CFB Policy Watch: Last call for CRP signups, fencing legislation, estate tax reform and more

HB20-1117 Scheduled to be Heard Monday

Keep the pressure on! Keep telling the House of Representatives to Vote NO on HB20-1117: Misbranding Nonmeat and Imported and Artificial Meat. The House is scheduled to hear the bill on Monday, March 2 and legislators need to keep hearing from you!

Requiring a label for imported meat does not work for Colorado. Instead, it places undue burden on farm families and businesses. Thank you to those who have submitted a letter, but keep on sending them!

Follow the link below and tell the House of Representatives to Vote NO on HB20-1117.

TAKE ACTION

China Trade Deal – Phase One Update

As part of phase 1 in the China agreement steps are being taken by the Chinese government to provide tariff relief. In phase 1 China will begin accepting applications to lessen or lift tariffs on certain products and commodities.

“Today’s announcement is 20 years in the making and will allow Chinese consumers for the first time to enjoy potato chips sourced from high-quality U.S. fresh potatoes. We look forward to developing and expanding this vital market,” said National Potato Council Vice President of Trade Affairs Jared Balcom in a recent Agri-Pulse article.

Read the full article here.

Preserving Family Farms Act Provides Estate Tax Relief

The legislation would give farm families much needed relief from the current estate tax. These modernizations would allow property to be appraised at farmland values rather than development value when determining estate taxes. Increasing the amount of farmland or ranchland that can be valued this way will help protect family-owned farm and ranch businesses by assessing estate taxes on the actual value of the businesses they have spent decades building.

Current law allows ag land owners to reduce the value of their property to reflect agricultural use by up to $1.6 million in 2019. H.R. 5259 would expand the provision so that up to $11.4 million of farm and ranch land could be valued at its agricultural value.

Read more here.

House Bill Seeks to Exempt Fencing Supplies Under Farm Equipment Exemption

HB20-1115: Sales Tax Exemption for Farm Fencing Material seeks to exempt farm fencing material from state sales tax under the existing exemption for farm equipment. Proponents of the bill testified on Monday stating the importance of this exemption due to burdensome costs that hinder the completion of large projects across the state, especially in areas where avalanches or wildfires are prevalent and fixing fences is an annual expense.

Fencing is a critical need in many types of agricultural production and protects livestock from the likes of predators, keeps livestock off roads and away from traffic and protects crop production from various kinds of animals. Adding it to the list of agricultural equipment in this measure is a concept that makes sense and will provide a small amount of relief to those farmers and ranchers across the state that have been faced with significant weather events and need to make a substantial investment in fencing.

CFB supports HB20-1115. The bill will be further heard in the Finance committee in the coming weeks. It was laid over on Monday for further amendment discussions. Let Emily, Emily@ColoradoFB.org, know if you have any questions.

Friday is Deadline for CRP Signups

Don’t forget to head to your local FSA office to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program! If you are a producer or private landowner looking to enroll for the first time or if you’re re-offering acres, you are encouraged to sign up.

“Call your FSA county office today to make an appointment to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “As long as you have an appointment scheduled, your CRP offer will be able to compete in this general signup, even if the appointment is in the first week of March. This is the first opportunity for general sign up since 2016, and we want to make sure interested producers and landowners take advantage of this popular conservation program.”

Learn more about how and where to sign up here.

February 26: Governor’s Ag Forum
March 19: Who’s Who in Agriculture
March 24 – 25: Legislative and Leadership Conference

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.