Daily Harvest -- 10/16/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: National Farmers Union sends its farm bill conference positions
- National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson sent a letter to the members of Congress recently named farm bill conferees outlining his priorities for a final bill.
Agri-Pulse: American Farm Bureau Federation outlines farm bill priorities
- American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman outlined his priorities for a completed farm bill, specifically emphasizing AFBF's positions on the nutrition title, means testing and other provisions in a letter to each member selected as a House or Senate conferee.
Agri-Pulse: White House garden a victim of government shutdown
- First Lady Michelle Obama's garden on the south lawn of the White House “is filled with unharvested vegetables and weeds, and wildlife running amok” because gardeners have been furloughed in the government shutdown.
Radio Iowa: Grassley may ask Ag Secretary to call back FSA workers
- Farmers can’t get official damage assessments done as Farm Service Agency offices are closed by the federal government shutdown. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack could have those FSA workers declared “essential” and call them back.
New York Times: South Dakota Ranchers Face Storm’s Toll, but U.S.’ Helping Hands Are Tied
- While state and county agencies have helped clear roadsides and have provided burial pits, the federal government shutdown has only complicated the crisis.
Bloomberg: Crop-Insurance Cuts Test Farm Power as Lobbies Push Back
- Rural groups say they’ll fight a proposed $100 million-a-year cut in crop insurance subsidies, a measure that has won the support of both houses of Congress and could be a test of agriculture’s influence in Washington.
Washington Post: Great Stink Bug Count survives the shutdown
- The count, which began last month and ends Tuesday, is aimed at fighting the brown marmorated stink bug, which the USDA this year named its “top invasive insect of interest.”
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Free meals to students will be served even if agreement on shutdown isn’t reached soon
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture notified states on Friday that the free and reduced meals served to students will continue to be served “for several months,” even if Congress fails to reach an agreement on the government shutdown.
Des Moines Register: Another View: Like it or not, biotech is a necessary ag tool
- Julie Borlaug writes that the World Food Prize laureate selection committee selected three pioneers of plant cell transformation through the use of recombinant DNA — and then took its decision a step further by issuing a statement stoutly defending the role of biotechnology in the future of agriculture.
Forbes: Thinking Outside The GMO Box
- This opinion piece asserts that the GMO debate is distracting us from less sexy interventions which have worked to dramatically reduce hunger and malnutrition over the last fifty years, and are today in desperate need of our continued support.
Kansas City Star: World Food Prize takes on biotech, global warming
- The World Food Prize Foundation is confronting both opposition to genetically modified crops and the divisive issue of global warming as it gathers hundreds of experts and national leaders to talk this week about how to feed a growing global population.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: U.N. to Support Producer-Owned Cooperatives
- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization on Tuesday signed a deal giving extended support to cooperatives, in a decision aimed at bolstering small farmers in Africa and other countries.
Wall Street Journal: Strong Harvests Reduce Inflationary Pressures
- A string of strong harvests across the globe is reducing pressure on global food stocks and adding to a subdued outlook for inflation in emerging markets.
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