National clips

FARM LABOR ISSUES ...

Program would bring protection for laborers

Effort to protect farmworkers from sexual assault gaining momentum

A Florida-based program that could bring protection for laborers seeks to expand nationally. (Joe Klamar, AFP/Getty Images)

by Sheila Bapat, Al Jazeera America  |   April 17,2014

Isabel, 30, has been working on Florida tomato farms for many years since she arrived from Guatemala.

Her experience in the sun-soaked fields has brought a steady paycheck, but she has also seen co-workers experience sexual abuse and sexual violence.

"Before, we would hear about a contractor or supervisor who would take women to a private place, to the edge of the field, and we understood that sexual assault is what was happening," she said. "Now, we aren't hearing these stories in the same way we used to."

    

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Program would bring protection for laborers

    

SWEET SUCCESS ...

Genetics link in search for sweet strawberries

Specific gene is present in some varieties of the fruit, but not in others

Finding a tasty strawberry can be a bit of a lucky dip at times, but now the tasty gene's identified it may be easier to consistently get satisfying strawberries. (JD Hancock, Flickr)

by The Conversation  |   April 17,2014

If you've ever bitten into a strawberry and wondered why it doesn't taste as sweet or as good as others in the punnet, you could blame the fruit's genetics.

Two studies, published today in BMC Genomics, found that the distinct flavour of strawberry has been linked to a specific gene, present in some varieties of the fruit – but not in others.

The gene FaFAD1 controls a key flavour volatile compound in strawberries called gamma-decalactone, which is described as "fruity", "sweet" or "peachy" and contributes to fruit aroma.

    

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Genetics link in search for sweet strawberries

    

GOING ABROAD ...

USDA helps open, expand export markets

2014 farm bill funding supporting more than 60 organizations

Through the Market Access Program (MAP), FAS partners with U.S. agricultural trade associations, cooperatives, state regional trade groups and small businesses to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities that help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities.

by USDA  |   April 16,2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) awarded funding to more than 60 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for American products.

The funding was made available through the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA will begin accepting applications for 2015 export development program funding on April 17, 2014.

"USDA is moving quickly to implement our trade promotion programs to help open and expand opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and small businesses and build on the past five years of record agricultural exports," said Vilsack.

    

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USDA helps open, expand export markets

    

WATERS BILL ...

Feds turning puddles into dangerous waters

Leaders speak out against 'overly broad' Clean Water Act language

Rep. Chris Collins, backed by, from left, State Farm Bureau President Dean Norton, Stein Farms Senior Partner Dale Stein and County Legislator Shelley Stein, discussed efforts to dissuade the EPA from enacting an "overly broad" definition of navigable waters. Collins said the plan would hurt dairies like Stein Farms during a visit to the Le Roy farm Tuesday. (Rocco Laurienzo, Daily News)

by Jim Krencik, The Daily News  |   April 16,2014

LE ROY, N.Y. — Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, is raising alarm that Clean Water Act revisions under EPA and Army Corps of Engineers consideration would expand the waterways under federal authority — and constrict farm families' control over their fields.

The EPA and Army Corps introduced a proposed rule last month that would clarify protection for which streams, wetlands and water sources are protected by federal rules.

According to the EPA, the proposed rule would continue exemptions for agriculture by not covering groundwater, tile drains nor protect any new types of water found on farmland.

    

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Feds turning puddles into dangerous waters

    

DISASTER AID ...

Sign-up begins for disaster assistance

More than 2,000 FSA offices across the country stand ready to assist

Enrollment is also beginning for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), which provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.

by USDA  |   April 15,2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that starting today, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

"We implemented these programs in record time and kept our commitment to begin sign-up today," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack.

"To ensure enrollment goes as smoothly as possible, dedicated staff in over 2,000 Farm Service Agency offices across the country are doing everything necessary to help producers that have suffered through two and a half difficult years with no assistance...

    

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Sign-up begins for disaster assistance

    

COMBATING DISEASE ...

USDA approves new vaccine to fight BRD

Vaccine protects against viruses, bacteria most associated with BRD

Respiratory viruses can cause bovine respiratory disease (BRD) on their own, but they also can compromise the immune system that normally protects cattle against bacteria. This allows bacteria to attack their host and cause severe cases of BRD.

by Elanco  |   April 15,2014

GREENFIELD, Ind. — The USDA has issued a Veterinary Biologics License for Titanium® 5 + PH-M, a new vaccine that protects cattle against the viruses and bacteria most associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

Marketed by Elanco, Titanium 5 + PH-M provides modified-live virus (MLV) protection against bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), types 1 and 2, bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and parainfluenza3 (PI3).

Each dose also protects against Mannheimia haemolytica10 and Pasteurella multocida bacteria, and is safe for cattle at all stages of production.

    

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USDA approves new vaccine to fight BRD

    

COTTON SUBSIDIES ...

Brazil wants action against U.S. farm bill

Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers (ABRAPA) goes to WTO

ABRAPA board members recently met with Brazilian Ambassador to the WTO, Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita, concerning the U.S. farm bill. (ABRAPA)

by Fibre2fashion  |   April 14,2014

The board of the Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers (ABRAPA) has called for a speedy implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) panel against the US farm bill, especially in view of the conflict regarding the cotton subsidies.

According to a statement issued by ABRAPA, board members of ABRAPA recently met with Brazilian Ambassador to WTO Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita and requested him to seek for quick action from the WTO panel against the US farm bill.

At the meeting, president of ABRAPA Gilson Pinesso said that it was necessary to minimize the damage caused to Brazilian cotton producers as soon as possible, and not let the US farm bill cause more harm to them.

    

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Brazil wants action against U.S. farm bill