Daily Harvest -- 12/23/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Leahy tells farm bill conferees no more delay
- Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate president pro tempore, recently said he expects a “comprehensive and balanced farm bill” to be concluded among conferees early in 2014.
Agri-Pulse (Audio): Senator John Boozman on Open Mic
- Dr. John Boozman, a Republican from Arkansas, explains the workings of Congress, or lack thereof, in a contentious environment and the challenges it brings to producing good legislation.
Agri-Pulse: 'Modern agriculture' seeks renewal of tariff reduction bill
- A coalition of 18 agricultural groups is urging Congress to renew legislation that would reduce import tariffs on crop inputs.
Politico: Small-acre crops and the farm bill
- Just 7 percent of the program acres and 4 percent of receipts are left for the likes of sorghum, barley, oats, sunflower seed, dry peas, lentils, canola and peanuts — each trying to hold on to its slim margins.
Associated Press: In rural Wisconsin, nurses come to the farm
- Agriculture and health care advocacy groups had hoped the new federal health care law would improve farmers’ situation by allowing them to buy affordable policies that cover preventive care and have lower deductibles.
FOOD & NUTRITION
DTN Progressive Farmer: The Nuances of LIHEAP, SNAP and Heat and Eat
- Sen. Tom Harkin said Thursday a compromise would cut about $8 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by changing the way states use the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, (LIHEAP) to boost SNAP benefits.
The Hill: Congressman: School lunch remarks weren't aimed at 'poor kids'
- Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) on Friday morning defended his remarks suggesting children receiving free lunch should have to work for it.
Financial Times: US artisan food start-ups bring home the bacon
- Gold and chocolate covered strips of bacon, pastrami from New York’s famous Katz Deli and a subscription for monthly delivery of pickles are among the festive temptations being offered by a whole new generation of food start-ups in the US.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Obama plans to nominate Baucus to serve as ambassador to China
- President Obama announced Friday his intent to nominate Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to serve as ambassador to China.
Agri-Pulse (Audio): Working on beef and cotton trade issues with Brazil
- Brazil and the United States are making progress towards bilateral beef trade based on science, according to USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.
Agri-Pulse: USDA moves to allow fresh beef imports from Brazil
- The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing a rule change that would allow the importation of fresh beef from certain states in Brazil, under conditions that protect the U.S. cattle herd from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Farm groups ready to oppose EPA's water definitions
- Agriculture groups involved in the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) will meet with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Monday to make their arguments against EPA's proposed rule defining “waters of the United States.”
Sacramento Bee: Sen. Boxer’s GOP deal-making on water bill upsets allies
- Sen. Barbara Boxer’s longtime relationship with environmentalists has been strained by compromises she’s made in the committee she leads to get major pieces of public works legislation through a divided Senate.
Washington Post: EPA’s system of tracking pesticides harmful to honeybees, critics say
- The honeybees that pollinate one-third of Americans’ daily diet are dying, and in the eyes of some environmentalists, one culprit may be a decades-old Environmental Protection Agency system.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Senators accuse OSHA of burdensome farm regulations
- A bipartisan group of senators says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is illegally overburdening small farms with regulations.
Agri-Pulse: New Mexico attorney general sues to stop horse slaughter
- New Mexico's attorney general has filed a lawsuit in a bid to block the planned opening of a horse slaughter plant on New Year's Day.
New York Times, Editorial: The Peril of Antibiotic Use on Farms
- After years of inaction, the Food and Drug Administration has finally taken an important step to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in animal feed.
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