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  • Yakima hotel transforms into farmworker housing | Capital Press

    A large Yakima hotel has been mostly converted into farmworker housing and owners foresee it meeting more need as use of foreign guestworkers continues to grow.

    Post date: Sun, 11/18/2018 - 12:33
  • U.S. Crop Giants are Doing More Brazil Deals Thanks to Trade War | Bloomberg

     Cargill, ADM agree to ship soybeans from South America.  Soy stockpiles in U.S. forecast to rise as exports decrease.Some of the most iconic names in U.S. agriculture just agreed to do more business with China. But it’s coming at the expense of American farmers as the companies agree to ship more soybeans from Brazil amid Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing.Cargill Inc., the biggest privately-held U.S. company, as well as its century-old rivals Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd., among others, inked soybean deals with China’s state-owned grain buyer this week, the Beijing-based company said on its official wechat account. Under the agreement, the crop will be sourced from South American countries including Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

    Post date: Sun, 11/18/2018 - 12:33
  • Renewables can challenge existing coal plants on price | Utility Dive

    Average costs for wind and solar energy can undercut existing coal generation even without subsidies, according to analysis from the research firm Lazard.The latest version of Lazard's levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis finds that U.S. onshore wind energy costs average between $26/MWh and $56/MWh without subsidies, while utility-scale solar averages between $36/MWh and $44/MWh. That challenges the average cost for existing U.S. coal plants, which Lazard pegs between $27/MWh and $45/MWh. Factoring in federal subsidies for wind and solar, the renewable resources become even more competitive against coal and challenge nuclear and gas plants. The findings come on the heels of multiple utility announcements that they will replace coal and nuclear plants with renewable energy and natural gas.

    Post date: Sun, 11/18/2018 - 12:30
  • California PUC chair says state won't let PG&E go bankrupt | Utility Dive

    California's head utility regulator said Thursday he does not want utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to go bankrupt over escalating costs related to California's record wildfire season, sending shares soaring in after-hours trading. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Chairman Michael Picker reportedly told financial analysts his agency would begin implementing a new state law that allows utilities to pass fire costs onto customers, while also expanding a probe into PG&E's corporate governance.Picker's announcement came after PG&E's power lines were linked to the ongoing Camp Fire in Northern California and PG&E withdrew all of its revolving credit lines, a move that can presage a bankruptcy filing. The utility's equipment was found responsible for 16 fires last year and this week its credit rating was downgraded by Moody's Investor Service and S&P.

    Post date: Sun, 11/18/2018 - 12:29
  • Probe launched against PF & E after fires | Utility Dive

    The California Public Utilities Commissions (CPUC) said Monday it has launched investigations into the regulatory compliance of electric facilities owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) related to three deadly fires. The investor-owned utilities (IOUs) had separately filed electric safety incident reports on Thursday, alerting regulators of problems with a PG&E transmission line around the source of Butte County's Camp Fire and with SCE transmission lines near ground zero of Ventura County's Hill Fire and Los Angeles County's Woolsey Fire. The CPUC and CalFire have not made official determinations on the causes of the fires.PG&E has incurred more than $2 billion in costs, net of insurance recoveries, related to wildfires so far this year, as its equipment was determined to be the cause of several deadly fires. SCE told the Securities and Exchange Commission it expects to incur losses based on the potential that its equipment started a deadly fire in 2017, and has been sued over its role in the blaze.

    Post date: Sun, 11/18/2018 - 12:28

Ag and Rural Leaders

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is dedicated to promoting and fostering cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities among and for state and provincial legislators that are passionate about agriculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, to provide and promote educational opportunities for state officials and others on technology, policy, processes and issues that are of concern to agrculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS produces the national agriculture and rural enewsletter - Ag Clips, webinars, white papers and the annual Legislative Ag Chairs Summit.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is managed by an elected board of state and provincial legislators.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.


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.”