Daily Harvest -- 11/17/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Cruz wins Steve King endorsement
- Iowa Congressman Steve King endorsed Ted Cruz for president, saying the Texas senator “knows how Washington works and has successfully taken on the D.C. elites.”
Agri-Pulse: FCC Commissioner addresses rural communications issues
- (Audio) Radio began on the AM band and some of the first broadcasts were to farmers.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Senator Joni Ernst says EPA's WOTUS 'ill-conceived'
- (Opinion) Recently, a bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators voted to close the floodgates on Washington bureaucrats determined to sink farmers, homebuilders, and manufacturers across the nation in legal uncertainty, compliance burdens, and increased costs.
ABC News: Coal not going away anytime soon despite renewables push
- Demand for coal is leveling off, but it will remain a key energy source for decades, no matter how many billions of dollars of investment go into cleaner energy like wind and solar. Too much of the world depends on it now for heating and power generation for us to suddenly live without it.
Bellingham Herald: Georgia's coal ponds a 'lurking disaster'
- Some 30 man-made lagoons, spanning the area of dozens of football fields were so contaminated that some scientists think it should be treated as hazardous waste. After questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about safety, Georgia Power recently announced intentions to close down all of its coal ash ponds.
Des Moines Register: MidAmerican building tallest land-based wind turbine.
- The Des Moines-based power company will get the added height by building the wind turbine tower from concrete instead of steel, a first for the company. The extra 100-plus feet enables the turbine to capture more wind energy, the utility said.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Defense rests without calling any witnesses in federal trial of ex-coal CEO Don Blankenship
- The defense in the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has rested its case without calling a single witness. The announcement came after jurors heard testimony from 27 witnesses over roughly five weeks.
Clean Technica: The Clean Energy Revolution In Three (Or Four) Charts
- In what amounts to a giant group hug for the taxpaying public, the US Department of Energy is out with the latest update to its series of “Revolution…Now” clean energy reports.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Fox News: Kids' drug-resistant bacteria blamed on farm antibiotic use
- Kids are becoming infected with bacteria that are resistant to treatment with the same antibiotics that are commonly used in raising farm animals, and it is difficult to treat children who are infected with the drug-resistant bacteria, the report said.
KPHO Phoenix: Local dairy farm's old-school approach paying off
- An Arizona dairy farm has taken a “go-big approach” and gone into the business of bottling and selling its own product. Danzeisen Dairy washes, sanitizes and then refills their glass bottles.
Wall Street Journal: The Science of Neurogastronomy, or How Our Brains Perceive the Flavor of Food
- Some researchers in the field are asking a futuristic question: What if science could change the way food tastes by manipulating neurological signals inside a subject’s body, rather than changing external characteristics such as cooking style, feeding environment or the food itself?
TIME: Taco Bell Will Switch to Cage-Free Eggs by End of 2016
- The company announced that its over 6,000 restaurants will offer only cage-free eggs by Dec. 31, 2016 and that the company expects to be “the first national quick service restaurant to completely implement the change.”
Salt Lake Tribune: 'McPick 2' to replace McDonald's Dollar Menu
- Starting Jan. 4, the fast-food chain will launch the "McPick 2" menu, which will let customers pick two of the following items for $2: a McDouble, a McChicken, small fries and mozzarella sticks.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
U.S. News & World Report: Sweeping transportation bill moves ahead and lobbyists are going all out to influence it
- Lobbyists are in a frenzy to shape a bill renewing the law that pays for national transportation programs. Among the many issues: the length of trucks allowed on roads, whether recalled used cars must be repaired before they can be sold and how to pay for bridges and highways.
Sacramento Bee: Sacramento City Unified faces criticism for buying Chinese canned fruit
- The Sacramento City Unified School District bought tens of thousands of dollars in canned peaches, pears and applesauce from China, defying a federal guideline that asks U.S. schools to serve domestic food and running counter to the district’s embrace of the local farm-to-fork movement.
Economic Times: India has huge potential to export hybrid seeds: Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh
- India's share in the world seed market is less than 2 per cent and the National Seed Policy aims to take it to 10 per cent by 2020.
Yahoo News: Vast forest fires in Indonesia spawn ecological disaster
- The ecological disaster has inflicted a staggering toll on the region: 8,063 square miles of forests and other land burned, 21 deaths, more than half a million people sickened with respiratory problems and $9 billion in economic losses, from damaged crops to hundreds of cancelled flights.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Honey bees facing a tough winter, Bayer researcher says
- U.S. honey bee colonies could be in for a bad winter. That's the word from Dick Rogers, the principal scientist with the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina, who's been studying honey bees for decades.
Agri-Pulse: Changes coming for CSP
- (Opinion) The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is in the process of fine tuning the Conservation Stewardship Program.
Genetic Literacy Project: USDA, EPA butt heads on honey bee and petsicide initiative, highlighting lobbying conflicts
- As its first announced initiative, the EPA proposed a new rule that would prohibit foliar applications — spraying — of 76 pesticides, potentially affecting 1,000 products judged “acutely toxic to bees” on crops in bloom “when bees are present” under “a contract for pollination services.”
Washington Post: The hidden factor that could complicate U.S. plans to cut carbon emissions
- A new study finds that U.S. forests, which currently store more carbon than they lose each year — lowering the country’s net emissions — could store less of it in the future.
Plainview Daily Herald: Texas largely free of drought
- Recent rainfall across the state is causing drought conditions to all but disappear from Texas, according to the Water Weekly report from the Texas Water Development Board.
Washington Post: Scientists say a plague of sea stars is devastating Pacific coral reefs
- As if the world’s coral reefs didn’t have enough problems — killer rising ocean temperatures, crazy bleaching events and oil slicks comprised of sunscreen from sunbathers that denude them, they are now under attack by hordes of thorny sea creatures.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Iowa Public Radio: Looking to Settle Down, Immigrant Farmworkers Face Housing Crisis
- The immigrant workers who pick crops like cotton and melons in the U.S. can have a tough time finding a place to live. The rural areas where they can find work often lack social services and affordable housing, so many families end up in dilapidated buildings that present health risks.
Christian Science Monitor: In Florida's tomato fields, a fight for ethical farm labor grows
- For most of Immokalee’s field hands, blatant wage abuses and physical cruelty have largely vanished from the tomato rows. Workers hope to use 'fair food' labels to spread those reforms to rest of America's farmland.
Great Lakes Echo: Michigan farmers struggle to fill seasonal jobs
- The Michigan Farm Bureau said migrant workers fill about 40,000 seasonal jobs on fruit and vegetable farms but the number is decreasing.
New York Times: JetBlue’s Airport Farm Adds a Touch of Green to Kennedy
- In Chicago, O’Hare Airport features a soilless aeroponic garden springing up vertically from the mezzanine level of Terminal 3. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam includes an indoor “mixed nature” park, with ivy-covered chairs and piped-in bird sounds. And Changi Airport, in Singapore, offers weary travelers rooftop cactus and sunflower gardens, and a two-story butterfly house.
Huffington Post: Henry Wallace: America's Forgotten Visionary Politician
- Wallace was born on an Iowa farm in 1888. After graduating from Iowa State College in 1910, he went to work for his family's newspaper, Wallaces' Farmer, which was widely read by farmers and was influential in educating farmers about new scientific techniques and political issues shaping agricultural life.
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