Daily Harvest -- 12/2/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Obama confident Paris conference to reach climate accord
- (Subscriber only) Wrapping up his two days at the Paris climate summit Tuesday, President Obama expressed confidence that a meaningful global agreement will be signed when the meeting ends on Dec. 11 and that the accord will provide the market the signals needed to create a "low-carbon global economy."
Denver Post: Obama says parts of climate deal must be legally binding
- President Barack Obama said Tuesday that parts of a global climate agreement under negotiation in Paris should be legally binding, in a boost to some climate negotiators seeking a tough accord—and a challenge to Republicans in the U.S. Senate, many of whom don t believe global warming is real.
Christian Science Monitor: Can Monsanto lead way to carbon neutral farming?
- Monsanto Company, one of the world's most powerful, and controversial, multinational corporations, announced Tuesday that it plans to become carbon-neutral by 2021, reducing its own net emissions while helping client farmers do the same.
Colorado Springs Gazette: Demand for Farm Loans Surges Amid Low Crop, Cattle Prices
- The nation's net farm income is the lowest since 2002, and with another year of low commodity prices, demand for agriculture loans is surging as farmers struggle to make ends meet.
NPR: S.C. Farmers Burdened By Catastrophic Rainfall, Crop Losses
- In South Carolina, catastrophic rainfall is making this a grim year for one of the state's biggest industries: farming. Just when fall crops were ready to harvest, extensive flooding drowned fields and sidelined farm workers.
Agri-Pulse: Biodiesel industry pleased with RFS rule
- (Audio) Biodiesel is one industry that is pleased without reservation with EPA’s final RFS rule.
Scientific American: Gates Joins Big Wigs in Paris to Push Clean Energy Initiative
- Gates was a rare civilian sharing the limelight alongside presidents and prime ministers at the opening session of Paris climate talks on Monday.
Fortune: Government is Stalling Clean Energy Innovations
- (Opinion) Affordable, reliable, and abundant energy improves the quality of life for everyone: It keeps the premature baby alive in the incubator; it provides access to clean, affordable drinking water; and it allows parents living paycheck to paycheck to feed their families and have proper healthcare.
Las Vegas Review Journal: NV Energy files for expansion to serve Switch, Apple
- NV Energy has filed requests with state regulators to expand two large-scale solar photovoltaic projects in Southern Nevada to serve the renewable energy goals and growth of data-storage companies Switch and Apple.
M Live: Energy overhaul bills likely up next week, utilities still pushing for year-end passage
- Utility companies and former legislative leaders renewed their call for the state's energy overhaul to pass before Michigan rings in 2016 and the political implications that come with it.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Tell Consumers What They Are Eating
- (Opinion) In approving GE salmon as safe to eat and for the environment, the FDA rejected petitions from environmental and food safety groups asking that companies selling this salmon be required to label it as GE. Congress should overturn that decision. Consumers deserve to know what they are eating.
New York Times: New Diabetes Cases, at Long Last, Begin to Fall in the United States
- The rate of new cases fell by about a fifth from 2008 to 2014, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first sustained decline since the disease started to explode in this country about 25 years ago.
New York Times: The Surprising Failure of Calorie Counts on Menus
- (Opinion) Americans remain very overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 38 percent of adults were obese in 2013-14, compared with 32 percent just 10 years ago.
Wall Street Journal: How Big Food Is Using Natural Flavors to Win Consumer Favor
- Food scientists at General Mills Inc. have spent years testing hundreds of combinations of fruits, vegetables and spices to replace the artificial food coloring in Trix. Still, they couldn’t find matches for the neon-green or turquoise corn puffs in the multihued breakfast cereal.
Humanosphere: Gayle Smith finally confirmed as head of USAID
- Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, held up the nomination for seven months to protest the White House nuclear negotiations with Iran. Aid groups quickly lined up to laud the confirmation, but the new administrator also has some critics.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Conference committee reports highway bill
- After three weeks of negotiations, a conference committee has agreed on final language of a bill to reauthorize federal highway funding through FY 2020, following more than 30 short-term extensions of the program.
Agri-Pulse: Highway deal reverses crop insurance cut
- Congressional leaders are using a compromise highway bill to reverse a $3 billion cut to crop insurers that was included in the two-year budget agreement.
Reuters: Farm Issues Could Scupper Free Trade Deal With EU: U.S.
- Differences between the United States and the European Union over issues such as genetically modified crops and hormone-treated beef could scupper a free trade deal, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal: India’s Ambitions Make Country a Focus of Paris Climate Talks
- India’s combination of growth prospects and greenhouse-gas emissions illustrates how developing countries face a delicate balancing act.
Wall Street Journal: Hazardous Smog Engulfs Beijing for Fifth Straight Day
- The blanket of smog across much of north China comes as President Xi Jinping is in Paris for the Cop 21 international climate talks.
Reuters: Ukraine May Benefit From Russian Ban on Turkish Food: Analyst
- Russian trade measures against Turkey may give Ukraine a chance to regain its position in the Turkish food market, analyst UkrAgroConsult said on Tuesday.
Reuters: Cash Squeeze Maims Venezuela's Pre-election Food Imports
- In July, President Nicolas Maduro smiled as he sealed a multimillion-dollar food import deal with his Uruguayan counterpart designed to combat shortages ahead of Venezuela's legislative elections.
The Western Producer: Alberta Hutterite colonies want exemption from farm worker compensation bill
- Mandatory workers compensation premiums would cost Alberta Hutterite colonies more than $22 million a year, said the Hutterite business adviser with accounting firm MNP.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
LA Times: California water conservation lagged in October, but state is still on course
- For the first time since California's emergency drought rules took effect, the state failed to reduce its monthly water consumption by 25%, regulators said Tuesday.
Reuters: Montana Mulls Restoration of Bison From Yellowstone Herds
- Montana Governor Steve Bullock is due to decide soon whether bison from Yellowstone National Park will be allowed to roam the state outside certain tribal lands, where their recent return was seen as a long-awaited homecoming.
Washington Post: How palm oil cultivation in Borneo is threatening the ecosystem everywhere
- During the past 20 years, the area under palm oil cultivation in Indonesia and Malaysia has roughly tripled, helping to accelerate — along with logging operations and bauxite mining — the destruction of the region’s remaining rain forests.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Desert Sun: Our Voice: Officials must protect farmworkers from heat
- (Opinion) You might find it hard to believe, but farmworkers who toil in the California sun frequently are putting their health and lives at risk.
Capital Press: Sakuma, workers near deal on lingering pay issue
- Washington state berry company Sakuma Brothers Farms has tentatively agreed to pay $87,160 to compensate pickers for rest breaks in 2014, resolving an issue left over from a federal class-action lawsuit that changed agricultural wage practices statewide.
Good Fruit Grower: Labor tops list of concerns for Grower of the Year
- This year’s drought put many growers in central Washington’s Yakima Valley in water-conservation mode, and many operations, including Oasis Farms, had water curtailed during the season due to junior water rights. Yet, availability of labor remains Brenton Roy’s top concern.
Lehigh Valley Live: White House 2015 Christmas tree again from Pennsylvania
- First lady Michelle Obama has kicked off the holiday season at the White House by welcoming this year's Christmas tree. It's a Fraser fir grown in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, that stands more than 18 feet tall.
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