Daily Harvest -- 10/23/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: World Food Prize laureate Rajaram says technology key to ending hunger
- World Food Prize laureate Sanjaya Rajaram told a Washington audience that developing countries can use improvements in seed technology and more modern farming techniques to help feed burgeoning populations.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces funding for rural broadband and telecommunications infrastructure
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $190.5 million in grants and loans to make improvements in broadband and other advanced communications infrastructure in 19 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Annenberg: Urban farm bill could help transform South LA’s empty lots
- More farms might begin cropping up around South Los Angeles thanks to a proposed bill by the Los Angeles City Council.
Agri-Pulse: CBO report sees tougher times ahead for ethanol & advanced biofuels
- Responding to the fact that “some policymakers have proposed repealing or revising the Renewable Fuel Standard” which requires blending biofuels with gasoline, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported Tuesday that it could be difficult to comply with the steadily increasing ethanol volumes which the law mandates.
Agri-Pulse: Good news and not so good news for DDGs
- (Audio) Much of the murkiness on the demand side can be attributed to China, but other export markets show promise.
The Hill: Watchdog sues EPA over renewable fuel mandate
- A watchdog group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to release communications with the oil industry over the 2014 renewable fuel mandate.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Renewable energy target cut to 'real 20 per cent'
- Australia's $20 billion alternative energy sector has been plunged into fresh uncertainty after the federal government indicated further policy changes to reduce the reliance on wind and solar power, potentially leaving billions of dollars invested in the sector stranded or devalued.
WSJ.Com: Some EU States Demand Concessions for Energy, Climate-Change Targets
- European Union leaders are expected to spar over the bloc’s energy and climate-change goals at a summit on Thursday, as some countries are demanding financial concessions in return for committing to the bloc’s ambitious targets.
The Hill: Report: Energy-producing states fared better after recession
- Energy-producing states have been able to bounce back faster and more successfully from the 2009 recession than states that import a majority of their energy, according to new research from a group aligned with Republicans.
FOOD & NUTRITION
NPR: More Cities Are Making It Illegal To Hand Out Food To The Homeless
- Just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.
Pacific Standard: Fruits and Vegetables Are About to Enter a Flavor Renaissance
- Chefs are teaming up with plant breeders to revitalize bland produce with robust flavors and exotic beauty—qualities long neglected by industrial agriculture.
RT: Europe’s food experts fooled by pranksters into confusing McDonald’s with organic food
- The Dutch pranksters have fooled food experts and consumers and proved that even foodies can’t tell McDonald’s from real, organic food when offered some on a plate.
SFGATE: GMO food labeling on ballot in Oregon, Colorado
- Voters in two Western states are caught in fierce battles over whether consumers will know what is deep inside their food.
Bloomberg: McDonald’s May Sell More Organic Foods to Boost Sales
- McDonald’s, which yesterday posted its fourth straight quarter of falling U.S. same-store sales, may look to sell more organic food to stem the loss of customers to chains known for better-quality fare.
Daily Finance: Food Supplier Scandal Rocks U.S. Fast Food Chains in China
- Like many other business sectors, big fast food is -- or at least was -- thriving in China. China is a tough market, with stiff competition from Western rivals and local chains and several recent food supply scandals.
Washington Post: Researchers retract bogus, Dr. Oz-touted study on green coffee bean weight-loss pills
- The use of green coffee extract is one of several questionable weight-loss schemes that have been endorsed by syndicated television personality Mehmet Oz, also known as Dr. Oz.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
WSJ.Com: Despite Riches, Venezuela Starts Food Rationing
- On a recent, muggy morning, Maria Varge stood in line outside a Centro 99 grocery store, ready to scour the shelves for scarce items like cooking oil and milk. But before entering, Ms. Varge had to scan her fingerprint to ensure she wouldn’t buy more than her share.
Washington Post: Whistleblowers say USAID’s IG removed critical details from public reports
- In recent interviews, eight current auditors and employees complained about negative findings being stricken from audits between 2011 and 2013.
Arkansas News: Crawford wants COOL Rule amended
- U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford says the United States should revise its country-of-origin labeling rule after the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Reuters: Critics of Dow herbicide ingredient sue U.S. EPA over approval
- A coalition of U.S. farmer and environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to overturn regulatory approval granted last week for a herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences.
Farm and Ranch Guide: Agriculture, Interior Departments partner on water quality
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a new partnership agreement today that will provide a clearer picture of the benefits of farmers' conservation practices on the quality of our Nation's water.
San Diego Reader: Borrego: build a home, lose a farm
- Tiny, water-deficient Borrego Springs may be a microcosm of what San Diego will be if the water crisis worsens. Borrego is betting the farm — actually, betting on leveling farms — for its survival.
Grist: Craft brewers join the fight against natural gas pipelines
- The Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Brewers for Clean Water” campaign has lined up 60 breweries, including craft beer heavyweights like Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co., to support and lobby on water quality issues.
Des Moines Register: Teaming up for Iowa's water
- The conservationist hired to lead Iowa agriculture's newest effort at reducing runoff from farm fields wants partners — big food and beverage corporations, elevators and cooperatives, private foundations, seed and fertilizer companies, even agriculture's biggest critics.
UC Davis: No-till agriculture may not bring hoped-for boost in global crop yields, study finds
- No-till farming may not bring a hoped-for boost in crop yields in much of the world, according to an extensive new meta-analysis by an international team led by the University of California, Davis.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
ABC News: White House Says Immigration Plans Not Final Yet
- The White House on Wednesday cautioned against making assumptions about President Barack Obama's changes to immigration rules based on a new federal contract proposal from the Homeland Security Department to buy enough supplies to make as many as 34 million immigrant work permits and residency cards over the next five years.
Modern Farmer: Balloons. Pigs. Trigonometry. Read On.
- Proving the balloon had indeed caused the stampede came down to a farmer’s wife, a golfer’s tool, and yes, a mathematician.
MSNBC: Steve Southerland targeted over food stamp cuts
- Republican Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida has a target on his back. As the 2014 midterms wind to a close, the nonprofit Food Policy Action has decided to spend the final month of the campaign cycle doing everything it can to unseat the two-term congressman.
Politico: Joni Ernst brings back the hogs in new ad
- Iowa GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst is back at the hog lot for her latest TV ad — telling voters that “typical politicians” in Washington are “full of … well, let’s just say bad ideas.
Bloomberg: Hensarling Gets Long-Shot Challenge for Chairmanship
- House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling is facing a challenge to his chairmanship from Representative Frank Lucas
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