Iowa Election, Sweet Potato Prices – November 2, 2018

In northwestern Iowa, King’s cruise to re-election hits a pothole

Anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King has suddenly found himself fighting his toughest re-election contest in years in the reliably conservative northwestern quadrant of Iowa, with an online poll showing his Democratic challenger trailing him by just a single point.

Low prices, Hurricane Florence batter sweet potato farmers

Sweet Potato impacted by Florence

North Carolina’s sweet potato farmers, already facing lower prices for their crop, were dealt a powerful second blow in September, when Hurricane Florence flooded the state’s top sweet potato-producing counties.


Farm groups support merger halt (Organization for Competitive Markets):More than 200 farm, rural, food, and other advocacy groups signed a letter asking members of Congress to support legislation from Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Mark Pocan that would temporarily halt agribusiness mergers.

An all-natural bug repellent (USDA): Compounds derived from coconut oil are better than DEET at repelling blood-sucking insects, a new USDA study found.

Farmers stand by Trump (Agri-Pulse): In a recent telephone poll, nearly 8 in 10 farmers, a highly Republican group, said they approve or strongly approve of President Trump’s job performance. The farmers gave the administration high marks for renegotiating trade agreements and providing regulatory relief.

Separate ag and environment ministries (Reuters): Backtracking on a campaign pledge, Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, said he may keep the agriculture and environment ministries as separate entities rather than merging them, an idea that was criticized by environmentalists.

Bigger may not ‘bee’ better (New Food Economy): As plant breeders modify crops to grow bigger or faster, the plants may become less attractive to the bees that are essential to pollinating them, say researchers.

South Dakota dicamba complaints drop (Tri-State Neighbor): State officials credit a reduction in complaints of dicamba damage to crops — 110 complaints this year vs. 170 in 2017 — to self-imposed deadlines to stop using the weedkiller and to the use of the proper nozzle heads on sprayer rigs.

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