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View from the Cab: A whirlwind of news

(CIFN file photo)

Since the tractors have been idle due to recent rains, there has been plenty going on in the world of agriculture during recent weeks.

First of all, former Georgia GOP Governor Sonny Perdue was confirmed as the nation’s Ag Secretary at the end of April. The Senate voted in favor of Perdue by a vote of 87-11. Perdue was initially announced as President Donald Trump’s pick to run USDA in January, but the process of getting the proper paperwork in place was delayed.

I chatted with Ron Prestage about Perdue being the next ag secretary at this year’s Illinois Pork Expo in Springfield. Prestage is a past president of the National Pork Producers Council. Prestage is excited about Trump’s pick for ag and believes Perdue will do a “phenomenal” job in the role.

“Despite of the fact that his experience has not been real close with the pork industry specifically, he certainly understands the importance of international trade and understands how the ag sector works. I think he will be really good for pork producers long-term.”

Last week, we learned an interesting development in the proposed acquisition of Monsanto’s Precision Planting by ag giant John Deere: Monsanto has decided to terminate a 2015 agreement for Deere to acquire the company. Deere & Company said in a news release Monday that it was informed by Monsanto of the decision.

“We are deeply disappointed in this outcome as we remain confident the acquisition would have benefited customers,” the statement from Deere Chief Information Officer John May said.

Now it’s back to square one for Precision Planting, although a statement from Monsanto said the company intends to sell the planting equipment business and has “spoken with several third parties that have expressed interest in purchasing it.”

More news came from the Trump administration as we learned the White House made changes to school lunches in recent days. The move by USDA means schools don’t have to cut extra salt from meals just yet and some will have the option of serving children fewer whole grains.

In another development closer to home, heavy rains have flooded out newly-planted crops in the southern part of the state. Almost a foot of rain was recorded in parts of Illinois during the past week and a half. Our thoughts are with those folks for a quick recovery.

The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors of Fairbury.

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