Daily Harvest -- 11/3/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: $314 million earmarked for rural water and waste infrastructure projects
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced loans and grants totaling $314 million for 141 projects to build and improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities.
Hoosier Ag Today: How Will Agriculture Fare With Political Change
- When it comes to candid analysis of politics and agriculture, few are as popular or as outspoken as Barry Flinchbaugh, Kansas State Economist. He sees the election of Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House as being good for agriculture.
National Review: Organic Farms, Wasting Water and Land for Far Lower Yields
- (Opinion) GE-labeling referendums funded by the organic industry failed last year in Colorado and Oregon, following similar defeats in California and Washington. And a recent Supreme Court decision appears to proscribe on First Amendment grounds the kind of labeling they want.
ABC News: Farmer Corn Trade Lawsuits Against Syngenta Reach 2,000
- About 2,000 farmers, grain handlers and corn exporters have filed lawsuits against Swiss biotechnology company Syngenta now that a federal judge has ruled their cases have merit to move forward.
Harvest Public Media: Good news for ag science majors: The job market is hot
- Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture, food and natural resource sectors each year for the next five years, according to a report from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Des Moines Register: Don't constrain innovation on the farm: Craig Hill
- (Opinion) Rest assured, Iowa farmers are committed to innovation and continuous improvement not only in production, but also improved stewardship of the soil and water.
Agri-Pulse: DuPont cellulosic ethanol plant puts focus on RFSv
- (Audio) The opening of the world's largest commercial ethanol plant last week in Iowa put the focus on maintaining RFS.
Des Moines Register: Ethanol is a net energy winner
- (Opinion) Professor Kamyar Enshayan attacked cellulosic ethanol, claiming those building plants “have not consulted soil scientists” to learn the impact on soils from harvesting vegetation as a feedstock. That statement is simply false.
Billings Gazette: Agriculture secretary recommends canceling leases on sacred land
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has recommended the cancellation of long-suspended oil and gas drilling leases near Glacier National Park, federal officials disclosed Monday.
New York Times: Federal Lands Are Being Ruined for Inefficient Solar Energy
- (Opinion) The U.S. government is committed to a mistaken and damaging renewable-energy policy that promotes and heavily subsidizes industrial-scale solar and wind development on public lands.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Associated Press: Studies raise questions about impact of menu calorie counts
- Tracking calories at chain restaurants is supposed to become easier next year, but new studies raise questions about whether the counts actually make a difference for diners and eateries.
Yahoo News: Things to know about the battle of the sweeteners
- Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake for both sides in a federal court case that's shaping up as the battle of the sweeteners.
Wall Street Journal: Stuck in a Regulatory Mash-Up
- (Opinion) The potato is getting even more remarkable thanks to modern genetic engineering. A variety that resists blight—potentially obviating the need for thousands of pounds of chemical sprays every year—is coming. But standing in the way has been dilatory and superfluous regulation by no fewer than three federal agencies.
Civil Eats: Editor’s Note: Food is Political
- (Opinion) As an avid observer of the food movement, I agree that change is afoot, and not just due to an organized coalition around GMO labeling.
Houston Chronicle: Wall Street sours on Whole Foods
- Sales of organic and natural products are soaring - but you would never know it from the share price of Whole Foods Market. Shares are almost 50 percent lower than they were in February, the high point of the year. On Monday they were at $30.92.
CNN Money: Chipotle's stock falls after E. coli scare
- Chipotle temporarily closed dozens of its restaurants in Washington and Oregon to help stem the damage from an E. coli scare. Chipotle's stock fell as much as 5% after the stock market opened on Monday.
Wall Street Journal: Sysco Earnings Struggle After Failed US Foods Merger
- Sysco Corp. said profit tumbled 12% in its latest quarter as expenses related to its abandoned merger with rival US Foods Inc. eroded earnings despite an uptick in sales.
Forbes: ConAgra Foods Ends Private Label Miscue With $2.7 Billion Sale To TreeHouse Foods
- On Monday ConAgra said it will sell its private label operations to TreeHouse Foods for $2.7 billion in cash, underscoring a multi-billion dollar deal making miscue as the maker of Chef Boyardee and Hunt’s ketchup tried to diversify into private label brands.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Russia Has Sent Syria 100,000 T of Wheat as Aid – Sources
- With the country's civil war in its fifth year, Syrian farmers, despite a better crop and higher offer price than last year, have sold less wheat to the state. That is boosting the need for imported supplies, which are complicated by Western sanctions.
Reuters: Earnings at Primark owner AB Foods fall 2 pct on sugar, currency
- Associated British Foods posted a 2 percent fall in annual earnings, as growth at it Primark fashion chain, grocery, agriculture and ingredients businesses was more than offset by a slump in its sugar operation and currency moves.
Economic Times: Statoil to invest $236 million in floating wind farm off Scotland
- Statoil will invest about 2 billion Norwegian crowns ($236 million) in building a floating wind farm off the Scottish coast, in what the Norwegian oil and gas group said would be the first of its kind in the world.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Bangor Daily News: $6.5 million in conservation bonds held up by LePage officially expire
- As Maine hunters headed to the woods on the first regular day of deer season Monday, many found access to traditional hunting grounds blocked by landowners who are posting their property. Ironically, this also was the day that nearly $6.5 million in voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future bonds expired.
Missoulian: Conservation groups seek to revive lawsuit over Rocky Mountain Front oil leases
- Conservation groups are asking a judge to revive a lawsuit ahead of a U.S. government decision on whether to cancel long-suspended drilling leases on the Rocky Mountain Front.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Christian Science Monitor: Why Paul Ryan won't work with Obama on immigration reform
- In a series of interviews Sunday, Rep. Ryan (R) of Wisconsin revealed that he has no intention of working with President Barack Obama on comprehensive immigration reform, an issue for which Obama had issued executive orders last year.
Consumerist: Grocery Chain HEB Giving 15% Of Company’s Shares To 55,000 Employees
- While the wage fight roars on at retailers around the country, one company is doing something unusual for the industry: regional grocery chain HEB is bestowing a major perk on about 55,000 of its full-time employees with the gift of an equity stake in the business.
LA Times: Meet the poorest member of Congress: A California dairy farmer
- Valadao was the "poorest" member of Congress for the second year in a row with a minimum net worth of negative $8.7 million. What does that mean exactly? Lawmakers are allowed to use broad ranges used to classify assets and liabilities on the annual personal financial disclosure reports.
Wall Street Journal: Farmers Shift to Leases, Threatening to Swell Machinery Glut
- Farmers increasingly are leasing tractors, combines and other equipment as grain prices continue to slump, helping prop up manufacturers’ sagging sales. But this shift raises the risk of further saturating the farm-machinery market.
New York Times: To Prevent Malaria in Humans, Scientists Try Protecting Pigs
- For years, scientists have known of a sneaky way to kill mosquitoes: Give humans a deworming pill. But because humans won’t tolerate too much ivermectin in their systems and livestock will, researchers are using a two-inch soft silicone rod implant in pigs to release a steady dose of ivermectin under the skin.
Washington Post: Highlights from California marijuana legalization measure
- A ballot initiative spearheaded by tech billionaire Sean Parker that seeks to legalize recreational marijuana use in California was submitted to state officials on Monday.
Bloomberg: Zoetis to Acquire Fish-Vaccine Maker Pharmaq for $765 Million
- Zoetis Inc. agreed to acquire Pharmaq for $765 million from a fund managed by private equity firm Permira, a deal that would expand the animal health products maker’s portfolio into the market for fish and aquaculture.
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