AgDay Daily Recap - November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010 04:06 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
NOVEMBER 5, 2010

ESTATE TAX:
NOW THAT THE MID-TERM ELECTIONS ARE OVER, CONGRESS HAS ONLY A SHORT WINDOW TO FINISH BUSINESS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. ONE TOPIC THAT MANY FARM-INTERESTS HOPE WILL BE ADDRESSED IS THE ESTATE TAX. UNLESS CONGRESS STEPS-IN, THE ESTATE TAX DROPS BACK TO PREVIOUS LEVELS ON JANUARY FIRST. FEDERAL ESTATE TAXES WILL BE ASSESSED ON PROPERTY IN EXCESS OF A MILLION DOLLARS AT A TAX RATE OF 55%. BECAUSE OF THE CAPITAL INTENSIVE NATURE OF FARMING, ESTATE TAXES CAN BE ESPECIALLY CHALLENGING FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. THIS IS PART OF THE SO-CALLED "BUSH TAX CUTS" THAT ARE SET TO RETIRE. KEVIN SPAFFORD, WHO IS A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, AND HOST FOR OUR "LEAVE A LEGACY" PROGRAM SAYS THIS IS ONE REASON FARMERS NEED TO HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE.  THE 2001 TAX RELIEF LOWERED THE RATE OF THE TAX FROM 55% TO 45%, AND RAISED THE AMOUNT OF AN ESTATE EXEMPT FROM TAXATION 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

CAP AND TRADE:
ANOTHER CONTENTIOUS ISSUE THAT WOULD IMPACT AGRICULTURE SEEMS TO BE HEADING TO THE BACK BURNER. ON WEDNESDAY, PRESIDENT OBAMA SEEMED TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM CAP AND TRADE LEGISLATION. CAP AND TRADE WAS A REGULATORY TOOL THE ADMINISTRATION WANTED TO USE TO CONTROL CARBON EMISSIONS.  FOR FARMERS, THAT MEANT CONTROLLING EMISSIONS FROM LIVESTOCK AND ROW-CROP PRODUCTION. FARM GROUPS SAID IT WAS NOTHING MORE THAN AN ENERGY TAX. EARLIER THIS YEAR, AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAID FARMERS COULD EARN CREDITS BY PLANTING TREES AND TAKING SOME LAND OUT OF PRODUCTION.

LCFS:
MEANWHILE, THE RENEWABLE FUELS ASSOCIATION AND GROWTH ENERGY FILED PAPERS IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT ASKING THE FEDERAL COURT TO DECLARE THAT CALIFORNIA'S LOW CARBON FUELS STANDARD VIOLATES THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. THE WAY THE STANDARDS ARE WRITTEN, CORN-BASED ETHANOL WOULD NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS. THE CALIFORNIA POLICY INCLUDES "INDIRECT LAND USE" IN DETERMINING THE CARBON FOOT-PRINT OF ETHANOL PRODUCTION. THE PRO-ETHANOL GROUPS ARE SEEKING A PRELIMINARY INJUCTION TO BLOCK THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REGULATION. THEY SAY THE CALIFORNIA LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND WOULD INJURE THE DOMESTIC ETHANOL INJURY. A HEARING ON THOSE MOTIONS WAS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY.

GROWTH ENERGY CHANGE:
MEANWHILE, THERE'S SOME NEW LEADERSHIP AT GROWTH ENERGY.  CEO TOM BUIS SAYS FORMER IOWA CONGRESSMAN JIM NUSSLE HAS BEEN NAMED PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICE OF THE ETHANOL GROUP. IN ADDITION TO HIS EIGHT TERMS IN CONGRESS, NUSSLE ALSO SERVED AS DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH.

STATE BY STATE:
IN TODAY'S STATE BY STATE HEADLINES, ARIZONA IS CREATING A NEW EQUINE RESCUE REGISTRY. THAT STATE HAS SEEN A SPIKE IN ABANDONED HORSES OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS. LEADERS BELIEVE A SPUTTERING ECONOMY IS BEHIND THE INCREASE AS OWNERS SIMPLY CAN'T AFFORD TO TAKE CARE OF THE ANIMALS. THE NEW EQUINE RESCUE REGISTRY LISTS STATE CERTIFIED RESCUE GROUPS WHERE HORSES CAN BE DROPPED OFF UNTIL A NEW HOME IS FOUND. IN THE VOLUNTEER STATE, TENNESSEE TECH SAYS IT'S GOING TO OFFER A DEGREE IN AGRI-TOURISM. AGRITOURISM INVOLVES EVERYTHING FROM PETTING ZOOS TO YOU PICK FARMS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. THE FIRST CLASSES WILL BE OFFERED NEXT SPRING. AND IN EASTERN ILLINOIS, THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS TAKING OVER MANSFIELD GRAIN. THE COMPANY TURNED OVER ITS LICENSE AND SHUT DOWN AFTER FINDING BAD GRAIN AT THE ELEVATOR. THE COMPANY SAYS IT CAN'T AFFORD TO COMPENSATE FARMERS FOR THE RUINED CROP. THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS FARMERS WHO HAVEN'T BEEN PAID ARE COVERED BY THE ILLINOIS GRAIN INSURANCE FUND.

POTASH:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, CANADA'S GOVERNMENT BLOCKED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A HUGE CORPORATE TAKE-OVER OF THE POTASH CORPORATION OF SASKATCHEWAN. BHP BILLITON OF AUSTRALIA IS ATTEMPTING A HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF THE FERTILIZER MAKER FOR 39-BILLION DOLLARS. CANADA'S INDUSTRY MINISTER SAYS BHP HAS 30 DAYS TO APPEAL, BUT IT’S UNLIKELY THE GOVERNMENT WOULD CHANGE ITS MIND.

ANALYSIS:
GREG WAGNER

IN THE COUNTRY; BUGGING OUT:
FROM SHRIEKS TO SCREAMS, FROM SCOUTING TO SPRAYING, INSECTS AREN'T USUALLY WELCOME IN OUR LIVES. THAT'S ONE REASON A KENTUCKY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS HOPING TO PUT THESE ARTHROPODS IN BETTER LIGHT. THEY CALL IT "BUGGING OUT DAY" AND FOR FOURTH GRADERS THERE, IT'S A HANDS ON EXPERIENCE. AS JEFF FRANKLIN OF THE UNIVERISTY OF KENTUCKY REPORTS, THIS ONE DAY OPENS A DOOR TO THE SCIENCE OF ENTOMOLOGY. THANKS JEFF. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT. BUT FIRST LET'S CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S INSTALLMENT OF RUBES FRIDAY FUNNIES. NATIONALLY SYNDICATED CARTOONIST LEIGH RUBIN PROVIDES HIS ARTWORK TO US EACH WEEK. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM....WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

BEEF CUTS:
THE BEEF CHECKOFF HAS BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.  THAT MONEY HELPS FUND RESEARCH INTO INNOVATION AND NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT. AND YOU MAY NOT EVEN NOTICE THAT THE BEEF CUTS OFFERED TO CONSUMERS--IN RESTAURANTS AND GROCERY STORES--ARE CHANGING. IN TODAY'S FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY BRIAN BAXTER OF THE BEEF CHECKOFF, SHARES MORE ON BEEF INNOVATION.

 

 

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