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USDA is Teaming Up With Microsoft; July Has Been Busy House Agriculture Committee

USDA will partner with Microsoft to launch the "Innovation Challenge," a contest designed to explore how climate change will impact the United States' food system. The challenge invites entrants to develop and publish new applications and tools that can analyze multiple sources of information about the nation's food supply, including key USDA data sets that are now hosted on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud-computing platform. The challenge o

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2011 APEC Summit Convenes In Hawaii
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Possible Final Talks of Trans-Pacific Partnership; Safe Food Labeling Passed in the House

Trans-Pacific Partnership talks kick off today in Hawaii, in what could be the final round of negotiations ahead of finalizing a trade-pact. The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries. The TPP trade d

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High Gas Prices Have Rental Car Companies Going Green
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Work Continues on Food Labeling; Priming the Pump on Ethanol Fuel

As the U.S. House works this week on the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, a coalition has pledged their support for the bill. The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, an industry group that supports the bill, said 475 groups are backing it. The groups main

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Soaking Rains Bring Relief To Drought Stricken West
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This Year’s El Nino Could be the Strongest in 50 Years; Partnership Between USDA and NASA Expanded

El Nino has strengthened steadily during the past month, approaching the “strong category”. El Nino is so strong this go round that it could wind up be the strongest El Nino event in 50 years. El Nino rarely

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Food Prices Continue To Rise At Alarming Rate
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Improving Groceries Access to Homebound Seniors; USDA Reports Crop Maturity Trails Five Year Average

USDA is proposing to improve access to groceries for homebound seniors and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. USDA is proposing to allow grocery purchasing and delivery services run by government and non-profit organizations to accept SNAP benefits as payment, allowing for home delivery to those unable to shop for food. Nationally, onl

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Family Farmed Expo Reconnects Farmers And Consumers
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Switzerland Expanding Market Access for Organic Farmers;Global Food Prices Hits New Five Year Low

USDA says a new agreement with Switzerland will expand market access for organic farmers. As of Thursday, organic products certified in the United States or Switzerland may be sold as organic in either country. USDA claims the

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G7 Finance Ministers Meet In Dresden
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Last Rounds of Talks for TPP; Avian Flu Still Wreaking Havoc

A trade deal linking 40 percent of the global economy remains on track for a potential agreement by the end of the month. The 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership are slated to meet late this month for the last round of talks. The New York Ti

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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U.S. House Passed Trade Adjustment Assistance; Mexico and Canada Looking to Repeal Country or Origin Labeling

The U.S. House has passed Trade Adjustment Assistance, clearing the way for Trade Promotion Authority. President Obama had said he would not sign the TPA bill without TAA. The bills did not survive the legislative process as a package, but TPA was passed as a standalone bill while TAA was attached to another popular trade bill. The TPA and TAA

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National Labeling Law getting Support; Agricultural Spending Bill Win Approval

More lawmakers are showing support for a national labeling law. A House hearing last week by the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health reviewed a labeling bill introduced by Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo and North Carolina Democrat G.K. Butterfield.

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Getty Images
Getty Images
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Waters of the U.S. Findings Worse Than the Original Proposal; Conservation Programs in Farm Bill Working Successfully

The American Farm Bureau’s analysis of the Waters of the U.S. rule finds the final rule to be worse than EPA’s original proposal. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said the conclusions “are sobering.” The rule wou

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