Daily Harvest -- 12/1/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Government funding entangled in immigration debate
- Lawmakers return from their Thanksgiving break with lots of unfinished business before the 113th Congress goes out of business with the close of the current lame-duck session.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Tom Harkin
- (Audio) Iowa US Senator Tom Harkin has been a voice for farm and rural issues for four decades in Washington. Working with eight different farm bills, Harkin championed the nation's efforts on conservation, nutrition, energy and farm policy.
Agri-Pulse: Deadlines for dairy and livestock forage programs
- (Audio) The deadline for dairy producers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Protection Program is right around the corner, accd to UDA FSA Administrator Val Dolcini.
Agri-Pulse: From food stamps to farm loans, USDA's OIG cracking down on fraud
- (Subscriber only) Lawmakers looking to stop waste, fraud and abuse at USDA will find plenty of cases - from food stamps to farm loans - highlighted by the agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) in its most recent six-month review.
Des Moines Register: Vilsack, Obama form bond in Washington
- A jovial Tom Vilsack emerged from a room in a Chicago office building in December 2008, having just been offered "the opportunity of a lifetime" by Barack Obama, then the president-elect, to be his agriculture secretary.
The Tribune: South Carolina looks to reverse downward trends of rural schools
- A group of South Carolina school districts recently won a two-decade legal battle over disparate differences in school funding and quality within the Palmetto State.
Newser: New Jersey GOP Gov. Christie vetoes state pig crate bill that Iowa pork farmers opposed
- Republican Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a politically charged bill that would have banned the use of certain pig cages in his state, a move many observers see as aimed at appeasing Iowa voters ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run.
Wall Street Journal: Canada Maintains Rules on Rail Grain Transport
- Canada said late Saturday it would maintain rules requiring the country’s main railroads to carry a minimum amount of grain a week, adding such regulations are necessary to ensure the country’s important commodities get to market in a timely manner.
Magic Valley: Farm Bill Creates Changes in Programs and Filing Deadlines
- The 2014 Farm Bill has complicated changes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not expect growers to wade through alone. That’s where the county executive directors come in.
Ag Web: Soybean to Canola Prices Seen Sliding Through June 2015
- Soybean, rapeseed and palm oil prices as well as those for oil and meal crushed from oilseeds are forecast to slide in the year through June amid ample supplies, industry analyst Oil World said.
Financial Times: Brazil poised to raise ethanol content of petrol
- Brazil is set to raise the ethanol component of its petrol, creating demand for an extra 1bn litres of the biofuel a year and providing much-needed relief for the country’s sugar mills.
New York Times: Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests
- Vlasa Mircia, the mayor of this destitute village in eastern Romania, thought he had struck it rich when the American energy giant Chevron showed up here last year and leased a plot of land he owned for exploratory shale gas drilling.
ABC News: Texas Towns Test Oil and Gas Supremacy on Fracking
- A Texas hamlet shaken by its first recorded earthquake last year and hundreds since then is among communities now taking steps to challenge the oil and gas industry's traditional supremacy over the right to frack.
Wall Street Journal: Even After Selloff, Energy Stocks Find Few Buyers
- Energy stocks are on sale following a five-month plunge in crude oil, but so far few investors are heeding the temptation to bargain-hunt.
Bloomberg: Oil at $40 Possible as Market Transforms Caracas to Iran
- Oil’s decline is proving to be the worst since the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and threatening to have the same global impact of falling prices three decades ago that led to the Mexican debt crisis and the end of the Soviet Union.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Al Jazeera America: In GMO labeling fight, all eyes on Vermont
- Food activists and the industry are looking to a court case between Vermont and a major food distribution association as a bellwether for the future of genetically modified foods.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USTR to appeal COOL ruling by WTO
- The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to appeal a World Trade Organization ruling that found USDA country of origin labeling (COOL) rules for beef and pork were non-compliant with international trade obligations.
Reuters: War pushes Ukrainian egg producer Avangardco to net loss
- Ukraine's largest agriculture company Avangardco posted on Friday a nine-month net loss of $5.7 million due to the separatist war in the east of the country and the sharp devaluation of the national hryvnia currency.
Bloomberg: Japan Dairies Losing as Abe’s Weak Yen Boosts Corn Costs
- A weakening yen is making it more expensive for farmers to import the U.S. corn their cows eat at a time when record crops have reduced livestock-feeding costs around the world.
Russia Beyond the Headlines: Danone offended by Russian agriculture minister's statement
- Danone Russia has angrily assailed Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov's critical remarks about it and wants Fyodorov to denounce them as damaging the company's business reputation.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: Proposed rule for farms aims to improve Lake Erie
- Ohio's lawmakers are taking their first step toward slowing the spread of algae in Lake Erie since a toxin contaminated the drinking water for more than 400,000 people.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Why Obama’s executive action on immigration excluded parents of ‘dreamers’
- The decision to exclude the parents of dreamers — along with all agricultural workers and H-1B visa seekers — from President Obama’s executive actions announced Nov. 20 highlights the legal and political challenges the administration is navigating as it aims to curb the ongoing deportation of illegal immigrants.
Fox News: Incoming senators talk compromise on jobs, immigration but partisan divide still an issue
- Arkansas GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, elected in November to the Senate, said the House wants to pass an immigration reform bill, just as the Democrat-controlled Senate did last year. However, the lower chamber’s bill will likely be different.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Time for a new direction for the beef checkoff
- Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union: What should have been a constructive public policy discussion about a program that is vital to the success of the family farmers and ranchers who make their living raising cattle has unfortunately devolved into a whirlwind of innuendo and half-truths that are hamstringing the much-needed discussion about how to modernize and improve the beef checkoff.
Washington Post: Study highlights ag law needs across Maryland
- Environmental regulations and land use restrictions top the list of legal concerns for the state’s agricultural community, according to a recent study conducted by a trio of University of Maryland schools.
Des Moines Register: Growers grateful for higher Christmas tree prices
- Six years of decreased demand and low prices put many growers out of business. Those who withstood the downturn are relieved they survived.
USA Today: Mother, daughter work to save Christmas tree farm
- There is little instant gratification in farming, and Christmas trees require an extra long leap of faith. It takes seven to 12 years before a tree reaches maturity.
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