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Logging Approved in Pisgah National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service says it will allow logging on about 430 acres of the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina.

The forest service also said it will use herbicides thin another 350 acres.

District Ranger Derek Ibarguen agreed to allow logging in the Courthouse Creek area of the forest over a three- to five-year period. Logging would begin in 2015.

Pisgah is the first nationally protected forest in the country.

Thoughts on the Stall of the Farm Bill

There are few answers today on why the House GOP is not bringing up a motion to go to conference with the Senate on the farm bill with the clock about to run out on the current extension. But there’s plenty of suspicion. House Speaker John Boehner said last week – when the Senate agrees to a conference – the House will appoint its conferees – and the sooner the better. But this week – no house request to go to conference on the food stamp and farm-only bills. Not on the schedule even while several trivial bills are – even with the lapse of the current farm bill extension midnight Monday. What’s going on? Former Ag Secretary in the Reagan administration and D.C. Lobbyist John Block…

“I don’t know what the strategy is. There is some strategy here but no one is broadcasting it. There are so many moving parts, its not as simple as getting the farm bill with farm stuff. There is farm stuff, and nutrition stuff, and big conflicts and the debt and the debt ceiling.”

WTO Rules in Favor of the US in Trade Dispute with China

United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman announced that the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted an August 2, 2013 dispute settlement panel report in favor of the United States in a major trade dispute with China, proving that China's imposition of duties on U.S. chicken "broiler" products violates international trade rules.

With the report now formally adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, China must bring itself into compliance with its WTO obligations. In 2009 – the year before China imposed the duties – the United States exported over 613,000 metric tons of broiler meat to China. Exports fell almost 90 percent after the imposition of the duties.

US and Japan Reach Agreement on Organic Produce Designation

USDA ‘s National Organic Program, a part of the Agricultural Marketing Service announced yesterday that the U.S. and Japan, beginning January 1, 2014, organic products certified in Japan or in the U.S. may be sold as organic in either country.

This partnership between two significant organic markets will streamline U.S. farmers and processors access to the growing Japanese organic market, benefiting the thriving organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale.
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