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Federal rewrite of labor laws causing a flap down on the farm

Sparking outrage across the country’s rural heartland, the Obama administration is proposing rules to curb the ability of children on farms to engage in “corn sex” for pay.

Farmers call it corn detasseling, a time-honored but physically demanding chore designed to promote cross-pollination in the field. For decades it has been a way for teens to earn extra spending money — and forge some good-natured field hand camaraderie — for a few weeks each summer.

The Obama administration is considering revisions to federal agricultural work rules that effectively would bar teens younger than 16 from engaging in a number of traditional chores for pay — including detasseling.

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