READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 8th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Animal Welfare and Environmental Groups Want GE Animal Regulations to Stay at FDA

This week, thirteen animal welfare and environmental groups urged federal agencies to maintain regulatory authority over genetically engineered food animals within the Food and Drug Administration. The request is in response to the Trump-era proposal to move the regulatory authority to the Department of Agriculture. Specifically, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service would oversee regulatory authority over genetically engineered animals. In letters to the FDA and USDA, the groups claim, “FDA possesses the scientific and administrative capacities to regulate these animals better than USDA.” The groups contend, “Genetically engineered animals are a significant new threat to our food system.” Dana Perls of Friends of the Earth says, “Handing authority over to the USDA will dilute the already-weak GMO animal regulations.” The thirteen groups signing the letters to the Biden administration include the Center for Food Safety, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth and the National Family Farm Coalition, among others.

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ASA/AFBF: Stepping on Stepped-up Basis Has Big Consequences

Any change in capital gains tax policy that eliminates or scales back stepped-up basis could result in a massive tax burden on the agricultural sector. A new analysis by the American Soybean Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation confirmed the findings. To minimize the impact of burdensome capital gains taxes, farmers and ranchers use stepped-up basis, which provides a reset for the asset value basis during intergenerational transfers. The magnitude of the tax burden that would be felt if basis is taken away or reduced would likely significantly exceed the annual income generated by the assets, something that has American farmers concerned. ASA President Kevin Scott says, “What people may not realize is that it could take years of returns to equal the amount of the tax if stepped-up basis is reduced, or worse, eliminated.” AFBF President Zippy Duvall adds, “Eliminating stepped-up basis would make passing the family farm to the next generation much more difficult.”

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NCBA Welcomes Preserving Family Farms Act

House lawmakers recently introduced the Preserving Family Farms Act of 2021, a priority for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. NCBA has long supported efforts to reduce tax burdens on farmers and ranchers. This bipartisan legislation to expand IRS Code Section 2032A would allow cattle producers to take advantage of the Special Use Valuation and protect family-owned businesses from the impact of the federal estate tax, commonly referred to as the Death Tax. The Preserving Family Farms Act increases the maximum amount allowed under the exemption from $750,000 to $11 million, indexed for inflation, thus reviving an important tool in the toolbox for farm and ranch families across the U.S., according to NCBA. If enacted, the legislation will provide a permanent solution to an issue that has long plagued cattle producers. While the current 2032A reduction is 55 percent higher than the value established two decades ago, USDA estimates that cropland values have increased by 223 percent.

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NPPC Applauds the Philippines’ Decision to Import More Pork

The Philippine government will provide more market access for pork imports to combat rising pork prices and stabilize supplies. Securing better access to the Philippines market has been a top, long-term priority for the National Pork Producers Council. NPPC President Jen Sorensen says, “While we are saddened by the spread of ASF in the Philippines, we appreciate the opportunity to send more high-quality U.S. pork to ease the shortage and the spike in prices.” Under the announcement, tariffs for imported pork under the increased minimum access volume of 404,210 metric tons would be reduced from 30 percent to five percent for the next three months, and then ten percent thereafter. The announcement comes on the heels of NPPC’s meeting with the Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. NPPC has been pressing both the U.S. and Philippines governments to lower pork import tariffs since African swine fever outbreaks began in the Philippines. NPPC says the expanded market access is expected to generate significantly more U.S. pork exports to the country.

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2020/21 Sorghum Quality Report Released by U.S. Grains Council

The U.S. Grains Council has published its 2020/2021 Sorghum Quality Report, and for the second year in a row, U.S. sorghum was, on average, graded above necessary requirements for the U.S. No. 1 designation. Protein content in sorghum was up eight percent year over year, with readings coming in at 11.2 percent, almost a full percentage point jump above last year’s content. Reece Cannady, USGC manager of global trade, says, “Protein content in sorghum is really what can set it apart from other coarse grains.” The report, funded through the Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service Agricultural Trade Promotion program, provides international customers accurate, unbiased information about the 2020 U.S. sorghum crop. To generate the report’s findings, samples were collected from 13 participating elevators located in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. Total sorghum damage came in at just 0.0 percent in the aggregate, and broken kernel and foreign material was only 1.6 percent, both similar to last year’s results.

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Application Period Opens for 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. The national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies that are providing solutions to challenges faced by America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Farm Bureau will award $165,000 in startup funds provided by sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, Farm Bureau Bank, Farm Bureau Financial Services, FMC Corporation and John Deere. Launched in 2015 as the first national competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs, the contest continues to identify the next ag entrepreneurs to watch and supports innovation essential to Farm Bureau member businesses and communities. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, “Now, more than ever, we need creative solutions from entrepreneurs to help our farmers, ranchers and rural communities thrive.” For this eighth year of the competition, Farm Bureau is seeking entrepreneurs who are addressing either traditional or new/emerging challenges. Find application guidelines and apply at fb.org.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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.