USDA Report Surprises, Trade Progress and Helping the Hungry

7 stories you might have missed this week

Published on: Jan 10, 2014

Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.

1. TPA to come soon? A bipartisan group of legislators on Thursday proposed a bill to authorize the Trade Promotion Authority, a measure that would allow President Barack Obama to "fast-track" key trade deals by limiting Congress' ability to tack on amendments.

2. USDA's January report offers surprises. Corn prices staged a surprise turnaround Friday, reversing higher from fresh contract lows after USDA shocked the trade with lower than expected estimates of 2013 crop production and ending stocks.

USDA Report Surprises, Trade Progress and Helping the Hungry - 7 stories you might have missed this week
USDA Report Surprises, Trade Progress and Helping the Hungry - 7 stories you might have missed this week

3. Immigration, budget among USDA's 2014 to-dos. Though the farm bill is a clear priority for the USDA, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that it's just one of the agency's 2014 priorities. Others include immigration, coexistence plans and programs for beginning farmers.

4. Sell more fuel, keep the RFS. A Renewable Fuel Standard rollback may not be needed, argue researchers at the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, especially if E85 becomes cheaper and more available. Price and availability is tricky, though.

5. Tech in Africa detects ag fakes. Technology is helping end Africa's long-running problem of counterfeit agricultural inputs, reports the East African news Website. Counterfeit products can affect germination, crop health, food security and production, but SMS messaging is helping to verify products' authenticity.

6. There are ways to help the hungry. Food waste and hunger are two issues that actually go hand in hand, notes Michigan Farmer editor Jennifer Vincent, and one group in Detroit that works to link the two has just received a huge donation to keep up the good work.

7. COOL is back in court. A Circuit Court of Appeals this week heard arguments in the ongoing Country of Origin Labeling case against the USDA. The latest round questions whether the U.S. District Court's denial of the preliminary injunction on the implementation of the May 2013 revised regulations on COOL on meat products should be upheld.

And your bonus:

'Farmer selfies' are fun. If you want to see what other farmers around the world are up to, hop on Twitter and search #Felfie.

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