Farm Bill Impasse and List of Best Ag Universities
**Grocery store sales growth in January were up 4.5% from a year earlier, the biggest monthly year-over-year gain since January 2015.
According to agweb.com, that increase helped to offset a modest 1.8% increase in food services and bar-restaurant retail sales, a near reversal from the year before.
The trend builds on positive momentum at the end of 2017, when both November and December sales were 3.7% higher than a year earlier.
If annual growth climbs over 4.5%, it would be the highest since a 5.1% in 2011.
**The House Ag Committee's partisan impasse over a farm bill draft deepened when the Democrats delivered a letter to Chairman Mike Conaway, demanding to see the legislative text before negotiating with him further on its nutrition provisions.
Democrats have refused to go along with the bill that sources say would include several eligibility changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that include expanding work requirements for adults.
The letter obtained by Agri-Pulse said Democrats couldn't continue discussions unless they know the details of what's in the draft.
**QS World University has released its annual ranking of the world's best Agricultural Colleges.
Six U.S. schools made the top 10, including UC-Davis at number 2, Cornell at number 3, and University of Wisconsin-Madison/Michigan State/and Purdue at 7-8 and 9.
Northwest schools in the top 25 include University of British Columbia at number 12 and Oregon State at 22.