Daily Harvest -- 10/1/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces local, organic food programs
- USDA officials yesterday announced more than $83 million in funding for several programs designed to encourage healthy, local food options in farmers markets and in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
DTN: Business Groups: Withdraw WOTUS Rule
- A coalition of 63 business groups representing everything from farm organizations to oil and natural gas groups, as well as homebuilders, mining, manufacturing and even golf-course trade groups all joined to write federal regulators on Monday again asking them to withdraw the proposed rule redefining waters of the United States.
Agri-Pulse: National Biodiesel Board challenges barriers to trade with EU
- The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has filed comments with the European Commission challenging what it calls unfair trade duties that have blocked U.S. biodiesel exports to Europe since July 2009.
Bloomberg: Oil-by-Rail Safety Rule Seen Adding Costs: Railroads, API
- Proposed federal rules to make hauling crude oil by rail safer and avoid fiery wrecks would drive up costs and put the U.S. energy revival at risk, the head of an oil industry trade group said today.
National Journal: IEA Report Says Solar Could Be Largest Source of Electricity by 2050
- Calling for "clear, credible and consistent signals from policy makers," the International Energy Agency (IEA) today released two reports saying solar could be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050.
Deseret News: NAACP pushes for policy changes on Utah's energy front
- The Utah branch of the NAACP is calling for "just" energy polices in the state, arguing that pollution is a civil rights issue that disproportionately impacts people of color.
Washington Post: Exxon fracking report responds to shareholders
- Exxon Mobil issued a report Tuesday that acknowledges the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing but also defends the practice as being better for the environment than other types of energy production and generation.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Capital Press: Fight over GMO labeling takes to the airwaves
- Supporters and opponents of Measure 92, an Oregon ballot initiative that would require food containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled, have each started television adverstising campaigns.
KTVU: Berkeley and San Francisco both to vote on soda tax
- All eyes are on two Bay Area cities to see if voters will pass a tax on soda, something that hasn't been done anywhere else in the country.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: NPPC hopes TPP negotiators hold firm with Japan
- (Audio) Negotiations with Japan on the Trans Pacific Partnership came to a halt last week and Nick Giordano with the National Pork Producers Council say they hope U.S. negotiators stand firm.
Reuters: Exclusive: U.S., Brazil close to ending cotton trade rift – sources
- The United States and Brazil are close to settling a decade-old trade dispute over cotton subsidies, three Brazilian sources close to the talks told Reuters, in what would be the first concrete step to repair ties hurt by an espionage scandal.
Reuters: Special Report: Islamic State uses grain to tighten grip in Iraq
- The group now controls a large chunk of Iraq’s wheat supplies. The United Nations estimates land under IS control accounts for as much as 40 percent of Iraq’s annual production of wheat, one of the country’s most important food staples alongside barley and rice.
Wall Street Journal: EU Releases Aid to Support Fruit, Vegetable Sector Hit by Russia Sanctions
- The European Union released new emergency aid worth €165 million ($209.32 million) on Tuesday for fruit and vegetable producers hardest hit by Russian sanctions.
Reuters: No U.S. 'chlorine chicken' in Europe, EU's health nominee says
- The EU's nominee for health chief pledged on Tuesday to oppose the import of some U.S. foodstuffs such as chemically-treated meat that Washington hopes to be able to sell to Europe under a planned multi-billion-dollar transatlantic trade deal.
Washington Post: Momentum for the Trans-Pacific Partnership needs to be revived
- The pact would be especially valuable because Japan is willing to join, which would require a long-overdue opening and restructuring of its protected but lackluster economy. Indeed, without Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, the TPP loses much of its strategic significance.
Reuters: China launches media campaign to back genetically modified crops
- China's government has kicked off a media campaign in support of genetically modified crops, as it battles a wave of negative publicity over a technology it hopes will play a major role in boosting its food security.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Bloomberg: Farmers Stung Twice by Grupo Mexico Spill Fouling Waters
- The combination of Mexico’s largest mining spill and heavy rains swelling the chemical-tainted river are causing losses to almost all cattle ranchers and crop damage in an area the government says accounts for nearly 20 percent of the state economy.
Los Angeles Times: October begins water year with prospect of tighter restrictions
- As the state ends the fourth-driest water year on record with no guarantee of significant rain and snowfall this winter, Californians face the prospect of stricter rationing and meager irrigation deliveries for agriculture.
Washington Post: Sagebrush habitat fuels $1B in recreation spending
- Visitors to federal rangelands with significant tracts of sagebrush pumped about $1 billion into the economy in 11 Western states last year, according to a study released Tuesday by advocates of protecting sage grouse across the region.
The Hill: Tea Party revolt imperils Kansas
- Kansas Tea Party supporters are threatening to sit out the state’s pivotal Senate election, potentially dealing another blow to the reelection hopes of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
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