Daily Harvest -- 11/26/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse (Audio): Corn and soybean farmers optimistic about WRDA
- Corn and soybean growers who depend heavily on the nation’s waterways for the export of their crops are hopeful Congress will finally reauthorize water resources development programs for the first time in more than five years now that the Water Resources Development Act has reached conference.
The Hill: Farm bill negotiators plan pivotal conference call
- The top leaders of the House-Senate farm bill conference committee plan to hold a pivotal conference call on Monday.
USA Today: Vilsack: Farm bill tests D.C.'s embattled politics
- Stalled negotiations over a farm bill threaten more than trouble for farmers and consumers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. They're also a broader test of whether Washington can work.
Associated Press: Prospects brighten for small-scale budget deal
- Despite the poisonous environment in Congress, chances are improving for a small-scale budget deal next month that would ease automatic spending decreases that threaten to cut more deeply into domestic programs and military priorities in 2014.
Washington Post: Editorial: Congress needs to roll back subsidies to sugar producers
- Federal policy coddles the U.S. sugar industry through import controls, soft loans and price targets. The result is higher consumer prices — and fewer jobs in the U.S. food industry.
Associated Press: Farmland owner ordered to clean up sewage smell
- A judge in Fairbanks has ordered the owner of 500 acres of farmland to eliminate the smell from lagoons filled with septic tank waste, saying the odor is not protected by Alaska's Right-to-Farm Act.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: U.S. hunger could be reduced by 50 percent in 10 years, report says
- Hunger and poverty in the United States could be reduced by 50 percent in 10 years, according to a report released today by the Bread for the World Institute.
Bloomberg: Hungry Americans Less Productive as Budget Cuts Deepen: Economy
- People worried about life’s necessities are less able to focus on solving problems or being more creative.
Associated Press: Members of Congress seek more input on food rules
- Seventy-five members of Congress are asking the Food and Drug Administration to allow further comment on sweeping food safety rules that farmers say could drive them out of business.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
The Hill: Negotiators making progress on Asia-Pacific deal
- U.S. trade officials said they made substantial progress last week on forging an Asia-Pacific agreement with an aim to wrap up a deal by the end of the year.
Wall Street Journal: Japan's Rice Farmers Brace for Global Competition
- As the Japanese government eyes scrapping a decades-old subsidy program at the heart of its rice policy, farmers are preparing to ditch old practices for new business models to cope with market liberalization and greater global competition expected ahead.
Associated Press: China eyes new markets in infrastructure, renewable energy and agriculture in eastern Europe
- Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang says Chinese investment in infrastructure construction, renewable energy and agriculture in eastern Europe will bring greater prosperity and jobs in the region.
Wall Street Journal: Chicken Farmers Try to Recover After Philippine Typhoon
- Typhoon Haiyan killed more than six million chickens as it swept through the Philippines, and chicken farmers say they are now desperate for help as thousands of fowl continue to die daily, exposed to the elements in the wreckage of their coops.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: Obama Calls for Quick Action on Immigration, and So Does a Heckler
- In his remarks, Mr. Obama reiterated his support for an immigration overhaul split into multiple pieces of legislation, as House Republicans have proposed.
Agri-Pulse: Capitol Christmas Tree reaches Washington after long journey
- Ending its approximate 5,000-mile trek across the country, the Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in Washington, D.C. today.
Associated Press: NYC Foam Food Container Ban Gets Hearing
- A potential ban on plastic foam food containers in a city that thrives on takeout provided a piping-hot topic among lawmakers Monday, as they debated the material’s pros, cons and prospects for recycling.
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