Daily Harvest -- 6/4/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate farm bill debate rolls on with two approved amendments
- The Senate resumed consideration of its five-year farm bill (S. 954) with passage of two non-controversial amendments: One from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., which would require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to carry out research an alfalfa crop insurance program and one from Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., which seeks to increase funding of local and regional food aid procurement projects.
Huffington Post: Farm Bill Could Reduce Transparency Of Agriculture Safety Net
- The House and Senate farm bill drafts eliminate most direct payments and instead boost the crop insurance program. Since the government divulges the names of people who get the payments but not the insurance subsidies, the Environmental Working Group's Scott Faber says the bills as they stand now would reduce government transparency.
Agri-Pulse: Rep. Peterson on farm bill: Wish us luck - we'll need it
- An Agri-Pulse audio update catches up with House Agriculture Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who says he is concerned the farm bill will acquire enough votes during a speech to the National Grange.
Reuters: Food manufacturers push for end to sugar-to-ethanol program
- The Feedstock Flexibility Program, which would allow the government to buy excess sugar and sell it to biofuel manufacturers, will cost the U.S. government double the Congressional Budget Office's baseline estimate, said Agralytica food policy consultant Tom Earley on behalf of the Coalition for Sugar Reform.
Agri-Pulse: Meet the Freshman with Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
- The only Florida representative sitting on the House Agriculture Committee and one of two veterinarians in Congress discusses his priorities as a congressman, including farm bill, tax and trade issues.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Daily Mail: Ben & Jerry's vows to stop using GMO ingredients in North America by next year
- Ice cream company Ben & Jerry's is to stop using genetically modified ingredients in its products for its U.S. and Canadian products by 2014.
New York Times: Connecticut Approves Labeling Genetically Modified Foods
- Connecticut on Monday became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. It includes a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations.
LA Times: Wal-Mart's fresh produce promise: Fewer middlemen, faster groceries
- The world’s largest produce seller unveiled a new initiative to speed up delivery of farm-grown goods from the fields to shelves by trimming many of its middlemen and buying 80% of its produce directly from local growers. Wall-Mart has a commitment to double its sales of local produce from 2010 to 2015.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Dr. Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics
- As an economist, Meyer examines the Smithfield Foods sale to a Chinese company and discusses the impact of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) on production facilities.
Wall Street Journal: Monsanto Rules Out Some GMO Wheat Scenarios
- (Subscriber Only). Monsanto said that wheat seeds remain viable in the soil only for one or two years, and that 99% of wheat pollen moves less than 30 feet from its source. Robert Zemetra of Oregon State University said it is possible for wheat pollen to drift from other fields and cause genes to transfer to new plants, but it is unlikely that it happened in this case due to location.
LA Times: Tyson buys Mexican food factory in San Diego that employs 600
- Tyson Foods, in an effort to reach further beyond the beef, pork and chicken for which it’s known and boost its presence in packaged foods, bought Circle Foods, which employs 600 full-time workers at its Southern California facility.
Bloomberg: U.S. Farmland Values Seen Declining as World Grain Output Rises
- Rising global production of wheat, soybeans and corn will decrease the U.S. share of world agriculture trade and may reduce the value of farmland, according to a study by Ohio State University.
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