Daily Harvest -- 10/16/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Syngenta announces 20-year corn licensing agreement
- Syngenta has announced a new 20 year, $200 million agreement to expand its licensing of current and future genetically modified (GM) corn traits.
Agri-Pulse: Conaway overcomes doubt to lead House Ag
- (Video) Texas Republican Mike Conaway wasn't viewed as agriculture's best bet during his first run for Congress, but he has since become one of the most powerful agricultural legislators in Congress. Agri-Pulse's Spencer Chase spent some time in Texas's 11th District, which Conaway has represented since 2005, to learn about his relationship with area farmers.
Agri-Pulse: South Carolina ag loses millions in historic flooding
- (Audio) Devastating rains recently subsided in South Carolina, giving producers there a chance to take a look at what the substantial flooding left behind.
Agri-Pulse: John Block on Agriculture Today
- (Audio) U.S. farmers are looking at a 36 percent plunge in net farm income, the lowest in nine years. And our crop and livestock receipts are down more than $30 billion.
Reuters: U.S. lawsuits build against Monsanto over alleged Roundup cancer link
- Personal injury law firms around the United States are lining up plaintiffs for what they say could be "mass tort" actions against agrichemical giant Monsanto Co that claim the company's Roundup herbicide has caused cancer in farm workers and others exposed to the chemical.
Grist: Do industrial agricultural methods actually yield more food per acre than organic ones?
- One of the most persistent arguments for modern, mechanized agriculture is that it produces a lot of food per acre, leaving more land for other purposes. I’ve often wondered how solid this argument is, and when a debate broke out recently, I decided to look closer.
The Hill: Carson gets energy advice from T. Boone Pickens
- Texas energy investor T. Boone Pickens has taken an interest in Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, with both men sharing similar views on energy policy, aides say.
CNN Money: ISIS is attacking the U.S. energy grid
- U.S. law enforcement officials revealed the hack attempts on Wednesday at a conference of American energy firms who were meeting about national security concerns.
Popular Science: Viruses can be genetically modified to transmit energy
- Plants absorb sunlight and convert it to energy with nearly perfect efficiency—none of the energy goes to waste. Electrical engineers are always striving for that kind of efficiency, but nowhere is it more pronounced than in solar panels.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Food aid can boost U.S. national security, Farm Journal official says
- A top Farm Journal Foundation official told a University of Arkansas audience this week while there is a moral imperative to reduce global hunger and poverty, there are more pragmatic reasons for the U.S. to be involved in the effort, including national security.
Modern Farmer: People Are Furious About The Government’s New Dietary Guidelines
- It’s no surprise that the new Dietary Guidelines are attracting flak from all over the country, from scientists to private corporations to huge industries to various health advocates. But it might be a surprise given how, well, sensible and non-surprising the new Guidelines are.
Wall Street Journal: Government Food Flight
- Deep into the White House campaign to make the $16.3 billion school lunch program more nutritious, America’s youth are voting with their forks: After a steady climb for three decades, participation has plunged for the second year in a row by 1.4 million children, or 4.5%, as they flee inedible government-designed cuisine.
Des Moines Register: World Food Prize: 3 things
- Some of the nation's leading agribusiness leaders talked about the challenges — and solutions — they see to alleviating world hunger, particularly with the global population projected to grow up to 10 billion people by 2050.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Australia Looks to Scale Up Salmon Exports to China
- In Tasmania state, a rugged island with pristine waters, salmon farmers are looking to ramp up exports to China and tap growing middle-class demand for premium foods.
Reuters: Argentina's Macri Backs Farmers' Protest in Hunt for Presidential Votes
- Mauricio Macri, Argentina's main opposition challenger in the presidential race, on Wednesday threw his support behind an anti-government protest staged by farming groups, hunting for extra votes to ensure this month's ballot goes to a run-off.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Fiorina calls for rolling back WOTUS
- GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina would “roll back” the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, but adds that “we can't stop there.”
Agri-Pulse: El Nino seen easing California drought
- A historically strong El Nino this winter is likely to bring some relief from California's prolonged drought while providing wetter, cooler weather across the southern Plains and Southeast.
The Gazette: Vilsack calls for patience, collaboration to address Iowa's water quality concerns
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged patience and collaboration Thursday rather than conflict and confrontation to address and improve water quality in Iowa.
Modern Farmer: 7 Cities with Awesome Independent Composting Programs
- Over the past few years, a number of cities across the United States have passed recycling regulations that limit the amount of food scraps sent to local landfills—while also easing the restrictions that hampered alternative means of disposing of organic waste.
The Baltimore Sun: GhostFood truck provides food for thought about climate change
- What the volunteers were eating weren't actually the foods advertised on the truck's menu. In reality, they were chowing down on edible substitutes that, though near-flavorless in real life, have been manufactured to mimic the texture and mouth feel of the originals.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
National Catholic Reporter: Catholic Charities give long-term aid to migrant farmworkers displaced by Washington wildfires
- In the wake of this summer's devastating wildfires in Washington state – including the ongoing Okanagan fire, the largest fire complex in the state's history – Catholic Charities from all three dioceses in Washington are banding together to provide emergency relief and continuing support, both financial and spiritual, for the fires' most vulnerable victims, migrant farm workers.
The Sacramento Bee: State grant to help retrain Central Valley farmworkers affected by drought
- La Cooperativa Campesina de California, a Sacramento-based consortium of five nonprofit organizations, has been awarded a $1.73 million grant by the California Employment Development Department to retrain 267 farmworkers whose employment was affected by the state’s ongoing drought.
MSNBC: Hillary Clinton picks up key Latino endorsement
- Clinton held two campaign events in her swing through Texas, first holding a Q&A with members of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce before accepting an endorsement from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro.
Wall Street Journal: Glencore Plans More Debt Cuts to Help Win Upgrade in Credit Rating
- Executives at Glencore PLC have put together a plan they hope will result in a credit-rating upgrade, people familiar with the embattled company’s effort said, a previously undisclosed part of the firm’s attempt to strengthen its balance sheet.
Modern Farmer: Farmers’ Guilds: Building a Sharing Economy Down on the Farm
- They created The Farmers Guild, a series of local coalitions of farmers and ranchers who get together once a month to share resources, talk shop, exchange ideas, and build community.
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