The Morning Cram [seed wars edition]

Feb 18, 2013

From NPR: An Indiana farmer looking for cheap soybean seeds for a second, smaller harvest has been taken to the Supreme Court by the largest seed company, Monsanto. 75-year-old Vernon Hugh Bowman signed a contract with the seed giant to not save and replant any of his harvest.

Monsanto wants to be his sole provider, but their seeds are “Roundup Ready” and more expensive, especially for a small second planting. Bowman bought a motley of seeds from his neighbors for his second harvest thinking Monsanto wouldn’t care. Boy, was he wrong.

Kentucky: The state Senate is looking at making changes to the special taxing districts bill, and the House moves forward on the redistricting measure. Legislation allowing physician assistants more indirect supervision moves to the state House. The state health exchange is becoming an almost $40 million operation. Maker’s Mark has listened to the backlash and has announced it will not cut the alcohol content of its famous whiskey. Prosecutors have extended a plea deal to Michael Joseph Burke, a Murray man who allegedly killed his mother last summer. A court fight over using legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe continues with the Ohio County Industrial Foundation seeking a rehearing on whether his name can be used to promote a local music festival. The hemp bill is now facing a more skeptical House after sailing through the state Senate.

Tennessee: Trane and the International Association of Machinists have come to an agreement on a new 4-year contract that will avert a possible strike at Clarksville’s largest employer. The state school voucher plan is drawing a mixed response from educators and legislators. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is against a National Rifle Association-backed effort to seal handgun carry permits from the public.

Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn wants low-income taxpayers to know about and take advantage of a newly-expanded tax credit.