Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Washington--Members of Congress left Washington, D.C., without extending more than five dozen tax provisions for both individuals and businesses worth roughly $55 billion that will expire at the end of 2011. It is uncertain whether or not Congress will vote to extend the tax provisions retroactively when it returns next year. Farm Bureau supports several tax provisions that are set to expire at the end of the year. This includes provisions on renewable fuels, the Alternative Minimum Tax, bonus depreciation, Section 179 small business expensing, the deduction self-employed individuals may take against self-employment taxes paid and reinstatement of five-year depreciation of farm equipment. Learn more by reading AFBF backgrounders posted online.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Input costs take a sharp hike, farmers looking for ways to save money
Boise--Just as Idaho farmers were getting ahead thanks to favorable market prices, input prices could topple the fragile balance between farmer profit and debt.
Farmer Mike Garner of Raft River is weathering the storm. “They’re up significantly everyone knows what fuels done at the pump versus last year. Commodity prices are higher and we’re thankful for that, but it seems we can never get the break we need to make money.”
The United State Department of Agriculture projects that farm expenses this year could top the $286.6 billion, the second highest mark on record while Purdue University Ag economists say that costs are up 13-percent from 2010. Most of the input hikes are coming from skyrocketing fertilizer prices.
Average per-ton fertilizer prices from April to November jumped from $520 to $736 for ammonia, $503 to $661 for diammonium phosphate, and $501 to $526 for potash, according to USDA.
Commodity prices have risen “but when you start looking at input costs, our margins are the same but the risks are exponentially higher,” said Ron Moore, chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association. “Fertilizer prices have gone up 50 percent in our area since last summer.”
Farmers are doing research online and flooding sites with tried and true ways to save money. The University of Nebraska is offering tips to farmers, just as many are buying inputs. They listed 5 ways to hedge against rising input costs:
- Prepaid Inputs. Seed, fertilizer, fuel, chemical, and others offer discounts and attractive financing terms for purchases before planting. For fuel, many dealers allow farmers to split price fuel for planting and harvesting and sign contracts for future delivery. Some will give the farm a better price if there is storage for a season’s worth of fuel to be delivered during the off season. Full tanker loads that can be delivered to the farm also may be discounted. Fertilizer dealers may offer some of the same opportunities for early delivery and/or truckload quantities.
- Bulk Containers. Buying seed or crop protection chemicals in bulk containers also means lower prices.
- Group Purchasing Power. Some farmers are pooling their input purchases to get price breaks. The key is to get a pool large enough to get a quantity discount, such as with tanker loads or bulk containers.
- Competitive Pricing. The competition among dealers is getting tighter, it's good to see who can deliver your products at the most competitive price and in a timely manner.
- Price Guarantees. With the 2011 crop, locking in input prices will help nail down profit margins. If input prices are unsure, the margins could be much smaller when the crop is actually delivered and sold after harvest. With increasing volatility and more interest in forward marketing, early pricing of inputs is becoming more important to the bottom line.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Idaho Farm Bureau's Dennis Brower and an Idaho Trade delegation that included Lt. Governor Brad Little and Celia Gould, Director of the Department of Agriculture, just returned from Mexico. Officials believe the mission resulted in some promising leads.
"This is still part of the dating process," said the Lt. Gov. "We didn't seal any marriages but we did some pretty good dancing."
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Boise--The Idaho Grower Shippers Association has pledged to donate three potatoes to The Idaho Foodbank for each fan who attends the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17.
With more than 28,000 fans projected to attend the game, the donation could be more than 84,000 potatoes or 42,000 pounds.
“This is an amazing contribution when it’s most needed,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO, The Idaho Foodbank. “During the holiday season, our demand is at its highest point of the year. We encourage people in the community to attend the game and drive this amount even higher.”
The donation will be made as a giant trailer load by the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, a nonprofit trade organization with more than 80 members who are engaged in the packing and shipping of Idaho Potatoes.
“We’re delighted to support the Idaho Foodbank and their vital mission while aligning with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to showcase a great game on the field,” said Dean Gibson, chairman of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association.
The game is at 3:30 p.m. at Bronco Stadium, featuring the Ohio Bobcats and Utah State Aggies.
Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/12/08/1909191/the-famous-idaho-potato-bowl-will.html#ixzz1g2ujxgzD
Thursday, December 8, 2011
"Around here we had a lot of buddies over there, now there's only 7 of us," Goicoechea said. So daring, so close that survivors will never forget that moment. "They were low enough, you could see the whites of their eyes. The pilots, when they went by," Gary Rogde said.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
AFBF Urges House to Bite the Dust
WASHINGTON – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging congressional members to pass H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, when it comes before the full House later this week. In a letter to House members, AFBF said the legislation would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate naturally occurring dust, or “nuisance dust.”
“Naturally occurring dust is a fact of life in rural areas,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “It is raised by such normal activities as driving on unpaved roads and is composed of soil and organic material. The amount of dust in the air depends on wind and rainfall, two conditions that EPA cannot regulate.”
AFBF went further to say that EPA has admitted that it cannot conclusively establish a link between “nuisance dust” and adverse human health effects.
“EPA admits there are limitations to the studies it cites, which casts doubt on its validity to support additional regulation,” said Stallman. “Should such a link be established, the bill would allow EPA to regulate.”
While EPA has said it does not intend to propose stricter regulations on dust, AFBF said that still does not provide much needed assurance for farmers and ranchers, especially when final rules often differ from proposed rules and lawsuits are a dime a dozen.
“Legislation is the best way to provide certainty to farmers, ranchers and rural America that their activities will not be unduly regulated by conditions beyond their control and for substances for which adverse health effects cannot be truly established,” said Stallman.
Idaho Beef Summit Scheduled for January In Twin Falls
Twin Falls – Beef producers can learn ways to improve the quality, consistency, and value of their product at the upcoming Idaho Beef Summit, sponsored by the Idaho Beef Council.
University of Idaho animal and meat science faculty and UI Extension faculty, along with other beef industry professionals will conduct the course beginning on the evening of January 5 and concluding at noon at January 7 at the Canyon Springs, Red Lion Hotel in Twin Falls, Idaho. Registration is $50 per person.
The Idaho Beef Summit will feature speakers, hands-on workshops, and demonstrations focusing on beef end product quality. Producers will have the opportunity to learn the “meat” side of the beef industry, according to UI Extension Educator Sarah Baker.
Beef producers will hear from leading industry personnel on understanding and improving beef carcass quality through DNA-based technology, nutrition, and marketing. Leading retailers and chefs will discuss retail and foodservice trends and showcase how consumer preferences affect the bottom lines of beef producers. Attendees will view cutting demos and tour processing facilities to learn about carcass grading, processing, and value added marketing for market and cull beef. The Summit will offer “Meat Science Basics for Ranchers” and updates from industry, check-off, and BQA leaders.
The Summit is intended to benefit Idaho’s beef industry by helping producers continually improve the quality and consistency of their product, making it as competitive as possible with other protein sources available to consumers. “It validates for them that they aren’t just producing calves, they are producing beef,” Baker says.
For more information, or to register, please contact the University of Idaho Extension Office in Custer County at 879-2344 or your local Extension office.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Frank Priestley Reelected Idaho Farm Bureau President
COEUR D’ALENE – Delegates at the 72nd Annual Idaho Farm Bureau Convention reelected Frank Priestley to serve an 8th consecutive two-year term as President of Idaho’s largest general farm organization.
“It’s an honor and I’m humbled to serve another term as President,” Priestley said. “I want to thank all the members for their support. Now it’s back to work to address the complex issues that concern the farmers of this state.”
Priestley has served at various leadership levels in the organization for over 30 years and has also served on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors. He raises alfalfa and dairy heifers on his farm in Franklin County.
At the Annual Meeting Banquet at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Lynn and Susan Steadman of Raft River were awarded the IFBF President’s Cup for their contribution to agriculture through the decades. Steadman served on county, state and national advisory boards before his election as IFBF Vice President. In their years of service the Steadman’s emerged as leaders at every level of Farm Bureau involvement, starting back in 1982 when they were first honored as outstanding Young Farmers & Ranchers members.
“I’ve served locally, nationally and I’ve greatly enjoyed our Farm Bureau activities,” Steadman said. “We made great friends along the way not only in our county but throughout the state and across the country. We greatly treasure those friendships and always will.”
The IFBF Women’s Leadership Committee recognizes volunteers at the Annual Meeting and selects a Woman of the Year from each of five districts. The women are singled out for their volunteer efforts and accomplishments in their respective districts. The five women selected this year are Shirley Barrie of Bonneville County, Julia Phillips of Bingham County, Ilean Bruns of Twin Falls County, Sherry Colyer of Owyhee County, and Sandy Daniel of Boundary County. The five women were profiled in a special video that was shown during the IFBF Annual Banquet.
Jake Andersen of Power County won this year’s Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet. Andersen took home a new Polaris Trail Boss four-wheeler for his efforts. Duke Mumford of Franklin County won the Excellence in Agriculture Award and received a new laptop computer. Greg and Gwen Andersen of Power County won the Achiever Award, and a new Polaris Ranger side by side. The winners of all three Young Farmer and Rancher awards also receive an all-expense paid trip to Honolulu, Hawaii in January where they will compete against their peers from across the nation.
Also during the annual meeting IFBF members attended educational workshops on social networking, direct marketing, farm safety, market outlook, labor and immigration reform, the Idaho One plan and Robert Blair, a farmer from Kendrick who was named an Eisenhower Fellow this year reported on a recent trip to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The banquet keynote speaker was rancher Wanda Blair of South Dakota who easily lived up to her billing of “Giving the Gift of Laughter.”
Mark Trupp of Teton County was reelected as IFBF Vice President. Reelected to the IFBF State Board of Directors were Bryan Searle of Shelley, Curt Krantz, Notus, Danny Ferguson, Rigby, Gerald Marchant, Oakley and Marjorie French of Princeton. Cody Chandler of Weiser was elected chair of the IFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.
The Idaho Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. Find more information at www.idahofb.org.