Daily Harvest -- 7/30/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Des Moines Register: USDA may have given out $22 mln in subsidies to dead farmers
- The Government Accountability Office reviewed crop insurance data from 2008 to 2012 and found that $22 million in subsidies and allowances may have been provided on behalf of about 3,400 program policyholders two or more years after death.
The Hill: House won't do food stamp bill before August recess
- The House will not produce legislation reforming food stamps before the August recess in a setback for those seeking a quick revival of the stalled 2013 farm bill.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Plant biotechnology companies launch GMO Answers website
- The agricultural biotechnology companies that develop genetically modified seeds — or GMOs — created an online portal to provide information and answer questions about GMOs and agriculture.
Agri-Pulse: Peanuts subject of ARMS survey
- The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) last reviewed the peanut industry in 2004. ARMS will complete a new, three-phase survey to update the data and paint a complete economic picture of the industry.
New York Times: With Too Much Rain in the South, Too Little Produce on the Shelves
- While the contiguous United States as a whole is about only 6 percent above its normal rainfall this year, Southern states are swamped. The weather is a particular shock because more than two-thirds of the region was abnormally dry or suffering a drought last year.
News Observer: Conn. lawmakers urge NY to pass GMO labeling bill
- State lawmakers are urging their colleagues in neighboring New York to consider legislation that requires genetically modified food to be labeled for consumers, hoping passage there will ultimately lead to the final enactment of Connecticut's new labeling law.
Boston Globe: State gets new role in fraud probes
- State and federal officials Monday signed an agreement empowering Massachusetts authorities to investigate retailers who may be engaging in food stamp-related fraud. Because the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal one, national authorities usually investigate retailer fraud, while leaving consumer fraud investigations to the states.
Bloomberg: Corn Recovers as 34-Month Low Attracts Investors; Soybeans Drop
- Corn rallied from the lowest level in almost 34 months as some investors closed bets on losses. Soybeans declined as wheat gained.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Soybean growers visit Columbia
- 2013 is the first full year the U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Columbia been in effect, and U.S. soybean growers visited the country last week to visit some of their customers. United Soybean Board’s Jim Call says the agreement means that tariffs on U.S. soybean and soybean meal to Columbia dropped to zero.
Bloomberg: Japan Lifts Ban on Oregon White Wheat as GM Checks Start
- Japan will resume purchases of U.S. western-white wheat, lifting a two-month ban on the grain imposed after the discovery of unapproved gene-altered crop on an Oregon farm, said the agriculture ministry.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Politico: On Keystone pipeline, Obama ‘headed toward yes’
- President Barack Obama’s latest critique of the Keystone XL oil pipeline still leaves a path for approving the project — but its supporters may need to make concessions to blunt its impact on the climate, analysts said Monday.
Time: A Smaller Than Predicted Dead Zone Is Still Toxic for the Gulf of Mexico
- The results from the summer mapping expedition in the Gulf are in, and the actual dead zone turned out to be somewhat smaller than predicted at 5,800 sq. miles, or about the size of Connecticut.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: White House, USDA work agricultural side of immigration debate
- The White House report contains a series of studies showing the prominence of noncitizen farmworkers in various industries throughout agriculture. According to the report, nearly half of all crop and livestock workers, 43 percent, are noncitizen workers.
USA Today: Farmers, laborers caught in middle of migrant debate
- Farm-labor issue faces an uncertain future now that immigration debate has shifted from the Senate to the House, analysts say. GOP leaders want to tackle smaller pieces of the immigration issue one by one, including a separate, stand-alone agriculture-jobs bill, which already has been introduced.
San Francisco Chronicle: White House: California could lose farms without immigration reform
- Vilsack said that without better access to migrant farm workers, the state could lose between $1.7 billion and $3.1 billion a year in lost farm income. A White House report said 74 percent of the state’s farm labor force is non-citizen, and probably most of those are undocumented.
Politico: Menu for House GOP: Immigration à la carte
- The collection of bills touches on a wide array of immigration laws, from enforcement to agriculture, E-Verify to the high-skilled sector except the big elephant in the room: What’s the House going to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants?
Washington Post: USDA holds off on disaster plan requirement for animal ‘exhibitors’
- On Monday, the Agriculture Department announced that it would formally “stay” a new rule that requires animal “exhibitors” to write disaster plans. The rule applied even to exhibitors as small-time as Marty Hahne, a magician in Missouri with one rabbit.
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