Daily Harvest -- 11/7/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senators push for more crop insurance for new farmers, specialty crop farmers
- Thirteen senators sent a letter today to the Senate farm bill conferees calling for provisions that aim to make crop insurance more accessible for a wider range of producers, including beginning farmers and specialty crop growers.
Agri-Pulse: Groups call for mandatory funding for farm energy programs
- A coalition of more than 130 stakeholder organizations wrote congressional agricultural leaders this week calling for the immediate passage of a five-year farm bill, including re-authorization of the proposed legislation's energy title with $900 million in mandatory funding.
Agri-Pulse: Senate names conferees for water resources development reauthorization
- The Senate announced its conferees tonight for upcoming negotiations with the House over the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (H.R. 3080), moving closer to final congressional approval on the first reauthorization of a water resources development bill in more than five years.
Omaha World Herald: Rural America must work on sales pitch, ag chief Tom Vilsack says in Lincoln speech
- The future of rural America is tied to how well the rest of America understands and supports it, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. During the keynote speech at the Rural Futures Conference, Vilsack spoke about the need to diversify the rural economy and to better explain why it matters to everyone else.
Politico: The farm bill: A Dickens tale
- There’s a touch of Dickens to the farm bill these days: The best of times, the worst of times, we are all going direct to Heaven, we are all going direct the other way. But nowhere is this “Tale of Two Cities” more true than in the real life gap between Washington’s all-consuming food stamp debate and what lawmakers face at home in their states.
New York Times: Billionaires Received U.S. Farm Subsidies, Report Finds
- The federal government paid $11.3 million in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies from 1995 to 2012 to 50 billionaires or businesses in which they have some form of ownership, according to a report released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research organization.
Associated Press: Nation's poor at 49.7M, higher than official rate
- The number of poor people in America is 3 million higher than the official count, encompassing 1 in 6 residents due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal: Japan May Take on Rice Farmers
- In a sign Japan may soon start tackling the inefficiency of its domestic industries, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government proposed Wednesday ending a four-decade policy of protecting domestic rice farmers through maintaining tight output controls.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Washington GM labeling initiative could be headed for defeat
- Although the final tally will not be known until all absentee ballots are counted, Washington voters were largely rejecting Initiative 522 on Tuesday night - a measure that would have mandated labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods on the front of packages containing GM ingredients.
New York Times: Food Companies Claim Victory Against Labeling Initiative in Washington State
- Some of the nation’s major food companies declared victory on Wednesday over an initiative in Washington State that would have required labeling of some foods that contain biotech ingredients, although supporters of labeling held out hope that hundreds of thousands of uncounted votes might yet turn the tide.
Politico: Washington GMO labeling initiative losing, but not done
- With slightly less than a million votes counted, the current tally on Ballot Initiative 522, which would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms, show those opposed leading by about 536,000 (54.8 percent) to 442,000 (45.2 percent).
Wall Street Journal: Some Food Companies Ditch 'Natural' Label
- A growing number of food and drink companies including PepsiCo Inc. and Campbell Soup Co.are quietly removing these claims from packages amid lawsuits challenging the "naturalness" of everything from potato chips to ice cream to granola bars.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: CARD study cites alternatives to oil sector’s 'dire' RFS scenario
- Research from Iowa State University economists released Tuesday says the dire scenario promoted by the petroleum industry of higher fuel prices caused by increased Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) ethanol mandates cannot occur without the formation of an illegal cartel.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Senators press Army Corps of Engineers to move on Asian carp
- Sixteen bipartisan senators from the Great Lakes states wrote a letter today to the Army Corps of Engineers asking for the remaining steps needed to cut off Asian carp entry points into the Great Lakes.
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