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  • Trump tariffs mar US, Mexico, Canada unity message | Agri-Pulse

    The top U.S., Canadian and Mexican agriculture officials came together today to espouse the benefits of trilateral cooperation and a newly renegotiated North American trade pact, but the unity was marred by the Trump administration’s refusal to lift its steel and aluminum tariffs. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, flanked by Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Mexican Agriculture Secretary Victor Villalobos Arámbula, said he was optimistic the “Section 232” tariffs would be lifted and the countries would ratify the trade pact, but his counterparts were more hesitant.All three officials were on the stage together at USDA’s 95th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum to jointly provide the keynote address for the two-day event. “We don’t know yet,” Villalobos told Agri-Pulse when he was asked if Mexico’s Senate would be willing to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that leaders of the three countries signed in December.MacAulay stressed historical cooperation with the U.S., but also forcefully demanded: “We need steel and aluminum tariffs off.”Perdue, for his part, also stressed an intense desire to see the 232 tariffs lifted. He said he has lobbied the White House and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to do away with the import taxes, but he hasn’t yet been successful.

    Post date: Thu, 02/21/2019 - 14:57
  • Legislation adds up costs of Idaho's new hemp program | Capital Press

    An Idaho House bill that would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity in accordance with a new federal law now includes estimates of how much it will cost. A fiscal note included with House Bill 122, discussed in a hearing Feb. 18, says one-time, startup costs include $100,000 for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture and for contracted experts to coordinate a plan in time for the 2020 spring growing season.The plan would be developed with input from growers, processors, the Idaho State Police and others.Another one-time cost is an estimated $50,000 for information technology specific to USDA requirements for hemp cultivation and other startup expenses. Initially, plant and oil samples will likely be sent to an approved testing lab, since the extent to which Idaho growers and entrepreneurs will invest in growing and processing hemp is unknown.HB 122’s fiscal note estimates ongoing costs at $150,000 including operating expenses, salaries and benefits.

    Post date: Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:00
  • Defenders of raw milk focusing on liberty more than health | Edairy News

    The Tennessee Senate Commerce and Labor Committee has yet to schedule a hearing on the Briggs bill, but what lawmakers are hearing is that Senate Bill (SB) 15 pits community health against civil liberties.Briggs, is a Republican, a cardiac surgeon and a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He represents Knoxville in the Tennessee Senate, told Ohio television station WTOL Channel 11 that the controversy his bill has caused is like “kicking a hornet’s nest.” Raw milk dairy farmers are fighting for their loophole, saying civil liberties are at stake for both producers and consumers of raw milk. They are calling opposition to the Briggs bill “a liberty issue.” Briggs decided to take on the cow-share loophole after an E. coli outbreak this past summer in Knox County sickened 10 children, some severely. Raw milk produced by French Broad Farm was the likely cause of the outbreak, according to investigators. The dairy ended its cow-share program in response to the event.

    Post date: Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:59
  • How much longer can the average dairy farmer endure their financial crisis? | Edairy News

    Pennsylvania dairy farmers are being short-changed at least $550 million dollars each year, and New York dairy farmers are facing a $650 million dollar shortfall, which should make everyone anxious to do something to correct these criminal prices that dairy farmers are facing everyday. Our figures indicate that the total underpayments to all the US dairy farmers each year are approximately $12 billion. But wait, it gets much worse. Using a multiplier of five, the total loss to our rural economy across the US is approximately $60 billion per year.

    Post date: Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:58
  • Examining Food Loss and Food Waste in the United States | Choices Magazine

    Food that is lost before it reaches the consumer, and food that is wasted by consumers, has been estimated to account for as much as 40% of the total food produced in the United States (Buzby, Wells, and Hyman, 2014; Hall et al., 2009). This represents losses of important resources—including water, chemical inputs, and labor—as well as unused nutrients for consumers. Stakeholders along the supply chain are increasingly interested in developing improved approaches to measuring food waste, understanding its determinants, and devising strategies to ultimately reduce it. To date, a majority of food waste studies have focused on household-level waste; fewer studies have examined waste in food distribution and retail settings, and very little work has been conducted to understand the economic causes and consequences of food loss at the farm level. This Choices theme presents a collection of articles that explore food loss and food waste in the context of the U.S. food supply chain. The behavior and incentives of a variety of food system stakeholders including producers, market intermediaries (including retailers), and consumers are considered. The articles are organized along the supply chain, beginning with upstream issues of food loss proceeding through downstream topics such as household decisions concerning when to discard food. Taken together, this collection offers intriguing insights into current frontiers of the myriad private and public efforts to better characterize, quantify, and reduce food waste.

    Post date: Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:56

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Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017


Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”