Daily Harvest News Service
Daily Harvest -- 12/19/2014
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: USDA forecasts smaller plantings, prolonged price slump
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - A World Trade Organization body said U.S. duties on solar panels made in China violated trade rules, reversing an earlier finding.


The Wall Street Journal: People Affected by Hunger in West African Ebola Nations Could Double
Link - 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
Link - A new patch could offer treatment for allergies to peanuts and other foods.

U-T San Diego: Seniors sharing in food truck craze
Link - 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
Link - 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 $90 Million Vegetable Oil Refinery Planned for Sergeant Bluff
Link - 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.


New York Times: U.S. Businesses Scout Opportunities in Cuba
Link - 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
Link - (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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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.


Sacramento Bee: Pumps dropped from Delta water tunnel plan
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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.


NPR: Immigration Driving Broad Demographic Shifts in U.S., Report Says
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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
Link - 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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