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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - Dec. 22, 2017

Focused on the tax bill? GIPSA, avian flu and ethanol also in the news.

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

1. South Korea and the Philippines have reported new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian flu outbreaks. The latest outbreak in South Korea began Dec. 19, while the outbreak in the Philippines was reported on Dec. 21. APHIS is also proposing to change the way it reimburses poultry producers for avian flu elimination activities. – Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota

2. Nearly 2.42 million hundredweight of sorghum was consumed for fuel alcohol production in October, up from 2.39 million cwt in September, but down from 4.52 million cwt in October 2016. The 470 million bushels of corn consumed for fuel alcohol was up 6% from September. – Ethanol Producer Magazine

3. The U.S. General Accountability Office says USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service needs to improve its oversight of the commodity checkoff programs. – National Hog Farmer

4. Farmers filed suit against USDA and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding the decision to abandon changes to GIPSA rules. – Farm Futures

5. Farmers may earn a $6-per-acre rebate when they apply XtendiMax herbicide to their Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in 2018. – Prairie Farmer

6. A certified custom applicator with Wheat Growers in Aberdeen, S.D., was named the 2017 Operator of the Year at the Agriculture Retailers Association’s annual meeting. Andrew Myburgh treats about 40,000 acres per year. – Dakota Farmer

7. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested in Kootenai National Forest in Montana. It made 23 stops before arriving in Washington, D.C. – Western Farmer Stockman

Your bonus is a collection of content regarding the tax bill.

The House-Senate tax bill approved by both chambers provides near-term benefits to many agricultural producers, but rate reductions and estate tax changes beneficial to the agriculture industry are temporary. – Farm Futures

The bill doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals or $24,000 for married couples. – Farm Futures

Republicans passed the most extensive rewrite of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. – Farm Futures

The bill doubles the estate tax exemption to $11 per person. It also allows farmers to deduct interest paid on loans. – Farm Futures

Tax professionals who had holiday plans will instead be scrutinizing the provisions of the new tax bill. – The New York Times

Wondering how the tax bill will impact you. Try out this calculator. - CNN

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