Will Agriculture Win, Lose or Draw?

March 10, 2017 09:42 AM

Placing bets for the next four years on key issues impacting farmers

The Trump administration’s fast pace isn’t slowing, even as changes are discussed in such impactful areas as immigration, taxes, trade and regulations, just to name a few.

Changes often take time to sort out before we know if agriculture wins, loses or whether the result is a draw.

Farm Journal asked three veteran agricultural leaders who have had their eyes on Washington—from the inside and out—for decades to estimate how ag will fare in the next four years in seven vital areas (see right). 

Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns warns farmers to “be realistic about tax reform” expectations. While the congressional process “might be able to cut some rates or roll back increases passed a few years ago,” doing away with the estate tax would require 60 Senate votes to pass, he says. “That’s hard to come by.” 

Jim Wiesemeyer of Informa Economics says the details of any tax proposal will determine if ag wins. “I want to see what deductions are eliminated to help pay for it,” he says.

Pro Farmer Editorial Director Chip Flory predicts a draw for agriculture  when it comes to biofuels and the RFS. 

To Johanns, it’s closer to do-or-die: “If there’s not growth in the market, we’ll find ourselves in four years struggling to figure out how to grow the demand for biofuels,” he says.

Will the farm bill be a win, lose or draw? “Depends on what farmers you’re talking about,” Flory says. “Cotton and dairy will likely get a better program than they’ve got now. Corn Belt producers will see adjustments to “smooth” payments across county borders.”  



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Spell Check

Mark Hagel
Mayer, MN
3/14/2017 12:18 AM

  I would have to say that agriculture is already losing because of the low commodity prices, especially of corn, soybeans, and hay. Couple that with the rotten luck of having poor yields, and you're really at a loss. What we need is to get more grains exported out of America so that prices can start going up. That way, when yields are low like they were for me this past year, high commodity prices would allow for the revenue needs to all be met

Lincoln, NE
3/14/2017 11:38 AM

  Agriculture, Win Lose or draw? That's the million dollar gambling question. That's the amount of dollars required to operate a farm or ranch today to pay taxes, buy machinery, cost of living expenses, maintain buildings, provide for family, and all the other economic factors. KEEP BELIEVING THAT THINGS WILL IMPROVE ON FAMILY FARMS OR IS IT CORPORATE FARMS?

bad axe, MI
3/13/2017 07:42 AM

  With high interest rates coming and are cost of production to high to compete around the world as far as price. $306.00 an acre prime farmland in Russia with new john deere equipment rolling on it vs $12,000.00 an acre prime farmland in the U.S.A with new john deere equipment rolling on it , pretty tough to compete around the world.


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