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Red River Farm Network reports:

The Russell Group President Randy Russell, a veteran of several farm bills, thinks Sonny Perdue could be on board as agriculture secretary by the end of the month. "We're very hopeful we'll see Governor Perdue get a hearing in front of the Senate Ag Committee maybe as early as the second week of March.

"Hopefully, he'll be confirmed by the end of the month. It may take the rest of the calendar year to get the rest of the team in place, which is unfortunate, but a fact of life."

Russell thinks the leaders of both agriculture committees will have a document to put before their committees to start markup of the farm bill very early next year. There is cautious optimism the farm bill could be passed by the fall of 2018.

Russell says crop insurance will once again be in the crosshairs of budget cutters. Russell was part of the Bayer CropScience AgVocacy Forum in San Antonio.

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