Daily Harvest -- 6/7/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate vote on final passage of farm bill set for Monday
- (Subscription only) The Senate will vote Monday night on final passage of the five-year farm bill (S.954). Before final passage, the Senate will vote on one last amendment offered by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to create a pilot program within the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) broadband program to test investment in ultra-high speed gigabit projects in rural areas.
Agri-Pulse: House lawmakers discuss farm bill whip count with farm groups
- (Subscription only) Several dozen agricultural organizations met with House lawmakers today to discuss the whip count for the upcoming farm bill, HR 1947, which is expected to reach the House floor this month.
Politico: Farm bill advances in Senate
- As many as 240 amendments have been filed to the Senate farm bill, but few or none at all will make it to the floor at this stage. Among those shut out is Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. “For those of us who come from farm country and want to try and shape the best farm bill we possibly can.”
Minnesota Public Radio: Farm bill heads to full Senate, prospects in House dim
- Rep. Collin Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, admits he's having trouble convincing many Democrats to back the bill. But Peterson, who co-authored the farm bill with the committee's Republican chairman, U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, said the GOP is also having trouble drawing support because conservatives want even deeper food stamp cuts.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Mechanically tenderized beef product labels proposed
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing new requirements for labeling beef products that are mechanically tenderized. Currently, intact and mechanically tenderized products may have the same label, so consumers and restaurants do not know if the products they purchase are mechanically tenderized, explained Rachel Edelstein, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Assistant Administrator.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: USTR nominee Froman says he will push for Trade Promotion Authority
- The Obama Administration will push for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), United States Trade Representative (USTR) nominee Michael Froman reported today during a Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing.
Agri-Pulse: Agricultural Audio Update from John Block
- John Block, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ronald Reagan, says Japan and South Korea overreacted in their import bans after the GE wheat discovery in Oregon. He also comments on the Chinese purchase of Smithfield and predicts US foreign investment regulators will approve the sale. “And why not, how much national security-sensitive intelligence information can be found in a pork chop?”
Bloomberg: Appetite for Meat in China Means Agriculture Imports, FAO Says
- China’s imports of animal feed ingredients will lead the country’s increasing dependence on global agricultural markets in the next decade as rising incomes spur meat-rich diets, the OECD and the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization forecast.
Wall Street Journal: China's Wheat, Rice Import Demand to Ebb
- According to the U.N. forecast, per-capita consumption of wheat has already peaked, and that for rice will peak in 2014, as people shift their diets to meat and dairy products. At the same time, the report said, China's demand for corn and for high-protein food like meat and dairy is expected to rise.
Reuters: With big U.S. pork buy and diet shift, China now asks: "Where's the beef?"
- Beef could be next on the menu as Chinese opt for the protein-rich meat. Chinese consumers are also more wary about cheaper local meat products after a series of recent food safety scandals - from bird flu to rotting pig carcasses in Chinese rivers. This has tightened beef supplies and pushed up local prices by almost a third last year.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: Report Criticizes U.S. Stewardship of Wild Horses
- The report, conducted by the National Academy of Sciences at the behest of the Bureau of Land Management and released Wednesday, concluded that the bureau’s methods of counting the thousands of wild horses and burros that wander rural stretches of the United States were inconsistent and most likely inaccurate. The bureau estimates that about 37,300 wild horses and burros roam on federally managed rangeland in 10 Western states.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: In House, Immigration Spurs Push by G.O.P.
- Late Wednesday, a bipartisan group of representatives who had been meeting to write a broad immigration bill announced they had completed their negotiations. But a prominent Republican in the group, Raul Labrador of Idaho, said that he disagreed with the other lawmakers over health care provisions for illegal immigrants who would gain legal status under the measure.
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