Today’s quick hits, July 15, 2021

Land values soar: Sales prices for Iowa farmland increased by more than 20 percent this spring, fueled by record-large government payments, low interest rates, and a surge in commodity prices. (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development)

Hunger rate stable: While the overall U.S. hunger rate held steady at 9.7 percent over the past month, the rate for households with children climbed to 13.7 percent, a gain of 3 points since its pandemic low of 10.7 percent in April. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Amazon is GHG emitter: The southeastern part of the Amazon has become a net emitter of carbon dioxide due to deforestation and fires in a shift that could destabilize the Earth’s atmosphere, says an eight-year study. (InsideClimate News)

U.S. food monopolies: Hidden behind a parade of brand names, a mere handful of companies hold at least half of the market share for 80 percent of the grocery items Americans routinely buy. (Guardian)

Seed-coat concerns: Although the great majority of corn, soybean, wheat, and cotton seed planted in the United States is coated with insecticides and fungicides, federal oversight of seed treatments is minimal. Now there are growing questions about whether the treatments are needed and whether the chemicals stay put. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)