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September 5, 2008

Book seed early

Some farmers were already reserving their choices in July—especially those who are fussy about seed size, says Brent Johnson of Wyffels Hybrids in Geneseo, Ill., who suggests you budget $90–$100/acre for fully loaded corn seed. "In fact, at a meeting in mid-July we booked 20% of last year's orders in one day.”

Look on the bright side—by paying more for certain seeds, you may get a break on your crop insurance! USDA has approved Monsanto's triple-stack corn and Syngenta's Agrisure® for a discount under the Biotech Yield Endorsement program in 11 states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin) for 2009. For more information: www.rma.usda.gov/help/faq/bye.html. —Linda H. Smith


Farm Bill tax breaks

Common sense might suggest that changes to the Internal Revenue Code would be made in tax bills, not farm bills. However, the Farm Bill contains at least 16 changes to the tax code—most, but not all, directly related to farmers and farming. Here are several; for more, see www.ToProducer.com Web Extra.

CCC Form 1099. A 1099 must be filed on all Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) loans repaid after Jan. 1, 2007, regardless of how they are repaid.

Agricultural chemicals security credit. You may receive a tax credit for expenses to keep ag chemicals secure, including risk assessments, employee training and security lighting around storage facilities. The credit equals 30% of such costs, up to $100,000 per facility and $2 million per taxpayer per year.

Conservation easements. For 2008 and 2009, the value of donated conservation easements may be deducted as a charitable contribution up to 50% of adjusted gross income (100% of AGI for persons whose income comes mainly from agriculture) and excess deductions carried forward for up to 15 years. After 2009, donations will be limited to 30% of AGI and may be carried forward for five years. —Allen H. Olson, ag lawyer with Moore, Clarke, DuVall & Rodgers, P.C. in Albany, Ga.


$5 Corn costs next year

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FEATURED IN: Top Producer - SEPTEMBER 2008

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