Daily Harvest -- 11/15/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack presses on renewable fuels, farm bill
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterated his department's commitment Thursday to helping the growth of the renewable fuel industry as stakeholders anxiously await the EPA's decision on setting the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) requirement for 2014.
Agri-Pulse: Thune: Still optimistic about farm bill
- Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said during a media call Thursday that he is optimistic a farm bill will pass by the end of the year, particularly because of the urgency of passing livestock disaster assistance.
Agri-Pulse: Senators urge administration to back biodiesel growth
- A bipartisan group of 32 senators sent a letter Thursday asking the Obama administration to support “reasonable growth” in the biodiesel industry next year under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The Hill: Boehner to Ryan: Hands off farm bill
- Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said he does not believe the deficit savings in a 2013 farm bill should be used to reach a year-end budget deal replacing the sequester.
Politico: Republicans more optimistic on farm bill
- House Republicans were more upbeat Thursday on getting a farm bill done this year, with Speaker John Boehner raising the subject and Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas saying he and his Senate counterparts are “getting to a common point on the commodity title.”
Politico: Tom Vilsack: More than agriculture at stake in farm bill
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pushed back on Thursday against efforts by some lawmakers to include provisions to change the controversial country-of-origin labeling rules in a final farm bill, saying the issue is better handled by the World Trade Organization, which is already looking at the issue.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Farm Bureau: 2013's Turkey Day less expensive
- The cost of a “classic” Thanksgiving dinner is down from last year, according to numbers released by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) today. The average cost of a 2013 feast for a family of 10 is $49.04, down 44 cents from 2012's $49.48 average.
Food Safety News: USDA Introduces Certification Program for Meat Without Growth-Enhancing Drugs
- A new U.S. Department of Agriculture certification program for livestock producers may permit them to market their products with a special “Never Fed Beta Agonists” label.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Congress members outline priorities for WTO Bali Ministerial
- Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee asked U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to maintain strong trade agreements during the negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the upcoming Bali Ministerial in a letter sent Wednesday.
Financial Times: Commodities: A sweet deal
- The US government’s vast assets include office buildings, mineral resources, aircraft carriers and national parks. This year it added mountains of sugar.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Envoy Confident in Pacific Trade Deal, Despite Hurdles
- The U.S.'s top economic envoy said he remains confident a pan-Pacific trade deal can be signed by the end of the year, even though some of the most controversial issues have yet to be resolved.
Financial Times: Sino-US stand-off threatens trade talks
- A stand-off between China and the US over agricultural quotas is threatening to scupper efforts to secure a deal the World Trade Organisation is counting on to restore its credibility, officials said on Thursday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Roll Call: Farm Bill Should Link Conservation Compliance to Crop Insurance
- Andrew McElwaine, president of American Farmland Trust, writes in this commentary that attaching conservation compliance to crop insurance premium assistance will continue the public benefits of protecting fragile soils and wetlands in exchange for a taxpayer supported federal crop insurance program.
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