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Futures One Crop Progress Report *AUDIO*

Corn silking was pegged at 35% as of Sunday, July 21, still far behind the five-year average of 66%. Corn was rated 57% in good-to-excellent condition, down one percentage point from last week and way down from the 72% rating seen last year at this time, according to this week's USDA NASS Crop Progr...

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Futures One Crop Progress Report *AUDIO*

Corn silking was pegged at 35% as of Sunday, July 21, still far behind the five-year average of 66%. Corn was rated 57% in good-to-excellent condition, down one percentage point from last week and way down from the 72% rating seen last year at this time, according to this week's USDA NASS Crop Progr...

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Bankers: Trade war having negative effect on rural economies

More bankers surveyed in parts of 10 Plains and Western states say President Donald Trump's trade skirmishes are having a negative effect on their local economies. The Rural Mainstreet survey released Thursday shows the survey's overall index falling from 53.2 in June to 50.2 this month. Any scor...

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Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar Offered July 30

Lincoln, Nebraska, July 22, 2019 – The I-29 Moo University consortium of Extension dairy specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota will host a “Financial Impairment on the Farm” webinar from noon to 1 p.m. on July 30. The webinar is free and open to all those involved in prod...

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USDA awards agricultural trade promotion funding

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets. In May, President...

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U.S. Ethanol Plants Expected to Cut Output on Poor Margins, Oversupply

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol plants are expected to sharply curtail production in the weeks ahead as steep Midwest corn prices and the U.S.-China trade war have led to weak margins and oversupply, industry sources said. Margins to produce ethanol in the Corn Belt - where most U.S. production...

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Crops

Futures One Crop Progress Report *AUDIO*

Corn silking was pegged at 35% as of Sunday, July 21, still far behind the five-year average of 66%. Corn was rated 57% in good-to-excellent condition, down one percentage point from last week and way down from the 72% rating seen last year at this time, according to this week's USDA NASS Crop Progress report. This could be good for the grain bulls as many analysts were expected a 58% good to excellent rating. In a Statewide look Nebraska's crop was rated at 77% good to excellent, Kansas was rated at 57% good to excellent. The best corn in the nation looks to be in Tennessee with a rating of 85% good to excellent. Soybeans nationally have reached 40% blooming. A far cry from a year ago's 76% blooming and about 26% behind the five year average. Soybeans setting pods is also behind nationally at 7%. Nebraska soybeans have set 8% pods, 17% less than a year ago. Kansas soybeans have set 6% pods, 9% behind a year ago. Analysts expected soybeans to be unchanged week to week at 54% good to excellent. The USDA confirmed these numbers. Nebraska's crop is rated at 73% good to excellent. Kansas is rated at 50% good to excellent. Winter wheat harvest rolled across Kansas with last week's heat. Nationally the harvest is still 10% behind at 69% complete. Rains may have delayed a few harvesters in Nebraska as harvest nears 33% complete, as compared to 76% a on the five year average. Topsoil moisture remained fairly similar with Kansas rated 73% adequate to surplus and Nebraska at 87% adequate to surplus. Clay Patton breaks down the report here: http://bit.ly/32GiyLb To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov. Look for the U.S. map in the "Find Data and Reports by" section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state's "Crop Progress & Condition" report.

EPA Rejects Challenge of Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a key legal challenge Thursday to a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, saying environmental groups had failed to prove that a ban was warranted. The agency's defense of continued use of the widely used bug-killer chlorpyrifos could set the stage for a pivotal federal court decision on whether to overrule the EPA and force the agency to ban it. "To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops in the US," said former senior EPA attorney Kevin Minoli. Scientists say studies have shown that chlorpyrifos damages the brains of fetuses and children. The pesticide has been used nationally on dozens of food crops, but California — the nation's largest agricultural state — and a handful of other states have recently moved to ban it. The agency said the environmental groups had failed to prove that the pesticide wasn't safe. Last summer, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban all sales of the pesticide. The court decided to reconsider that ruling with a slate of 11 judges, who gave the EPA until this month to respond to the environmental groups' arguments for banning chlorpyrifos. The EPA under the Obama administration had initiated a ban, but the agency reversed that decision shortly after President Donald Trump took office. The EPA defense Thursday showed that "as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children's safety," said Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group environmental advocacy organization. In a statement, the EPA said it was separately speeding up a regular agency review of the pesticide's continued use, and expected a decision on that well ahead of a 2022 deadline. The EPA said it also was talking with chlorpyrifos makers about further restrictions on how farmers use the pesticide.

Coroner: 2 workers who died in grain silo suffocated

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A coroner says two men who died after they were trapped in a silo filled with grain in Ohio suffocated. The Blade in Toledo reports Lucas County's coroner has ruled the deaths as accidental. The coroner identified the men who died Friday in the silo operated by The Andersons company in Toledo as 29-year-old Joshua Stone, of Rossford, and 56-year-old James Heilman, of Perrysburg. Coroner Dr. Diane Scala-Barnett said the men were breaking up compacted grain when it's believed they came upon an air pocket, causing grain to collapse around and on them. Toledo fire crews responded Friday morning and spent nearly two hours trying to reach the men. A statement released by The Andersons said the company was shaken by the deaths and working with authorities to investigate.

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Livestock

Tofurky: Arkansas meat-labeling law unconstitutional

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Tofurky Co., which produces plant-based alternatives to meat, filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday claiming an Arkansas law that bans the use of "meat" in the labeling of its products violates free speech rights. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Oregon-based company against Arkansas' Bureau of Standards. Tofurky produces tofu, quinoa and other plant-based "sausages," deli slices and burgers. The stated goal of the Arkansas law set to take effect Wednesday is to "require truth in labeling." It would fine companies up to $1,000 for each violation. It also bans companies from labeling other vegetables, such as cauliflower, as "rice." Arkansas is the nation's top rice producer. Broadly written, the law specifically prohibits labeling a product as meat, rice, beef, or pork, as well as any term "that has been used or defined historically in reference to a specific agricultural product." Tofurky CEO Jaime Athos said that consumers have been "successfully navigating" plant-based products for years, and that traditional meat producers are feeling threatened by the recent rise in demand for such foods. State Representative David Hillman, a rice farmer and the law's author, said companies labeling products as cauliflower rice or veggie burgers are trying to confuse consumers. Producers "realize the only way they can get people to try their product is to confuse them," Hillman said. Athos called this idea "absurd." Hillman, a Republican, said he's tried cauliflower rice. "I like it. There's nothing wrong with it. Except that it's not rice," he said. The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, joined the ACLU and the Animal Legal Defense Fund in filing the suit on Tofurky's behalf. Jessica Almy, the group's policy director, said the law's true aim is to protect meat producers. The First Amendment protects the companies' use of terms like "plant-based meat" or "veggie burger," because it's truthful labeling, Almy said. Such companies want consumers to know the products are made from plants, she said. "Producers have every incentive to make that meaning clear to consumers, and there's absolutely no evidence of consumer confusion," she said. "So while these laws are being put forward as 'truth in labeling' laws they're really about censorship." Meat producers nationwide have been lobbying to protect labeling from plant-based and meat grown by culturing animal cells, arguing for terms like "synthetic meat," ''meat byproduct" or even "fake meat." In addition to Arkansas, The Good Food Institute has said eleven other states — Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming — have enacted what it calls "meat label censorship" laws. In the Arkansas lawsuit, Tofurky argues that in order to comply with the law, the company must now design specific, Arkansas-compliant packaging, change the packaging nationwide, stop selling in the state or knowingly break the law. "Each of these options puts Tofurky Co. at a significant commercial disadvantage," the company writes. The state's attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, is "reviewing" the lawsuit to determine her next steps, a spokeswoman said. Tofurky filed a lawsuit in 2018 against a Missouri law, which makes it a misdemeanor to label plant-based products as meat. This month, Illinois-based Upton's Naturals Co. challenged a Mississippi law.

K-State professors earn animal science awards

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Three Kansas State University faculty members in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry were presented awards by the American Society of Animal Science at its annual meeting in Austin, Texas. Bob Goodband received the 2019 American Feed Industry Association Award in Nonruminant Nutrition Research, which recognizes an individual who has contributed to and published outstanding work in the last 10 years. Originally from Walpole, Massachusetts, Goodband graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1984. He obtained his master’s and doctorate in swine nutrition at K-State, and joined the faculty in 1989. Goodband and his co-workers have played an important role in developing an intensive on-farm research program that has conducted numerous on-farm trials across the U.S. His work has resulted in 310 refereed journal papers, six book chapters, more than 1,000 research reports and extension publications, eight patents, and $13.9 million in grants and gifts to K-State. Goodband also teaches Swine Science and Swine Nutrition courses and serves as academic advisor to more than 35 undergraduate students each year. He has served as the major professor for 22 master’s and doctorate students and on committees of an additional 113 students. Cassie Jones received the 2019 ASAS Early Career Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has shown outstanding achievement as a young scholar and is working toward the professional organization’s mission. An associate professor, Jones earned her bachelor’s and master’s from K-State and her doctorate in swine nutrition from Iowa State University in 2012. As the department’s undergraduate research coordinator, Jones oversees more than 100 undergraduates conducting research annually. She teaches more than 250 students in seven different classes and advises approximately 60 students. Outside of teaching, Jones is an accomplished researcher in the area of animal feed safety, with more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, 100 abstracts, and $6.5 million in awarded grants, gifts and contracts during her seven-year career. Jones and her husband, Spencer, raise Angus cattle near Wamego, and have three young children — Ty, Hayden and Hadley. KC Olson received the 2019 ASAS Animal Management Award, which recognizes an individual who has contributed to excellent research in the biological or production management of livestock. Olson’s graduate training at North Dakota State and K-State preceded his eight-year appointment in extension and research at the University of Missouri. In 2006, he joined the K-State faculty and is now a professor of animal science in a research and teaching role. In 2011, he was awarded the W.M. and F.A. Lewis Distinguished Chair in Animal Sciences and Industry. His research has included more than 40 K-State scientists and 25 scientists from other universities.These projects supported degree requirements for 17 master’s, eight doctorate and seven undergraduate students under his mentorship. Over the last decade, Olson has published 62 peer-reviewed journal articles, five book chapters, 48 proceedings papers and more than 100 abstracts. He has delivered numerous presentations around the globe. Olson’s previous honors include K-State Advisor of the Year, Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Excellence in Extension.

Cattle on Feed and Cattle Inventory Numbers Released

United States Cattle on Feed Up 2 Percent Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.5 million head on July 1, 2019. The inventory was 2 percent above July 1, 2018. This is the highest July 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The inventory included 7.01 million steers and steer calves, down 2 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 61 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.47 million head, up 8 percent from 2018. Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.76 million head, 2 percent below 2018. Net placements were 1.69 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 385,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 295,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 391,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 390,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 185,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 110,000 head. Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.95 million head, 3 percent below 2018. Other disappearance totaled 66,000 head during June, 14 percent above 2018.

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Technology

Deere Announces Registered Apprenticeship Program

A new apprentice program by John Deere gives ag equipment dealers more options to address the shortage of service technicians. Deere announced this week it has received approval from the U.S. Labor Department for its new Registered Apprenticeship Program. The effort will provide dealers with a formalized, on-the-job and technical training plan to help them develop more highly skilled employees. Through participation in the apprenticeship program, dealers formally commit to developing talent in the earn-while-you-learn program. A participating apprentice benefits from structured, on-the-job training in partnership with an experienced mentor. As training progresses, apprentices are rewarded for new skills acquired. At the end of the program, students will receive a nationally recognized journeyworker certificate. The Program complements Deere’s existing Deere Tech Program. Tim Worthington, a customer support manager with John Deere, says the program can “improve a dealer's productivity and profit potential as employee turnover costs are reduced and employees are retained longer.” Deere says those interested in participating in the program should contact their local dealer.

Scott, Conaway: Broadband Provisions in 2018 Farm Bill Critical to Rural America

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit held a hearing on the importance of affordable, reliable and high-speed broadband Internet. After the hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member Austin Scott (GA-8) and Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) made the following remarks: “Broadband service is required for modern businesses and it is the foundation for economic growth in today’s global markets. From improving education opportunities, to accessing health care, to innovative new farming technology, consistent, high-speed access to the Internet is revolutionizing rural communities. I look forward to this committee continuing to work together to oversee the improvements made to rural broadband in the 2018 Farm Bill and bringing more Americans into the modern economy,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Scott. “Rural broadband has been a bipartisan concern among our committee members for years. As we wrote the 2018 Farm Bill, we worked hard to prioritize critical investments in connectivity for those communities that need it most. This farm bill includes requirements to make sure we build projects right the first time and with technology that will last,” said Ranking Member Conaway.

University of Nebraska Again Ranked Among World’s Top 100 in Earning U.S. Patents

For the second consecutive year, the University of Nebraska has been ranked among the top 100 universities in the world in earning U.S. patents to protect the innovative research and discoveries of its faculty. The ranking is part of a newly released report from the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. In the report, the University of Nebraska ranks No. 79 globally for the number of patents awarded to NU’s technology transfer offices – NUtech Ventures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UNeMed Corp. at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Earning patents allows NUtech Ventures and UNeMed to work with NU faculty, staff and students to bring their research in areas like agriculture, healthcare, engineering and many others to the marketplace. The result is new startup companies, jobs and university-licensed products that grow the economy and improve quality of life in Nebraska and beyond. “To be in the company of the world’s leading research universities is another sign that the University of Nebraska is a force for growth and change for the people of our state,” said President Hank Bounds. “While it’s an honor to be recognized, what truly matters is what this ranking signifies: That the University of Nebraska is home to some of the most talented, creative and visionary faculty in the world. I could not be more proud of the life-changing impact of their work.” The new report’s rankings are based on 2018 patent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After securing a patent, the university brings research to market by licensing technology to existing companies or university startup companies. Most university technology is considered early-stage and requires additional research and development. The University of Nebraska’s 31 patents in 2018 include, for example, University of Nebraska-Lincoln research to develop a vaccine that could help producers across the globe fight a devastating swine virus. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a viral pathogen that causes abortion in pregnant sows and pneumonia in young pigs. The virus can also suppress a pig’s immune system, leading to enhanced susceptibility to other infectious diseases. PRRSV costs the U.S. swine industry more than $640 million per year. A team led by Fernando Osorio and Hiep Vu at the Nebraska Center for Virology is working on a vaccine that could protect against some or all of the variants of the virus, which would significantly benefit swine health as well as producers in Nebraska and around the world. Another patent is for a new catheter tube that will help patients undergoing hemodialysis to treat kidney failure. Conventional catheters often need to be replaced in expensive surgical procedures after they are blocked by thick tissue that builds up over time. A new catheter tube created by Marius Florescu, M.D., an associate professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Nephrology, is designed with a small balloon that can expand to remove the buildup. Dr. Florescu’s design would significantly reduce the cost of removing the blockage by eliminating the need for additional procedures. The device is licensed to California-based Chrysalis Medical, who is preparing an application for FDA clearance. “This is a reflection of the kind of talent we see every day walking up and down hallways throughout the university system. This doesn’t happen without a culture of innovation,” UNeMed President and CEO Michael Dixon said of NU’s top-100 ranking. “That starts with the administration, right through all the creative and curious faculty, staff and students developing the next generation of innovations that can improve our world.” Brad Roth, executive director of NUtech Ventures, said: “The ability to protect new innovations from our university’s research is an important first step for commercialization and eventual impact on society.”

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Ag Policy

Mexico cuts budget for all, from athletes to archaeologists

The Mexican Olympic Committee said Wednesday it will no longer be able to offer food, lodging and medical services at its main sports training complex, the latest casualty in a round of deep budget cuts by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Seldom has a leftist been so obsessively austerity-minded as Lopez Obrador. In his first seven months in office, he has cut government posts and salaries, and drastically reduced spending on perks and benefits. He also has cut his own salary and plans to sell off the presidential jet, saying: "We cannot have a rich government with the people poor." Lopez Obrador describes his financial plan as "republican austerity." But his cuts have begun to seriously hit everyone from athletes to archaeologists, who worry they won't have enough money to carry out essential tasks. Critics say his government is spending the same amount of money, just reallocating it to different things. The Mexican Olympic Committee said it lacks the $4.7 million needed to run the Olympic sports center in Mexico City with full services. The complex has track and pool facilities, as well as a gymnasium and velodrome. This year, government funding for sports is about 25% below 2018 levels. Also this week, researchers and archaeologists at the National Institute of Anthropology and History said about 200 employees have been laid off since the start of the year, and more layoffs are feared. "We have gone from republican austerity to Franciscan poverty," said Joel Santos, head of the researchers' union at the institute. Never well-paid, many experts are employed on temporary contracts. Across the government, Lopez Obrador's administration has eliminated consultancy and management positions, and thousands more public servants have resigned. Economist Valeria Moy says the government has plenty of fat to trim, but notes that this year's federal budget of $5.8 trillion pesos ($304 billion) is about the same size as the 2018 budget. Lopez Obrador took office in December, allowing him to craft the 2019 budget. "There is money," said Moy, "it's just being redirected" to the president's social and infrastructure projects, some of which appear to be "almost whims" that lack sound research to determine their viability or potential negative impacts. Environmentalists and investors are concerned about several of the president's top infrastructure projects, such as a train through the Yucatan Peninsula that has commenced construction without studies to show its impact on local wildlife such as jaguars. Another pet project, the multibillion-dollar Dos Bocas oil refinery in Lopez Obrador's home state of Tabasco, is being undertaken by the heavily indebted state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos. "It's what the president decides, what the president wants — and that's what's done," said Moy. Finance Minister Carlos Urzua resigned last week citing similar concerns, saying the administration has taken public policy decisions "without sufficient sustenance." Everyone from scientists to doctors and police warn that the president is cutting to the bone. Many blame the May air pollution emergency in the capital on over-ambitious budget cuts, because the Environmental Ministry lacked the tools and manpower to detect and combat brush fires that carpeted much of the country in heavy smog. The country's Science and Technology Consultative Forum, a sort of umbrella group of science academies and businesses groups, has warned that the cuts threaten research into everything from chronic diseases to climate change to agriculture. "All of these activities could be seriously compromised if the austerity measures are applied indiscriminately," the forum said in a statement earlier this year. "If that happens, it would be an irredeemable setback in Mexico's effort to achieve robust national development, and would make us even more dependent on what occurs beyond our borders."

Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar Offered July 30

Lincoln, Nebraska, July 22, 2019 – The I-29 Moo University consortium of Extension dairy specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota will host a “Financial Impairment on the Farm” webinar from noon to 1 p.m. on July 30. The webinar is free and open to all those involved in production agriculture, specifically, producers and agri-business personnel. The webinar will focus on issues producers face during times of financial impairment with emphasis placed on mediation, reorganization options and Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Donald Swanson, an attorney with Koley Jessen in Omaha, and Kristine Tidgren, director for the Center of Ag Law and Taxation and an adjunct assistant professor at Iowa State University, will facilitate the discussion. “Don Swanson has devoted his career to helping clients with financial impairment, bankruptcy issues and mediation, and Kristine Tidgren works with these issues every day,” said Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The program will be informational and answer questions for many local ag producers and businesses alike.” There is no fee to participate in the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. To register, visit https://bit.ly/2KvTvoe. After registering, information on accessing the webinar will be provided. The webinar will also be archived for viewing at a later date. For more information on this and other programs, contact Kim Clark at 402-472-6065 or kimclark@unl.edu or Fred M. Hall at 712-737-4230 or fredhall@iastate.edu.

USDA awards agricultural trade promotion funding

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets. In May, President Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion in programs to support farmers, which is in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. ATP is one of three programs that will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers. “China and other nations haven’t played by the rules for a long time and President Trump is standing up to them, sending a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices,” Secretary Perdue said. “At USDA, we are always looking to expand existing markets or open new ones and this infusion of money will do just that. American farmers are so productive that we need to continue to expand our markets wherever we can to sell the bounty of the American harvest.” The 48 recipients are among the cooperator organizations that applied for $200 million in ATP funds in 2018 that were awarded earlier this year. As part of a new round of support for farmers impacted by unjustified retaliation and trade disruption, those groups had the opportunity to be considered for additional support for their work to boost exports for U.S. agriculture, food, fish, and forestry products. Already, since the $200 million in assistance was announced in January, U.S. exporters have had significant success, including a trade mission to Pakistan that generated $10 million in projected 2019 sales of pulse crops, a new marketing program for Alaska seafood that led to more than $4 million in sales of salmon to Vietnam and Thailand, and a comprehensive marketing effort by the U.S. soybean industry that has increased exposure in more than 50 international markets. These funds will continue to generate sales and business for U.S. producers and exporters many times over as promotional activity continues for the next couple of years. The list of ATP funding recipients is available at: https://www.fas.usda.gov/atp-funding-allocations

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Markets

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Corn Congress