U.S. Agriculture Secretary to visit Illinois amid farmer anger at administration

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: (AFP OUT) U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (C) delivers remarks with President Donald Trump (L) and Vice President Mike Pence during the signing ceremony for the Agriculture Improvement Act in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building December 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. Designed to go through the 2023 crop year, this farm bill is the first since 1990 that was enacted within the year for which programs were authorized. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

DECATUR, Ill. – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is set to visit Illinois amid rising tensions between farmers and President Donald Trump’s administration.

Perdue’s visit on Wednesday begins in Decatur at an Ag Policy Summit hosted by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican. GOP Congressmen John Shimkus, Mike Bost and Darrin LaHood will join them. Perdue is also slated to visit the Farm Progress Show in Decatur and later tour the Melvin Price Locks and Dam Facility in Alton after a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers briefing.

Perdue has sought to assuage farmers’ fears of financial problems after China halted purchases of U.S. farm products in an escalating trade war. Also, farmers are angry that the Republican administration ordered increased blending of corn-based ethanol in fuel but then exempted small oil refineries from complying.

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