Daily Harvest -- 11/12/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers eye another end-of-year renewal of tax incentives
- (Subscriber only) Key lawmakers are considering renewing dozens of expired tax incentives, including the expanded Section 179 expensing allowance, for this year and extending them through 2016.
Agri-Pulse: Big crops get bigger in latest WASDE report
- This year's soybean crop will be the biggest ever - and bigger than projected a month ago - and the corn crop is also projected larger than in October, according to the latest USDA forecasts.
Wall Street Journal: Drop in Commodity Prices Affects Farmers
- The drop in soybean and corn prices is squeezing farmers and affecting farm suppliers, including Deere, Monsanto and DuPont.
U.S. News & World Report: Sugar program draws ire from GOP candidate Cruz, but remains popular in Congress
- Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he wants to do away with government support for the sugar industry — a veiled dig at rival Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who has long supported sugar growers.
U.S. News & World Report: Planting the Seeds of Real Farm Reform
- (Opinion) The reality is the 2014 farm bill increased spending much more than promised. Spending in fiscal year 2014 alone was $5.2 billion more than projected by the farm bill because of payments made to farmers.
Newsweek: The Clean Energy Goldmine in the California Desert
- The Mojave Desert, which stretches across most of Southern California, is a potential gold mine for clean energy. Earlier this year, the world’s largest solar farm opened there, near Joshua Tree National Park.
MLive: Why Michigan's proposed 30 percent clean energy goal may not be as impressive as it sounds
- Democrats won a clean energy amendment to a package to overhaul Michigan energy policy as it advanced from committee last week, but advocates say 30 percent by 2025 isn't as impressive as it sounds.
Wyoming Business Report: ‘Energy Bible’ predicts 2016 upstream decline
- Upstream investments – those on the exploration and production side of the energy sector – will be at least 20 percent lower in 2015 worldwide and continue to decline in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency, marking the first time since the 1980s.
Fusion: Why veterans are pushing for more clean energy back home
- (Opinion) Veterans know firsthand the dangerous challenges that come from fossil-fuel dependence, and many are choosing to help the country transition to a clean-energy economy when they return home.
New York Times: Glut of Coal-Fired Plants Casts Doubts on China's Energy Priorities
- China’s economic slowdown and the government’s pledges to use more renewable and nuclear energy make some of the country’s existing plants and most or all of the 155 new ones unnecessary, according to interviews and a report released Wednesday.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: “That one was definitely alive”: An undercover video at one of the nation’s biggest pork processors
- Months worth of footage have raised serious concerns about the conditions at one of the largest pork processors in the U.S., and started a government investigation.
Eater: Top Trends for 2016 Include Artisan Butchery, Chef-Driven Fast-Casual Concepts
- Much like fashion, food trends can be fickle. The National Restaurant Association just released its annual report on the coming year's most prominent menu trends, for which it surveyed 1,600 chefs across the country.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Kroger to buy ex-Rainbow Foods owner Roundy's for $178M, expand in Midwest
- Roundy's Inc. owns about 150 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois. Its shops include Copps, Mariano's, Metro Market and Pick 'n Save. It formerly owned Rainbow Foods stores in Minnesota, which it shut down or sold off in recent years.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Palm Oil Pushes Through Drought, Fire and Smoke
- Palm-oil production is holding up and stocks are accumulating despite drought, fire and a choking haze that is smothering plantations across Malaysia and Indonesia.
Fortune: E.U. Moves Ahead With Labeling Goods Made in Israeli Settlements
- The European Union published new guidelines on Wednesday for labeling products made in Israeli settlements, a move Brussels said was technical but Israel branded “discriminatory” and damaging to peace efforts with the Palestinians.
New York Times: Romania’s President Picks Dacian Ciolos as New Prime Minister
- Romania’s president on Tuesday nominated Dacian Ciolos, an expert on agriculture, to replace Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who was ousted last week. Ciolos has served as his country’s agriculture minister and, more recently, as the agriculture commissioner on the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union.
Billings Gazette: 20 Years After Activist Hangs, Oil Pollution Blights Nigeria
- Twenty years after a Nigerian military dictatorship hanged activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, his Niger Delta homeland remains blighted by oil pollution. Thousands of lives have been wrecked, according to Amnesty International, as oil slicks killed the fish, crude-crusted soil stunted crops and oil flare-ups polluted lungs.
Reuters: U.N. taps crowdfunding app to tackle refugee camp food shortages
- The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) has responded to a funding crunch by developing a mobile app that lets people around the world donate money to help feed the 4 million displaced Syrians living in neighboring countries.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Phys.org: Feds: Lake Erie algae bloom in 2015 was largest on record
- The algae bloom that spread across Lake Erie this summer was the largest on record and left behind a thick, paint-like scum that covered an area roughly the size of New York City, government scientists said Tuesday.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Bill Clinton touts renewable energy during visit to Central America's biggest wind farm
- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is talking up the potential of renewable energy to shield developing countries from the effects of climate change.
Washington Post: Humans have relied on honeybees for nearly 9,000 years — and now they’re mysteriously declining
- Honeybees are a cornerstone of modern agriculture, valued both for their importance as pollinators and for the honey and wax they produce. Today, they’re considered a largely domesticated organism, commonly kept by humans in managed hives — but it wasn’t always this way.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
ABC News: Donald Trump Models 'Deportation Force' After Inhumane Eisenhower Plan, Scholar Says
- It was a presidential directive in the 1950s that carried the offensive yet official name of “Operation Wetback.” Ordered by President Dwight Eisenhower, its controversial tactics prompted a congressional investigation and was eventually stopped because of the expense.
Marketplace: Immigrant workers help save Wisconsin dairy farms
- Because the price of milk is lower than the costs to produce it, the number of dairy farms in Wisconsin has been dropping – from more than 22,000 in the late 1990s to fewer than 10,000 now. For those that remain, immigrant labor has proven crucial.
Casper Star Tribune: Sheepherders protest Dept. of Labor wage plan as inadequate
- Some current and former sheepherders say the U.S. Department of Labor has folded to pressure from the American sheep industry by trimming its proposal to require raises for thousands of foreign shepherds in the West.
Wall Street Journal: Coca-Cola Marketing Executive Clark to Leave for DDB
- Senior Coca-Cola Co. marketing executive Wendy Clark is leaving the beverage giant to head advertising agency DDB Worldwide’s North American business.
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