Category: Policy

Taxes: Farmers invited to learn more about tax changes through webinar

UPDATE: Here is a video of the presentation and webinar:

Do you have questions about recent tax changes impacting farmers from the 2014 legislative session?

Then you’ll want to participate in a webinar hosted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue for farmers and agricultural groups to learn more about these tax changes, go over the new supplemental agricultural credit and answer questions about implementation.

Here are details:

When: Thursday,

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MCGA Radio: Tom Sell talks farm bill implementation

On this week’s Minnesota Corn Growers Association radio, Tom Sell from Combest, Sell & Associates covers what corn farmers should know about implementation of the 2014 farm bill.

The sign-up period for the farm bill’s crop insurance programs is expected to begin late fall and could carry into early spring.

“One of the real hallmarks of this farm bill is that there are a lot of choices,” Sell said.

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Don't play political games with crucial farm policy

Congress has started debating a fiscal year 2015 agriculture appropriations bill, which funds important food safety, farm services, animal health and nutrition programs. Unfortunately, some lawmakers are already trying to undo important parts of the farm bill, a piece of legislation that took four years to pass and hasn’t even been fully implemented yet.

Farmers’ crops are in the ground, and planting decisions were based on what they understood to be the rules of a the new five-year farm bill.

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Will there be another propane shortage this winter?

The weather is (finally) warm, but it wasn’t long ago that Minnesota farmers, homeowners and businesses were dealing with a propane shortage during harvest season made worse by a long, frigid winter.

Staff from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association have been meeting with industry representatives and government officials who are working to develop strategies to prevent another shortage this winter.

Here is a Q&A to summarize of what MCGA has learned so far:

What’s the issue?

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EWG recycles a bunch of ethanol myths, calls it a "study"

What do you get when Big Oil and corporate activists team up to attack farmers and consumers?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and its new (*ahem*), “study” bashing ethanol and corn farmers.

The (*cough*) “study” comes out just as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to issue a final ruling on its proposal to slash the amount of homegrown ethanol blended into our fuel supply as called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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NCGA to President Obama: Allow the bipartisan RFS to continue working

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with biotechnology businesses and ethanol groups, called on President Obama last week to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to slash the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

In a letter sent to the President, NCGA and the other groups cited the recently released National Climate Assessment as yet another reason to maintain a strong RFS and continue setting our goals high for blending homegrown biofuels in our gasoline.

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What's up with EPA and the Renewable Fuel Standard?

It’s been two months since the public comment period ended on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and drastically reduce the amount of the homegrown ethanol blended in our fuel.

Over 7,000 Minnesota corn farmers signed letters telling EPA to not mess with the RFS. EPA still hasn’t decided if it will keep the proposed cuts, scale them back, or ditch them altogether.

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Making their voices heard: Legislative reception connects corn farmers and policymakers

Over 40 state legislators, staff, and agency leaders talked farming, biofuels and agriculture policy with corn farmers at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) legislative reception in St. Paul on Wednesday.

The annual reception is an opportunity for corn farmers to connect with policymakers in an informal setting and help develop a better understanding of the challenges faced by farmers.

“The reception is another way to make sure the voices of corn farmers are being heard,”

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Corn farmers talk taxes, biofuels and stewardship at state capitol

Repealing the farm machinery repair tax, including farmers on discussions about environmental regulations, and supporting ethanol and biodiesel were just a few of the topics Minnesota corn farmers covered while meeting with more than 50 legislators at the state capitol on Thursday.

“Before we head out into the fields for spring planting, we went to St. Paul to make sure the voices of corn farmers are heard,” said John Mages, a farmer in Belgrade and chair of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) government relations committee.

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USDA releases before and after of the 2014 Farm Bill

USDA has released a document highlighting some of the differences between the previous farm bill and the recently passed 2014 farm bill.

Notable differences on the farm safety net provisions include:

  • Direct payments are eliminated
  • Farmers will now choose between Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage

The new farm bill also consolidates several conservation programs and links basic conservation practices to crop insurance premium subsidies on highly erodible lands and wetlands.

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