Today’s quick hits, Oct. 2, 2020

Food box to get Trump letter: The USDA has ordered that every box in the Farmers to Families Food Box giveaway program, the Trump administration’s response to hunger during the pandemic, must include a letter from President Trump taking credit for the taxpayer-funded food. (Politico)

Prospects worsen for Cox, Hagedorn: Sabato’s Crystal Ball has rated the re-election chances of House Agriculture Committee members T.J. Cox and Jim Hagedorn as toss-ups. Previously Cox, a California Democrat, and Hagedorn, a Minnesota Republican, were considered slight favorites. (Sabato’s Crystal Ball)

Pandemic adds to Bayer’s woes: Bayer said its crop business, which generates nearly half of its sales, faces a “deeper than expected impact” from the pandemic, which has reduced demand for agricultural products and weakened the rationale for its purchase of Monsanto two years ago. (Bloomberg)

Spy vs. spy at USDA: Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Rick Crawford, both Arkansas Republicans, have filed companion bills to create an Office of Intelligence at the USDA to thwart attempts to steal U.S. agricultural knowledge and technology and efforts to sabotage or disrupt U.S. agricultural production. (Sen. Cotton)

A hog boom in China: A year after China called on its hog farmers to rebuild their herds after severe losses to the African swine fever, the domestic hog inventory is skyrocketing. Still, analysts say, there are too many low-quality hogs that gain weight slowly and sows that produce small litters. (Reuters)

Phase-out mulled for Bt crops: The EPA has proposed phasing out many Bt corn and cotton varieties over a three-to-five-year period to prevent insects from developing increased resistance to the genetically engineered varieties. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)