Daily Harvest -- 7/18/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack on farm bill: 'Don't let them do this to you'
- Vilsack encouraged members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) to hold their Congressional representation accountable on moving a farm bill forward. He said most producers are falling victim to “rural politeness” that is keeping them from reaching out to their legislators with the true frustration that they feel.
Agri-Pulse: Stabenow continues march to farm bill conference
- Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran said he has been conferring with committee members, but does not yet have a timetable for when a conference could begin. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow has said she wants the conference to begin before the August recess.
Agri-Pulse: Corn growers meeting in Washington
- (Audio) Members of the National Corn Growers Association are in Washington this week to discuss policy issues and meet with lawmakers. NCGA President Pam Johnson said the group will be focused on the farm bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The Hill: Farm policy, nutrition go together
- “As former Agriculture secretaries, we believe we need to focus on the opportunities for our federal agriculture policy to support better health and lower healthcare costs,” write Dan Glickman and Ann M. Veneman in this piece for The Hill.
The Hill: House GOP push repeal of government ‘big thumb’ biofuel program
- Once the public understands the full repercussions of the program, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), “there will be an outrage that will demand action from Congress,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the chairman of the Republican group.
Des Moines Register: Ethanol producer: Scrap renewable fuel policy
- Bill Klesse, chief executive of Valero Energy Corp., told a Senate panel that the Renewable Fuel Standard — an eight-year-old law that requires refiners to produce alternative fuels to help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign energy — is “out of control” and needs to be overhauled to better reflect today’s marketplace.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Seeing a path to agreement on divisive US-EU trade issues
- The United States and the European Union may be poles apart on agricultural biotechnology and the protection of “geographical indications,” or GIs, for unique foods, but negotiators may be able to find a way to compromise on those and other issues, according to experts at a forum on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA re-names headquarters for Clinton
- The Environmental Protection Agency re-named its headquarters after President Bill Clinton.
Kansas City Star: Environmental group says farm bill eases rules for Sunflower power plant
- The U.S. House-approved farm bill contains a provision that environmentalists say would ease rules for building a coal-burning power plant in southwest Kansas.
The New York Times: Agriculture’s Misnamed Agency
- The editorial board focuses on a unit within USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service called Wildlife Services, which it says operates a program that is wasteful, destructive to the balance of ecosystems and, ultimately, ineffective.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Politico: Immigration bill 2013: House ‘gang’ punts immigration bill again
- The bipartisan coalition of seven lawmakers in the House has essentially agreed to punt the release of its legislation until at least September, according to several sources close to the private discussions.
Agri-Pulse: USDA closes comments on intent to review herbicide-tolerant crops
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture intends to conduct Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) on certain herbicide-resistant crops developed by Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto. Several agricultural organizations, independent farmers and specialists issued comments today to the agency on whether or not preparing the stringent EISs for the crops is necessary.
Bloomberg: CME’s Duffy Warns Senate That Proposed CFTC Rule to Hurt Brokers
- A proposed U.S. rule meant to protect futures customers’ money in a collapse like MF Global Holdings Ltd. could “fundamentally change” how the market functions, according to Terrence Duffy, executive chairman of CME Group (CME) Inc.
Washington Post: Fertilizer industry proposes new factories despite safety concerns highlighted by Texas blast
- Fertilizer plants are being proposed across the nation, driven by booming demand for corn and newly abundant supplies of natural gas, a major component in fertilizer production.
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