Daily Harvest -- 10/5/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Budget talks launch; assurances sought on dietary guidelines
- Amid a power struggle in the House Republican caucus, the White House has started negotiations with congressional leaders on a sweeping budget deal that will be critical to GOP hopes to roll back some of President Obama's regulatory agenda.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Dr. Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State University
- (Audio) Lusk, a researcher that focuses on consumer attitudes toward food safety and acceptance of new technologies, discusses the consumer cost of mandatory food labels, the social and economic implications on agriculture research and technologies and the retailers reaction to consumer food buying trends.
Agri-Pulse: Sherrod settles lawsuit over Breitbart video that got her fired from USDA
- Shirley Sherrod has settled her four-year-old lawsuit against the estate of the late Andrew Breitbart for publishing false allegations that as an administrator at USDA in 2010, the African American woman discriminated against a white farmer.
Agri-Pulse: Wisconsin ag secretary says dairy farmers leery of MPP
- (Audio) Lower prices are a big concern for dairy farmers right now, and many are unsure about the ability of the new dairy margin protection program to help them.
Des Moines Register: Bumper harvest will likely mean losses for Iowa farmers
- The outlook for making a profit this harvest remains grim, and it likely won't be any better in 2016.
Wall Street Journal: Monsanto to Chart Growth Plan as Farmers Feel Squeezed
- Investors are looking to Monsanto Co. this week to explain its plan for growth after the failure of its ambitious bid for rival Syngenta AG and amid a continued slump in the farm economy.
The Hill: Senators push White House on ethanol mandate
- Fourteen senators - a mix of Republicans and Democrats - met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Thursday to make their case for an aggressive new ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Tribune Review: Energy efficiency goes mainstream with help of regulations, demand
- The energy-efficiency movement, once seen as the exclusive purview of environmentalists, has gone mainstream with the help of government regulations and higher consumer demand for appliances and light bulbs that don't eat as much electricity.
National Review Online: Making the Domestic Energy Boom Work for America and Its Allies: Jeb Bush
- (Opinion) The energy revolution can be harnessed not only to fuel dramatic economic growth, but also as a powerful geostrategic force multiplier to strengthen our own national security. The advantage of seizing this opportunity can be seen most clearly with respect to Russia.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Has the U.S. egg industry reached its 'tipping point?'
- September 9, 2015 may have become the U.S. egg industry's tipping point. The event that could well lead to a completely different way of producing eggs was the announcement that day from McDonalds.
New York Times: The Decline of ‘Big Soda’
- The obvious lesson from Philadelphia is that the soda industry is winning the policy battles over the future of its product. But the bigger picture is that soda companies are losing the war.
NPR: Mark Bittman Is Stepping Down, But He Still Has More To Say About Food
- Bittman announced that he's putting down his pen, if not his fork, to join a California food startup.
CNN: I was on food stamps. Now I run an organic delivery startup
- Tyrner is working with the USDA and former White House Chef Sam Kass on a pilot program that would allow customers to use food stamps to purchase boxes of fruits and vegetables online.
Washington Post: Wal-Mart HQ cuts with ‘need to become a more agile company’
- Wal-Mart laid off 450 workers at its headquarters Friday as the world’s largest retailer attempts to become more nimble so that it can better compete with the likes of Amazon.com.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Congress working on rail safety issue threatening grain, fertilizer movement
- Key lawmakers involved in transportation issues are working to come up with a compromise that would push back the current end-of-year deadline for implementation of a rail safety system - avoiding a threatened disruption of grain and fertilizer deliveries.
CNBC: Late delay as Pacific trade talks near landmark deal
- A dozen Pacific nations closed in on a sweeping free-trade pact on Sunday in Atlanta but failed to finalize terms on the fifth day of round-the-clock talks, dashing hopes raised by an earlier breakthrough on protections for new biotech drugs.
Wall Street Journal: Rice Prices Likely to Rise as El Niño Heats Up
- Dry conditions caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon and falling rice inventories will likely send prices of the grain higher in the coming months, reversing years of declines and boosting the cost of Asia’s staple food.
Washington Post: Tobacco companies lose as last pieces of a massive trade deal fall into place
- Party nations will be free to regulate cigarettes, which public health advocates had worried the trade deal would make more difficult.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Washington Post: It’s the chemical Monsanto depends on. How dangerous is it?
- It’s hard to talk soberly about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Roundup, as anyone following the GMO brouhaha knows, is the herbicide that genetically modified crops have been designed to tolerate.
US News & World Report: Michigan pledges $1M for filters, steps to fix city's water after tests show high lead levels
- A cash-strapped Michigan city that broke away from Detroit's water system to save money last year is now getting at least $1 million from the state for home water filters amid complaints that its new system, which taps a local river, is linked to increased lead levels in children's blood.
Washington Post: Maine scallop fishery to see cutbacks to ensure conservation
- A plan to place new restrictions on Maine’s scalloping industry is the right way to ensure that the fishery keeps rebuilding, some fishermen say.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
US News & World Report: 50 Years Ago, Immigration Changed in America
- But the history of the current furor over immigration goes back 50 years, to one of the most far-reaching laws ever enacted in the country.
Orlando Sentinel: Florida farmworker advocates praise new EPA pesticide rules
- Nearly 300,000 farmworkers — including about 20,000 in Central Florida — labor at farms or in nurseries and greenhouses across Florida every year. But many of them also mix and apply dangerous chemicals to use as pesticides.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Unsafe tractors drive up death toll at family farms
- Safety upgrades to farm equipment can save lives, but many improvements are expensive – and there are no incentives or rules to enforce them.
Washington Post: In ‘The Martian,’ finally a botanist in space — but without seeds?
- Potatoes are hardly the plant of choice for stranded astronauts/botanists.
Wall Street Journal: Sbarro Seeks New Life Outside the Mall
- The chain of Italian eateries, which emerged from its second bankruptcy last year, is betting that it can build a comeback by opening stand-alone pizzerias and reducing its reliance on declining mall traffic, which it blames for its Chapter 11 filings.
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