READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 29th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Biden Plan to Protect Farms from Elimination of Capital Gains Tax Breaks

Ahead of Wednesday night’s joint session of Congress address by President Joe Biden, the White House released details of the American Families Plan. The bulk of the $1.8 trillion package focuses on education, direct support to low- and middle-income families and extending tax breaks to families with children. Biden plans to end other tax breaks to pay for the package, including stepped-up basis. However, Biden says, “The reform will be designed with protections so that family-owned businesses and farms will not have to pay taxes when given to heirs who continue to run the business.” American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Veronica Nigh recently explained, “A long-standing provision of U.S. tax law is that a capital gains tax is not imposed when assets are transferred at death to an heir. Furthermore, tax law allows the heir to increase their basis in the asset to fair market value without paying capital gains tax,” which is referred to as a step-up in basis.

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Farmers Find Barriers to Carbon Markets

Farmers are struggling to enter carbon markets. A new report from Reuters says a climate push from the Biden administration is sparking interest in farm-based carbon credits. Companies like Microsoft are purchasing credits and others like Bayer and Cargill have subsidized projects to incentivize farmers to reduce emissions. The Department of Agriculture is monitoring the success of the carbon markets with an eye on future farm bill programs. However, a Nebraska farmer told Reuters, “It’s very new; it’s still the wild west.” Lukas Fricke is generating carbon credits for Microsoft but expects the $20 per credit to not cover the cost of expenses to participate. Much of the cost to companies purchasing credits goes towards verifying carbon-capture claims. Ecosystem Services Market Consortium executive director Debbie Reed says, “Until we get to a market where there is liquidity, we will continue to see projects without buyers, and we will continue to see buyers without the supply they need.” Her organization is investing in satellite and remote sensing technology to help lower verification costs.

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Dairy Groups Announce Federal Milk Pricing Proposal

Four Midwestern dairy groups this week announced a Federal Milk Marketing Orders proposal. The proposal aims to create long-term stability in fluid milk pricing and reducing the likelihood of negative producer price differentials that cut into farmers’ revenue last year during the pandemic. The proposal from the Dairy Business Association, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Minnesota Milk and Nebraska State Dairy Association comes after the groups began studying options early this year. They say the proposal, which they are calling “Class III Plus,” aims to build upon the current pricing system, recent proposals by dairy cooperatives, and dairy farmer petitions to define a better Class I pricing system. The Class III Plus proposal would, among other things, tie the Class I fluid skim milk price to the Class III cheese skim milk price plus an adjuster and do away with advanced pricing, a cause of the negative Producer Price Differentials last year. The proposal is also revenue-neutral, therefore more equitable among farmers, processors and customers.

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Dates Announced for Export Exchange 2022

Export Exchange will return next year, as organizers announced the event this week planned for October 12-14, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The dates were announced in a joint statement, including U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, and Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper. The statement says, “COVID dictated we cancel Export Exchange in 2020, and sadly, we have officially canceled it once again for 2021,” while noting its return in 2022. The groups say Export Exchange allows overseas attendees the opportunity to build relationships with U.S. suppliers of distiller’s dried grains with solubles, or DDGS, corn, sorghum, barley and other commodities, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in grain sales. Export Exchange, the biennial event co-sponsored by the Council, RFA and Growth Energy, is expected to bring together 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, with approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives.

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USDA to Incentivize Purchase of Fruits and Vegetables under WIC

Participants in the Department of Agriculture’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children may soon see a temporary increase to their benefits. The increase will apply to the purchase of fruits and vegetables. With $490 million provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, USDA has offered the option of boosting the cash-value voucher benefit by more than three times the current amount for up to four months to provide additional relief during the pandemic. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “We need to promote nutrition security alongside food security to ensure all people at all times have access to nutritious foods.” The cash-value voucher allows participants to purchase fruits and vegetables as part of their WIC food package. Under normal circumstances, the monthly cash-value voucher is $9 per child and $11 for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women. The American Rescue Plan allows state agencies to temporarily provide up to $35 per child and adult, per month.

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Biden to Nominate California Ag Official to USDA

President Joe Biden this week announced intent to nominate Jenny Moffit as Agriculture Department undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Moffitt is Undersecretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she previously served as Deputy Secretary from 2015-18. Before that, Moffitt spent ten years as Managing Director at Dixon Ridge Farms, her family’s organic walnut farm and processing operation. The White House says, “As a farmer and policymaker, Moffitt has engaged with agricultural stakeholders on the critically important balance of sustaining our environment, strengthening our rural economies, and building healthy communities.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack adds, “Jenny says that growing up and working on the farm solidified the importance of taking care of the land and the people who farm it.” If confirmed, Moffitt will join a mission area that is focused on facilitating the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products, ensuring the health and care of animals and plants, and setting national and international standards.

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.