Farm Bill Passes; Retailers Benefit

The Food, Conservation & Energy Act of 2008 Conference Report (H.R. 2419) — also known as the 2008 farm bill — has passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Several key policies benefit ag retailers.

The House passed the bill on May 14 by a vote of 318-106 and the Senate approved the bill a day later by a vote of 81-15, a veto-proof majority in both chambers. This bipartisan legislation will continue to provide a safety net for America’s growers, promote bioenergy and conservation programs, and provide nutrition programs, according to an Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) press release.

President George W. Bush has stated that he plans to veto this bill, possibly this week. Most experts expect both houses to override that veto.

The bill offers several provisions directly targeting the ag retail sector. “We’re pretty excited about having a number of issues in, especially the one that we’ve been working on for about three years — the Agricultural Chemical Security Credit,” says Dan Weber, ARA chairman and vice president of agronomy for Ceres Solutions.

Much of the credit for the farm bill’s passage goes to the many industry organizations that worked together and on specific areas of the farm bill, according to Ken Manning, ARA chairman-elect and Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s vice president and Pacific Intermountain business unit manager. The organizations include ARA, CropLife America, The Fertilizer Institute, and the Crop Producers & Distributors Association.

This bill is a bit unique from the retailer’s perspective, Manning points out. “The farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation for our industry to our customers, and now, with some of the various provisions that are included, it’s very important for our retailers as well.”

The key provisions for retailers in the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report include:

  • Agricultural Chemicals Security Credit — Initiated by ARA, this proposal will allow agricultural retailers, distributors, aerial applicators, as well as manufacturers and formulators of certain fertilizer and pesticides a business tax credit equivalent to 30 percent of the total amount paid or incurred on implementing qualified security measures at their fertilizer and pesticide storage facilities. The provision provides for up to a $100,000 in security tax credits per facility, with an overall company cap of $2 million per year. The tax credit shall apply to security measures paid or incurred after the date of the enactment of the 2008 Farm Bill.

    “We thought it was important to figure out some way to help offset some of the security costs — which are mandated now, not options anymore,” Weber says. “We’re certainly not going to be able to do that through the normal margin structure.”

  • Technical Service Provider (TSP) Program Reforms — The reforms to the TSP program should help increase its availability and range of technical expertise available to growers, ranchers, and eligible landowners to plan and implement conservation measures.
  • Grants to Reduce Production of Methamphetamines from Anhydrous Ammonia — The grant would be used to add to an anhydrous ammonia nurse tank a physical lock or an additive that would help reduce the amount of methamphetamine that can be produced from any anhydrous ammonia removed from the nurse tank.

    Weber, who has been heavily involved with this provision, says that although this issue hasn’t received much press lately, it’s still a major problem. His own company had anhydrous ammonia stolen from one of its outlets just last week. “It really looks bad for agriculture when these kind of things happen in the neighborhood,” he says.

  • Limits Speculation and Increases Transparency in Energy Markets — Since 2002, Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules have exempted electronic energy markets for large traders from direct government regulations. This legislation includes measures to increase federal oversight authority to detect and prevent manipulation and limit speculation in U.S. electronic energy markets by increasing reporting requirements.

    Weber notes that the bill also includes funding to study the transportation system, which is especially critical to smaller retailers trying to preserve rail transport.

In the ARA press release, Jack Eberspacher, ARA president and CEO, thanked Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and other legislators for their efforts on behalf of the security tax credit provision, along with ARA’s Richard Gupton, vice president of legislative policy & counsel, “for his efforts to secure passage of this bill.”

ARA also recognized special efforts made by state agribusiness organizations in Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Carolina to ensure the Agricultural Chemicals Security Credit provision remained in the farm bill. “We would also like to thank other national, regional, and state members of the Agribusiness Security Coalition for their support of this important legislation,” Eberspacher added.

The bill has drawn support from more than 500 organizations, including American Farmland Trust (AFT), a conservation group. According to a press release, AFT “fought hard for subsidy reform with the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program, and won a victory for inclusion on this new program.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
LegislationTFI Praises White House For Signing WRRDA Into Law
June 11, 2014
The bill streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, prioritizes authorized waterway improvements and provides needed adjustments to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Read More
LegislationAg Policy: Plenty Of Fertilizer Issues Ahead
January 2, 2014
From West Fertilizer to the Chesapeake Bay, fertilizer producers and dealers are keeping an eye on several Beltway developments in 2014. Read More
LegislationLack Of Farm Bill Leaves Farmers Facing Uncertainty In 2014
December 13, 2013
With just a few legislative working days remaining in 2013, the likelihood of a new farm bill is waning, leaving farmers in limbo once again. Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesDuPont’s Prevathon Approved For Dry Beans
August 22, 2014
DuPont Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received EPA registration for foliar use on dry bean crops, including dried shelled peas and beans. Read More
ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More
HerbicidesNew DuPont Afforia Herbicide Gives Crops A Clean Start
August 18, 2014
DuPont Afforia is a preplant herbicide for soybeans and other field crops that provides excellent burndown and residual control of many challenging weeds, such as marestail and waterhemp. Read More
Equipment21 Products Showcased At MAGIE 2014
August 18, 2014
The annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition is upon us. Here is CropLife IRON's look at some of the products visitors can expect to see at this week's event. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Seeks Nominations For 2014 Operator Of The Year
August 15, 2014
Ag retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to nominate their best applicators. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
ManagementCropLife’s Buyers’ Guide Issue Now Availabl…
August 13, 2014
One of our most read issues of the year — the August Buyers' Guide — is ready to download on the iPad. This popular issue features equipment for "In The Field," "At The Plant" and "In The Office." Read More
WebinarsWebinars On Demand
August 13, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
HerbicidesBASF: Fall Burndown Benefits Go Beyond Weed Control
August 12, 2014
While unpredictable weather may delay application timing of spring herbicides, more growers are adding a burndown application in the fall Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide P…
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipNitrogen Efficiency Supports Environmental Stewardship
August 12, 2014
As growers prepare for another harvest, it’s important to consider how nitrogen stabilization not only supports healthy plant growth but also fosters environmental stewardship. Read More
Seed/BiotechMycogen Seeds Introduces 19 New Corn Hybrids For 2015
August 12, 2014
Many of the new hybrids feature Mycogen's SmartStax Refuge Advanced technology for maximum protection of the genetic potential and planting convenience. Read More