Daily Harvest -- 10/26/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
- (Audio) In this week’s interview former Senator Conrad discusses the appropriations deadline, the debate over the debt ceiling, the advantages to a two-year budget and secure long term funding for the country’s transportation infrastructure.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: House moves to avert rail snarl, Ryan takes control
- House Republican leaders are scrambling this week to avert a snarl in rail traffic - and a crisis over the federal debt limit - even as Paul Ryan prepares to take over as speaker and try to unite the fractious GOP caucus.
Washington Post: Progress on antibiotics
- (Opinion) After decades of inaction, concern about the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is finally gaining traction, not because of federal regulations or congressional legislation, but because smart people around the nation are listening to consumers and thinking creatively about new ways of doing things.
Des Moines Register: Bird flu Q&A: Are we prepared?
- The avian influenza spread through Iowa and 14 other states earlier this year, with the last case in Iowa on June 17. Now, with wild birds flying south for the winter, concerns are rising that the virus could reappear.
Las Cruces Sun-News: Forage crops important to state agriculture
- In New Mexico, as well as the entire country, raising forage is an important part of the agricultural industry. Forages comprise the greatest amount of crop acres in the state, and the overall crop value is second to none. Without forage, the $3.16 billion beef cattle and cow milk industry could not feed its animals.
WHEC Rochester: New York to provide $1M in seed money to newer farmers
- Applications are now being accepted for the state's New Farmers Grant Fund, which provides matching grants for farm machinery purchases, construction and other costs associated with building a farm business. Individual grants range from $15,000 to $50,000.
Agri-Pulse: Wind industry on a roll despite policy uncertainty
- (Audio) Despite policy uncertainty, the U.S. wind industry continues to grow. A new report shows over 1,600 megawatts of new wind capacity were installed during the third quarter of this year.
New York Times: Energy Storage Industry Gaining Momentum
- Despite decades of public and private research and investment, the storage industry has struggled to take off, though there are signs that this may be changing.
Cleantechnica: Perceived Risk In Renewable Energy Investment Has Fallen, UN
- Investors around the world no longer see renewable energy as a risky or low-yield investment sector, a recent report by the United Nations on private sector climate finance has revealed.
Reuters: As oil industry bleeds jobs, Asia's green energy drive offers bright spot
- Renewables are powering a rare bright spot in the energy industry, with record job hiring in solar, wind and hydro partly offsetting the biggest round of job losses in the oil and gas sector in almost two decades.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA conducting review of American Egg Board alleged misconduct
- USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) is conducting a “thorough administrative review” of issues involving the American Egg Board following reports that Chief Executive Officer Joanne Ivy tried to persuade Whole Foods to stop selling a type of mayonnaise made without eggs called Just Mayo.
Daily Mail: Bacon, burgers and sausages are a cancer risk, say world health chiefs
- The World Health Organization is to list processed meat among the most cancer-causing substances, alongside arsenic, cigarettes and asbestos.
Wall Street Journal: Canning Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes Grow Scarcer This Season
- Drenching rains have curbed the U.S. harvests of canning pumpkins and sweet potatoes, dealing farmers a blow and leading to tighter supplies—and potentially higher prices—for the holiday-feast staples.
Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart Shrinks the Big Box, Vexing Vendors
- Strolling inside a Washington, D.C., Wal-Mart on a recent Saturday, Greg Foran, the chain’s U.S. chief executive, saw something he didn’t like: six bottles of ranch dressing on a shelf.
Washington Post: Pasture to plate: New facility moves meat from farm to table
- Seven Hills Food Company had its grand opening just off Campbell Avenue by the Lynchburg Expressway and will process Virginia meats for Virginians exclusively.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: With G.M.O. Policies, Europe Turns Against Science
- (Opinion) Call it the “Coalition of the Ignorant.” By the first week of October, 17 European countries — including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland — had used new European Union rules to announce bans on the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
New York Times: A Global Chill in Commodity Demand Hits America’s Heartland
- In China and other emerging markets, growth is waning and demand for the raw materials that drive the global economy has dried up.
Wall Street Journal: Developing Nations Push for Tougher Target in Climate Change Talks
- Developing nations facing some of the biggest threats from climate change are pressing rich countries to make a goal that has underpinned years of negotiations even tougher, highlighting the difficulty of reaching a new global agreement this year.
New York Times: Hoping to Save a Way of Life by Rooting Out Greeks Who Farm on Paper
- Christos Gontias, a farmer, is taking on what has long been an open secret in Greece: that hundreds of thousands claim to be farmers for the tax breaks and subsidies.
U.S. News & World Report: Spanish shepherds guide 2,000 sheep through Madrid's streets to defend age-old droving rights
- Spanish shepherds have led 2,000 sheep through the streets of Madrid in defense of age-old droving, grazing and migration rights that are increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and fenced-in pastures.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Protect farm and forest land - Reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund
- (Opinion) As House Speaker John Boehner prepares his final “to do” list before he retires at the end of October, I hope he includes reauthorizing and fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Wall Street Journal: California’s Growers Bear Brunt of Drought Woes
- California’s historic drought is forcing farmers in the dominant produce-growing state to fallow hundreds of thousands of acres and spend millions of dollars to access water. Yet U.S. grocery shoppers are barely feeling an impact.
M Live: Detroit Zoo Saves Money by Breeding Its Own Crickets
- A lion-tailed macaque fishes a cricket out of wood chips, pulls off the insect's wings and pops the rest in its mouth. Crunch. Crickets are a dietary staple for close to 2,000 amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals at the Detroit Zoo — including this hungry monkey.
International Business Times: Florida's Black Bear Hunt Called Off After Hunters Kill Nearly 300 Animals
- Florida’s controversial black bear hunt -- its first state-sanctioned bear hunt in over two decades -- was called off after its second day following higher-than-expected “harvest,” wildlife officials said Sunday.
U.S. News & World Report: Annual roundup of one of the nation's biggest, oldest public bison herds gets underway in Utah
- Riders on horseback are herding bison on Utah's Antelope Island in an annual roundup of one of the country's largest and oldest public herds.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Arkansas Online: Tyson Foods increasing worker pay at 51 of its chicken plants
- Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale said Friday that it will increase the hourly wage at most of its U.S. chicken plants for employees in production, maintenance and refrigeration, effective Nov. 1.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Farmers complain of worker shortages
- What was once a reliable source of labor appears to be dwindling as fewer migrate from Mexico and the farm worker population ages, among other complex factors. And domestic-born workers are unwilling to take their place, according to agricultural experts.
ABC News: For Sale: Australian Cattle Ranch That Is World's Largest
- A company that owns the world's largest cattle ranch and other Australian land greater in area than South Korea is up for sale.
Bloomberg: BlueScope to Buy Cargill's North Star Stake for $720 Million
- BlueScope Steel Ltd., Australia’s largest steelmaker, agreed to buy the remaining 50 percent of its joint venture in the U.S. with Cargill Inc. for $720 million, giving the producer full ownership of North America’s most profitable mill.
New York Times: Egg Board Chief Retires Early After Move on ‘Mayo’
- The chief executive of the American Egg Board, Joanne Ivy, has stepped down earlier than planned after the release of emails indicating she had tried to stop the sale of a vegan mayonnaise at Whole Foods.
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