Daily Harvest -- 9/4/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA program working well to improve farm land, study says
- The USDA's Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) improves agricultural viability, encourages on-farm conservation, and helps farmers gain access to land, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Farmland Trust (AFT) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Agri-Pulse: Sept. Commodity Credit Corporation lending rates mostly unchanged
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced interest rates for September 2013. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for September 2013 is 0.125 percent, unchanged from 0.125 percent in August 2013.
Agri-Pulse: Audio Open Mic with Mark Jackson
- Jackson, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, is uncertain about the size of this year's soybean crop. He's also frustrated by the lack of action on a farm bill and the implications of not having legislation in place to provide food security for the United States.
Philly.com: Syria vote added to September log jam in Congress
- Last month, we looked at the dance card for Congress it faced in September, and it was already full before the Syria situation developed. The swirling combination September deadlines could put the breaks on the government, as it passes its borrowing limits, and does nothing on key bills related to immigration and agriculture.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Cotton growers ready for farm-bill news
- U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway described some provisions of the proposed farm bill during the Lamesa Cotton Growers annual meeting Tuesday morning.
Wall Street Journal: Food Stamp Cuts Could Bite Food Makers
- Senior Editor Maxwell Murphy writes that the roughly one in seven Americans who receive federal aid with their grocery bills will soon need to stretch fewer dollars further. Grocers and food makers, meanwhile, will struggle with lost revenue and how to keep consumers from swapping brands.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Politico: Report: Not so fast on chicken processing changes, USDA
- The Department of Agriculture needs to hit the brakes on its plan to allow poultry plants to speed production lines by 25 percent while replacing government inspectors with plant employees, a congressional report advises.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Ag groups outline principles for TTP agreement
- (Audio) As latest round in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations concluded last week, agricultural organizations presented US trade negotiators with core principles they’d like to see in a final agreement. The first principle is that the agreement must comprehensive, not excluding any products or sectors.
The Land: MG calls for free trade deals
- Australia’s biggest dairy exporter, Murray Goulburn, says free trade agreements rather than foreign investment are needed for the agriculture sector to capitalise on surging demand growth in Asia.
Des Moines Register: Activist group says Smithfield has attracted attention of new buyers
- Starboard Value LP, an activist investor group, told Smithfield Foods shareholders Tuesday it is working with interested buyers who may be willing to pay “substantially” more than Shuanghui International Holdings offered in May to acquire the pork giant.
Bloomberg: How the Bank Lobby Loosened U.S. Reins on Derivatives
- Banks and lawmakers, as well as financial regulators from around the world, besieged Treasury Secretary Jack Lew with complaints about Gensler’s campaign to impose U.S. derivatives rules overseas. The chief U.S. regulator of derivatives was summoned by Lew to explain why he refused to compromise.
Washington Post: Thailand extends costly rice-buying scheme for another year, cost to rise despite new limits
- Thailand’s Cabinet agreed Tuesday to extend rice subsidies widely criticized for high costs and knocking the country from its spot as world’s top rice exporter.
Wall Street Journal: It’s China vs. China in Genetically Modified Food Fight
- China’s fierce public debate on genetically modified food, long a political hot potato in a country obsessed with how to feed its 1.3 billion citizens, has become the subject of a spat between big guns from two of its most powerful governing institutions.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Hybrid poplar gets a renewed spotlight
- EPA's recent registration of Zeachem's demonstration biorefinery in Boardman, Ore. - a move that authorizes the generation of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) from the cellulosic biofuel produced at the facility ‑ renews a spotlight on a principal feedstock to be used at the facility - hybrid poplar.
Agri-Pulse: Meteorologist estimates above average chance of early frost or freeze
- (Audio) The weather continues to be a mixed bag for farmers across the country, according to a meteorologist at the Farm Progress Show last week. While farm country is hot and dry, nothing like last year’s severe drought is expected.
Wall Street Journal: In Oregon's War Against Invasive Species, All Is Fare
- Oregon is famous for its food fetishists, but the state has taken gastronomy to a new level: recruiting "locavores" to prey on species environmentalists want to eradicate.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: House GOP Puts Immigration on Back Burner
- Prospects for an immigration overhaul have dimmed over the summer congressional recess, as a newly crowded agenda damps what already was tepid interest among House leaders in taking up the issue.
Miami Herald: Tea partier Rep. Steve Southerland voices immigration-reform support
- Conservative tea party Congressman Steve Southerland has become the latest Republican to voice support for the concept of a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.
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