ASFMRA AgNews - Vol. 13 Issue XVI [April 17, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 04-17-2018 07:06


ASFMRA Comments to ASC Regarding TriStar Waiver Request

ASFMRA President Dave GaNun, ARA submitted comments to the Appraisal Subcommittee regarding its upcoming hearing to determine whether to waive certification and licensing appraisal requirements in Tennessee based on the request from TriStar bank of Nashville, TN. The ASC hearing is set for April 23rd, in Washington D.C.

 ASFMRA Comment Letter
TriStar Waiver Request

More News:

House Agriculture Committee Releases 2018 Farm Bill Draft

House Agriculture Chairman Conaway (R-TX) introduced on April 12, HR 2 -- the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. Full committee mark-up is scheduled for April 18th. None of the President’s budget proposals to lower the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) test to $500,000 for commodity and conservation programs or to apply an AGI test to crop insurance are included. Additionally, none of the President’s budget proposals to cut crop insurance are included.

HR 2 is strongly opposed by Democrats, including House Agriculture Committee Ranking member Peterson (D-MN) and all Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee. Democrats are opposed because of proposed Republican changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Republicans outnumber the Democrats 26-20 on the House Agriculture Committee and therefore can reasonably expect to vote HR 2 out of Committee this week. Chairman Conaway would like to debate the bill the week of May 7 on the House floor. Floor passage is uncertain at this time.

Links to:
HR 2 
HR 2 Section-by-Section 
HR 2 CBO Score 
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HR 2 Crop Insurance Provisions

There are 10 provisions. In the aggregate the 10 provisions result in a 5-year cut totaling $70 million to the crop insurance baseline. The provisions are:

Sec. 10001. Treatment of forage and grazing -- allows catastrophic risk protection plans to be available for crops and grasses used for grazing. The section also allows separate crop insurance policies, including a catastrophic risk protection plan, to be purchased for crops that can be both grazed and mechanically harvested on the same acres during the same growing season.
Section 10002 – raises CAT fee to $500 per policy, from $300.
Section 10003 – precludes area, margin, and SCO coverage for farmers enrolled in ARC and/ or STAX.
Section 10004 – repeals RMA’s performance-based discount authority, which has not been implemented by RMA.
Section 10005 – codifies APH cup.
Section 10006 – reduces RMA funds from FCIC fund to administer program by $2 million annually.
Section 10007 – changes to 508h reimbursements for maintenance.
Section 10008 – requires that the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation conduct research and development on a policy to insure certain crops due to losses due to tropical storms or hurricanes; the creation of a separate practice for subsurface irrigation; the difference in rates, average yields, and coverage levels of grain sorghum policies as compared to other feed grains within a county; and the establishment of an alternative method of adjusting for quality losses that does not impact the average production history of producers.
Section 10009 – reauthorizes RMA R&D funding at $8 million annually.
Section 10010 – eliminates the crop insurance education and information program for targeted states carried out by the RMA and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program, and to reauthorize the risk management education and assistance carried out through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

HR 2 Commodity Title Provisions

The Commodity Title reauthorizes Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) with minimal changes. It allows farm operators to make a one-time election for the 2019 – 2023 crop years between enrollment in PLC or ARC, similar to the 2014 farm bill. The bill provides a single opportunity for the owner of a farm to update yields where the farm is physically located in a county that experienced 20 or more consecutive weeks of exceptional drought during January 2008 – December 2012. Yields can be updated using 90% of the average yield per planted acre between 2013 – 2017. Overall, the commodity title increases spending by $149 million during the 5-year time frame of 2019 -2023.

HR 2 Conservation Title Provisions

Unlike the commodity and crop insurance titles, there are significant changes to the conservation title. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is terminated. Existing CSP contracts will be honored, but there would be no new CSP signups under HR 2. Conservation incentive payments are incorporated into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and funding for EQIP is boosted from $1.75 billion annually to $3 billion annually by 2023. The Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is increased by $250 million annually from the FY 2018 level of $250 million (total funding $500 million annually). The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is funded at $250 million annually.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage cap is increased to 29 million acres by 2023 from the current cap of 24.5 million acres. In order to pay for the increase in the cap, payment rates are set at 80% of rental rates for new enrollments starting in 2019. Payment rates for each subsequent enrollment are established on a declining scale beginning with 15 percent for the first reenrollment and 10 percent for each reenrollment thereafter. The frequency of the rental rate estimate survey is increased from every other year to annual and requires the rental rates to be published by September 15 each year. Incentive payments are reduced to actual cost of the practice.
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Farm Managers Touch Land, Lives, Legacies

Iowa’s 40th governor and the 30th USDA secretary says he never would have been able to enter public service without someone he could trust running his southeast Iowa farm.

Tom Vilsack, who currently serves as president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, was honored in 2017 with the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award at the 88th convention of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

In accepting the ASFMRA’s highest award this past November, Vilsack praised the farm management profession based on firsthand experience: “Farm managers make possible the hopes and dreams and aspirations of so many people. What a difference they make.”

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Bayer Reaches Deal with U.S. for Deal to Buy Monsanto

April 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department will allow German drugs and pesticides group Bayer AG to acquire Monsanto Co in a $62.5 billion deal, after the companies agreed to sell more assets to win antitrust approval, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Shares of Monsanto, the world's biggest seed company, approached a four-year high on the news, before closing up 6.2 percent at $125.15.

The takeover, one of a trio of major deals in the agribusiness sector in recent years, would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market. A souring global farm economy has spurred consolidation among the major players, triggering protests from environmental and farming groups worried about their market power.

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Good Decade for California Wine, Fresh Market Grapes

Agricultural statistics can be a boring topic for some folks, but an information goldmine of sorts for farm and ranch bean counters. Either way, farm data paint a fairly accurate picture of the sector’s financial status.

Several hours spent digesting the latest available California grape production statistics suggest significant gains in the wine and fresh market (table) grape sectors during the 2016 crop year, and over the last decade (2006-2017), while there were continued declines in the raisin industry over the same time periods.

This review includes the most recent data courtesy of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The state farm agency’s Agricultural Statistics Review for 2016-2017 (a.k.a., the 2016 crop year report) deciphers the latest government statistics on everything related to grapes: acreage, tonnage, yield, and average grower prices, plus decade-long data.

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Is Ag Recession Turning Around? Strong Signs Produce Optimism

As the mainstream economy has continuously seen improvement, the rural ag economy hasn’t been as fortunate. Commodity prices are starting to see a little life and land values are starting to stabilize as possible signs that the agriculture is starting to claw its way out of the recession.

According to Jim Mintert, director of the center for commercial agriculture, there’s two things that need to be examined: tightness of supplies relative to demand and strong usage.

“If we see trend line yields this year, we’re going to see those stocks-to-use ratios tighten even further, so that’s a different environment than we were facing from about 2014 up through ’16, ’17,” he said on AgDay.

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USDA to Immediately Assist Qualifying Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue $34 million to help agricultural producers recover from 2017 natural disasters through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), which covers losses not covered by certain other USDA disaster assistance programs. These payments are being made available today, and they are part of a broader USDA effort to help producers recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and drought. A large portion of this assistance will be made available in federally designated disaster areas.

“From Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, through the South, the Southwest, California, and the Great Plains, American agriculture was devastated by natural disasters in 2017,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “The Trump Administration is moving quickly to distribute financial assistance to help producers recover and rebuild. It is important to get this help to producers in time for the spring planting season.”

ELAP aims to help eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary. ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by other disaster assistance programs such as the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).

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5 Things to Know from Land Ownership Report

A USDA Economic Research Service report, Farmland Values, Land Ownership, and Returns to Farmland, 2000-2016, by Christopher Burns, Nigel Key, Sarah Tulman, Allison Borchers and Jeremy G. Weber finds that U.S. farmland values appreciated quickly from 2000 to 2015, but have since slowed. As the value of farm real estate accounts for more than 80% of the value of farm-sector assets, farmland appreciation from 2000 to 2012 led to fewer financially stressed farms.

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5 Reasons Why a Drone should be Part of Your Workflow

Are you looking to turbocharge your workflow on the farm? According to Mike Winn, a drone could be just the tool you’re looking for.

“Drones are indispensable on the farm,” says the CEO of DroneDeploy. “They allow you to see your entire field from 400 feet and instantly zoom down to inspect problems from 2 inches above a plant.”

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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

Jacob Christopher in Jackson, MN (Minnesota Chapter)
Gregory Corbolotti with US Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Tyler Grace in Ringling, OK (Oklahoma Chapter)
Andrew Harris with Harris Real Estate Company in Palestine, TX (Texas Chapter)
Kathy Hendley with Farm Credit in Dexter, MO (Missouri Chapter)
Rachel Hoy in Adel, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Cameron Hupp in Oreana, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Wyatt Jolley with Rabo Agrifinace in Twin Falls, ID (Idaho-Utah Chapter)
Ethan Koch in Quincy, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Jonah Kolb with Moore & Warner Farm Management Real Estate, LLC in Clinton, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Richard Marlier in Prior Lake, MN (Minnesota and South Dakota Chapters)
Josh Mendrin with The Mendrin Group in Fresno, CA (California Chapter)
Christopher Nelson in Brookings, SD (Minnesota and South Dakota Chapters)
Michael Pearl with Pearl Real Estate & Appraisal Svs, Inc. in St. Marys, KS (Kansas Chapter)
Deanne Phelps with Compeer Financial in Sycamore, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Andrew Schaeffer in Utica, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Brooks Wall with Regions Bank in Birmingham, AL (Alabama Chapter)
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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!

Jordan Bauer
Dennis Bortz, ARA
David Dinderman
Phillip Graf, RPRA
John Harris, ARA
Jeremy Hill, ARA
Al D. Mendrin
Todd Slock
Nicholas Suess
Cody White
William Wilson, ARA
Wendong Zhang         

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

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