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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - Oct. 6, 2017

USDA nominees confirmed, ARC payments in the mail and World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin.

Need a quick catch-up on the news? Here are 7 agricultural stories you might have missed this week.

1. Julie Anna Potts, American Farm Bureau Federation executive vice president, outlined some of the lawmakers she expects to be key players in the 2018 farm bill debate, which will kick into gear in 2018. – Missouri Ruralist 

2. USDA will begin mailing out PLC, ARC and CRP payments this week. The first county-level breakdown of ARC and PLC payments for corn and soybeans shows final payments for both crops turned out even less than Farm Futures forecast because average cash prices were higher than earlier estimates. – Farm Futures 

3. The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has finalized permanent conservation agreements with three private landowners to conserve 3,682 acres of high-quality lesser prairie-chicken habitat in northwestern Kansas. – Kansas Farmer 

4. The full Senate this week confirmed Steve Censky as Deputy USDA Secretary and Ted McKinney to be Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs on a voice vote. The Senate ag committee held a hearing on USDA nominees Bill Northey and Greg Ibach. Controversial nominee Sam Clovis, meanwhile, is waiting for a hearing. – Farm Futures

5. Geneseo, Ill., farmer Todd VerHeecke is working with a new partnership to design, install and monitor a woodchip bioreactor. The partnership aims to determine how woodchip bioreactors work on Illinois farms. – Prairie Farmer

6. Purdue researchers have studied how California’s egg-laying industry has changed since voters there enacted a housing requirement for the birds. – Farm Futures

7. How do you control weeds in your pasture? Perhaps the best way to deal with weedy pastures is to change the conditions that allow the weeds to flourish. – Beef Producer

And your bonus:

World Dairy Expo was held in Madison, Wis., this week. Mapleton Vly LT Borroloola, a 7-year-old Milking Shorthorn bred and owned by Mapleton Valley Farms LLC of Oconomowoc, Wis., was the 2017 Wisconsin Cow of the Year. She was recognized Oct. 3 at the expo. – Wisconsin Agriculturalist

Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is now CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, spoke at World Dairy Expo. He said exports play a huge role in making dairy farming sustainable. – Wisconsin Agriculturalist

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