticism from outside groups who say it won't radically reduce the amount of risk the federal government assumes in the agriculture industry.
New York Times: Farms Aren’t Going Away, but a Lot of the Little Ones Are
- Small and midsize farms and ranches in Texas — those under 2,000 acres — have been declining at a rate of 250,000 acres a year, according to the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA permanently eases National School Lunch Program rules
- USDA announced today it will make permanent what had been temporary meat and grain guidelines for meals served under the National School Lunch Program.
TIME: Walmart Recalls Tainted Donkey Meat from Chinese Stores
- Walmart customers in China who purchased “Five Spice” donkey meat can be reimbursed because the product may contain fox meat, the company said late Wednesday.
Politico: Mexico soda tax to re-ignite U.S. debate
- Mexico’s new tax on soda and other high calorie foods kicked in Wednesday, starting the clock on a big policy experiment that could reignite calls for similar actions in the U.S.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces temporary import quota for upland cotton
- USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) yesterday announced it will implement a special import quota for upland cotton.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Kerry Quietly Makes Priority of Climate Pact
- [Kerry’s] goal is to become the lead broker of a global climate treaty in 2015 that will commit the United States and other nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution.
Agri-Pulse: Court action could lead to horse slaughter by next week, lawyer says
- The lawyer for a New Mexico meat company says the business could begin slaughtering horses as early as next week should it prevail today in a judicial hearing in Santa Fe.
Agri-Pulse: Restaurant industry sees improved sales
- The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), the monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry, hit a five-month high in November due to improved sales and customer traffic over the past year.
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