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ASFMRA Ag News - September 14, 2021

By ASFMRA Press posted 09-14-2021 05:55 AM


John Wayne’s Ranch From ‘True Grit’ Lists for $11 Million In Colorado.

It was one of his most iconic roles and also earned John Wayne the only Academy Award of his legendary career.

“True Grit” was a colorful western that starred the icon known as The Duke, as Roster Cogburn, an old U.S. Marshal who is hired to track down the murderer of the father of a spit-fire daughter (Kim Darby). Die-hard fans will recognize the ranch now listed for $10.9 million in Placerville, Colorado from the opening credits of the classic.

“The 374-acre property offers stunning views of the San Juan Mountains and sizable populations of elk and mule deer — all unmolested since the days of covered wagons,” the listing says. “This sportsman’s paradise rests in Colorado game unit 70 near some of the Colorado’s most pristine hiking and fishing destinations.”

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Illinois Farmland Jumps 20% In First Half of Year

Illinois farmland owners saw a whopping 20% increase in the value of their asset in the first half of 2021. This is only the fourth time there has been that degree of positive change in land values since 1970, according to a new survey by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

“Every year is interesting, but this one may be more so than usual,” says Luke Worrell, AFM, of Worrell Land Services, Jacksonville, Ill. “These are remarkable findings.”

Worrell and University of Illinois ag economist Gary Schnitkey, presented the results of the survey at the 2021 Farm Progress Show. The survey was conducted in mid-August among ISPFMRA members and others associated with farmland sales and valuations.

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Tornados Tear Through New Jersey’s Largest Dairy Farm

In the span of about three minutes, Wellacrest Farms in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, was nearly destroyed. Silos were toppled, grain bins crumpled, roofs were stripped from buildings, and, according to The Associated Press, several cows were killed and about 100 were still missing as of this week.

A storm system that ripped through the dairy farm last week sparked an EF3 tornado — many other twisters were reported throughout the state and in neighboring Pennsylvania. Overall, 13 people were killed in the storms, but none at the dairy farm.

The Associated Press said that Marianne and Wally Eachus took over Wellacrest Farms, which was established in 1943, about 20 years ago. The site produces more than 17 million pounds of milk annually and works with other farmers to share and sell crops. There are reported to be about 1,400 cattle on the property — nearly half of them are cows involved in milking.

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Drought Drying Carson River Hits Nevada Pastures, Ranchers

Sixth-generation rancher Devere Dressler remembers seeing the Carson River teeming with fish as it flowed out of the eastern Sierra Nevada range, where the peaks were always capped with snow.

Now, as the impacts of severe drought are felt across the West, Dressler sees a river running low, with far fewer fish, and bare mountain tops.

Dressler, who has lived and worked in the northern Nevada Carson River Basin for 71 years, called it “disturbing” to no longer see suckerfish or minnows in the river and only an occasional trout. He remembers always seeing snow in the Sierra into July and August, but in 2021, the snow was gone in June.

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Indigo Pays 267 Farmers for Carbon Farming Program

Indigo Ag disburses its initial payments to the inaugural cohort of Carbon by Indigo participants.

The 267 paid growers are the first to implement on-farm practice changes and provide the data required to ensure the rigorous measurement and validation of resulting emissions reduction and removals according to registry protocols. In doing so, they have helped pave a path for the scaled production of carbon credits as a new income stream for farmers, demonstrating the emerging market’s potential as a real and meaningful instrument for mitigating the drivers of climate change.

Final credit calculations, generated and made public upon completion of a rigorous third-party verification process currently underway according to the Climate Action Reserve’s “Soil Enrichment Protocol” will result in the world’s first crop of high-quality, registry-issued agricultural carbon credits generated at scale this Spring 2022.

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update

House Agriculture Begins Consideration of Budget Reconciliation Proposal

Last Friday the House Agriculture Committee began consideration of the Democrats proposal to meet the Committee’s budget reconciliation instructions. Namely, to spend $89 billion over the next 5 years. The Committee met for over 9 hours and reconvened Monday (9/13/2021) morning at 8 am eastern to finish.

The Democrats proposal that the Agriculture Committee is considering is incomplete. The summary of the proposal as well as the legislative language (link above) details the proposed spending for agricultural research, rural development, biofuels and forestry but omits $28 billion planned spending for USDA conservation programs. According to Chairman Scott (D-GA), the Congressional Budget Office had not completed its work in time for that section to be added. The plan is to add the conservation spending via a manager’s amendment later.

House Agriculture Republican members submitted 38 amendments to the Democrats’ proposal and on Friday the Committee considered the offered amendments but did not vote on any of them. The voting will take place Monday morning, September 13. Most, if not all, amendments will fail on a partisan basis. Three tax related amendments were ruled not germane. There was a lot of discussion about proposed tax increases, especially regarding stepped up basis at the beginning of the mark-up. Taxes are not within the Agriculture Committee’s jurisdiction and Chairman Scott (D-GA) mentioned on numerous occasions he does not favor eliminating stepped-up basis for small business and farmers.

House Democrat Leadership has given each of the Committees with budget reconciliation instructions a deadline to report back to the House Budget Committee by September 15th. The House Ways and Means Committee will begin considering proposals to increase taxes to pay for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill this week.

There is enough division within the Democratic party regarding whether to proceed, at what level to proceed ($3.5 trillion or something less) and whether the entire package should be paid for, to pause the process or bring it to a halt, particularly in the Senate with the 50-50 split. Republicans are unanimous in their opposition to the $3.5 trillion spending plan. Significant legislative action is needed over the next several weeks – keeping the government open after the end of its fiscal year on 9/30, raising the debt ceiling to avoid a default, moving the bi-partisan infrastructure bill in the House. With so many balls in the air, the next several weeks in September should prove interesting.

FCIC Board Approves New Insurance Policy for Split Nitrogen Applicators

Corn farmers who “split apply” nitrogen will soon have another option for insurance coverage. Beginning in crop year 2022, RMA will offer the Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) in certain states for non-irrigated corn, providing coverage for producers who use this practice. The PACE will provide payments for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the in-season nitrogen application. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board approved the PACE recently, and RMA will share additional details later this year. The sales closing date for the endorsement will be the same as the producer’s underlying corn policy.

USDA Updates Farm Income Estimates

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released its September Farm Income Forecast earlier this month. Net cash farm income, which increased by $4.0 billion (3.7 percent) in 2020, is forecast to increase by $23.8 billion (21.5 percent) to $134.7 billion in 2021. Net cash farm income encompasses cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including Government payments, minus cash expenses. Cash receipts from the sale of agricultural commodities are forecast to increase by $64.3 billion (18.0 percent, in nominal terms) from 2020 to $421.5 billion in 2021, driving most of the increase in net income measures.

Lower direct Government payments and higher production expenses in 2021 are expected to only partially offset higher cash receipts. After increasing by $23.2 billion (103.5 percent) in 2020 relative to 2019, direct Government farm payments are forecast to fall by $17.7 billion (38.6 percent) from $45.7 billion in 2020 to $28.0 billion in 2021. The expected decrease is largely because of lower supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance for COVID-19 relief in 2021 compared to 2020. Total production expenses, including operator dwelling expenses, are forecast to increase by $26.1 billion (7.3 percent) to $383.5 billion (in nominal terms) in 2021. Spending on nearly all categories of expenses is expected to rise according to the ERS Report.

FSA Completes CRP Grassland Signup

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has accepted offers for more than 2.5 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners for enrollment through this year’s Grassland CRP Signup. This is double last year’s enrollment and brings the total acres enrolled across all CRP signups in 2021 to more than 5.3 million acres, surpassing USDA’s 4-million-acre goal. Producers and landowners submitted offers for nearly 4 million acres in Grassland CRP, the highest in the signup’s history.