Today’s quick hits, Dec. 21, 2018

Roberts mulls, run or retire? (Politico): Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts, 82, who just steered the five-year farm bill into law, said he will decide soon whether to seek a fifth term in 2020.

USDA publishes genome of honeybee parasite (USDA): Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service published the genome of the small hive beetle, a possible step toward finding effective treatments for a major parasite of honeybees.

Too-hot food robot (Los Angeles Times): UC-Berkeley students mourned the fiery demise of a food-delivering Kiwibot, one of the more than 100 robot devices that deliver food throughout the campus and surrounding Berkeley, calling the ice-chest-sized device a “hero” and “legend.”

Officials claim massive organic fraud (AP): Federal prosecutors said a Missouri farmer falsely marketed corn, wheat, and soybeans as organic grain and defrauded customers of $140 million, one of the largest frauds ever uncovered in the organic sector.

Slowest population growth rate in 80 years (Carsey School): The U.S. population grew only 0.62 percent this year, the smallest annual growth rate since 1937, with nine states losing population and many others, both rural and urban, becoming more reliant on migration to grow.