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A Bronx cheer

I just did something many cotton and rice producers have wanted to do for years: I voted for Roxanne Conlin, the Democratic opponent of incumbent Sen. Charles Grassley in today's mid-term elections.

Voting against Sen. Grassley, the leading proponent of tighter payment limits in farm programs, was not the fulfillment of some lifelong dream or the reason I moved to Iowa. But it was a sort of lagniappe to be able to turn thumbs down on someone who has seemed to be determined to force larger farming operations out of business.

I also don't expect my vote to turn the tide against Grassley, who by most accounts will be returned to office at the age of 77. Although Iowa traditionally receives the highest amount of farm payments in the nation and many Iowa producers could be impacted by payment limits, the latter are not an issue in the state because no counter-cyclical payments have been made for corn or soybeans in years. Thus, Iowa farmers haven't been impacted by payment limits -- yet.