Daily Harvest -- 11/4/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: The future of agriculture: Turning manure and food waste into a valuable resource
- (Opinion) For the U.S. agricultural and food sector to maintain its competitive advantage in the global marketplace, it must collaboratively move toward more robust, sustainable food systems.
Traverse City Record-Eagle: Dan Nielsen: Ingenuity is alive and well in agriculture
- (Opinion) Efforts to make food production more efficient have driven much of mankind's technological growth — farming-related ingenuity historically has translated into many other realms of culture. To start, developments in irrigation led — at least indirectly — to indoor plumbing.
Food Safety News: EPA May Ban Insecticide Over Water Quality Issues, Not Food
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there are no risks to humans from exposure to the common insecticide chlorpyrifos from food, but the agency has nonetheless asked for public comment on a proposal to revoke all food residue tolerances for the insecticide, which is mostly used on fruits, vegetable and nut crops.
New York Times: Small Towns Face Rising Suicide Rates
- Rural adolescents commit suicide at roughly twice the rate of their urban peers, according to a study. And although imbalances between city and country have long persisted, “we weren’t expecting that the disparities would be increasing over time,” said the study’s lead author.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol, Big Oil, Congress debate the RFS as EPA deadline looms
- (Subscriber only) When Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rep. Steve King,Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and other dignitaries gathered in Nevada, Iowa, last week to open DuPont's 30-million-gallon cellulosic ethanol plant.
Washington Post: Burning humanity’s poop could yield up to $9.5 billion
- A group of researchers just put a price-tag on poop: extracting biogas from the world's annual human waste output could be worth the equivalent of up to $9.5 billion in natural gas, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.
US News & World Report: In ex-coal CEO's trial, government witness testifies on key, confidential safety assessment
- A key government witness began testifying Tuesday about his once-confidential scathing review of safety under his former coal company's CEO — guidance that the witness provided to top management less than a year before the deadliest mine explosion in four decades.
LA Times: Edison will spend $12 billion on electric system over next three years
- Over the next three years, Southern California Edison, the state's second-largest investor-owned utility, plans to spend $12 billion to modernize the electric grid, the chief executive of the utility's parent company said Tuesday.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Big and deadly: Major foodborne outbreaks spike sharply
- Major foodborne outbreaks in the United States have more than tripled in the last 20 years, and the germs most frequently implicated are familiar to most Americans: Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.
Des Moines Register: What to know about corn syrup trial
- Yet behind all the legal bluster between sugar and high fructose corn syrup are two products that are similar in their chemical makeup and effect on the human body, experts say.
Science Daily: Restaurants listing calorie counts on the menu offer more lower-calorie items
- Large U.S.-based chain restaurants that voluntarily list calorie counts on their menus average nearly 140 fewer calories per item than those that do not post the information, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests.
New York Times: Beyond the Honeycrisp Apple
- But fruit breeders around the world have been busy creating an array of even newer varieties that could knock Honeycrisp and its generation of fruit from their lucrative perch atop a national apple industry that reaps about $3 billion for farmers each year.
Yahoo News: E. Coli Outbreak Tests Chipotle's Vow to Track Ingredients
- Chipotle's industry-leading commitment to tracking its ingredients from farm to table is being put to the test by an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 37 people as of Tuesday, nearly all of whom ate recently at one of the chain's restaurants in Washington state or Oregon.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: House rejects proposal to let heavier trucks on interstates
- A controversial proposal to allow heavier trucks on interstate highways in an effort to save shippers time and money was rejected by the House on Tuesday, one of dozens of amendments expected to be offered to a sweeping transportation bill this week.
US News & World Report: UN food security expert warns about impact of climate change on agriculture, malnutrition
- A U.N. expert is warning that more extreme weather, higher temperatures, floods, droughts and rising sea levels linked to climate change are threatening people's access to food over the long term.
Voice of America: Nigeria's Effort to Boost Agriculture Faces Many Challenges
- The pothole-ridden roads that connect Lagos, Nigeria's bustling commercial capital, with Adeniyi Bunmi's leafy farm in southwestern Ogun state are among the many challenges that the entrepreneur faces.
Washington Post: EU looks into reports of fake fish labeling in Brussels
- The European Union is looking into reports that cheap seafood is often mislabeled as choice fish in some of the Belgian capital’s fine restaurants and even in EU cafeterias.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Senate Democrats protect WOTUS rule
- Senate Democrats blocked a bill aimed at forcing the Obama administration to replace its Clean Water Act rule.
Agri-Pulse: Senate allows debate on one of two WOTUS bills
- (Audio) The Senate failed to allow debate Tuesday on a bill that would have required EPA to rework the controversial Clean Water Rule, known as Waters of the United States or WOTUS.
Agri-Pulse: USDA invests $30 million to improve water quality in Mississippi River Basin
- USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest $30 million this year in 33 new projects and 40 existing projects to improve water quality in high priority watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin.
LA Times: Dangerous levels of toxin found in crabs, state health officials warn
- California health officials Tuesday warned people to avoid eating Dungeness and Rock crabs that contain dangerous levels of a neurotoxin linked to a massive algae bloom off the West Coast.
Wall Street Journal: Government Land Grab
- (Opinion) The Obama Administration has spent years invading broad parts of the economy from finance to health care, but less noticed is the takeover of, well, actual land. Witness the standoff over a 50-year-old public land program that has devolved into a watering hole for seizing private property.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Capitol Press: Oregon Farm Bureau seeks changes to paid sick rules
- The Oregon Farm Bureau fears that growers will be forced to track the hours of farmworkers hired by labor contractors under proposed paid sick leave rules.
Wine Searcher: Sonoma Not All Sunshine for Vineyard Workers
- Based on a new study, median income for Sonoma farmworker families is just $24,000, 70 percent of farmworkers have no health insurance and an estimated 92 percent of farmworker families do not earn enough to meet their families' basic needs.
Agri-Pulse: Deere agrees to buy Monsanto's Precision Planting
- Deere & Co. has agreed to buy Monsanto's Precision Planting LLC for undisclosed terms, the companies said today in a statement. The deal will enable real-time connectivity between certain Deere farm equipment and the FieldView platform developed by Monsanto's Climate Corp.
Washington Post: After Ohio’s vote, these states will determine the future of legal marijuana
- Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal Tuesday that would have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana in a single vote. But regardless of how Ohio voted, here’s what comes next in the marijuana legalization battle.
Modern Farmer: 5 Billionaires with Ties to Agriculture—and Why They Do It
- In the case of at least two of the uber-wealthy, agriculture has helped make their fortunes. For another, it was an investment opportunity he thinks will pay off big. For some of the more philanthropy-minded One Percent, it’s about helping the less fortunate.
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