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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - June 2, 2017

Perdue in Montana, automation in California and wheat harvest is underway.

Here are 7 agricultural stories you might have missed this week. 

1. Rise of Batistas' JBS SA wouldn't have been possible without a top politician on the take, hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes and a series of sweetheart deals with Brazil's state development bank. – Farm Futures 

2. Montana farmers and ranchers sat down with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, on a tour of the state. Topics discussed included wildlife management, selling beef to China, trade with Japan and budget cuts proposed by President Trump. – Billings Gazette

3. Wheat harvest is underway in Texas, with custom harvesters reporting poor yields, but OK test weights. Many farmers are choosing to graze the wheat rather than harvest it for grain. – Farm Futures

4. Participating in New York's Organic Dairy Farm Business Summary put 20-year-old Ryan Murray and his fiancée Annie Grant on the path to owning their own farm. The couple have a 60-cow certified organic dairy herd and are looking for land. – American Agriculturist

5. Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Trump critical of the proposed cuts to rural development and also of eliminating the Under Secretary for Rural Development position. The senators called for the Trump administration to consider public comments before reorganizing USDA. – Farm Futures 

6. Farmers across Canada's Prairie Provinces are planting record acres of canola, a crop that didn't exist four decades ago, but is now planted on more acres in the country than spring wheat. Canola oil has become popular in cooking and deep frying. – Farm Futures

7. Purdue University Extension corn specialist and Indiana's associate state climatologist teamed up to answer questions about soil temperatures. They say that soil type and water content affect soil temperature cycles and that the 'heat highway' in soil runs in both directions. – Indiana Prairie Farmer

And your bonus.

California farmers are turning to robots to help ease their labor shortage, estimated at 20%. Robots are cutting lettuce and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Automation is expected to continue increasing in agriculture. - Wired

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