Legislative Action News, December 4, 2012

Printer Friendly
Bookmark and Share

Crop Insurance Rates Revised for 2013
By Stephen Frerichs

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced new rates for corn, soybeans, rice, cotton, grain sorghum and spring wheat last week. At the national level for corn, grain sorghum, and cotton, there is little net premium change however some states will see rate decreases while others will get rate increases. For example, cotton growers in Mississippi will see a rate decrease on average of 10% while California cotton growers will see a rate increase of 10%.

For rice and soybeans, there is an overall national average decrease of about 8 percent and 6 percent respectively. Interestingly, Texas soybean growers will see the largest decrease on average of around 14%. California and Louisiana rice growers get a similar 14% reduction. For spring wheat, there is an overall national average increase of around 4 percent with Colorado wheat growers getting the largest increase on average of 12%.

The rate changes are to the underlying “yield” rating component. Actual total rate changes for 2013 for those farmers who purchase revenue policies will be different as the RMA analysis held prices and volatility factors constant to show the rate changes. Prices and volatility factors are not yet known for 2013 spring crops.

If you like to see how rates will change in your State go to http://www.rma.usda.gov/news/2012/11/2013premiumrateadjustment.pdf
The last 2 pages contain the average rate change by crop by State.

Net Farm Income Forecast Down in 2012
By Stephen Frerichs

The Economic Research Service of USDA estimates that net farm income will total $114 billion in 2012 down 3.3% from 2011.  While gross farm receipts are expected to be larger in 2012 than 2011, those receipts will be more than offset by increases in expenses, with feed and seed expenses rising the highest among expense categories.  Additionally, increases in farm asset values are expected to continue to exceed increases in farm debt, leading to another new record high for farm equity.

The full report can be found here: http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/2012-farm-sector-income-forecast.aspx

House Committee Chairs Announced for 113th Session
By Stephen Frerichs

The House Republican Caucus approved its Committee Chairs for the 113th Congress set to start next year.  As expected, Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) will return as the House Agriculture Committee Chairman.  In a statement, Chairman Lucas said:

“It is an honor to serve in this leadership position and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural constituents. I am proud of the work the Committee has completed over the past two years.  We have provided valuable oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that our agricultural producers are not burdened with unreasonable and costly regulations. And, we advanced a strong, reform-minded, fiscally responsible farm bill that can save billions of dollars and provide certainty to our agricultural producers.  This process is not complete though I am confident that it’s just a matter of time. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the health and vitality of production agriculture and rural economies.”

The full set of Chairmen is:

•             Agriculture – Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
•             Appropriations – Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)
•             Armed Services – Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA)
•             Budget – Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
•             Education and the Workforce – Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
•             Energy and Commerce – Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
•             Financial Services – Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
•             Foreign Affairs – Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
•             Homeland Security – Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX)
•             Intelligence – Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
•             Judiciary – Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
•             Natural Resources – Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
•             Oversight and Government Reform – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
•             Rules – Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
•             Science, Space, and Technology – Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
•             Small Business – Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)
•             Transportation and Infrastructure – Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
•             Veterans’ Affairs – Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
•             Ways and Means – Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)

Farm census slated for 2013
Vic Schoonover, NTOK Cotton

America’s farm census is taken every five years and that time is approaching, according to Wilbert Hundl, Jr., director of the Oklahoma field office of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Census forms will be mailed to all U.S. farmers in late December; farmers are asked to fill out the form and return it by Feb. 4, 2013. Hundl points out the importance of filling out the census form.
Read more on the Southwest Farm Press website: http://southwestfarmpress.com/government/farm-census-slated-2013?NL=SWFP-01&Issue=SWFP-01_20121127_SWFP-01_24&YM_RID=sgruba@asfmra.org&YM_MID=1355271&sfvc4enews=42

IRS Increasing Allowable Mileage Rates

The IRS is increasing the allowable mileage rates.  The rates as of Jan 1, 2013 are 56.5 cents per mile for business, 24 cents for medical or moving expenses, and 14 cents per mile for service to charitable organizations.  This is a 1 cent increase for business miles and medical and moving miles.  These IRS rates are the maximum per-mile amount that a taxpayer can deduct for business use of a personal vehicle.  This is also the rates that most businesses use to reimburse employees for miles driven for business with their personal vehicle.  For more information go to, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-12-72.pdf.