Daily Harvest -- 11/25/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse (Audio): Open Mic: Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas
- Conaway sits just below the four principal negotiators on the conference committee for the farm, food and jobs bill that is currently being negotiated. He stated last week that he disagreed with Chairman Frank Lucas that the bill would come out of conference before Thanksgiving.
Agri-Pulse (Audio): Farm bill conference leaders talk about lack of progress
- It became evident at the end of last week that farm bill conference negotiators are running into some major problems as the four leaders of the conference broke their silence.
Omaha World-Herald: Sen. Johanns tells farm bill negotiators he'll oppose price guarantees for crops
- The former U.S. agriculture secretary and current member of the Senate Agriculture Committee said price guarantees like those included in the House version of the bill would return the country to a 1980's-era farm policy that encourages overproduction, kills international trade opportunities and ultimately hurts farmers and taxpayers.
Oklahoma Farm Report (Audio): Frank Lucas - "If Humanly possible - I want this Farm Bill done!"
- Lucas does not believe that an extension is an option, saying, "We just have to get our work done."
Wall Street Journal: Potential Savings Crop Up in Farm Bill
- Lawmakers struggling to hash out a budget deal could find their job easier if Congress pulls off a feat nearly as difficult: passing the first new farm bill since 2008.
L.A. Times: L.A.-area congresswoman wades into catfish fight
- Lucille Roybal-Allard has taken up an unlikely cause for a congresswoman from Los Angeles' landlocked Eastside: catfish.
Des Moines Register: Ethanol's backers come out swinging to defend industry
- Ethanol supporters are mounting an all-out lobbying blitz they hope will persuade the White House to backtrack on its decision to reduce the amount of the renewable fuel required to be mixed into the country’s gasoline supply next year.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Corn farmers brace for lower fuel demand
- Talk about bad timing. Corn prices were at three-year lows when the Obama administration on Nov. 15 proposed cutting the corn-ethanol fuel mandate for the first time.
Wall Street Journal: USDA Unloads Forfeited Sugar
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is whittling down the mountain of sugar it was stuck with after domestic processors defaulted on $136.9 million in government loans at the end of September.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Senators offer bill to relax FDA's proposal on menu labeling
- As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, FDA issued two proposed regulations that would require calorie labeling on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, retail food establishments, and vending machines.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: A SNAP it's not
- The current size of SNAP makes it an obvious target for budget cuts. But the Congress should focus on the average benefit of barely $1.40 per person, per meal before voting on additional cuts to the program.
Financial Times (subscriber only): French fries producer stimulates growth of domestic farmers
- Can the humble potato take some of the credit for Poland’s startling modernization over the past two decades? A look at the Farm Frites Poland factory on the Baltic coast would suggest that it can.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Associated Press: EU climate chief says UN talks hinge on 2015 deal
- After another U.N. climate conference gave only modest results, European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard says the process needs to provide a "substantial answer" to global warming in two years to remain relevant.
CNN: Opinion: Serious about climate change? Talk about agriculture
- [W]hile super storms generate the headlines, equally pressing tragedies are slowly unfolding on fields and farms across the developing world with relatively little attention.
New York Times: Opinion: Iowa in the Amazon
- My first thought was that a farm that big, sitting on the edge of the Amazon, must be an environmental disaster. But when it comes to agricultural sustainability, all is not what it seems.
Kansas City Star: High use of antibiotics overlaps with obesity rates in the Midwest and South
- At some level, Blaser said, the relationship has been known on the farm for generations. Livestock producers have long been using tiny doses of antibiotics in their herds to grow bigger animals faster.
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