Daily Harvest -- 12/31/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Farm bill, GMOs, RFS, among top issues for agriculture in 2014
- It's been an important year for U.S. agriculture with issues affecting farming and ranching making big news day in and day out. Here's a brief look at some of the most important agricultural stories of 2014.
Agri-Pulse: Farm Bill was big story of 2014
- (Audio) The most significant story for agriculture in 2014 came in February when President Obama signed a farm bill finally passed by Congress.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Keeping farmers in the driver's seat with their farm data
- Paul E. Schickler: Consortiums of industry and grower groups are developing data standards and principles to ensure farmers are informed about the risks and benefits of sharing data as they sign up for new value-added services.
Agri-Pulse: USDA cracks down on chicken labeling, requires more disclosure of additives
- USDA is demanding that processors label raw chicken and other products more clearly to ensure consumers are aware of added saltwater and other solutions.
The Economist: Barbarians at the farm gate
- Institutional investors such as pension funds see farmland as fertile ground to plough, either doing their own deals or farming them out to specialist funds.
Des Moines Register: 16 lawsuits filed against Syngenta over GMO seeds
- Sixteen Iowa farmers and companies have filed lawsuits against Syngenta, claiming the seed producer hurt U.S. corn farmers by exporting unapproved genetically modified seed to China.
NPR: How California's New Rules Are Scrambling The Egg Industry
- California's consumers, though, will pay. "We can confirm that egg prices have gone up at least 35 percent. Some have reported going up 70 percent," Fong says.
Sacramento Business Journal: Five things to know about the coming year in agriculture
- Agriculture, ag manufacturing and ag technology are becoming key economic drivers in the region. Building on strong momentum from 2014, here are some things to watch for in 2015.
New York Times: Start-Ups Rise to Close a Gap for Farmers
- In spite of the surging demand for locally and regionally grown foods over the last few years, there is a chasm separating small and midsize farmers from their local markets.
Washington Post: New Republican-led panel will focus on energy and environment
- House Republicans next year will use a new oversight subcommittee to examine the Obama administration’s energy and environmental policies.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol policy leaders talk outlook for 2015
- (Video) Growth Energy's Tom Buis and Renewable Fuels Association's Bob Dinneen talk with Agri-Pulse Associate Editor Spencer Chase about prospects for the Renewable Fuels Standard in the new year, what the new political outlook means for ethanol policy, and how marketplace uncertainty has impacted the ethanol industry.
The Guardian: Soil: the sustainable alternative to oil income in Africa
- Agriculture has the potential to generate significant revenue for Africa, offering more sustainable and equitable development than oil provides.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Politico: 2015, the year the GOP strikes back at Obama food policies
- The Obama administration is becoming increasingly involved in what Americans put on their dinner plates and in their cereal bowls, from requiring school children to be served fruit to eliminating trans fats in doughnuts. But the new Republican Congress is already laying the groundwork to push back in 2015.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: Obama’s Trade Chief, Undaunted by Odds, Pushes for Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Having won over his White House colleagues and secured the backing of the president, Mr. Froman, now the United States trade representative, is convinced that he can complete negotiations on a complex trade agreement that has grown to encompass 12 countries on both sides of the Pacific, and sell it to a Congress that remains deeply hostile to Mr. Obama.
Reuters: S.Korea to disinfect farms as foot-and-mouth, bird flu spread
- South Korea will disinfect farms around the country over the new year and limit the transport of animals, stepping up its effort to contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that has spread close to the capital as well as bird flu.
Reuters: U.S. sorghum exports at 19-year high on record China demand
- Roaring Chinese demand for cheap animal feed helped fuel the largest week of grain sorghum sales seen by U.S. exporters in nearly two decades, U.S. Agriculture Department data showed Monday.
Washington Post: In Colombia, a palm oil boom with roots in conflict
- The Poligrow mega-project is one of several that have helped make Colombia the world’s fastest-growing producer of palm oil, used widely in snack foods, and cosmetic and beauty products, and as biodiesel.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Wall Street Journal: California Snowpack Survey Finds More Snow Than Last Year
- The winter’s first survey of the Sierra Nevada snowpack on Tuesday found more snow than last year at this time, but officials said much more is needed to end the California drought.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Georgia Town is Case Study in Immigration Debate
- Charles Carmical doesn’t like President Barack Obama ’s politics and doesn’t endorse his recent move to enable millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. But, the furniture-store owner acknowledges, it might be good for his bottom line.
Los Angeles Times: How Obama's immigration plan is expected to roll out
- President Obama's new set of immigration policies could affect as many as 5 million people, including the possibility of a three-year reprieve from the threat of deportation for parents of children with legal status.
Mashable: Science experiment would grow lettuce on Mars
- Students from Southampton University are seeking the public's help to get their lettuce-growing project into one of the payload spots on Mars One, which is planning to send its first unmanned mission to the planet by 2018.
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