Daily Harvest -- 10/8/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senator concerned no one is talking
- (Audio) Senator Mike Johanns, R-Neb., lamented the fact that nobody in Washington is talking to each other to get things done, which he said is making the current stalemate different than those in the past.
Politico: Farm bill talks revving up
- Measured in planted acres, rice, peanuts and barley could fit in the back pasture of most farm bills. Measured in politics, they crowd right up to the road.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minn. farmers get lost in budget standoff; crop policies revert to '49
- Overshadowed by the politics of the shutdown, the deadline for passing a new farm bill also brought with it the expiration of many federal farm programs, leaving in their place something called “permanent law,” or the status quo of 1949.
Associated Press: Shutdown spawns vacuum in farm market information
- When Tim Peterson finished planting his 900 acres of winter wheat last week, the usually market-savvy Kansas farmer unexpectedly found himself struggling to make critical marketing decisions without being able to access to vital agricultural reports, casualties of the federal government shutdown.
Wall Street Journal: Livestock Market Adrift Without USDA Data
- The absence of key price data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is creating confusion in livestock markets and contributing to a rapid contraction in trading volumes.
Wall Street Journal: The Ethanol Enforcers
- In its zeal to impose the ethanol boondoggle, Congress has mandated it, subsidized it, and protected it from competitors. Now some Senators are siccing prosecutors on those who still won't get on their ethanol cornwagon.
Dickinson Press: Next federal money crisis could help farm bill
- The current federal government shutdown overshadowed the end of many federal farm laws Tuesday, but the next federal fiscal crisis could lead to a stalled farm bill’s resurrection.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Fight Over Genetically Altered Crops Flares in Hawaii
- The balmy tropical isles here seem worlds apart from the expansive cornfields of the Midwest, but Hawaii has become the latest battleground in the fight over genetically modified crops.
Agri-Pulse: Hundreds sickened from salmonella linked to raw chicken
- Despite the partial government shutdown, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today was able to publish a “public health alert” after an estimated 278 illnesses were linked to consumption of raw chicken products from a California processor.
The Seattle Times: Editorial: Vote No on Initiative 522, the GMO labeling initiative
- Initiative 522 is a clumsy, emotion-based campaign to require labeling of selective food products containing genetically modified organisms, writes the editorial board.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Financial Times: Cargill in final talks over ADM cocoa unit
- Cargill, the world’s top agricultural trading house, is in final negotiations for the purchase of rival Archer Daniels Midland’s $2bn cocoa business, although a potential deal is likely to face challenges from antitrust authorities in Europe.
Wall Street Journal: Federal Shutdown Starts to Crimp Trade
- All pesticide imports to the U.S. have been halted, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which must approve them but has had more than 90% of its staff furloughed.
Reuters: U.S. trade official says to seek TPP deal by year-end
- The United States maintained it hopes to seal an ambitious trade pact on schedule by year-end despite resistance in some countries and the absence of President Barack Obama from a regional summit that is ironing out differences on the pact.
Bloomberg: Egypt Says Biofuel Use Should Be Evaluated Amid Food Shortages
- The use of grain and oilseed crops to make biofuels should be “looked at in great depth,” as countries face food shortages and high prices, Egypt’s minister for agriculture and land reclamation said.
Washington Post: Tanzania becomes a battleground in fight over genetically modified crops
- Opponents of genetically modified crops have made a stand in Africa, and now villages such as Engaruka are squarely in the middle of a global ideological war over agricultural technology.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Conservationists request farm bill action
- Leaders of bird conservation groups Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever sent a letter today to the president and congressional leaders asking them to finish a five-year farm bill as soon as possible.
Politico: Heather Zichal stepping down as W.H. climate chief
- The White House confirmed Monday that Heather Zichal plans to step down as President Barack Obama’s chief energy and climate adviser.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Ranchers counting cattle deaths, thousands without power after early snow buries western SD
- A record-breaking storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota left ranchers dealing with heavy losses, in some cases perhaps up to half their herds, as they assess how many of their cattle died during the unseasonably early blizzard.
Denver Post: Colorado farmer harvests first U.S. commercial hemp crop in 56 years
- Hemp advocates said Loflin's harvest is a landmark event that could one day lead to larger-scale domestic farming of hemp for industrial uses such as food additives, cosmetics and building materials.
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