Daily Harvest -- 10/3/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Ag organizations ask DOT to reconsider rail regulations
- Thirty national and state agricultural organizations signed a letter calling on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to reconsider new rules on rail tank cars hauling crude oil and ethanol.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $118 million in grants for specialty crop projects in 50 states
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $118 million in grants to strengthen markets for specialty crops in all 50 states. The grants will be provided through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, both authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
Wall Street Journal: California Gov. Vetoes Controversial Bill for Antibiotics in Livestock
- And in rejecting the legislation, Brown lent support to critics of the FDA, which is relying on drug makers to voluntarily curtail their promotion of antibiotics for preventing disease.
Bloomberg: Pork Wounds Heal as Hog Farmers Gain From U.S. Corn Bust
- After two years of losing money, hog producers are getting a boost from record corn and soybean harvests just as tight meat supplies send pork and bacon prices to all-time highs and erode profit for buyers including Hormel Foods Corp. and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.
New York Times: Antibiotics in Livestock: F.D.A. Finds Use Is Rising
- The amount of antibiotics sold for use in livestock rose substantially in recent years, according to the Food and Drug Administration, a pattern that experts said was troubling given the efforts to battle antibiotic resistance in humans.
Des Moines Register: DuPont Pioneer executive: Critics slow biotech approval
- An executive at Iowa-based agribusiness giant DuPont Pioneer said the process used by government regulators to approve new biotech crops has been slowed by lawsuits and a growing push by critics to question the safety of the widespread technology.
Agri-Pulse: Governors ask White House to restore RFS volume cuts
- (Subscriber only) A group representing almost two-thirds of the nation's governors is telling the Obama administration that the EPA's proposed volume cuts in the Renewable Fuels Standard would hurt jobs and increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
The Economist: Wind power: Upward spiral
- If California is to meet its Renewables Portfolio Standard, a requirement for a third of its power to be generated by renewable sources by 2020, the state needs to tap every zephyr it can—even distant, costly ones.
Wall Street Journal: Ethanol Prices Slide Amid Supply Spike
- A spike in supplies has sent U.S. ethanol prices tumbling to four-year lows and curbed profits for an industry that had posted robust earnings for most of this year.
Associated Press: McAuliffe energy plan for Va. makes debut
- Gov. Terry McAuliffe released his energy blueprint for Virginia on Wednesday, stressing a familiar “all of the above” strategy that promotes greater use of renewable generation such as solar and wind, efficiency and traditional sources of energy.
Houston Chronicle: Exxon Mobil leader sees Houston as hub of energy revolution
- The American shale boom is historic, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s chief executive said Thursday, assessing the state of the energy business for an audience in the city he identified as central to the industry.
Wall Street Journal: Legume Used in Fracking Causes Problems for Investor, Farmers
- When the price of guar soared to record heights in 2012, investors took notice. Guar—a legume used to thicken products from toothpaste to peanut butter—is also a key ingredient in the rock-shattering hydraulic-fracturing process.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: How Much Meat Do Americans Eat? Then and Now
- Global demand for meat is on the rise, but in the U.S., which consumes more meat than much of the world, consumption has eased up a bit in recent years.
Wall Street Journal: Food Prices Only Going One Way: Down
- Prices for soybeans, corn and wheat in particular could fall for the rest of the year, according to participants at the World Commodities Week conference in London.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Produce groups seek payment-protection system from Canada
- Several major produce industry groups are expressing disappointment over the Canadian government's failure to establish a system that would protect U.S. suppliers of fresh produce to Canada if a buyer fails to pay for a shipment.
Reuters: Food crisis looms as Ebola rampages through West Africa
- Experts say border closures, enforced by the Senegalese government contrary to advice given by the World Health Organization, could have a serious impact on regional trade and disproportionately affect the poor during a record year for hunger in the region.
Bloomberg: Thailand Halts Buying Crops as Junta Seeks Sales
- Thailand’s junta is changing tack on agricultural policy, saying it will eschew buying farm products directly from growers as state purchases spur overproduction, distort the market and create stockpiles that are hard to sell.
Bloomberg: Forget Rubber Dumplings. Post-Communist Prague Is Organic
- At the farmer’s market in Prague’s Jiriho z Podebrad square, the tables are laden with fresh yogurt, honey from mountain bees, crisp green lettuce and silvery trout. Surveying the scene, Petra Maskova shakes her head in wonder as she recalls her childhood in communist Czechoslovakia.
The Hill: Froman urges Japan to bring bold vision to table on trade talks
- The nation's top trade official said Thursday that Japan needs to bring its bold economic vision to the negotiating table on a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal.
Reuters: Japan, South Korea can stop GMO testing -wheat group official
- Japan and South Korea are continuing to test the U.S. wheat they buy to make sure the grain is not contaminated with an experimental version developed by Monsanto Co, but could soon stop the practice, the head of a U.S. wheat association said on Thursday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Water for Food conference to focus on big data
- (Audio) Big data is the topic for the Water for Food Global Conference coming up this month in Seattle, Washington.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Reuters: U.S. government should copy tobacco growers' child labor ban: HRW
- The ban by two leading U.S. tobacco growers' groups on the use of child labor puts pressure on Washington to end the employment of children in hazardous and unhealthy work, a children's rights activist said on Thursday.
Agri-Pulse: 'Farmland' documentary streams on Hulu for next four weeks
- Haven't seen Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll's feature-length documentary, “Farmland,” yet? For the next four weeks, the film is available for streaming exclusively on the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service.
Washington Post: More than 4,000 hogs die in fire at NC farm
- A fire at a farm in central North Carolina has killed more than 4,000 hogs. Officials say the hogs were worth about $400,000. The building was estimated to be worth about $600,000.
Popular Science: Man Shoots Down Drone, Raises Legal Questions
- A man in New Jersey fired a shotgun at his neighbor's drone, and as the quadcopter crashed to the ground, the incident raised new legal challenges about when and if it’s okay to shoot a robot.
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