Legislative Action News, November 6, 2012

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Nov. 15 last day for risk management sign up
Logan Hawkes

Agriculture producers have until Nov. 15 to opt into the 2013 Pasture, Rangeland Forage Crop Insurance program (PRF), which provides an additional risk management opportunity for voluntary participants.

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) program is intended to help producers who suffered production losses as a result of rainfall shortages to sustain pasture and rangeland forage crops in any given year. Read more on the Southwest Farm Press website: http://southwestfarmpress.com/livestock/nov-15-last-day-risk-management-sign?NL=SWFP-01&Issue=SWFP-01_20121105_SWFP-01_400&YM_RID=sgruba@asfmra.org&YM_MID=1349704&sfvc4enews=42

USDA Emergency Assistance
By Stephen Frerichs

As the Northeast continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy, the FSA urged farmers and ranchers affected by the storm to keep thorough records of all losses, including livestock death losses, as well as expenses for such things as feed purchases and extraordinary costs because of lost supplies and or increased transportation costs.  Even though FSA’s authority to operate five of its disaster assistance programs expired on Sept. 30, 2011, the agency expects to be able to make payments at some point. The expired programs include SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

Producers with damaged farmland should contact their local FSA office. The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) may be able to assist producers who need to repair farmland or remove debris due to Hurricane Sandy. FSA currently has $15.5 million available for producers in counties that received a major disaster declaration. Producers located in counties that have not received a Major Disaster declaration should visit their local FSA office for information on
ECP if funding becomes available in the future.

Producers with private forest land that was damaged should also visit their local FSA office for information on the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP). EFRP provides assistance to landowners of private forest land to help carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. Currently no funding is available however producers should visit their local FSA office for information if funding becomes available.

Producers who need emergency credit may receive assistance through the Emergency Loan Program if they need assistance recovering from production and physical losses due to natural disasters. Producers are eligible for these loans as soon as their county is declared a Presidential or Secretarial disaster county.

California Proposition 37 Losing Support
By Stephen Frerichs

According to a recent poll support for California proposition 37, the genetically engineered food labeling initiative, has declined significantly in recent weeks. The new poll by the California Business Roundtable and the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy showed 39.1% of likely voters support the measure, while 50.5% oppose the labeling requirement. Undecided voters represented 10.5% of respondents. You can read more about the initiative and the poll here: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-37-losing-in-poll-20121030,0,2539777.story

Farm Bureau proposes ag labor plan
From Agri-Pulse.com

Amercian Farm Bureau labor specialist Christy Boswell talks about a Temporary Worker Program Proposal:  http://www.agri-pulse.com/Audio-Monday.asp

USDA drought assistance minimizes impacts, spurs improvements on 1m acres of farmland
From Southwest Farm Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to help producers rebound from drought have touched more than one million acres of farmland across the country as nearly 2,000 producers took advantage of conservation funding targeted to drought-stricken areas by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS made more than $27 million available to farmers and ranchers to make conservation improvements, spurring recovery and ensuring lands are more drought resistant in the future.

Farmers will seed every acre they can in ’13
Kiplinger Agriculture Letter

Farmers will seed every acre they can in ’13…aiming to cover 327 million acres, a 10-year high…in light of soaring global demand for most major crops and depleted stocks because of the severe U.S. drought. Mother Nature will have a lot to say about yields, of course, but farmers are nothing if not optimistic. Copyright 2012. The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc.
Login to Member Resources and download the latest issue. http://portal.asfmra.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=27&Time=820983562&SessionID=62057594yhofx712z58m6ib178uofz4n8xa01t8fypx92ywdh85706r0j6bv566f&MenuKey=123

Appraisal Associations Comment on “Higher Risk” Loan Appraisal Requirements
By Bill Garber

The ASFMRA and Appraisal Institute commented on a proposed rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) relating to “higher risk” loans that require full interior inspection appraisals and second appraisals in property “flipping” situations. Among other issues, the ASFRMA and AI pointed out that second appraisal proposal does not clarify which of the two appraisals the lender is supposed to use in underwriting the loan. The organizations suggested that the CFPB clarify that the most reliable appraisal should be used, consistent with the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines. Additionally, the proposal does not specify what constitutes a second appraisal and whether field reviews or internal bank reviews that comply with Standard 3 of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice satisfy the second appraisal requirement. The organizations urged the CFPB to clarify that such reviews do satisfy the second appraisal requirement in the final rule. Click here to view the comment leletter: http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/newsadvocacy/downloads/ltrs_tstmny/2012/AI-ASFMRA-on-Higherisk-Mortgages-10-15-2012.pdf

Ag Dominates 21st Century Economics & Other Inteviews at AgroNomics

By Chuck Zimmerman, Have you heard the term “New Agriculture?” I had not but now I know a little bit more about it. Friday morning the closing keynote speaker at the AgroNomics Conference was none other than Dr. Lowell Catlett. He’s doing fine and performed (spoke) about the subject of “How Agriculture Dominates 21st Century Economics.” Listen to this interview with Dr. Lowell Catlett (http://agwired.com/category/asfmra/) and others including:

Jeffrey Hignight, AFM
Michael Swanson – Investment and Land Markets Perspective
Steve Elmore – Factors Affecting Global Agriculture
Howard Halderman, AFM on Land Values
Justin Bierschwale, ARA on Education for Managers/Appraisers
FFA Members


“How important will rural vote be in election?”

The latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How important will rural vote be in the election?”

The poll results: Sixty-five percent say very important and thirty-five percent said not important. It appears as though the majority of folks believe farmers and ranchers need to cast their vote. So remember, Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Do We Need GMO-Labeled Food?

The new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Should foods containing GMO crops be labeled?” A great example of this is Prop 37 in California. It is estimated that 70 percent of our food contains GMOs. And with already rising food costs, will this added labeling requirement just increase what consumers pay for food? What do you think? Would it make a difference in the food you purchase? http://polldaddy.com/poll/6652402/