Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. Should you expect retroactive enforcement of the SPCC? After much to-do earlier this year about farm regulations in the Environmental Protection Agency's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule, its enforcement was postponed. But some Senators say the EPA will soon be able to enforce it – retroactively.
2. Divide grows on Affordable Care Act. Ask almost anyone about the Affordable Care Act and they will likely give you their opinion. It's the same story with rural interests, too, as the Center for Rural Affairs touts the program while the American Farm Bureau isn't so positive.
3. Duplicitous demand. Two recent studies from Kansas State University economists show consumer incomes are very sensitive to price increases for beef, explains Beef Producer's Alan Newport, but top-quality branded products are more immune.
4. Making lemonade with lemons. The Illinois, Missouri and Indiana corn and soy checkoff programs took the low water levels on the Mississippi last year as an opportunity to study what would happen in the event of an inland waterways infrastructure failure. The results, they said, showed a potential 45-cent hit on cash corn prices.
5. Oregon GE wheat prompts oversight request. Several food and consumer and seed groups this week called on the USDA to enhance oversight on GE wheat trials following the discovery of unauthorized GE wheat in Oregon in May. They suggest the USDA should halt all authorizations of GE wheat trials until the Oregon investigation has wrapped up.
6. Canada issues formal COOL challenge. They said they would, and they did – Canada has formally issued a challenge to the USDA's new Country of Origin Labeling requirements. The latest COOL rule is a revised version that came about after a previous WTO contest from Canada and Mexico.
7. How far should the EPA go in reducing the Renewable Fuels mandate? A cut of 2.3 billion gallons would be a good starting point, says Purdue University's Wally Tyner. Part of the reason why? Nationwide consumption of gasoline itself has decreased by 8 billion gallons in six years.
And your bonus:
August is tree check month for Asian Long-horned Beetles. USDA says the pesky ALB is a serious issue. If not addressed, it can down an entire forest. The agency advises checking for perfectly round, dime-sized exit holes in trees, dead branches and sawdust-like material on the ground or on branches.