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Harvey Hits Grain Exports; Nat’l Monuments Report

**The total impact of Hurricane Harvey on grain exports from the Gulf Coast is yet to be determined.

Mike Steenhoek with the Soy Transportation Coalition says while the Texas Gulf is not that consequential for soybean and corn exports, it is important to wheat.

He says 24% of wheat exports leave from the Texas Gulf region, with that whole area shut down for the foreseeable future.

Steenhoek tells Brownfield the greater concern is how Harvey will impact the lower Mississippi River which accounts for about 60% of U.S. soybean and corn exports.

**The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association say they’re pleased with the Interior Department’s report that could result in reducing the size of some Western U.S. National Monuments.

Ethan Lane at the Public Lands Council says National Monument designations were done without consulting Western ranchers and that past presidents have abused their authority under the Antiquities Act effectively locking out millions of acres of public lands.

The Interior Department’s report comes after listening sessions and a public comment period.

**Reducing the rate of return for companies participating in the federal crop insurance program could result in significant savings, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

The recommendations are directed at Congress and USDA, whose Risk Management Agency runs the insurance program.

The current target rate of return for insurance companies is 14.5 percent, but a GAO analysis found that a “reasonable rate of return” for 2009-2015 was 9.6 percent.

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