ASFMRA AgNews - Vol. 12 Issue XLVII [ Novemeber 21, 2017]

By ASFMRA Press posted 26 days ago


Happy Thanksgiving!

May those that surround you this Thanksgiving remind you of the friendship and love that they bring to your life. We are grateful for the blessings that you bring to our lives, and on behalf of the ASFMRA Executive Council and the ASFMRA staff, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Please note the ASFMRA’s offices will be closed on November 23 and 24, 2017 in observance of the holiday.

More News:

House Passes Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Senate Finance Committee Clears Tax Bill

Last week the House passed its tax plan on a party-line vote (227 -205). The Senate Finance Committee passed its tax bill, also on a party-line vote (14 -12). The full Senate is expected to consider the tax plan the week after Thanksgiving. There are significant differences between the two versions which will require a conference committee at some point to iron out the differences. 
See the table for key differences.
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White House Requests Additional $44 Billion Disaster Funding

Last week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transmitted its 3rd disaster supplemental request to Congress. The request of $44 billion was immediately called inadequate by the Texas and Florida delegations. Of the $44 billion, $25.2 billion would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $1 billion for emergency agricultural assistance, $1.2 billion for an Education Recovery Fund, $4.6 billion for the replacement of Federal property, and $12 billion for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program. The OMB letter says it is still assessing the damage to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, leaving open the possibility of an additional disaster request in the future. The Administration is also proposing offsets to pay for the additional disaster funding totaling $59.2 billion. Agricultural programs are included in the list of offsets, including Agriculture Research Service Buildings and Facilities, Rural Economic Development Grants, and Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations funding.  Access the Request Letter to Congress and the List of Proposed Offsets.
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Alternative Farm Bill Introduced in House

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced his farm bill proposal last week. While the bill is not expected to be incorporated by the House Agriculture Committee in its work, components of it will likely be offered as a floor amendment when the House considers the farm bill next year. The bill would subject the crop insurance premium subsidy to an adjusted gross income (AGI) test of $500,000. If an individual’s AGI exceeds $500,000 no premium assistance would be provided. The bill also proposes a $125,000 combined (commodity, conservation and crop insurance) annual payment limit to any individual. The bill also would substantially change conservation compliance requirements, including requiring a 50-foot buffer between cropland and intermittent or perennial waterways. 
Read a summary of the bill
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Investor Interest in Farmland Continues

Throughout Iowa, impressive corn and soybean yields this year surprised many market observers who were expecting smaller yield totals due to lack of regular and widespread summer rainfall. However, early fall land sales appeared to confirm the September data release of the Iowa Land Institute farmland value survey, which reported land values increasing 2% since March 2017. 
Read more
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Sonny Perdue in California

During a recent trip to California, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue assured farmers to expect a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that should work for Golden State growers. Farmers appear worried that the Trump Administration will withdraw the United States from the agreement that they believe has opened trade with Canada and Mexico.  
Learn more
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Killing the Death Tax

With the U.S. Congress determined to get tax reform done before the end of the year, one of the taxes on the chopping block is the estate tax. Up till now, if you had a lot of money —  more than $5.5 million for an individual or $11 million for a couple — and you wanted to leave it to your kids when you died, Uncle Sam would get a piece. And not a small piece: 40 percent.

If House Republicans have their way, in six years’ time, the estate tax will be a thing of a past. Their plan, which passed in a 227 to 205 vote last week, would also immediately increase the exemption threshold from $5.5 million to $11 million for individuals. The Senate bill, which has yet to come up for a vote, does not repeal the estate tax — often referred to as the death tax — but does raise the exemption to $11 million Read more.

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ARC-CO Payment Cap

Revenue losses driven primarily by low commodity prices in 2014, 2015, and 2016 have triggered ARC-CO payments on corn, soybean, and wheat base in counties across the country. Where payments have been triggered, the level of those payments has varied across counties due to differences in average yields in those counties relative to their ARC-CO benchmark yields.
An important design feature of ARC-CO is its cap on payment rates per acre, set at 10% of the county’s benchmark revenue (see farmdoc daily March 24, 2017 for earlier discussion on the ARC-CO payment cap). In counties where payments have been triggered and this cap has been reached, ARC-CO payments have not fully compensated farms for their lost revenue relative to their county’s benchmark revenue and the program’s 86% coverage level. Given the current low price environment, triggered payments have reached the 10% cap in many counties over the past three years. This is particularly true for farms with corn and wheat base, and has driven some discussion and debate over whether the current payment cap of 10% is set at an appropriate level.
Today’s article examines how the 10% cap has impacted ARC-CO payment levels for corn, soybeans, and wheat over the past three years. It also estimates how changes to that payment cap would have impacted average payment levels and total program outlays nationally for each crop. Read more.

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Old and New Crop Marketing

Marketing clichés are as tiresome as a drawn-out harvest season. But in almost all clichés is a nugget of wisdom that turned into an analogy that was eventually repeated enough times to make it “tiresome.” If the saying represents a concept – and a timely concept – it deserves our respect and consideration. With that in mind, let’s string a few base hits together and build a marketing plan for 2018-19 corn, soybeans and wheat.

Yes – this is about 2018-crop marketings. There is still work to do on 2017-crop sales and the concepts discussed here also apply to old-crop sales, but sometimes conditions demand a longer view. Now is one of those times. 
Learn more

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ASFMRA Annual Conference a Huge Success!

Dave GaNun, ARA, President of The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers addressed the Board of Directors at the Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia on November 15, 2017. The conference was a huge success with over 500 members, vendors and prospects in attendance.

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in core education, a new seminar, Technology Rapid Fire, Rapid Fire for Appraisers in addition to general sessions presented by Dr. Bruce Sherrick and Dr. David Kohl.  Participants also hopped on the bus for the DuPont Pioneer Ag Tour to Vidalia Onion Country, Ottawa Farms and Faulkville Fiber Supply.  Those attendees that were part of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) had the opportunity to hop on the Savannah Belles Ferry and join their colleagues for the Monsanto sponsored YPN event. 

The highlight of the event however was watching 38 newly accredited members cross the stage to receive their accreditation certificate and accreditation pin.  As Sara Wilson, ARA said, “ I thoroughly loved Savannah, it is a wonderful city! I have been looking forward to receiving my ARA accreditation certificate and participating in the ceremony since I found out I passed!”

Look for additional information on our award winners, photos and access to presentations coming soon!

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