• Oregon Democrat representative Michael Blumenauer released an "alternative Farm Bill" during a press conference. The news conference was held with Michael Pollan, an author of books criticizing the current U.S. food system.
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  • Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Texas, and Missouri could all suffer the most severe hits to their economies if President Trump decides to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Politico says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed 12 states that it says will be hit hardest by NAFTA withdrawal.
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  • The U.S. ethanol industry wants U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to suspend Brazil's designated country status under the Generalized System of Preferences. The groups want Lighthizer to make the move against Brazil because of its "protectionist and market-distorting actions in implementing a Tariff Rate Quota on American ethanol imports."
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  • Arizona republican Jeff Flake has put a hold on the confirmation of Greg Doud, President Trump's nominee to be the U.S. Trade Representative's Chief Agricultural Negotiator. Politico says the hold involves concerns surrounding a controversial produce proposal that the United States has introduced into the NAFTA negotiations.
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  • A massive GOP tax-reform bill would end a $7,500 credit for the purchase of electric vehicles and overhaul other energy-related provisions within the tax code. The 429-page bill would repeal the electric vehicle tax credit, which supporters have credits with reducing the price of emission-free cars for consumers and helping the burgeoning American electric vehicle industry grow.
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  • DowDuPont has shut down a 30-million gallon ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. The $225 million operation uses corncobs, husks, and stalks to produce the renewable fuel. 90 workers are out of a job as a result of the move.
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  • President Trump has been weighing the idea of giving notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement as a way of taking a tough stance on the negotiations. Politico's Morning Ag Report says even giving the notice would cause immediate harm.
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  • A Senate leader has termed proposed legislation that would prohibit cuts in future federal farm bills a "non-starter."
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  • The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank reports farm lending has stabilized, but risks remain. The Federal Reserve’s Agricultural Finance Databook shows risks in the sector have remained alongside a persistently weak agricultural economy.
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  • Another lock and dam closure along the Ohio river stalled more than 500 barges waiting to pass through. The Waterways Council said late last week the issue was related to rising river conditions, which boosted water levels above maximum operating limits.
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  • BASF has signed an agreement to purchase Bayer’s Crop Science business for $7 billion. BASF is purchasing Bayer seeds for mainstay crops including cotton and soybean, plus the herbicide brand Liberty. The move by Bayer is part of its agreement to purchase Monsanto.
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  • A consumer traffic analysis says nearly a quarter of Whole Foods new customers are coming from Wal-Mart. Specifically, 24 percent of the new customers streaming to Whole Foods following the Amazon purchase of the grocery chain were Wal-Mart shoppers, while 16 percent are from Kroger and 15 percent from Costco.
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