Northeast and Corn Belt states are poised to lose up to 10 U.S. House of Representative seats when the slots are reapportioned based on the 2010 census count--states where lawmakers tend to stick up for growers of soybeans, corn, wheat, potatoes and sugar beets. Southeast coastal states and the Southwest will gain a similar number of seats, giving farmers of cotton, rice and peanuts a little more leverage in the House.
Meanwhile, many rural lawmakers face a certain and annoying change--sprawling districts. Population growth is mostly in urban areas so sizes of rural congressional districts get larger with each census. That makes the logistics of serving a district more difficult. Many districts in Western and Plains states stretch over 300 miles. Idaho's 1st District is almost 500 miles while some large states, such as Montana, have just one district.
Reprinted in part from the Kiplinger Agriculture Letter