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ASFMRA Ag News - July 5, 2022

By ASFMRA Press posted 07-05-2022 08:53 AM

  

$45 Million Ranch for Sale Near Rapid City


One of Rapid City’s oldest families is selling its almost 4,300 acres for future growth as the region continues to expand.

Bob Borgmeyer said the Selador Ranch, which is listed at $44,995,000 as of Wednesday morning, is largely untouched.

“Our ranches are two blank spaces which should be owned by someone who can better integrate them with the imminent updated comprehensive planning and public works efforts including Ellsworth and its projected 13.5 mile water pipeline,” he said in an email to the Journal.

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North Dakota AG Clears Farmland Purchase Tied to Bill Gates


North Dakota’s attorney general has found the sale of a couple thousand acres of prime farmland to a group tied to Bill Gates complies with a Depression-era law meant to protect family farms because the land is being leased back to farmers.

The state’s Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley had inquired into the land sale and on Wednesday issued a letter saying the transaction complied with the archaic anti-corporate farming law. The law prohibits corporations or limited liability companies from owning farmland or ranchland, but allows individual trusts to own the land if it is leased to farmers.

The purchase of the land had raised legal questions as well as concerns that ultrarich landowners do not share the state’s values.

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House Committee Votes to Block China & Others From Buying U.S. Farmland


Foreign countries including China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran are facing a ban on farm purchases in the United States after an update to language from the House Appropriations Committee on the USDA-FDA funding bill.

The war in Ukraine is raging, inflation is at its highest point since 1981, food plants have burned down, and the buzzword of the year seems to be food security as news outlets discuss impending shortages. Meanwhile, foreign holdings on U.S. lands have doubled between 2009 and 2019.

Recently, a voice vote by members of the committee cleared the $195.6 billion bill for floor debate in a 31-26 vote. “More needs to be done to ensure the U.S. food supply chain is secure and independent,” said Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA).

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Who Is Your Top Competitor for Farmland?


Depending on what part of the country you’re in, competition for farmland can be fierce. Whether you’re looking to buy a piece of ground, or seeking more land to rent, the situation can be highly competitive. But are those competitive forces changing? Are their new forces at work in the mix?

The Farm Progress PANEL asked the following to find out: What is your biggest competitor for access to farmland?

What we found is that while there may be some new players, the key force at work hasn’t changed much.

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Ohio Law Puts Date on When Crop Leases Can Be Terminated


Many readers have probably heard this story: A farmer leases land for years on a handshake deal, the landlord dies or receives a better rental offer, and the landowner tries to boot the farm tenant before planting season. It’s an unfortunate series of events, and one that happens all too often in the farm community.

Ohio passed a new law that targets this fact pattern and protects the farmer. House Bill 397, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law on April 21, provides new rules for a landlord seeking to terminate an existing crop lease. Reps. Brian Stewart and Darrell Kick co-sponsored this impactful bill. The law adds Ohio to the list of Midwestern states with similar rules.

HB 397 states that a verbal crop lease, or a written crop lease that is silent on termination terms, can be terminated by the landlord by providing written notice before Sept. 1 in the year the termination is to be effective. If this written notice is provided, the farm lease is terminated on Dec. 31 or upon the completion of harvest, whichever is sooner.

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ASFMRA Government Relations Update


House Appropriations Committee Moves Agriculture Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2023 Agriculture Appropriations bill by a vote of 31 to 26. The bill provides $27.2 billion in discretionary funding for FY 2023. The bill provides $75.443 million for the Risk Management Agency (RMA) Salaries and Expense (S&E) account. RMA S&E is funded at $62.707 million for FY 2022. The large increase is consistent with the Biden Administration’s request.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) salaries and expenses are funded at $1.556 billion in FY 2023 compared to $1.488 billion in FY 2022. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) would also receive a substantial increase in its Conservation Operations account (Salaries and Expenses essentially for NRCS), $1.034 billion compared to $904 million in FY 2022.

Subcommittee Chair Sanford Bishop (D-GA) offered a bipartisan manager’s amendment during markup that was accepted by voice vote. The manager’s amendment includes $50 million for additional administrative and operating (A&O) payments for specialty crop contracts for reinsurance year 2021.

Next steps for House action on the bill are unclear. The House has not passed the agriculture spending bill as a standalone bill across the House floor for some time, rather it has been combined with other appropriations bills. The Senate has not acted on any FY 2023 spending bills to date. More than likely, an omnibus FY 2023 appropriations bill will have to wait until after the November election.

Disaster relief tops $4 Billion

Agricultural producers have received more than $4 billion through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), representing approximately 67% of the more than $6 billion projected to be paid through this first phase of the program. Commodity and specialty crop producers have until July 22 to complete applications.

USDA is implementing ERP and ELRP in two phases, with the first phase utilizing existing claim data to provide relief, and the second phase focusing on ensuring producers not covered by other programs receive assistance. The Farm Service Agency will be sending pre-filled applications for about 9,000 eligible producers with Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP) coverage in mid-July.

Regenerative Agriculture – Policy Recommendations for the Next Farm Bill

The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC) released a report that outlines potential policy solutions for agricultural systems change through the lenses of its various members and their programs on the ground. The report lays the groundwork for possible 2023 farm bill changes related to regenerative agriculture.
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