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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - May 19, 2017

Lighthizer sworn in, Perdue goes to the Hill and Cornell digitalizes bevy of ag information.

A lack of sun got you down? Here's just the thing to cheer you up: seven ag stories you might have missed.

1. Robert Lighthizer was sworn in as the U.S. Trade Representative, completing President Trump's cabinet. The U.S. Trade Representative is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries. – Farm Futures 

2. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testified before the House Agriculture Committee May 17, calling for a stronger international trade presence for U.S. agriculture. He also explained his reorganization of USDA. – U.S. News and World Report

3. USDA's Risk Management Agency announced it is expanding margin protection for corn and soybeans to Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. – Farm Futures

4. The spread of pests that damage plant life could cost global agriculture $540 billion a year, according to a report published this week by the Royal Botanic Gardens. The increase in international trade and travel has increased the threats facing flora. - Reuters

5. Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Debbie Stabenow are requesting continued engagement regarding Canada's changes to its dairy pricing policies. They are also asking for an evaluation of tools available to help mitigate damages to dairy farmers. – Farm Futures

6. Action by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad allows the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture to continue to operate, though the center will no longer receive any state funding. The $1.5 million in state funding will be redirected to the Nutrient Research Center. – Wallaces Farmer 

7. Agricultural research journals published from 1880 and 1996 are now available at HathiTrust, a digital library of which Cornell University Library is a partner. The research and other publications were produced by scholars at the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Stations. - Cornell Chronicle

Your bonus: It's all about NAFTA.

Days before the Trump administration announced its intent to renegotiate from NAFTA, Mexican trade officials traveled to Nebraska where corn leaders spoke of the importance of trade with Mexico. – Nebraska Farmer

The Trump administration announced on May 18 that it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The negotiations could begin as early as Aug. 16. Commodity groups weighed in, calling on the Trump administration to maintain their market access and give them a seat at the table during the negotiations. – Farm Futures

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