Daily Harvest -- 10/21/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: House lawmakers to focus on water resources bill
- With Congress and federal departments working to get back to speed after the 16-day government shutdown, House lawmakers this week will turn their attention to a reauthorization of the water resources development act.
Agri-Pulse: Farm bill needed to help South Dakota ranchers
- (Audio) A major early snowstorm in South Dakota killed as many as 30,000 cattle while the government was shutdown. Colin Woodall of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says even with Congress back on the job, a farm bill is needed to offer those producers assistance.
Agri-Pulse: Audio Open Mic with Jo Ann Emerson
- (Audio) Emerson recently became the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperatives. Major concerns of Rural Electric Coop's, and their members, include the need for Congressional assistance to serve low population areas and increased regulation and other mandates placed on both generating and distribution cooperatives.
The Hill: Lawmakers seek truce with farm bill
- The $1 trillion farm bill will serve as the first test of how deeply the shutdown fight has damaged relations in Washington. Congress has made the legislation its first order of business as it pivots away from the battles over government funding and the debt ceiling.
Argus Leader: Help for ranchers in blizzard limited, USDA chief says
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday the administration can provide only limited help to livestock owners devastated by the early October snowstorm in western South Dakota, instead placing the onus on Congress to pass a new farm bill before ranchers will see any meaningful assistance.
National Journal: Ready to Rumble Over the Farm Bill
- The first meeting of the House and Senate conference committee on the farm bill promises to be the biggest spectacle in American agricultural and nutrition policy in decades. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., who will chair the conference, would have preferred to hold the meeting this week.
Mankota Free Press: Walz, Klobuchar expect Farm Bill by month's end
- U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar are optimistic that the federal Farm Bill will be passed in late October. But, both lawmakers anticipate a tough slog through a heavy policy debate.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Wall Street Journal: Companies Brace For Mexican Food Fight
- A move by Mexico to slap special taxes on so-called junk food and sugary drinks this week is shaping up as a challenge for some of the world's biggest food and drink companies, especially as the fight against sugar threatens to expand into other major markets.
The Economist: Soft drinks in Mexico: Fizzing with rage
- Though the industry has faced down consumer activists in the past in Coca-Cola’s biggest market by volume outside the United States, this initiative comes directly from President Enrique Peña Nieto. The lobbyists may have blundered in their attempt to kill it.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Financial Times: France maintains hard line on EU transatlantic trade talks
- Paris will keep up pressure on EU negotiators to stick to a hard line on key agricultural issues in talks with the US on a new transatlantic trade deal, France’s farming minister has said.
Wall Street Journal: Cheaper Sugar Sends Candy Makers Abroad
- Despite a prolonged slide in domestic sugar prices, U.S. candy makers are expanding production in other countries as federal price supports and a global glut of the sweet stuff give an ever-greater advantage to foreign rivals.
Kansas City Star: Argentines link health problems to agrochemicals
- American biotechnology has turned Argentina into the world's third-largest soy producer, but the chemicals powering the boom aren't confined to soy and cotton and corn fields. The Associated Press documented dozens of cases where these poisons are used in ways specifically banned by existing law.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Kansas City Star: High crop prices turn more grassland into cropland
- Some of the most notable changes in North Dakota are in biologist Renae Heinle's south-central North Dakota Game and Fish Department district. She said 12,000 acres will be transformed from conservation lands to crop lands this year, a decrease over last year's conversion of 22,000 acres in her district.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: Democrats Aim to Restore Immigration to Agenda
- As the fiscal crisis subsided and the government went back to work this week, President Obama and other leading Democrats were quick to say that an immigration overhaul should be back on the agenda in Congress.
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