Daily Harvest -- 12/19/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA forecasts smaller plantings, prolonged price slump
- The USDA released its long term projections today. It expects farmers to trip plantings of corn, soybeans, cotton and wheat as market prices slum and profits are expected to drop.
Agri-Pulse: USDA releases additional Actual Production History information
- USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) released additional details of the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion program, which was included in the 2014 farm bill and designed to give crop producers relief from severe weather and drought.
Agri-Pulse: Farmers Mutual Hail to acquire John Deere's crop insurance arm
- Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa, offering insurance since 1983, will acquire John Deere Insurance Company and John Deere Risk Protection, Inc., confirming rumors the equipment giant would exit the crop insurance business
Boston Globe: Where communities have banned fracking
- New York became the second state in the United States to ban fracking on Wednesday; but more than 200 individual communities in New York had already passed local bans on the practice.
Austin American-Statesman: Experts: Lower oil prices a threat to Texas economy
- Some experts say Texas is in danger of losing billions in revenues and hundreds of thousands of jobs due to the declining price of oil.
LA Times: WTO says U.S. duties on Chinese solar panels break rules
- A World Trade Organization body said U.S. duties on solar panels made in China violated trade rules, reversing an earlier finding.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Wall Street Journal: People Affected by Hunger in West African Ebola Nations Could Double
- The number of people threatened by hunger in the three West African nations battling the worst Ebola outbreak in history could double to one million by March if food supplies don’t improve, two United Nations agencies warned.
The Economist: Patching things up
- A new patch could offer treatment for allergies to peanuts and other foods.
U-T San Diego: Seniors sharing in food truck craze
- This hip dining trend now being used to deliver nutritious, subsidized meals to the needy elderly.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Food drives are well-intentioned but not always best way to battle hunger
- Food drives that generate tons of boxed and canned food for the needy have been around for a long time, but oftentimes they aren’t the best way to address hunger
SiouxlandMatters.com: $90 Million Vegetable Oil Refinery Planned for Sergeant Bluff
- One of the largest soybean processing companies in the nation plans on building a $90 Million Dollar vegetable oil plant in Northwest Iowa, capable of handling thirty train tank cars per day.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: U.S. Businesses Scout Opportunities in Cuba
- Within hours of President Obama’s historic move to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, companies like Deere, PepsiCo and Caterpillar were already developing strategies to introduce their products and services.
Agri-Pulse: Normal banking would help ag trade with Cuba
- (Audio) The White House announcement of the U.S. normalizing relations with Cuba opens the door to make financial transactions related to agricultural trade between the nations more efficient.
NPR: What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food
- The agreement between Obama and Castro will probably eventually mean big changes for the food supply in Cuba, but not before our two governments work out a huge number of issues
China Daily: Vice-premier assures on US economic ties
- Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang has assured US officials and business communities that his country's policy for developing the China-US economic relationship will not change despite China's expanding economy
Reuters: U.S. says China to cut red tape on imports
- As the JCCT talks began, China said it would approve imports of American-grown Viptera corn developed by Swiss-based Syngenta , as well as shipments of biotech soybeans developed by DuPontPioneer and Bayer CropScience
Economic Times: China approves delayed GMO imports as United States ties warm
- China has approved the import of a genetically modified corn strain it blocked last year, causing market turmoil, and has given clearance to biotech soybeans that had been waiting years for clearance, in a sign of improving relations with the United States
Minneapolis Star Tribune: From wheat to rice to beans, US agriculture has big appetite for expanded trade with Cuba
- Major U.S. farm groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union, as well as leading agribusinesses such as Cargill, Inc. have long advocated normalized trade relations with Cuba, a market of 11 million consumers just 90 miles off U.S. shores.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Sacramento Bee: Pumps dropped from Delta water tunnel plan
- The massive water diversion tunnels proposed in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have undergone another major design change aimed at appeasing local residents.
Science Daily: Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease
- University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.
The Spokesman-Review: EPA eyeing water quality rules
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it plans to come up with updated water quality standards for Washington partly tied to how much fish people eat.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
NPR: Immigration Driving Broad Demographic Shifts in U.S., Report Says
- Native-born Americans are making up a smaller percentage of those living in some areas of the U.S. as immigration moves to become the key factor in population growth within the next quarter-century, according to a new analysis of county-level census data
The Hill: Immigration advocates shift to defense
- Predicting little progress on immigration reform in the next Congress, some of the nation's top advocates say they're shifting gears to focus on defending President Obama's new deportation policy from GOP attacks.
TakePart: The Vatican Has a Farm, and Pope Francis Is Going to Open It Up to the Public
- The Vatican has announced what promises to be a bona fide agro-religious experience: public access to the papal farm outside Rome.
Meet the Lawmaker: North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven
- Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., talks about how he plans to work through the rail issues that continue to impact the upper Midwest and his priorities for the Senate Ag Committee in the 114th Congress.
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