**Negotiators wrapped up a first round of NAFTA talks that included discussions about sanitary and phytosanitary rules important to agricultural trade.

After last week’s first round, negotiators promised to keep the talks at a “rapid pace,” with the second-round set for Sept. 1-5 in Mexico. Talks will then move to Canada before coming back to the U.S. in October.

**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has named Tony Tooke as the next chief of the U.S. Forest Service, succeeding Tom Tidwell, who’s retiring September 1st.

Agri-Pulse reports Tooke joined the Forest Service in 1980 when he was 18, eventually rising to be the Southern Region’s regional forester.

Perdue says at a time when we face active and growing wildfires, Tooke will be charged with overseeing efforts to “get our forests working again, to make them more productive, and to create more jobs.

**The EPA is pushing back against a New York Times story describing some of the internal deliberations leading up to the decision to deny a petition seeking to ban the widely used pesticide chlorpyrifos.

In Saturday’s article, the Times cited emails it said show how the EPA's new staff, appointed by President Trump, pushed the agency to draft a ruling that would deny the decade-old petition by environmentalists.

EPA says the Times left out context about the agency’s continuing investigation on the science surrounding chlorpyrifos or the USDA’s concerns with methodology used by the previous administration.


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