Daily Harvest -- 10/27/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA issues first ARC, PLC payments under new farm safety net
- Farm program checks totaling nearly $4 billion could start arriving as early as Tuesday in farmers' bank accounts across the country, providing a much needed boost while many commodity prices are falling.
Agri-Pulse: Crop insurance targeted in budget talks
- (Subscriber only) Crop insurance was being slated for a cut as the White House and congressional Republican leaders negotiated a sweeping budget deal.
Agri-Pulse: Better use of data equals better risk management
- (Opinion) Lately I've been hearing from both the conservation community and the crop insurance folks about the intersection between the two.
Washington Post: To save money, states give up on repairing some rural roads
- Now farmers have to drive miles out of their way to reach their fields, and once-simple errands have become cumbersome cross-country trips. In Louisiana, college students persist in using a closed bridge to get to campus, despite warnings that it could collapse.
Washington Post: The (half-baked) story behind the pork ban in federal prisons
- After a 17-day furor over its decision to strip pork products from the national menu for 206,000 federal inmates, the Bureau of Prisons has finally produced the documentation it says led to the change.
Detroit News: $15M urban-agriculture plan to transform Detroit space
- A $15 million urban-agriculture project announced Monday is expected to transform 22 blocks of blighted land on Detroit’s lower east side into a massive swath of greenhouses and hoop houses.
The Spectrum: Options for clean energy without the hassle
- The Utah Public Service Commission recently approved a new program that allows consumers the ability to subscribe to some or all of their electricity from solar power, according to Paul Murphy, public relations coordinator for Rocky Mountain Power.
The Charlotte Observer: Duke Energy firms up its ties to natural gas with Piedmont acquisition
- Duke Energy’s acquisition of crosstown Piedmont Natural Gas links the nation’s largest electric utility to the resource that fuels a growing amount of its energy. Duke will buy Piedmont for $4.9 billion in cash and assume $1.8 billion in debt, the companies announced Monday.
Radio Iowa: Group wants candidates to support clean energy programs
- A national organization which says it is made up of parents and grandparents who are pushing for clean energy is joining with Iowa groups to ask presidential candidates to back clean energy programs.
Mashable: Aussie company to use renewable energy to take you off-the-grid
- Using solar energy as well as wind, hydro and biomass combined with battery storage, homes and businesses will be able to end their reliance on electricity providers that are often powered by coal-burning power stations.
Quartz: Tired of importing almost all its energy, Morocco has built Africa’s biggest solar farm
- It’ll be the largest solar scheme so far on a continent that has massive potential to produce both domestic and exportable energy from the sun.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: IARC assigns cancer risks to red, processed meats
- As expected, a World Health Organization body on cancer research has labeled red and processed meat consumption as potentially leading to colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
Agri-Pulse: Producers disappointed in Subway decision
- Early last week, Subway announced it would phase out the use of antibiotics in meat served in its restaurants, and many in the agricultural industry haven't taken kindly to the news.
New York Times: Unexpected Honey Study Shows Woes of Nutrition Research
- (Opinion) Sure, glucose and insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance were no different for honey, sugar and high fructose corn syrup. But should we really place so much faith in such a small, short-lived trial?
Washington Post: Say cheese? All the time? Maybe you have an addiction.
- The study found that certain foods are addictive because of the way they are processed. The more processed and fatty the food, the more it was associated with addictive eating behaviors.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Foreign subsidies hurting US cotton industry
- (Audio) Cotton was one of three major commodities highlighted in a House Ag committee hearing last week focusing on international trade policies detrimental to U.S. farmers.
Reuters: Damage to Farms and Crops Hampers Typhoon Recovery in Philippines
- Authorities and aid workers in the Philippines are assessing losses and providing assistance for survivors of Typhoon Koppu, which killed 58 people and caused 8.6 billion pesos (120.69 million pound) of damage to farms and fisheries.
Sputnick News: Agriculture Boom: Russian Food to Enter Asian Market Within Three Years
- Alexander Tkachev said that Russian domestic products would be promoted abroad by expanded participation in international exhibitions and fairs. The export potential of meat and grain products increases each year, according to the agriculture minister.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: White House honors agriculture 'Champions of Change'
- The White House honored 12 "Champions of Change" in sustainable agriculture Monday for using and promoting management practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve environmental conditions and grow local economies.
Washington Post: Drones just captured the most detailed photos of wild killer whales yet
- The stunningly clear photo taken by the unmanned aerial vehicle is the clearest image of a wild killer whale nursing ever captured, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers announced last week.
The Californian: Delicate balance: agricultural practices, conservation
- (Opinion) Our industry is ever-mindful of being good stewards of the land. Still, there’s a delicate balance between managing best agricultural practices and conservation.
LA Times: Climate change will be an economic disaster for rich and poor, new study says
- (Opinion) The argument against addressing climate change always has been fundamentally an economic one: We can't afford the needed disruptions to our fossil fuel-driven society. Now a trio of researchers at UC Berkeley and Stanford have come to the opposite conclusion.
LA Times: Big water users, take note: DWP is considering outing you
- Decades before someone coined the Twitter hashtag #droughtshaming and people began posting YouTube videos of their neighbors' drowning lawns, California water suppliers encouraged conservation by releasing the names of their biggest water hogs.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Farm workers protest Publix, urge grocer to join movement
- Dozens of protesters gathered outside a Publix super market on Bay Street Sunday to encourage the grocer to join the Fair Food Program.
Daily Texan: Student/Farmworkers Alliance delivers letter to Fenves, continutes boycott of two on-campus Wendy’s locations
- The University of Texas' Student/Farmworkers Alliance is calling for UT President Fenves to cut contracts with Wendy’s, as it is the last of the five major fast food giants to holdout from joining the Fair Food Program.
New York Times: Plants Manage Cellular Damage Related to Weather
- Plants rid their cells of individual chloroplasts damaged by heat and drought, scientists find.
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