Ag Policy

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    June 30th, 2016


    Key Aspects of House Tax Reform Proposal for Farmers

    The House Republicans issued a proposal last week detailing their plans for tax reform (likely to occur in 2017).  The Tax Foundation has issued several articles on how this reform may affect business and individuals and I am going to recap what I see as the key aspects of their proposals.  Farmers must be aware […]

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    June 24th, 2016


    FICA Wage Base Likely to be $126,000 in 2017

    The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Chief Actuary has projected, based on two out of three of its methods of forecasting, that the 2017 FICA wage base will increase from $118,500 in 2016 to $126,000 in 2017.  The current wage base subjects employee’s to maximum FICA tax of $7,328.40.  If the new base goes […]

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    June 7th, 2016


    Farm Debt is Growing

    The Kansas City Fed just released a report indicating that farm debt is accumulating at a faster pace.  Farmers with carryover debt increased from 18% of loans to 29% of loans in the first quarter of 2016.  Also, 18% of total loans made in the first quarter involved restructuring existing debt to meet short-term liquidity […]

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    May 20th, 2016


    Farmland Values Continue to Drop

    The Chicago Federal Reserve just released their First Quarter 2016 Ag Letter showing that farmland values continue to trend lower.  The district covers most of the I states in the corn belt and show the following year-over-year changes in farmland values: Illinois – Minus 5% Indiana – Minus 2% Iowa – Minus 5% Michigan – […]

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    May 18th, 2016


    Crop Insurance Payouts Lower in 2015

    Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois just posted an article in FarmDoc Daily on an analysis of crop insurance damage payments in 2015.  In 2015, the entire loss ratio for the industry was only .65 (1 is breakeven).  This ratio is much lower than the .97 ratio from 2010 to 2015 and also much […]

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    May 9th, 2016


    Does FSA Allow Section 179 for Corporations

    About two years ago we posted that FSA was not allowing Section 179 as a deduction for S corporations and LLC/LLP/LPs.  We communicated our concerns to FSA and to others in Congress, etc. and thought that the FSA would update their interpretation to reflect Section 179 as an expense in arriving at AGI for these […]

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    April 27th, 2016


    Pooling is Back!

    Senator Backus a few years ago proposed replacing the current tax depreciation system with a pooling system.  Under that system, personal property purchases and sales would be “pooled” together and the net remaining number would be multiplied by a percentage for that year to arrive at your net depreciation deduction.  If the net number was […]

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    March 3rd, 2016


    Final FSA Yields More Likely to be Under NASS Yields?

    There is a lot of chatter regarding the lack of ARC-CO payments for the 2014 crop year due to yields coming in higher than what farmers might have expected for their county.  When we were doing Farm Bill analysis about two years ago, we had taken a look at how final FSA yields compared to […]

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    February 24th, 2016


    2015 Estimated ARC-CO Corn and Soybean Payment Amounts

    Farm Doc Daily put out by the University of Illinois just posted an article on the estimated 2015 ARC-CO corn and soybean payments.  Maps were provided showing an estimate of the payment by county and these maps are based upon the NASS yields that were released last week and using the current MYA price estimates […]

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    February 13th, 2016


    Can You Defer ARC/PLC Payments?

    I continue to get questions regarding whether you are allowed to defer 2014 ARC / PLC payments received in 2015 to 2016.  The confusion relates to the misconception that these payments qualify as crop insurance proceeds.  These payments are agricultural program payments.  Crop insurance proceeds related to yield losses are allowed to be deferred one […]

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