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January 2013 Archive for PFA Pioneer Blog

RSS By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer

This is a private blog for Pioneer.

USDA provides 2013 farm program details

Jan 25, 2013

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

Jan. 25, 2013

USDA provides 2013 farm program details

Moving forward with implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill extension, USDA announced 2013 farm program signup will start Feb. 19 and will run through Aug. 2 for the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP) and through June 3 for the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. USDA also confirmed producers can opt out of (or in) ACRE.


USDA also published projected 2013 ACRE guarantee prices and notified state and county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices that all eligibility rules and requirements for receiving farm program payments and benefits that were effective for 2012 are in effect for 2013, including the $1 million adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for direct payments.


USDA also announced dairy producers’ Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC) contracts are automatically extended to Sept. 30, 2013. Thus, eligible producers do not need to re-enroll in the program. Specific details regarding modifications to MILC will be released soon.

The IRS recently announced it will waive the normal quarterly estimated tax penalty for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pay their 2012 taxes by the March 1 deadline. The IRS will provide penalty relief to farmers who request a waiver and complete their tax returns with Form 2210-F attached by April 15, 2013. The form can be submitted electronically or on paper. Additional instructions can be found at

To qualify for the waiver for tax-year 2012, at least two-thirds of one’s total gross income must be from farming or fishing in either 2011 or 2012.

This delay can be attributed to the enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act; the testing and programming needed for IRS to implement the new program delays the agency’s ability to accept and process certain forms. This may, in turn, affect farmers’ and fishermen’s ability to file and pay their taxes by the March 1 deadline. IRS says it will issue additional guidance soon.

Finally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will likely issue the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) volume requirements for 2013 as a proposed rule rather than a direct final rule. Gina McCarthy, the agency’s senior air official, recently told Bloomberg BNA that while EPA had considered issuing the long-overdue volume standards as a direct final rule, which would have bypassed the lengthier proposed rule and public comment process, “that isn’t the case anymore.” The standards were due Nov. 30, 2012.

Follow Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

To see more of what Pro Farmer has to offer, be sure to visit

Pro Farmer Crop Tour newsletter now available

Jan 18, 2013

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

Jan. 18, 2013

The January issue of Pro Farmer's Crop Tour newsletter (sponsored by DuPont Pioneer) is available at the Pro Farmer website and you've got free access to the update. It includes the latest on South American crop production, but includes the latest on crops in Europe, the former Soviet Union and Australia. We also give you an update on the conflicting signals from the Pacific Ocean that have weather watchers trying to figure out if we're headed back to La Nina or forward to El Nino. You can access the Crop Tour newsletter here.


We wrapped up the Pioneer-sponsored Profit Briefing Seminars this week with meetings in Lafayette and Peoria. The amount of water on the ground in Indiana was very surprising. We knew it had been raining in the eastern Corn Belt, but rivers are running bank-full and water is standing in low areas of fields. Fields dried out as we made our was back west to Peoria and growers in central Illinois are very concerned about soil moisture levels for the 2013 growing season.


Not surprisingly, drought is the number one concern among all seminar attendees this winter. The drought is what's keeping farmers from (1) finalizing their crop mix for the year ahead and (2) from selling any of their expected 2013 corn and soybean production. The unwillingness to sell expected new-crop production is a bit concerning. Selling opportunities are "fair" right now, but we're advising Pro Farmer Members to hold off on establishing coverage on new-crop until we're confident the weather pattern is shifting to bring more precip into more of the Corn Belt.


On the farm policy front, House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Ok) made it clear this week that the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill is just that... an extension of the policy. That means direct payments will be made for those that enroll for the 2013 farm program. And if you've been in the ACRE program for the past few years, you've got the opportunity to opt out of ACRE for 2013 program participation. The biggest change is the ending of the SURE program.

Follow Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

To see more of what Pro Farmer has to offer, be sure to visit

Crazy Days Ahead in Washington

Jan 04, 2013

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter

Jan. 4, 2013

Crazy Days Ahead for in Washington


The next 60 to 90 days of sparring in Washington will make the fiscal cliff look like a hop across a mid-summer-2012 creek. Some insights from PF Washington consultant Jim Wiesemeyer:


• The next 60-90 days will determine the fate of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). He says he won’t negotiate with President Obama. Now we’re going to see Boehner’s real strategy. After dealing with a scattered herd regarding taxes in fiscal cliff talks, he’ll corral the House GOP Caucus in a tighter circle on spending-reduction efforts.


• House Republicans will insist on one-for-one spending cuts against the increase in the debt limit. True cuts. Without true cuts, the GOP won’t go along. With no agreement, President Obama will issue an executive order to raise the debt ceiling. That will send it to the courts, eventually landing it on the Supreme Court docket. (Another test for so-called conservative Judge John Roberts?) Get ready.


• Obama and Democrats will continue to push for more tax hikes. One such area will be an increase (perhaps a big one) in Social Security payroll taxes. Not in the rate (which already increased two percentage points on Jan. 1), but in the maximum salary it applies to.


• The new farm bill will be linked to what’s coming in the next few months, despite denial by Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). House Ag Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) knows full well the Ag panels won’t even be asked to the table until they know how much spending must be cut.


• It won’t happen this year, but means testing will come to the crop insurance program. Taxpayers pay 62% of the buy-up premium, which lands the program squarely on the list of items to be reduced. Count on it. (We just don’t know when or by how much.)

Make plans now to attend one of these Profit Briefings! The 2012-13 schedule of Profit Briefing Seminars (sponsored by DuPont Pioneer) stretches across the Midwest and into the South this year. And we’ve added a session to the agenda — Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Reporter Davis Michaelsen will provide our fertilizer and fuel price outlook and buying recommendations for spring 2013.


Profit Briefings feature farm bill and Washington outlooks; economic and farmland perspectives from LandOwner Editor Mike Walsten and crop and livestock market updates from the PF editors. We hope to see you at one of these meetings! Call Shelley at 1-800-772-0023 for more information and to register.

Jan. 8: Owatonna, Minnesota
Jan. 9: Independence, Iowa
Jan. 15: Lafayette, Indiana
Jan. 16: Peoria, Illinois


Follow Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

To see more of what Pro Farmer has to offer, be sure to visit

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