Daily Harvest -- 12/17/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate sends tax extenders bill to Obama
- The Senate tonight overwhelmingly gave final congressional approval to reinstating more than 50 expired tax breaks, including the Section 179 expensing allowance that some farmers had been waiting on before buying new tractors and other equipment.
Agri-Pulse: Outlook picture for cotton and soybeans
- (Audio) in the final World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report of the year out last week, USDA lowered expected US cotton production by 3 percent, although that’s still 23 percent more than last year.
DTN: Members of Congress Want Rule on Active Engagement
- Six members of Congress have written Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to draft a new rule defining "actively engaged" for a person to receive farm-program payments.
Washington Post: Pending chicken manure regulations fan debate in Md.
- When Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) hits his last few days in office next month, he plans to enact dramatic new regulations for farmers who use chicken droppings to fertilize their fields.
Fresno Bee: Organic farmers to get a break on agriculture fees
- An organic farming seed planted in the latest farm bill sprouted Tuesday, broadening exemptions from conventional crop promotion fees.
Agri-Pulse: Bipartisan Policy Center lists options for reforming RFS
- (Subscriber only) The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today released a menu of 40 policy options for reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
USA Today: Eight countries that win and lose big from oil plunge
- Oil prices traded near a five-year low Tuesday, as global supply continued to outstrip demand. Since the start of the year, prices have plummeted close to 50%.
Time: Obama Has Taken Alaska’s Bristol Bay Off the Market for Drilling
- President Barack Obama on Tuesday listed Alaska’s Bristol Bay as a no-go zone for oil and gas drilling, promising to protect the coastal area’s booming fisheries, as well as preserve a linchpin of Native American heritage.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Hill: Lawmakers question FDA ability to combat overuse of antibiotics in food animals
- Democratic lawmakers want to know what’s being done to stop the overuse of antibiotics in food animals.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: China buyers in deals for more than 1 mln tonnes of U.S. soy
- Chinese buyers signed nine contracts for a total of more than 1 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans at a ceremony in Chicago on Tuesday.
Bloomberg: Russia Planning to Boost Wheat Stockpiles as Food Costs Soar
- Russia said it will increase the price it pays for wheat in a move to boost domestic stockpiles as the currency’s plunge drives up the cost of bread.
Bloomberg: France Seeks to Wean Cows Off Soybeans as China Dominates Demand
- France will pay farmers to grow faba beans and other crops that can add protein to livestock rations as Europe’s largest beef producer seeks to cut its dependence on imported soybeans, where China’s rising demand threatens supply.
Financial Times: US-Europe trade deal stuck on launch pad
- David Cameron has called for “rocket boosters” and Angela Merkel has warned there is “no time to lose”. Across the Atlantic, Barack Obama has said his administration is intent on “reinvigorating” the entire exercise.
NBC: Oil Prices, Sanctions and Currency Collapse Put Putin in a Bind
- The Russian president, earlier this year a swashbuckling land-grabber who seemed to confound the West, finds himself in a three-way economic vise — tumbling oil prices, punishing sanctions and now a collapse in his country's currency.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: House panel faults peer review process in Endangered Species Act listing decisions
- (Subscriber only) Republicans on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee have released a report that they say raises questions about the peer review process in recent Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Agri-Pulse: EPA eyes spring for Clean Water rule, unsure on replacing measure on farm exemptions
- Despite stiff opposition from congressional Republicans, EPA is moving ahead with plans to finalize its proposed Clean Water Act rule by this spring, Administrator Gina McCarthy said today.
Bloomberg: California Drought Needs 17 Million Olympic-Sized Pools
- California would need enough water to fill 16.7 million Olympic-sized swimming pools to recover from its historic drought, NASA scientists using satellite data estimate.
The Globe and Mail: Guelph scientists one step closer to inhibiting destructive bee disease
- The honeybees responsible for pollinating one-third of the food we eat face a host of threats, from bloodsucking mites and viruses to pesticides and climate change.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Fox News: Federal judge: Obama immigration actions 'unconstitutional'
- A federal judge has declared parts of President Obama's immigration executive actions unconstitutional, in the first court opinion to tackle Obama's controversial policy changes.
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