ASFMRA Weekly AgNews – October 31, 2017

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Ibach Sworn in as USDA Under Secretary

Gregory Ibach has been sworn in as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA.

He was confirmed by the full Senate on Oct. 26.

“Greg’s experiences as a rancher and dedicated public servant to the state of Nebraska for nearly 20 years will serve USDA and rural America well,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. “I’m proud the Senate Agriculture Committee and our colleagues in the Senate worked in a swift and bipartisan manner to get Greg to work at USDA.”

“Greg Ibach will bring experience and integrity to his new role at USDA, and carries with him the knowledge he’s gained in the dozen years he has served as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “His expertise in a wide cross-section of agricultural issues will be invaluable to our customers: the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers of America. I look forward to working with Greg and urge the Senate to continue to act on other nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”

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House Ag Chair Talks About Farm Taxes, Insurance, Policy and His Job

As Congress considers tax reform, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R – Texas) says the single biggest win for production agriculture would be the elimination of the death tax.

“We have farming families and folks all over this country who are land rich and cash poor and death should not be a taxable event,” Conaway said in a conference call Oct. 25 with farm reporters.

“I’m hopeful that the death tax will go away in its entirety and we can free up families from having to partner with the federal government every time the patriarch or matriarch dies. We want to hand that property down to their rightful heirs. The federal government is not, in my view, a rightful heir to the hard work of a lifetime,” Conaway said.

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U.S. Farmers Tighten Belts to Compete With Cheap LatAm Grain

CHICAGO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – When Kansas farmer Tom Giessel drove over a deer carcass and punctured a tire on his combine during harvest this fall, he did not have the time or cash to fix it. He borrowed his neighbor’s combine to finish.

U.S. farmers are cutting costs any way they can to compete against cheaper producers in Argentina and Brazil. Four years of global oversupply have pushed down grain prices, reduced agricultural revenues and put more expensive producers under financial pressure.

In response, U.S. farmers have bought cheaper seeds, spent less on fertilizers and delayed equipment purchases as they seek to ride out the downturn. But more bumper harvest forecasts and rising energy prices herald another tough year for farmers in 2018.

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Debt Levels Could be at a Tipping Point

Data from USDA might have some thinking the worst is over for the correction in farmland prices. But it’s too soon for farmers, landowners and lenders to relax the debt discipline they’ve been exercising.

A key indicator shows debt levels are at a tipping point—a boost in debtor decline in income could be fatal for the farmland-price correction, says Mike Walsten, consultant and contributor to LandOwner newsletter, part of Farm Journal Media.

USDA’s revised net farm income projections show a slight uptick this year versus 2016, putting 2017 net farm income at $63.4 billion, up 3.1% from a year ago. USDA previously projected an 8.7% decline.

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Fix ARC Problems By Using Crop Insurance Data, Say Farm Belt Senators

Two members of the Senate Agriculture Committee filed a bill to require the USDA to use crop insurance data as its first choice in deciding whether farmers will get an Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) subsidy. Most corn, soybean, and wheat growers are enrolled in the insurance-like ARC program, but there are recurring complaints of wide variation in payment rates among adjoining counties.

The bill sponsored by Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joni Ernst of Iowa tries to reduce disparities in payments by telling USDA to use yield data compiled by the Risk Management Agency, which oversees the crop insurance program, rather than data gathered by the National Agricultural Statistics Service through surveys of growers. At present, USDA turns to NASS first and then uses RMA data if it needs more material. The bill would reverse the order. It also would allow the state committees that advise USDA’s Farm Service Agency to adjust the estimated yields to reduce inexplicable differences between neighboring counties or along state boundaries.

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Comparing ARC-CO and PLC Payments from 2014 to 2016

The daily article from October 13, 2017 provided a comparison of ARC-CO and PLC payments for 2016 for corn and wheat. Today’s article provides county level comparisons for the two programs over the first three years of the current Farm Bill, 2014 to 2016, for corn, soybeans, and wheat.


As shown in Table 1, the marketing year average price for corn declined from $3.70/bu in 2014 to $3.61 in 2015, and $3.36 for 2016. With a $3.70/bu reference price, no PLC payments were triggered for corn base in 2014, relatively small payments were triggered for 2015, and larger PLC payments will occur for 2016.

The ARC-CO benchmark price for corn has remained above actual MYA price levels for corn in all three years. Actual prices have been at roughly 70% of the ARC-CO benchmark each year (70% in 2014, 68% in 2015, and 70% in 2016), well below the 86% coverage level used for the ARC-CO program. Therefore, ARC-CO payments on corn base have occurred in some counties across all three years. Payment levels have varied across counties based on actual yield levels relative to each county’s benchmark yield. In some areas, county average yields have been sufficiently high relative to the benchmark to completely offset low corn prices, leading to no ARC-CO payments for corn in those counties.

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Localized Damage as North Coast Fires Razed Vineyards, Wineries

Devastating as the California North Coast fires were, wine makers from the famed Napa Valley region are said to be “optimistic” as recovery efforts are underway.

Several fires in the region burned 100,000-plus acres and several wineries as high winds in early October quickly fanned flames.

The cause of the fires remains under investigation.

Wine grape growers in a region stretching from Napa and Sonoma to Redwood Valley were impacted by fires that various trade associations say did not have widespread reach, though where they did burn, were destructive.

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USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2018

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that starting Nov. 1, 2017, farmers and ranchers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program may enroll for the 2018 crop year. The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1, 2018.

“Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year,” said Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steve Peterson. “I encourage producers to contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment to enroll.”

The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in previous years must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period.

Full Statement

U.S. Corn Harvest Finally Reaches the Halfway Point

DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. farmers have made it to the halfway point of corn harvesting, while soybean cutting nears completion.

As of Sunday, 54% of the U.S. corn crop had been harvested, sharply behind a 72% five-year average, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report.

See the Report

Answering Tech Questions Brings New Challenges

During a tech speech I gave a couple months ago I was sharing advances in crop modeling. By bringing together machine learning, advanced weather data, hybrid information and detailed tissue sampling information the folks at Winfield United have brought forward an advanced tool for modeling the crop.

I was sharing that with a group of farmers and industry partners when a hand went up in the back of the room. I had just noted that with crop modeling, farmers will be able to do more in-season than ever before to preserve, or boost, yields. That questioner’s hand shot up pretty fast.

The question? How is a farmer supposed to do all that in-season added stuff the crop model calls for – like nitrogen application or perhaps a foliar spray of some other product – during a very busy time? Farmers are not only cash strapped they’re time strapped, and new tech doesn’t always bring answers we want to hear.

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ASFMRA Members Present at Land Trust Alliance Conference

Kevin McCarty, Todd Murphy, ARA; Mark Weston and Greg Snyder, ARA presented at the Land Trust Alliance Conference in Denver, CO on Friday, October 27, 2017. Their panel discussion on Advance Appraisal Issues for Land Trusts addressed current issues facing land trusts and easement grantors. They offered practical solutions to assist attendees in evaluating and engaging appraisal and consulting services, dealing with natural resource valuation issues and considerations surrounding markets where encumbered properties do not exhibit value loss. Greg Snyder, ARA commented that the “conference was a great way for ASFMRA to gain exposure to Land Trust Alliance attendees and raise awareness of the specialized expertise that ASFMRA members have.”
Thank you for Kevin, Todd, Mark and Greg for representing ASFMRA!

Welcome New Members

Thank you for being a part of ASFMRA! Help ASFMRA welcome our new members and thank them for choosing the Society as the organization that they desire to be affiliated with. ASFMRA continues to support rural property professionals and offers services, resources and education which will be of benefit to all of our members, both professionally and personally.

We are recognizing new members of the Society on a monthly basis. You may recognize your colleagues in the following list and we encourage you to welcome them into ASFMRA!

New Members
Lauren Berard in El Paso, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Ben Bolinger with Bolinger Appraisal in Hopkinsville, KY (Kentucky Chapter)
Amanda Douridas with OSU Extension Champaign Co in Urbana, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Clint M. Gorden in Mt. Auburn, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Shane Heiser in Bozeman, MT (Montana Chapter)
Josh Kiesow in Aberdeen, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Charity Mazzaro with Farm Credit in Orwell, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Suzie Roget with California Chapter in Woodbridge, CA (California Chapter)
Derrick Scott with Scott Appraisals in Paris, KY (Kentucky Chapter)
Kyle St. Louis with Golden State Farm Credit in Chico, CA (California Chapter)
Jennifer Thompson in Palmer Lake, CO (Colorado Chapter)
Kelsey Tikkanen in Kingsburg, CA (California Chapter)
Keith Tucker with Peoples Bank and Trust in Hillsboro, KS (Kansas Chapter)

Share Your Experience – Make A Referral

You know first-hand what a great organization ASFMRA is and what it means to you both professionally and personally. Pass that benefit on to others that you know who would benefit from membership with The Most Trusted rural property professional organization – ASFMRA! Talk to those you know who would benefit from ASFMRA’s educational offerings, networking, and meetings. Let them know your experiences of being involved in this great association and some of the business contacts you have made along with lasting friendships. Your peers listed below have done just that! They spoke to individuals about ASFMRA and those individuals have now become members of ASFMRA!

Mike Estadt
Allan Husby, ARA
Dave Lehrman, ARA

Thank you to all who have referred someone and in some cases, more than one, to join ASFMRA.

Bid Online For Spectacular Gold Earings and/or Money Clip – Get Your Bid In

You want to make sure you get your bid in for a chance to win the 14k Gold Ear Rings and/or Money Clip! The lucky winner will have amazing Christmas gifts for that special someone in your life. Or keep these beautiful pieces for yourself. What more can you ask for?

Place your bid now! This on-line opportunity ends on November 16, 2017!

Step 1: Click on the link below
Step 2: Log-in or Create Your Account
Step 3: Confirm your information
Step 4: Enter your credit card
Step 5: Enter your winning bid!

Bid on the Gold Ear Rings and/or Money Clip!

Great Auction Items – Have You Heard? Read All About it and Make Your Donation Now!

WOW! Have you made your donation to the 2017 Education Foundation Auction yet? We are getting very close to being in Savannah enjoying the historical city, catching up with friends and colleagues, and participating in fun activities at the ASFMRA Annual Conference. This includes participating in the annual Live and Silent Auctions. As well as this year’s On-Line Auction for 14k Gold Ear Rings and an amazing Money Clip. You can participate by donating an Auction item and/or by bidding at the Auction. This fun, entertaining annual event at the Annual Conference supports a variety of projects such as the development of new educational offerings, rewrite of course material to continue to offer cutting edge education, and much more.

Mark your calendar now – November 16, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia and be part of this special event. Plans are being made and we need you to make the Auction a success again this year! We need your donations. The Education Foundation Auction’s success depends on you – ASFMRA members, Chapters, sponsors, exhibitors, and nonmember supporters.

Donations that have been made to the 2017 Education Foundation Auction include –
The Indiana Chapter has donated an Indianapolis 500 Racing package. You do not want to miss your opportunity to bid on this amazing package that includes everything that you will need to have an amazing weekend! The package has it all – includes two tickets for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race weekend (May 25th through May 27th), two race day tickets located in the Paddock Grandstand where you will have a spectacular view of the Start/Finish, two tickets for admission to Miller Lite Carb Day (May 25th), two tickets for Legends Day (May 26th), two tickets for admission to the garage area immediately following completion of the race, and a three day auto parking permit!
Brian Gatzke, ARA donated the Savannah Golf Foursome. Come play golf in Savannah with Stephen Frerichs plus receive $100 to spend in the Club House. Enjoy your round of golf at The Club at Savannah Harbor. This Golf Foursome may be redeemed either before or after the ASFMRA Annual Conference (valid until April 8, 2018).
Roos & Associates, Inc. has donated a Quilt that you will want to take home with you! This is a farm theme Queen/King sized quilt made by Pat Roos. This quilt will keep you warm on the cold nights and keep you feeling nice and snug. You will have a difficult time sharing this quilt with your family.
Value Midwest has donated several pieces of jewelry that you have to see to believe. These beautiful pieces are sure to wow that special someone in your life and let them know just how amazing and dear to you they are. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to bid online for two of these spectacular items – one is 14k Gold Ear Rings and another is a Money Clip – Place your online bid on either one or both of these items NOW! Bid on the Gold Ear Rings and/or Money Clip!
Other pieces of jewelry donated by Value Midwest include a Diamond and Saphire Necklace, 14k Gold Ring with Diamond, Landstroms Gold Bracelet, Gold Tie Tack, and Gold Ear Rings.
The Missouri Chapter has donated a Charlie Daniels Autographed Fiddle. Don’t miss out on this one! A beautiful red/white/blue fiddle signed and authenticated by Charlie Daniels. This also comes with a Charlie Daniels Band CD, padded case, certificate of authenticity, and a signed photograph of Charlie Daniels. What a fantastic gift or collector item for any music lover!
The Northeast Chapter has donated a Frederick Remington Bronze “The Mountain Man”. This depicts one of the old Iroqouis trappers who followed the fur companies into the Rocky Mountains. The sculptor chose a dramatic episode in the daily life of a trapper and his mount’s decent on an almost vertical slope. Once you see this, you will want to make sure you take this home with you!
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass has donated a Complimentary One (1) Night Stay in a Traditional Room and a Complimentary Breakfast for Two (2) in Ko’Sin Restaurant at the Sharaton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona – the site for the 2018 ASFMRA Annual Conference. The gift certificates are valid through December 30, 2018. Make sure to bid on this item and plan to attend the Conference next year for another fantastic event!
Boyd Harris has donated a Stetson 30X Hat. It is crafted in the original Gateway to the west, from the Stetson factory in St. Joseph, Missouri. This 30X felt hat will set you off in style! You get to pick your size and color.
The Ontario Chapter has made a cash donation to the 2017 Education Foundation Auction!
Dick and Conni Edmunds have donated a Niagara Falls Trip. This is a weekend trip to tour local area, Niagara Falls and attractions, Amish stores, etc. You do not want to miss your opportunity to bid and win this fantastic vacation trip that you will remember for life! Dick and Conni Edmunds have also donated Maple Syrup and Maple Cream. There are going to be a variety of sizes so everyone will be able to find the right size of syrup and/or cream that works for you and your family to enjoy this amazing maple syrup and maple cream.
The South Dakota Chapter has donated a Case of South Dakota Wine. This is a mixed case that consists of twelve (12) bottles of wine from six (6) South Dakota wineries. Be the lucky recipient of this wine and you will be able to sample a variety of wines from South Dakota. The South Dakota Chapter has also made a cash donation to the 2017 Education Foundation Auction!
The Illinois Chapter has donated a Waterford Crystal Bowl. This beautiful bowl will make any place you sit it stand out.
The Mid-South Chapter has donated a Beretta A400 Xplor Action 12-guage Semiaction Shotgun. Lightweight design, rotating bolt, feeding system and self-cleaning piston, fiber-optic sight, and Micro-Core butt pad. Carry case is included.
Jeff Berg, ARA has donated a Toy Semi Tractor and Hopper Bottom Grain Trailer. This Peterbuilt Model 367 cab features lights and sounds, opening doors, and adjustable mirrors. Jeff has also donated a Bruder John Deere T6701 Combine Harvester. This has realistic details and functions. You do not want to miss your opportunity to bid on these and make your child or grandchild’s Christmas by giving them these gifts that they will create memories of joy with!
A Sewing Basket has been donated anonymously. This is a converted bushel basket and perfect for storing your needle ware projects! It will hold your crochet and knitting needles, yarn, and current project you are working on. This is a must have for anyone who enjoys crochet, needle work, and any crafting at all!
AgWare, Inc. has donated an AgWare Gift Certificate that may be applied toward either the purchase of a new Agware standard UAAR or MGR license or toward annual maintenance subscription renewal. You don’t want to miss out on this one!
The Washington Chapter has donated Washington Red Wine. This will be a fantastic wine to share with others at your table at the Auction. What a great way to make new friends! The Washington Chapter has also donated Chukar Cherries from Washington. The chocolate lover in you will have you bidding on these delicious cherries in the hopes of being able to take some home with you, that is, if you can resist them that long!
AgriCom Appraisals and the Washington Chapter have donated Washington Spirits. This is a gift certificate for Dry Fly-Whiskey and Bourbon. Enjoy the great spirits that Washington has to offer.
The Washington Chapter and Hatley Cobb Farmland Management have donated Washington’s Finest Beef in which you will receive a gift certificate for 4 New York Strips, 4 Center cut Rib Eye’s, and 2 filet (tenderloin). Enjoy the tasty beef that Washington has to offer with your family and friends.
Dennis and Lori Reyman have donated a Stalcup Diamond Anniversary Necklace. The Reyman’s have commissioned this custom necklace with more than 30 carats of Herkimer diamond quartz crystals that have been hand-crafted with emerald-green Swarovski crystals, pyramid cut and diamond cut sterling silver beads, and a Swarovski crystal encrusted pave’ pendant. Don’t miss the Iowa corn charm on the clasp! A breathtaking gift for that special someone in your life.
Don and Doris Cochran have donated an IH Farmall 656 Model Tractor that is 1/16 scale Model Tractor. Don and Doris have also donated an Allis Chalmers WD 45 Model Tractor that is 1/16 scale Model Tractor. You do not want to miss your opportunity to bid on these model tractors, especially if you are a collector. You have to add these to your collection.
Bill Backhaus has donated a Wyffels Hybrids 1:64 Metal Replica Mack Semi and Trailer. The Wyffels Hybrids wrap is on the trailer. Bill has also donated a Wyffels Hybrids 1:34 Replica Mack L Series Full Stake Truck with Seed Sacks. This is a Limited Edition and Serial Numbered. These are cannot miss items that you definitely will want to take home with you. In addition, Bill has also donated Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Vintage Wyffels Seed Bag. This whiskey is made with at least 51% #1 yellow dent corn and comes from the Buffalo Trace Distillery which today stands as one of America’s oldest distilling sites.
Deon Herndon, ARA has donated some Chukar Cherries from Washington. Chocolate lovers will not want to go home without some of these. The box of Chukar Cherries is a popular Chocolate cherry quartet containing Cabernet, Amaretto Rainiers, Cherry Bings, and Classic Milk. Something for everyone!
Steve and Jane Motsinger have donated a framed, signed, and numbered print – “Main Street Dodge City”. The first building in the print has a sign ‘Real Estate’. You cannot pass this beautiful piece of art up. It will be the talking point in any room of your home or office.
The Kentucky Chapter has donated Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Four Roses Bourbon, and Lexington Bourbon. Each of these is a 750ml bottle of bourbon. Be the lucky one who receives one, two, or all three of these items and be the star at your table! You can share with your friends and/or take some home with you.
Hall and Hall has donated National Western Stock Show tickets, eight (8) tickets. These tickets are for Grounds and Rodeo performance. Come to Denver, Colorado and while here, go to the National Western Stock Show. Make it a family vacation and see all the sights at the Stock Show. It will be a time you won’t forget.
The Iowa Chapter has donated an Ertl Precision Elite Series John Deere Model 4320. This is 1/16 scale die-cast metal replica of the John Deere Model 4320. This is a great gift for anyone who enjoys John Deere. The Iowa Chapter has also donated Templeton Rye Whiskey. This whiskey has been aged six years in ne American Oak barrels. It is a limited release and is 91.l5 Proof with unforgettable flavor.
Juliana Young, ARA has donated Silver Oak Wine Collection. If you enjoy a great glass of wine that drinks beautifully, you will not want to miss out on this one! This is a rare vertical collection of 2008 through 2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that have been chosen from the finest vintages and offers you the opportunity to taste six wines at different levels of maturity.
The Minnesota Chapter has donated a Radisson Blu Hotel Gift Certificate. The Radisson Blu Mall of America is an elegant hotel that gives you direct access to the Mall of America via the skyway for the ultimate style and convenience. Come and enjoy this experience with your family.
The Wisconsin Chapter has donated a Charter Fishing trip. The trip is for up to six people on Lake Michigan out of Kewaunee, WI. The fishing license and cleaning your catch is included. The package also includes one night of double occupancy lodging for up to three rooms. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see this beautiful country, kick back, and enjoy nature!
Pioneer Hybrid has donated ‘Evening Rendezvous’ by Terry Redlin. This is a limited edition, has a Certificate of Authenticity, and is signed and numbered. The image is one before a dramatic sky of developing thunderheads and bursting light, a family quietly glides toward Rendezvous Point. The framed size is 29 x 42 with 1.75 two-tone walnut-finished molding. This is a great addition to any room in your home or office.
The Montana Chapter has donated Settlers’ Tea which is Steel Toe Distillery – Potomac MT 60 Proof; Uncle Carl’s Prohibition Style Whiskey which is Steel Toe Distillery, Potomac, MT 120 Proof; Montana Honey Moonshine which is Willie’s Distillery – Ennis MT – 70 Proof; Montana Cold Spring Huckleberry Flavored Vodka which is very tasty with lemonade, Bozeman Spirits, MT 80 Proof; and Willies Huckleberry Sweet Cream Liqueur which is Willie’s Distillery Ennis MT 35 Proof. You do not want to miss your opportunity to taste these fine spirits from Montana. Make sure to get your bid in!

Make your tax deductible donation to the Education Foundation Auction today by simply completing the donation form. Return the completed form directly to Hope Evans via email at: or fax at: 303.758.0190.

Make your commitment for Auction items today. Auction items should be shipped directly to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa to arrive no later than Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Please do not send your Auction items to arrive at the hotel more than three (3) days in advance – not to arrive before November 10, 2017 – due to the cost the hotel charges for storage.

If you have any questions concerning donations, contact Hope Evans directly at: 303.692.1216 or THANK YOU for your generous donations and continued support.

Appraisal Standards Board Public Meeting Summary

On October 13, 2017, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) held a public meeting in Washington, DC. The ASB discussed areas of potential changes to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Survey on USPAP Updates
The ASB recently conducted an in-depth survey with a focus group consisting of Foundation Boards and Councils, Sponsors, State Regulatory Agencies, Government Agencies, and Certified USPAP Instructors. The survey included questions on the following five topics:

• Reporting Options
• Standards Rules
• Definitions
• Other Potential Topics

Based on the feedback received from the survey as well as public comment at its recent meeting, the ASB will further explore these topics and will issue a draft document requesting public comment prior to the end of the year.