Today’s quick hits, Oct. 4, 2018

Rural ‘energy districts’ spread in Iowa (Daily Yonder): Four counties in northeast Iowa formed energy districts to encourage efficient use of energy and local power generation.

Missouri farmland values up 7 percent (Missouri Extension): In a web-based survey, farm lenders, appraisers and farmers said good farmland was worth a surprisingly strong average of $5,217 an acre in July, an increase of $340, or 7 percent, from last year.

Glyphosate residues within legal limits (Food Safety News): The FDA found residues of the weedkiller glyphosate in two-thirds of the corn and soybean samples that it tested, but none violated the agency’s tolerance levels.

Small farmers try cooperative model (Civil Eats): While American agriculture tends to be solitary — one farmer or family per farm — some farmers are trying the cooperative structure of shared ownership of land or joint use of labor and equipment.

The USMCA loyalty oath (Politico): The new NAFTA includes an agreement among the three North American countries to give three months’ notice of intent to negotiate with a non-market economy (i.e. China).

Food-service giant tries plant-based menus (Sodexo): Sodexo launched plant-based menus, including 200 recipes, “in hundreds of accounts” in its universities, healthcare and corporate service branches.

Response rate dips for Ag Census (USDA): Some 71.5 percent of farmers replied to the twice-a-decade Census of Agriculture, down from 74.5 percent in 2012.