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.”