Ag Policy

  • Watch Your Real Estate Tax Bill

    I think that most farmers know that the residential and commercial real estate markets have gone through dramatic changes in the last few years.  I know that in our area that residential prices peaked out about three years ago and in many of the cities near me the price is at least 50% below the […]

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  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Health Care Act) – Tax Provisions

    My good friend Scott Heintzelman of The Exuberant Accountant recently posted a summary of the information on the new Health Care act that passed Sunday night and I thought I would post the same summary since this new Act will affect all of us as Americans and as farmers. Premium Assistance Credit The act provides […]

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  • Take Your Chemical Ag Credit

    In 2008, Congress enacted a new agricultural chemical security credit that may apply to some farmers and will certainly apply to those farmers who have expanded their business into the fertilizer and farm chemicals operations.  This credit allows you to take a 30% credit for expenses related to enhancing the security of a facility in […]

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  • Hog Odors Raise a Stink

    For those people living in rural areas, the smells associated with hogs, cows, etc. can be a nuisance.  Usually most people grin and bear it, however, there are many times when they try to do something about it. The High Plains Midwest Ag Journal recently reported on a civil trial filed in Kansas City regarding […]

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  • Lack of Data Dooms GRIP & GRP in 1000+ Counties

    Marcia Taylor with DTN/The Progressive Farmer had a great post recently on the elimination of crop insurance under the Group Risk Income Protection (GRIP) and Group Risk Program (GRP) in over 1,000 counties across the US.  The primary reason for eliminating these counties were due to not reporting at least 30 yield reports or 25% […]

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  • Rural Broadband – Catching up to Urban Broadband?

    Sort of like the photo of my motorcycle at the left, broadband Internet services are much faster than dial up (or in my case a Harley).  Historically, the utilization of broadband Internet services in the rural sector has been much lower than urban areas. In an article in the September, 2009 Amber Waves , several […]

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  • Farm Debt Levels Are Increasing

    All in all, farm debt levels have increased, however, farmers have done a very good job of not letting these levels get out of control. The United States Department of Agriculture has a very good print and online magazine called Amber Waves.  Each issue generally has several good articles related to farming and I would […]

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  • Top-Third vs. Bottom-Third

    The Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics periodically produces a recap of the high 1/3, mid 1/3 and low 1/3 of various farms in their state.  They just released the latest analysis for corn, sorghum, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa for the three years 2006-2008.  The total number of crop farms reporting for all three […]

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  • Does Your Banker Understand Hedging

    For a farmer to be successful in using a hedging strategy, they must have an agricultural lender that understands and promotes hedging.  Many lenders are willing to finance margin accounts for bonafide hedgers since they understand that the farmer is reducing their exposure to pricing risk.  Some will also lend a larger percentage of the […]

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  • Good Farmland in Iowa Down 7% Year-over-Year

    The most recent AgLetter from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago indicated that good farm land in Iowa decreased about 7 percent from the third quarter of 2008.  The average decrease for the five state region was 4%.  The good news that the price of good farm land increased by 2% over the second quarter […]

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