House Ag chairman’s re-election called a toss-up

Rep. Collin Peterson “is a good fit for his district, but outliers like him have become less and less common,” said the political website Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Thursday, listing him as a toss-up for election to a 16th term.

Farmer confidence plunges as trade war expands

Although most producers say Trump tariff payments will "completely or somewhat" relieve the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on their operations, farmer confidence is plummeting, according to a Purdue University poll released Tuesday. The Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of the health of the agricultural economy, fell from a record high of 153 in July to the lowest reading — 124 — since May.(No paywall)

As Trump’s trade agenda falters, Dems see rural America in play for 2020

After years of effectively writing off rural voters, based on their solid support for the GOP, Democratic candidates for the White House are suddenly turning up frequently in Iowa — where the primary season kicks off in February — and rolling out rural initiatives on everything from ethanol and broadband to crop subsidies and healthcare. 

Inside the movement to convert Iowa farmers into climate evangelists

A faith-based nonprofit group is mobilizing farmers across Iowa to become evangelists in the movement to battle climate change — and it is getting a welcome reception, according to FERN’s latest story, produced in collaboration with Mother Jones. The story, written by Brian Barth, says the Iowa branch of Interfaith Power and Light convened a series of meetings, aiming “to round up a 100-strong squad of farmers who are willing to speak publicly about agriculture as a climate solution” ahead of the 2020 presidential caucuses in Iowa. (No paywall)