Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 12/16/2015
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: USDA draws fire for final rule on payment limitations
Link - The USDA issued its long-anticipated final rule guiding eligibility for farm program payments, which the agency said is consistent with the direction and authority provided by Congress in the 2014 farm bill. But in the process, the rule generated a backlash from the National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition, which represents the interests of smaller family farms.

Agri-Pulse: Agriculture, trade topics of no consequence at latest GOP debate
Link - A Tuesday night debate among the Republican candidates vying for the highest office in the land dealt primarily with issues of national security, leaving agricultural and trade topics out of the discussion.

ABC News: Minnesota Lifts Final Remaining Bird Flu Quarantines
Link - Minnesota has lifted the last remaining quarantines on poultry farms that were infected with a deadly form of bird flu, officials announced Tuesday, marking a milestone in the state's recovery from an outbreak that cost its turkey and egg producers more than 9 million birds.

Washington Post: Millions of “organic” eggs come from industrial scale chicken operations, group says.
Link - The USDA relies on private certifying companies, hired by the farms, to ensure that organics standards are being met. Critics have complained that the private certifying companies have a financial incentive to approve the operations at the farms that hire them. Hessian Flies are Bugging Winter Wheat Crop
Link - This year's proliferation of Hessian flies actually stems from 2014, when farmers throughout the High Plains planted prior to the Hessian fly-free date.


Agri-Pulse: Goldman Sachs report sees renewable energy replacing fossil fuels
Link - (Subscriber only) For the first time, the world's faster-than-expected deployment of wind and solar power, LED lighting, and electric and hybrid vehicles will generate more than one gigatonne (Gt), or a billion metric tons, of annual CO2 emissions reductions in 2015.

Vox: Farming requires less energy than it used to. That's a big deal.
Link - A new report released by USAID, Duke Energy and international partners has found global food production is trending up steadily, while the energy required for each unit of food is trending down.

New York Times: Oil Exports and Renewable Energy
Link - (Opinion) If Congress decides to change a 40-year-old law that restricts the export of crude oil, as is likely this week, that move must be accompanied by measures like tax credits for renewable energy to help in the fight against climate change.

CNS News: Study: Allowing Energy Production on Federal Lands Would Create ‘Broad Based Economic Stimulus’
Link - A newly released report by the Institute for Energy Research says opening federal lands that are statutorily or administratively off-limits to oil, gas and coal extraction would amount to a “broad based economic stimulus… without any increase in direct government spending.”

Charlotte Business Journal: Duke Energy proposes at least $130M worth of new solar projects near Charlotte
Link - Duke Energy Corp. plans to build two new solar projects: a 60-megawatt farm to be built on 400 acres off Rocky River Road near Monroe, N.C., and a 15.4-megawatt farm on 110 acres off Crawford Road near Mocksville, N.C.


New York Times: 120 Multistate Outbreaks: Tip of Iceberg in Food-borne Infection
Link - According to an analysis published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report last month, there were 120 multi-state outbreaks of food-borne infection from 2010-14 — an average of one every two weeks.

ABC News: Leading Thai Seafood Boss: AP Shrimp Probe 'Wake-up Call'
Link - The president of one of the world's biggest seafood exporters expressed frustration and promised change Tuesday after saying an Associated Press investigation that linked slave-peeled shrimp to his company should be a “wake-up call” to the industry.

Wall Street Journal: Chipotle Heads Back to the Test Kitchen
Link - Chipotle expects to lower its use of locally sourced ingredients and is centralizing the preparation of some vegetables as it seeks to shore up food safety following an E. coli outbreak that sickened 52 people in nine states.

Fox News: PepsiCo launching organic Gatorade in 2016
Link - Starting next year, PepsiCo will offer two versions of its popular sports drink Gatorade—traditional and organic.


The Hill: Froman: Time has run out for Doha trade talks
Link - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman wrote in the Financial Times that new trade talks need to start at the World Trade Organization (WTO) that address the changes on the global trading landscape since those negotiations started in 2001.

Wall Street Journal: Japan’s First Lady Touts Revival of Hemp Culture
Link - Japan’s first lady Akie Abe raised eyebrows after telling a Japanese magazine that she has considered becoming a hemp farmer to help revive the traditional culture.

Wall Street Journal: Australia’s Port Deal With Chinese Company Stirs U.S. Unease
Link - A senior Australian defense official conceded Tuesday it was an oversight not to inform the U.S. government about the impending lease of part of a key strategic port used by U.S. marines in the country’s north to a Chinese company.

Financial Times: Noble in talks with China’s Cofco over joint venture stake sale
Link - Noble Group is in advanced talks to sell its stake in its agricultural joint venture with Cofco to China’s state-backed grain trader, as it scrambles for cash following an accounting scandal.

U.S. News & World Report: Romanian shepherds break onto Parliament grounds to protest law that limits sheepdogs
Link - Thousands of angry shepherds engaged in a tense standoff with riot police outside Romania's parliament building Tuesday in protest at a law that restricts the number of sheepdogs they can use and bans them from grazing sheep during the winter.

Yahoo News: Malawi faces worsening food shortage, UNICEF says hunger looms
Link - The United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday it feared hunger in Malawi, which is struggling with food shortages, a long drought and other effects of El Nino, and a stagnant economy.


Agri-Pulse: Interior to create Natural Resources Investment Center
Link - Sally Jewell, head of the Department of the Interior (DOI), announced Tuesday that her team will create a Natural Resources Investment Center aimed at providing conservation resources and information to private, academic, federal, state, and other partners to help solve a host of environmental issues.

Agri-Pulse: Ag groups pleased with GAO finding on EPA lobbying effort for WOTUS
Link - (Audio) News that the Government Accountability Office found EPA’s social media lobbying effort for the WOTUS rule illegal was no surprise to agricultural organizations.

LA Times: Crab pots lie empty, boats idled as toxic algae stalls a San Francisco tradition
Link - The pause in the crab season can be traced to a toxic algae that is rare to the coastal waters outside San Francisco Bay, but bloomed this year amid rising ocean temperatures. The algae produces a neurotoxin, domoic acid, that doesn't faze crabs, but can sicken and even kill humans.


New York Times: Obama Counters Anti-Muslim Talk by Welcoming New Citizens
Link - President Obama on Tuesday declared that the United States should never give into fear, but should continue to welcome immigrants and refugees because “that’s who we are.”

Washington Post: How Cuba is, and isn’t, changing, one year after the thaw with the U.S.
Link - So far, U.S. businesses have only completed a handful of new deals. Cuba remains the only closed, one-party state in the Americas, and if anything, normalization with Washington has left communist authorities increasingly anxious about dissent and more determined to stifle it.

Forbes: Healthcare Reform Comes To Napa: Wine Beyond The Glass
Link - For years, the OLE Health community clinic served farmworkers and their families exclusively, but now, with grants from the Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit trade organization, it has been able to serve a greater subset of the disenfranchised.


Bloomberg: Imperial to Drop `Tobacco' After 115 Years in Re-Branding
Link - Imperial Tobacco Group plans to change its name to Imperial Brands, ditching its main product from the company’s title after more than a century.

New York Times: Craft Brewers Have to Compete for Beer Cans
Link - While the craft beer boom has benefited small breweries around the country, it has also left some scrambling for cans.

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