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Perdue’s USDA Reorganization; States Want Greater Role in ESA

**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a long-awaited reorganization of the USDA, creating two new mission areas and elevating the stature of rural development agencies.

Perdue has expressed support for the creation of a new under-secretary position for trade at the department, and he made it official Friday, splitting up the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service that houses the Foreign Ag Service, the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency.

Not many details were given, but the new “Under-secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs” – a position called for in the 2014 farm bill – will be centered around the Foreign Agriculture Service.

**States need to have a larger role in implementing the Endangered Species Act. That’s according to three heads of state wildlife agencies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Wyoming’s John Barrasso, says states are well equipped to take on more responsibility under the landmark 1973 law, administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.

Critics says the states don’t have sufficient budgets to carry out all the federal agency does.

**A market analyst expects additional soybean acres to come from winter wheat fields damaged by snow earlier this month.

Elaine Kub says farmers in parts of Kansas, North Dakota and Nebraska were forced to abandon the wheat and planting soybeans makes sense.

Kub adds there are varying estimates on how much winter wheat was lost because of the snowstorm.

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