Need a quick catch up on the news of the week? Here are 7 agricultural stories you might have missed.

1. The new tax law has provisions that will impact your business. It doubles the estate tax exemption, repeals the business entertainment deduction and it strengthens the Section 179 deduction. – Missouri Ruralist

2. The latest Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer shows an increase from December 2017 and the Index of Future Expectations jumped 11 points. – Farm Futures

3. The 2018 USDA Cattle report showed an increase of just over 500,000 head, pushing the total U.S. beef cow inventory to about 31.7 million on Jan. 1. This was the sixth-largest gain in beef cow inventory in the last 43 years since the historical record of 45.7 million beef cows in 1975. It marks the fourth consecutive year of herd growth; only 1991-96 saw a longer period of inventory build. – Missouri Ruralist 

4. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway hopes the new Farm Bill is voted on before the end of March in the House of Representatives, giving plenty of time for the bill to be finalized with the Senate before its September expiration. The Senate on Thursday announced two Farm Bill fixes, including a deal providing more than $1 billion to support dairy farmers.  – Farm Futures 

5. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed four positive cases of equine herpes virus in horses at separate locations around the state. The agency is investigating where the animals have been and what other animals may have been exposed. – Ohio Farmer 

6. ADM is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Bunge, which is based in White Plains, N.Y. The $11.5 billion company was started in 1818 in Amsterdam. – Farm Futures

7. The latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) pushed corn prices slightly higher and wheat prices slightly lower, on a mixed bag of data. The report has projected U.S. and global wheat stocks trending slightly higher. It also reinforced concerns about Argentina’s soybean production, kicking prices higher following its release. – Farm Futures

And your bonus.

Troy and Benjamin Fiechter are passionate about making sure soil samples are pulled consistently each time. The Fiechter brothers put their ag engineering skills to work and built an autonomous soil sampling machine that can operate on its own as a robot, collecting samples within a field. – Indiana Prairie Farmer