Daily Harvest -- 11/21/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Milk producers say WOTUS should be fixed or withdrawn
- The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) says EPA's proposed “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule fails to provide the certainty that dairy farmers need and should be changed substantially or withdrawn and rewritten.
Agri-Pulse: Corn grower transportation concerns
- (Audio) Transportation concerns continue for farmers as the record crop harvest this season nears completion. National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling says they were surprised when the Army Corps of Engineers told them earlier this month that they would be closing the Mississippi River for at least two weeks to make repairs.
Wall Street Journal: House Agriculture Chief Plans ‘Thoughtful’ Look at Food Stamps
- Rep. Mike Conaway (R., Texas), the newly appointed chair of the House Agriculture Committee, is pledging to undertake a “thoughtful” review of food stamps.
Insurance Journal: Farm Bill Costs Soar Despite Great Harvest
- U.S. farmers are about to reap a bumper harvest not just in corn and soybeans but also in new subsidies that could soar to $10 billion, blowing a hole in the government’s promise that its new five-year farm bill would save taxpayers money.
Press-Gazette Media: Don't reduce funding for rural hospitals
- Editorial Board: A group of 27 U.S. senators has written to President Barack Obama urging him to keep in mind the valuable role of the Critical Access Hospital program as he prepares his fiscal year 2016 budget.
Los Angeles Times: Iowa politics have Christie hog-tied on animal rights bill
- Now a fresh set of White House hopefuls are angling for Iowa’s approval, among them New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has a decision to make: sitting on his desk in Trenton is an animal-welfare bill that would forbid the use of confining metal cages for pregnant pigs.
Reuters: Ice to close upper Mississippi from November 20, earliest on record
- The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota's Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
International Business Times: Environmentalists Accuse Walmart Of Failing On Renewable Energy Targets While Using Too Much Coal Power
- Environmental groups are accusing Walmart of falling short on a number of its well-publicized sustainability goals. The world’s largest retailer still relies heavily on carbon-intensive coal power in U.S. stores and facilities, despite a longstanding promise to invest in renewable energy, critics said in a report released Thursday.
The Hill: Grassley: Don’t ‘pull the rug out’ from wind energy
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded that any tax extender package include the wind energy tax credit.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Rejected by other nations, country of origin labels for meat cuts face uncertain future in US
- Package labels on fresh cuts of meat that identify where animals were born, raised and slaughtered face an uncertain future after successful trade challenges from Canada and Mexico.
Reuters: United Nations, WHO, politicians commit to fight poor nutrition
- International organizations and 170 governments committed to battling poor nutrition on Wednesday, saying that while hunger had dropped, half the world's population was in some way affected by nutritional problems.
Bloomberg: American Pigs Are Too Fat for Holiday Ham
- Eating ham has never been more expensive than this year, partly because U.S. pigs are too fat.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Why not TPA in lame duck?
- Ross Korves, Trade and Economic Policy Analyst with Truth About Trade &Technology: While waiting until next year may be tempting, all legislation starts over in a new Congress. The time to move on TPA is now if at all possible, rather than having several more months of uncertainty.
Agri-Pulse: House panel approves bill to strengthen Feed the Future program
- The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday favorably reported to the full House a bill that supporters say would strengthen President Obama's Feed the Future Initiative as it works to alleviate hunger around the globe.
Reuters: Want to live on the 'roof of the world'? Grow barley
- The Tibetan Plateau, the harsh Asian domain known as the 'roof of the world,' would not seem an ideal place for people to call home thanks to its extreme altitude, frigid temperatures, relentless winds and low-oxygen conditions.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Climate change could increase exposure to crop insurance losses, GAO report says
- Climate change could make both government and private sector players in the crop insurance program more vulnerable to potential losses, a report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.
Grist: Farming in the face of climate change? Monsanto has an app for that
- Whatever your feelings about Monsanto, it’s hard to argue that the company isn’t paying attention to climate change.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Farm groups want new immigration laws, not an executive order
- President Barack Obama's executive order regarding undocumented immigrants does little for the agricultural industry, according to several farm group representatives, who say legislative reform through Congress is the way to solve farm labor problems.
Washington Post: Obama acts on immigration, announcing decision to defer deportations of 4 million
- President Obama sought to convince the American public Thursday that his plans to unilaterally change immigration laws were in line with the precedent set by previous administrations and did not amount to an amnesty program for illegal immigrants.
Great Falls Tribune: Agriculture largely left out of White House immigration plan
- Farm and livestock producers said President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration announced Thursday will do little to help farm operators struggling to get the workers they need and could drive more agricultural production outside the United States.
Forbes: Meet A Data Scientist Who's Helped Revolutionize Agriculture
- Prof. David Lobell says a lot of his students are puzzled when they get to his Stanford University classroom and hear him advocate for the food industrial complex.
Agri-Pulse: Senate confirms Holladay, Mensah to USDA posts
- The Senate has confirmed Jon Holladay as USDA's chief financial officer and Lisa Afua Serwah Mensah as the department's under secretary for rural development.
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