**Domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antibiotics used in food animal production declined 33% from 2016 to 2017.

The announcement came last week from Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb who tells agweb.com the decline suggests efforts by the agency to reduce improper use of the drugs are paying off, and 2017 was the first year medically important antimicrobials “were no longer allowed to be used for growth promotion and could only be obtained through a veterinarian’s order.

**The USDA announced last week that U.S. dairy farmers received $253 million in dairy Margin Protection Program payments in 2018.

According to agweb.com, more than 21,000 dairy farmers received the payments, up by more than 2,000 over 2017 participation.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says changes in the program, enacted in February’s Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, likely resulted in the increased participation.

He says he understands this is not a total fix nor long-term solution for dairy producers.


**While general polls show President Trump’s approval rating in the low forties, the latest Farm Journal Pulse shows solid support from agriculture.

Agweb.com reports, the President’s approval in ag is reaching up to a 76% approval rating based on nearly 1,200 responses, with only 21% disapproving, and 3% are unsure.

The poll is the first in a series to track sentiment on the president’s job performance amongst farmers, ranchers and ag businesses.


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