Daily Harvest -- 12/29/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Productive Year for USDA
- (Audio) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the farm bill allowed the agency to reinstate trade promotion programs and gave a new opportunity to leverage new resources in terms of conservation, among other activity at USDA this year.
Agri-Pulse: More hogs and pigs for 2015
- (Audio) The final US hogs and pigs inventory for 2014 shows an increase of 2 percent over last year and 66.1 million head.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Meat industry prevails on Congress to roll back origin labeling rule
- The language is tucked into a paragraph on page 13 of Division A of the 1,600-page Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, better known as the federal budget.
Los Angeles Times: Egg prices likely to rise amid laws mandating cage-free henhouses
- Already, the specter of California's regulations are believed to be contributing to record prices for eggs.
Los Angeles Times: City Council panel backs away from GMO ban it previously supported
- Three days before Los Angeles lawmakers voted on a proposal to ban genetically modified crops, the world's largest biotechnology trade group hired three top City Hall lobbyists to stop it.
Forbes: Energy Politics: Remembering 2014 While Looking Forward To 2015
- The year 2014 will be remembered for the exercise of presidential powers, the outcome of the congressional elections and the criminal prosecutions in the corporate energy world.
Financial Times: Raízen to spend $1bn on ethanol boost
- Raízen, Royal Dutch Shell’s joint venture in Brazil, plans to spend close to $1bn on “second generation” ethanol plants over the next decade in one of the boldest investments yet in biofuel production from sugarcane waste.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA report shows pesticide residues on food no threat to humans
- USDA says pesticide chemical levels found on scores of foods tested during 2013 were at levels that do not pose a threat to human health.
Wall Street Journal: Will 2015 Be the Year of the Chicken?
- Whether it’s at restaurants like Ms. Pettry’s or at the Nomad in New York—where the roast chicken for two is an $82 must-get—chicken is moving to the top of the menu, elbowing aside prestige proteins like steak and lobster.
Associated Press: Food hubs link consumers with locally farmed food
- Move over farmers' markets. More than 300 food hubs around the country are also providing small farms another outlet to sell locally raised food to consumers.
Financial Times: Subway in China food safety scandal
- Subway has become the latest foreign fast food brand to be involved in a food safety scandal in China, after the US sandwich chain said it was investigating local media claims that workers at a Beijing franchise altered expiration dates on food ingredients.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with John Kavulich, Sr Policy Advisor for the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council
- (Audio) John Kavulich, Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council believes the key to additional commerce between the two nations lies in credit and acceptance by both governments.
Agri-Pulse: Russia restricts wheat exports
- The Russian government announced a resolution Thursday to restrict wheat exports in an effort to stabilize its domestic grain market, potentially creating new opportunities for U.S. wheat.
Reuters: Crunch time: As sanctions bite, Putin ally gets into apples
- As U.S. and European sanctions piled pressure on Russia earlier this year, the Kremlin hit back with an unusual weapon: apples.
Washington Post: Obama hopes to enlist GOP in push for trade pact, despite Democratic resistance
- President Obama is preparing a major push on a vast free-trade zone that seeks to enlist Republicans as partners and test his premise that Washington can still find common ground on major initiatives.
Wall Street Journal: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Approves $29 Billion Stimulus Package
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday approved a $29.17 billion stimulus package meant to boost consumer spending and regional economic activity, seeking to revive an economy in recession.
New York Times: Sudden U.S. Thaw Worries Cuban Dissidents
- And until last week, many dissidents say, there was certainty in the United States, a predictable ally and defender of those who dared to protest openly against the Cuban government.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Water Source for Almonds in California May Run Dry
- Almonds “have totally changed the game of water in California,” said Antonio Rossmann, a Berkeley lawyer specializing in water issues. “It’s hardened demand in the Central Valley.”
Washington Post: Conservationists, lumber industry address forest health with ecological forestry
- Mills in timber country have been steadily closing as fighting continues about how to log national forests without killing protected species such as spotted owls and salmon.
Los Angeles Times: Sen. Dianne Feinstein's role as water referee is complicated by drought
- The long-range weather forecast is the biggest wild card in the battle over every available bucket of water in drought-stricken California — but a close second may be Dianne Feinstein.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: GOP Readies Immigration Measures
- Republicans in Congress are preparing a variety of bills that would make substantial changes to the immigration system, suggesting that the embers of interest in addressing immigration law, once thought to be extinguished, remain alive.
Fox News: Farmers fear even greater labor shortage under new Obama policy
- Farmers already scrambling to find workers in California — the nation's leading grower of fruits, vegetables and nuts — fear an even greater labor shortage under President Barack Obama's executive action to block some 5 million people from deportation.
Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Faces Uphill Fight for White, Rural Vote
- White, working-class voters in eastern Arkansas for years backed Democratic candidates, among them Bill Clinton and outgoing Gov. Mike Beebe, but have moved sharply toward Republicans in recent elections.
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