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Senators awaiting paperwork before proceeding with Perdue, ethanol industry uproar and bird flu.

Janet Kubat Willette, E-Content Editor

March 4, 2017

2 Min Read

Need a quick catch up on the news? Here are seven agricultural stories you might have missed this week. 

1. The Trump administration has yet to submit the formal paperwork required before hearings can be held on Sonny Perdue's nomination to be secretary of agriculture. The delay is frustrating for farm-state senators. – abc news

2. The ethanol industry is in an uproar over proposed changes to who is responsible for compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard. White House officials have met with billionaire refinery owner Carl Icahn, who is an unpaid Trump adviser and critic of the current system of point-of-obligation requirements. Federal ethics rules may not apply to Icahn, because he isn't paid. Renewable Fuels Association agreed to the negotiations. – Farm Futures

3. Drought conditions in the United States have fallen to their lowest point in more than six years, according to the Feb. 21 Drought Monitor. – Feedstuffs

4. House Agriculture Committee chairman Mike Conaway says he'll work hard to get the 2018 farm bill done on time, speaking at the Commodity Classic, which has drawn more than 9,000 people to San Antonio, Texas. – Farm Futures

5. Wisconsin dairy farmers have fewer options for selling their milk as the number of cooperatives in the state continues to shrink. – The Dunn County News

6. Fifth-generation Montanan Ryan Zinke is now in charge of 20% of the nation's land as the leader of the Interior Department. He has emphasized rebuilding relationships with landowners and local governments in the West angry with federal land management policies. – Farm Futures

7. Dow and DuPont are reportedly close to winning European Union approval for their merger. A formal decision is expected prior to April 4. – Farm Futures

And your bonus: Bird flu continues to spread in Europe and Asia, with French authorities reporting a possible outbreak in the northern part of the country this week. - Reuters

According to the World Health Organization, China had 460 lab-confirmed human cases of the H7N9 bird flu virus over the winter, the most since 2013. – Vox

It's likely the strain detected throughout Europe will be brought to Iceland with migratory birds. H5N8 bird flu has spread rapidly in Europe since October 2016. – Iceland Review

The World Health Organization says the risk of a bird flu epidemic remains low, but the virus has killed about a third of the people known to be infected. It has also split into two distinct strains. – The New York Times

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