**Bayer has reduced the value of its pending Monsanto takeover by $2.5 billion. In a St. Louis Business Journal article, Bayer says that makes the Monsanto deal now worth $63.5 billion.

According to Brownfield, Chief Executive Werner Baumann says money from the sale of some of Bayer’s Crop Science business to BASF will help fund the Monsanto acquisition.

He says Bayer still plans to close the Monsanto deal by the beginning of next year.

**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says crop insurance remains a top priority for farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill.

According to Brownfield, Perdue says farmers would rather receive a fair price for their crop than rely on a program, but a balanced safety net is necessary.

He says a lot of progress was made for crop insurance to mitigate risk in the 2014 Farm Bill, but there will likely be tweaks made in the upcoming farm bill for cotton and dairy.

**The Senate last week confirmed a second new undersecretary for the Ag Department, Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, who will oversee the department’s marketing and regulatory programs.

Ibach’s confirmation, which came on a voice vote, follows the earlier approval of Ted McKinney as the first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural services.

Perdue says Ibach's "expertise in a wide cross-section of agricultural issues will be invaluable to our customers: the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers of America."