Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 12/15/2014
Here's your daily summary of top news from and other national and regional headlines from across the country. Do you know of someone who should also be on our list? Please ask them to click here.


Agri-Pulse: Senate clears spending measure, tax extenders on tap
Link - The $1.1 trillion government-wide spending measure is on its way to President Obama for his signature, but the Senate still has to vote this week on a tax extenders bill that also is critical to agriculture.

Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Senator Saxby Chambliss-GA
Link - (Audio) US Senator Saxby Chambliss is returning to his home in Georgia after two decades of service in Washington. A strong advocate for rural America and agriculture, Chambliss believes challenges will come in the 114th congress to risk management tools approved in the new farm law.

Agri-Pulse: Cromnibus bill restricts WOTUS and cuts EPA budget
Link - (Audio) Late Saturday night the Senate passed the House-approved “cromnibus” legislation, which includes some restrictions on the proposed “waters of the United States” rule.

New York Times: In Final Spending Bill, Salty Food and Belching Cows Are Winners
Link - Health insurance companies preserved their tax breaks. Farmers and ranchers were spared having to report on pollution from manure. Tourist destinations like Las Vegas benefited from a travel promotion program.

DTN: House Passes Appropriations with Several Ag Riders
Link - The House passed its appropriations bill for almost all federal agencies late Thursday night that included several policy riders for USDA.

The Hill: Inside Congress's $42B tax-break package
Link - Congress is poised to enact a $42 billion tax bill that opponents on the left and right insist is full of corporate giveaways, and even supporters acknowledge is no way to set tax policy.

Bloomberg: Egg Market Disrupted in U.S. as Cages Made Roomier
Link - Eggs are about to get more expensive, as California moves to make sure hen houses are roomy enough to allow the birds to lay down, stand up, extend their wings and dance around.


Des Moines Register: Falling fuel prices a mixed blessing for farmers
Link - Iowa farmers filling up their tractors and combines are benefiting from the plunge in fuel prices, like millions of other energy-hungry Americans.

New York Times: Falling Food and Gas Prices Stoke Consumer Confidence
Link - Falling gas and food costs pushed down overall wholesale prices last month, evidence that cheaper oil is limiting inflation.


The Hill: Health groups fear bill could lead to return of pizza, fries in schools
Link - Health advocates are blasting provisions in federal funding legislation that are seen as dialing back school nutrition standards, even as the White House seeks to downplay the riders as “minor adjustments” to the first lady’s signature policy.

Wall Street Journal: School Cafeterias Try Haute Cuisine
Link - The Santa Clarita Valley school systems in California lost $250,000 in cafeteria sales last year when students rejected healthier fare designed to meet new federal nutrition standards. Now the districts are trying to win back diners by hiring a chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu, the prestigious culinary school.

Wall Street Journal: Cattle Prices Head Lower for the Holidays
Link - That holiday roast may be easier to swallow. The cost of a steak may not go down this month, but consumers may get a break from a dramatic increase in prices since the start of the year.


Reuters: Syngenta sees China approving contentious GMO corn soon
Link - Syngenta AG expects to win Chinese government approval soon for imports of a type of genetically modified corn at the center of lawsuits over U.S. grain shipments rejected by Beijing, a company spokesman said on Friday.

Wall Street Journal: China’s Hard Line on Biotech Burns U.S. Hay
Link - China’s tough new stance on imports of genetically modified crops is shaking up a little-noticed U.S. industry: hay.

Wall Street Journal: Japan Election Gives Abenomics Second Wind
Link - Voters handed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe another chance to revive Japan’s economy on Sunday. If he squanders the opportunity, investors won’t be granting him a third.

Reuters: Ukraine may default on corn contracts for China: traders
Link - Ukraine is struggling to honor corn contracts signed with China in October and may default on about 20 percent of the volumes because of a shortage caused in part by the political turmoil engulfing the country, industry sources said.


New York Times: Flood-Causing Deluge Amounts to Just Drops in California Drought
Link - The strong Pacific storm that left Northern California a sodden mess will not have much impact on the state’s historic drought, meteorologists said Friday.


New York Times: Obama’s Immigration Move Benefits Democrats Where It Counts
Link - A month after President Obama’s decision to defer deportation and offer work authorization to millions of undocumented immigrants, his action not only looks like a winner, but it also seems to be a fairly promising sign for Democrats after the disastrous midterm elections last month.

Los Angeles Times: Children harvest crops and sacrifice dreams in Mexico's fields
Link - An estimated 100,000 Mexican children under 14 pick crops for pay. Alejandrina, 12, wanted to be a teacher. Instead, she became a nomadic laborer, following the pepper harvest from farm to farm.

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