Daily Harvest -- 8/19/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
LA Times: California discourages needy from signing up for food stamps
- The state's participation rate is the lowest in the U.S. — only about half of those qualified get the aid — making it the envy of more-conservative states.
The Hill: Congress should table the Farm Bill
- A policy analyst at Americans For Prosperity writes that splitting the Farm Bill is not an end in itself; it's a means to improving farm policy. The essential second step is a full and open amendment process, something that was woefully missing on the House floor, she says.
Time: King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates
- While House Republicans are fighting for food stamp cuts in the 2013 farm bill, Iowa Congressman Steve King is fighting to cut the size of chicken cages.
The Hill: Reject King amendment to the Farm Bill
- Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle writes the King amendment is so invasive and dangerous it could crowd out hundreds of state and local laws setting appropriate standards for agriculture.
The Columbian: Cantwell stumps for U.S. farm bill
- Sen. Maria Cantwell said Friday that a failure by Congress to pass a long-overdue farm bill would amount to a huge lost opportunity for Washington's agricultural industry and Clark County's exporters to tap Asia's rising demand for Northwest food products.
Van Wert Independent: Latta tours area farms, talks about Farm Bill situation
- U.S. Representative Bob Latta was in Van Wert County to talk with farmers and find out their concerns. Latta, who has farming roots from both his and his wife’s families, toured agribusiness operations.
Politico: Thad Cochran’s last stand in catfish war
- Citing the pressure of fiscal frugality, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) are working to kill a new catfish inspection program that the Southern farmers fought hard to create as a bulwark against cheaper foreign competition.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Update on PED virus
- (Audio) PED virus became a new problem for U.S. swine industry this spring. While the virus is new to the U.S., it has been rampant in Asian countries in the past 15 years. Researchers are looking into contaminated feed sources as the potential cause for the transfer of the virus o the Unites.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Meal programs expand summer nutrition for schoolchildren who are hungry over summer
- About 21 million U.S. students receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, but only a fraction of them, 3.5 million according to most recent statistics, are fed regularly over the summer.
New York Times: Shipping Continued After Computer Inspection System Failed at Meat Plants
- A troubled new computer system used by inspectors at the nation’s 6,500 meatpacking and processing plants shut down for two days this month, putting at risk millions of pounds of beef, poultry, pork and lamb.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Audio Open Mic with Bill Stuart
- Stuart, President of Global Agri-Trends, believes China and Russia do not want "cheap" imports of meat and grain because it reduces their ability to be self-sufficient in food production.
Financial Times: Brazil tries to fill the potholes in its path to growth
- (Subscriber only) Ranked 101st out of 144 countries for its infrastructure by the World Economic Forum, the parlous state of its logistics and urban transportation networks has emerged as one of the most critical challenges facing Brazil’s economy.
Reuters: Brazil food safety agents start open-ended strike at ports
- Food safety inspectors responsible for clearing agricultural goods at Brazilian ports went on an open-ended strike Friday morning, saying there was political mismanagement and businesses were meddling in their agency.
Wall Street Journal: Sugar Weakens Even as USDA Says It Will Buy
- Domestic-sugar futures weakened in thin trading volume Friday, despite plans for another round of sugar purchases by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Wall Street Journal: Longer Hours Increased Corn-Trading Volatility
- Longer trading hours in the U.S. corn futures-market have exposed it to more-violent price swings, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Rice Farmers Cash In On Venezuelan Socialism
- It is a paradoxical legacy of Mr. Chávez's self-styled socialist revolution that his policies became a moneymaker for the capitalist systems he deplored.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: EPA introduces new pesticide labels
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.
Agri-Pulse: FDA planning environmental impact statement on produce rule
- The FDA issued a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for its proposed rule on standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce for human consumption.
Wall Street Journal: Put a Corn Cob in Your Tank
- This month even the Environmental Protection Agency essentially acknowledged that the program is increasingly unworkable and costly to consumers.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
NPR: Immigration Reform Activists March To Calif. Farm Country
- Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Bakersfield, in the state's Central Valley, is farm country, and immigration is a complex issue here.
Politico: California Republicans turn to immigration to fight extinction
- California Republicans know they can’t win elections here for long without the support of Hispanic voters.
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