Daily Harvest -- 6/13/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Lucas anticipates House floor debate next week
- House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said he expects hundreds of amendments to the farm bill. He added he anticipates the Rules Committee will put out a call for proposed amendments to the farm bill early next week.
Agri-Pulse: Boehner plans to vote for new farm bill
- Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that, despite some concerns about a new farm bill, he plans to vote for the measure. Boehner previously served on the House Committee on Agriculture, but has never voted for a farm bill during his time in Congress.
Agri-Pulse: Crop insurance battle expected during House farm bill debate
- In a briefing for House legislative staff today, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) criticized the crop insurance and shallow loss programs in the 2013 farm bills of both the Senate and House. EWG’s Scott Faber outlined several crop insurance amendments he expects on the House floor.
Politico: Tom Vilsack urges House to plow ahead on farm bill
- Mindful of Democratic resistance, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday that “it is important for us to move forward” with the House farm bill, and a controversial $20 billion cut in food stamps is certain to be reduced in final talks with the Senate and White House.
Chico Enterprise-Record: Farm bill reforms would mean change for Sacramento Valley rice growers
- For about 2,500 California rice growers, switching from a payment made directly to farmers each year to a crop insurance program would be a "complete change."
The Daily Republic: Farm bill divides state’s senators
- Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., heralded the Senate version of the farm bill, passed Monday, saying it contains long-sought reforms and payment caps. On the other side of the aisle, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., found enough objectionable provisions to push him into the first “No” vote on a farm bill of his career.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Maine GMO labeling bill passes state House
- A GMO labeling bill overwhelmingly passed through Maine’s House of Representatives yesterday, signaling a possible sea change in the labeling laws of Northeastern states. Last week, Connecticut passed a similar labeling law that would only be implemented should four other states, including one contiguous to Connecticut, pass comparable laws.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Foreign food aid hearing provokes questions of American diplomacy
- Citing increases in U.S. approval ratings in areas where food aid has been distributed, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., wondered whether aid would have the same impact if just money were shipped overseas.
New York Times: Conflicting Goals Complicate an Effort to Forge a Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal
- EU leaders are pushing for a rapid negotiation of a trade agreement with the United States aimed at expanding commerce and creating jobs. However, a range of problems includes agricultural disputes over things like genetically modified food and chlorinated chicken and regulatory questions about car safety, pharmaceuticals and financial derivatives.
The Telegraph: Food minister Owen Paterson backs GM crops
- Owen Paterson, Britain’s Environment Secretary, made remarks supporting GM crops as ministers prepare to relax controls on the cultivation of GM crops, which he said had “real environmental benefits”. The Telegraph reports that some senior Government figures privately believe that the technology — which can increase crop yields and prevent disease — is essential in assuring Britain’s future food security and to avoid dependency on imports.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: Immigration Amendments Reflect Concern About Border Security
- As debate started on Wednesday on amendments to the Senate immigration bill, border security emerged as a focal point, with supporters and doubters agreeing that those provisions would have to be strengthened to attract more votes, especially from Republicans.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: In a first, rural America loses population as boomers put off moves to retirement counties
- Long weighed down by dwindling populations in farming and coal communities and the movement of young people to cities, rural counties are being hit by sputtering growth in retirement and recreation areas, once residential hot spots for baby boomers.
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