Daily Harvest -- 10/20/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: FCC ruling may pave way for better cell coverage in rural America
- A decision by the Federal Communications Commission may further efforts to bridge the gap between urban and rural America.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Chuck Conner
- (Audio) Chuck Conner says while farmers are busy in their fields with the 2014 harvest, cooperative members are on task with handling, drying and storing and expected record corn and soybean crop this year.
Agri-Pulse: USDA approves Monsanto insect-resistant soybean
- USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today it has granted nonregulated status for a soybean variety developed by Monsanto Company that is genetically engineered (GE) for resistance to lepidopteran insects.
Wall Street Journal: Syngenta Faces More Suits Over Viptera Corn Seeds
- Syngenta faces escalating legal battles over its sale of genetically engineered corn seeds that some farmers and agricultural companies say have roiled international grain markets this year.
Vermont Public Radio: Farmers Urged To Buy Federal Milk Price Insurance
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has teamed up with the University of Vermont Extension Service to make a pitch for the new program. State officials have been holding workshops to explain it, including one at a Newport restaurant.
DTN: WTO COOL Ruling Coming Soon
- Without giving any indication how the next World Trade Organization ruling on Country of Origin Labeling will come down, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday the COOL decision could become public within a few weeks, if not days.
Trib Live: Large-scale batteries are integral in shift to renewable energy
- Relying on wind for bigger operations, or to power the grid, is a different matter. As critics of renewable energy are quick to point out, the wind doesn't always blow — or it does when customers don't need it — and the sun doesn't always shine on solar panels.
New York Times: Tax Credits for Energy Industry Are Under Scrutiny
- Critics, including renewable energy advocates, energy market experts and a Republican oil and gas regulator, dismissed the report largely for what it did not say: that the new power lines have yielded benefits across the grid and that Texas has subsidized its moneymaking fossil fuels sector for a century.
New York Times: Biofuel Companies Look Beyond the Gas Tank
- When it comes to the future of advanced biofuel production, Abengoa Bioenergy, the Spanish company whose $500 million plant in Hugoton, Kan., opened on Friday, has just one word: plastics.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Food Policy Action grades Congress on ‘food movement’ issues
- Food Policy Action, a group that formed in 2012 “to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming,” has released its latest scorecard for members of the 113th Congress.
USA Today: 10Best: Places to dine down on the farm
- With farm-to-table restaurants booming in popularity, farms themselves are now getting in on the act, offering meals to diners craving super-fresh cuisine that's often raised on site.
New York Times: Bloomberg to Back Soda Tax in Berkeley
- Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York who has made a campaign of trying to curb consumption of sugary drinks, is throwing in some financial weight.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Export Exchange this week focuses on coarse grains and DDGS
- (Audio) Coarse grains customers from all over the world are in Seattle, Washington, this week for the 2014 Export Exchange, an event sponsored every other year by the U.S .Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association.
Des Moines Register: Feeding China: What does the future hold for hunger?
- Despite more of the world's land devoted to crops, yield growth is stagnating in several countries, including for corn and rice in China, according to Kenneth Cassman, a University of Nebraska agronomy professor. Expanding agriculture will only cause environmental damage.
Wall Street Journal: Farmers, Hedge Fund Strike Deal Over Payments for Guar
- Farmers who shipped more than $20 million worth of guar beans to the nation’s only guar processing plant, which is now in bankruptcy, have struck a deal with the plant’s majority owner, a New York hedge fund.
Bloomberg: Heineken Sends Sierra Leone Staff Home as Ebola Shuts Bars
- Heineken NV (HEIA)’s unit in Sierra Leone has sent staff home and halted expansion plans as it joins a growing number of companies cutting operations in the West African nations hit hardest by an outbreak of Ebola.
Financial Times: Europe’s dairies jostle for China foothold ahead of milk flood
- European dairies have been ramping up output ahead of the expiration of EU milk output quotas on March 31 next year.
Wall Street Journal: Drought Hits São Paulo, Stirring Debate Ahead of Brazil Election
- The worst drought in 80 years is causing water shortages for an estimated 13 million people in Brazil’s most populous state and threatening businesses in an area that is the engine of the nation’s economic growth.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
The Grand Island Independent: EPA water rule could harm Nebraska agriculture
- A new analysis chartered by the Common Sense Nebraska coalition, which opposes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule, said the impact of the proposed rule on Nebraska agriculture could be “significant” and “cause cost increases, confusion and uncertainty to agricultural producers.”
Los Angeles Times: No end to Southland drought seen in winter rain forecast
- Southern California could see above-average rainfall this winter, but it won't be enough to shake the drought that is likely to persist or intensify in large swaths of the state, federal forecasters said Thursday.
Des Moines Register: Harkin looks back as he says farewell
- As Tom Harkin makes his way around Iowa on his farewell tour as U.S. senator, he is reflecting on a long list of legislative accomplishments over a career spanning four decades.
Kansas City Star: Incomplete claims by the U.S. Senate candidates in Kansas can be misleading
- Most of the claims you’re hearing in the U.S. Senate race between Republican Pat Roberts and independent Greg Orman, for example, aren’t false. But they’re often incomplete — the two candidates in the Nov. 4 election providing just one side of an issue or position, potentially deceiving voters.
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