Daily Harvest -- 12/17/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Canadian official 'happy' with COOL omnibus language, but retaliation still possible
- Language included in the omnibus spending bill to repeal parts of the U.S. country-of-origin labeling is sitting well with foreign stakeholders, but that doesn't mean they won't continue efforts to retaliate against the provision.
Agri-Pulse: FSA administrator explains new actively engaged rule
- (Audio) USDA’s new rule ensuring only active farm managers receive farm program payments was issued this week – a rule that was mandated in the 2014 farm bill, according to FSA Administrator Val Dolcini.
LA Times: After drought and warmer weather, local farmers are taking time off
- Four years of drought and unusually warm weather have exhausted the patience and the resources of many local farmers, and the result is empty farm stands at Southern California farmers markets.
ABC News: Budget Deal Bill Boosts Oil Exports, Renewable Energy
- Energy and environment provisions in the massive year-end spending and tax bills give both parties reasons to celebrate.
LA Times: Trump loses the battle to stop a wind farm near his upscale Scottish golf resort
- Britain's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously against tycoon and U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump in his pitched battle to stop an offshore wind farm near his upscale Scottish golf resort.
Wall Street Journal: Power-Line Project Cuts Two Ways
- The state of New York plans to relieve energy transmission congestion on the grid by bringing power from upstate, where it’s produced, to New York City, where it’s needed, to the chagrin of rural residents who say the power lines are an eye sore.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling fight set to rekindle in January
- Lawmakers are pledging to re-double efforts to pass legislation early next year to block state GMO labeling laws and set national disclosure standards.
The Hill: Advocates win labels for GMO 'frankenfish'
- The 2009 page federal spending bill unveiled early Wednesday morning contains laguage forcing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize guidelines for the labeling of genetically modified salmon — a victory for advocates seeking mandatory labels on all foods made with GMO products.
Wall Street Journal: Firm Bets on Biotech That Changes How Food Is Produced
- Intrexon has invested millions of dollars to create apples that don’t brown and rapidly growing salmon, while major companies are pulling biotech ingredients from their portfolios and acquiring GMO-free brands.
Chicago Tribune: Chipotle CEO: No price increase to cover food safety costs
- In addition to more testing along the supply chain, Chipotle is instituting more high-tech food tracking inside its restaurants and some new procedures, including cutting, washing and testing tomatoes at central commissaries to ensure they are as clean as possible.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Equivalency agreements boost organic exports, says OTA
- U.S. exports of organic products grew nearly 60 percent between 2011 and 2014 as a result of trade equivalency agreements, according to a report released Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association.
Agri-Pulse: Farm groups push for progress on Ag issues at Nairobi WTO talks
- A coalition of agricultural organizations led by the American Soybean Association is urging Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to work toward positive outcomes for agriculture in the World Trade Organization ministerial negotiations going on this week in Nairobi, Kenya.
ABC Rural Australia: Fonterra sells Australian yoghurt and dairy desserts businesses
- Dairy processor Fonterra has entered an agreement to sell its Australian yoghurt and dairy dessert business to Parmalat Australia.
Washington Post: Romania: government removes sheepdog restrictions
- A day after thousands of shepherds protested in the capital, Romania’s government has lifted a ban on sheep grazing in the winter months and regulations limiting the number of sheepdogs.
Wall Street Journal: El Niño Cools Africa’s Economic Engine
- Protectionism and smuggling routes are blooming instead of corn and cassava across Africa, as a record drought pushes countries to hoard grain and drives more than 30 million people toward hunger.
Wall Street Journal: Is India Winning the Fight Against Childhood Malnutrition?
- Around 14 million fewer children had stunted growth in 2014 than in 2006, but nevertheless, the country is still home to the world’s largest population of stunted children.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Associated Press: Effort to keep Asian carp from Great Lakes appears stymied
- An advisory panel on Asian carp that has debated for several years is scheduled to hold its final meeting Thursday, with no sign of a consensus plan, and with carp projected to arrive in Lake Michigan within two years.
Sacramento Bee: California drought regulators back off controversial salmon-rescue plan
- California drought regulators on Tuesday backed off a controversial plan to withhold water from farms and cities next year in an effort to preserve an endangered species of salmon, instead choosing a more flexible approach they said still could do the trick.
Sacramento Bee: ‘Paper dams’ are blocking state water sharing
- (Opinion) In 2015, farmers fallowed 500,000 acres of cropland. Cities have imposed restrictions on residents and businesses. But disadvantaged communities and the environment have suffered disproportionately.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
WKTV New York: Fatality rate of farmers 800 percent higher than other industries; grant aims to help
- A recent grant from the C. J. Heilig foundation will help Bassett Healthcare Network and its partner, NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, to change the fatality rate for farm workers, which is 800 percent higher than workers in any other industry.
AG Web: Paid Vacation Time Boosts Morale and Can Improve Your Bottom Line
- A study conducted by Ohio State University found only 4% of farm workers are offered paid vacation time. Offering your employees paid time away is an easy way to boost morale, according to Ann Johanns, an Iowa State extension program specialist.
Daily Caller: Guest Worker Program Expanded Fourfold Under New Provision In Spending Bill
- A measure included in the omnibus package would quadruple the H-2B foreign worker program, according to a new report from Numbers USA.
New York Times: Remaking Dow and DuPont for the Activist Shareholders
- The proposed combination of Dow Chemical and DuPont shows that in today’s markets, financial engineering prevails and that only activist shareholders matter. Whether that is good for the rest of us remains to be seen.
Modern Farmer: Harness the power of draft horses
- Tractors may offer an easier way to plow a field, but they won't love you back. Earth-friendly and emotionally rewarding, equine-fueled agriculture is experiencing a renaissance.
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