Daily Harvest -- 12/21/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Congress offers early Christmas with presents for all
- (Audio) Extension of tax provisions on expensing and R&D are among the gifts.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Rep. David Young
- (Audio) In this week’s Open Mic, Iowa Congressman David Young discusses the wins and losses for agriculture in last week’s congressional action on spending and taxes, including WOTUS and GMO labeling. For the year ahead, Young discuss tax reform, continued support for renewable energy and shares some pointed questions for 2016 presidential candidates who are traveling across Iowa.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review
- (Video) Congress wrapped up its 2015 work by passing two major pieces of legislation: the
omnibus spending bill and tax extenders legislation, both with key agricultural provisions. Agri-
Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase break down what was included in these bills and what
will be addressed in 2016.
Agri-Pulse: COOL repeal, tax breaks clear Congress, leaving GMO labeling, school nutrition for
- (Subscriber only) The country-of-origin labeling rules for beef and pork are about to become history, while a lucrative but expired tax break for farmers is about to become permanent under spending and tax legislation that easily cleared Congress last week.
Agri-Pulse: USDA halts COOL enforcement after repeal
- The Agriculture Department immediately stopped enforcing the country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef and pork after approval of legislation that repeals the rules.
Agri-Pulse: Fertilizer spared from OSHA rules
- Anhydrous ammonia dealers will soon get relief from some federal safety requirements under the spending and tax legislation approved by Congress.
Agri-Pulse: CFTC gives farmers, elevators break on record keeping
- Farmers, ranchers and grain elevator operators who use the commodity futures market to manage risk are getting relief from some record-keeping requirements
Agri-Pulse: Tax bill could leave biofuel subsidies more vulnerable
- Biofuel producers are breathing a sigh of relief that valuable tax subsidies are safe for another year, but they could face a tougher battle to keep them after that.
Delaware Public Media: A researcher's effort in making low-cost algae-based biofuels
- Algae biomass can be cultivated anywhere and can produce about 12 times more biodiesel per acre than plants like corn or sugarcane. And it can absorb carbon dioxide, which makes it a powerful tool for reducing carbon pollution.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Grist: It’s practically impossible to define “GMOs”
- (Opinion) No one in this debate can tell you precisely what a GMO is. The author concludes that “GMO” is a cultural construct.
Des Moines Register: Vilsack calls opposing sides of GMO labeling debate to table
- Ag Secretary says there is growing urgency to reach a compromise with Vermont’s law that would require labels on foods that contain genetically modified organisms expected to take effect in July.
Washington Post: Five myths about gluten
- The Founder and director of the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital notes that about 1 in 4 U.S. consumers think that going gluten-free is good for everyone, while only about three million Americans (mostly undiagnosed) actually have celiac disease.
Washington Post: Shut up, food snobs. Chain restaurants are awesome
- (Opinion) The authors argue that Americans love chain restaurants. And explain why the elites who smugly dismiss them as as disgusting or “insidious” ignore the very important role these places play in our culture and economy.
AP: Demand for craft beers sparks surge in US hop production
- Demand from craft beer brewers led to an 11 percent increase in U.S. hop production in 2015 compared to the previous year
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Washington Post: The most unconventional weapon in Syria: Wheat
- (Opinion) Both the Syrian government and the Islamic State understand the importance of bread and that strategically, bread is as important as oil or water.
Wall Street Journal: Syngenta Discussing Possible Deals With Peers, Rivals
- It is discussing possible deals with “a number of parties” and is open to combinations with companies including U.S. rival Monsanto as consolidation in the agriculture industry intensifies, Swiss pesticide giant's top execcutive said.
Washington Post: Feds say ex-State Dept. worker steered micro-dairy contracts to son
- Prosecutors say Kenneth Apple, who served as an agricultural adviser in Iraq from 2009 to 2011, conspired to use his official position to pass on nonpublic information to his son.
N.Y. Times: Scarred Riverbeds and Dead Pistachio Trees in a Parched Iran
- Always arid, Iran is facing desertification as lakes and rivers dry up and oncefertile plains become barren. According to the United Nations, Iran is home to four of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, with dust and desertification among the leading causes.
Australian Financial Review: 'Remarkable' trade deal is good news for farmers: Trade Minister
- An agreement by all 163 members of the World Trade Organization to phase out $15 billion in export subsidies should make Australian farmers more competitive in dairy, sugar, grain and wine.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Reader defends Des Moines Water Works head Bill Stowe
- (Opinion) The Register’s Opinion page editors should quit being the gate-keepers for industrial agriculture in this state. There is an agriculture, and an agricultural culture, that will not pollute, stink, poison or depopulate our rural small towns and countryside.
Des Moines Register: Northey says water quality progress requires cooperation
- Iowa Secy. of Agriculture says Register misunderstands or misrepresents the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Livestock operators in Southeast Minnesota receive award for conservation efforts
- The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts recognized Ross Goldsmith, 70, and his brother, Steven, 68, as the state’s outstanding conservationist farmers, in part for their efforts at controlling runoff from their lands into the Root River and various of its tributaries.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Two agencies find 'no significant impact' from hog farm
- Farm Services Agency and Small Business Administration issue finding for a Mount Judea hog farm, which sits along Big Creek, 6.8 miles from where it flows into the Buffalo National River. It is the first large-scale hog farm in the watershed.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Fortune: What Everyone Is Missing About the Immigration Debate
- As presidential candidates talk of barring Muslims from entering and shutting down our refugee program, it’s worth thinking about how “we” are new arrivals one day, but forget our origins the next. It’s a process some call integration and others call assimilation
Ventura County Star: Robert Borrego: Farmworkers deserve better
- (Opinion) Because a majority of farmworkers are undocumented, and therefore highly vulnerable to exploitation by farmers and labor contractors, their capacity to demand observance of wage and work safety regulations is greatly diminished.
AP: Monsanto, Pioneer relinquish Iowa job creation tax credits
- An Iowa board has approved Monsanto's request to cancel job creation tax credits for a $90 million seed corn plant in eastern Iowa that it no longer plans to build due to a softening of the farming economy.
News Journal: DuPont cuts Delaware research jobs, Pioneer to exit state
- Ahead of DuPont's plan to consolidate its global scientific and engineering units and eliminate 5,000 positions worldwide, the firm started eliminating hundreds of high-paying research and development jobs at the local research hubs.
Orlando Sentinel: Fla. high school has Veterinary Animal Science and Services magnet program
- The four-year program covers critters from the zoo to the wild and doesn't focus just on "cows, sows and lows," said Danny Garner, the district's coordinator of agriscience and natural resources education.
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