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

Crop InputsARA 2016: 5 Developments Worth Monitoring Into 2017
December 6, 2016
You can pretty much set your watch to it (do people even still wear watches? I know I do…but I’m Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Pat Tiberi Legislator Of The Year
August 3, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of The Year
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Trending Articles
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Latest News
ManagementARA 2016 Report and Crop Mix for 2017
December 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the recent Agricultural Retailers Association meeting and the projected acreage mix for Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In …
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Ryan Bartlett
Crop InputsCompass Minerals Appoints Vice President, Innovation An…
December 8, 2016
Ryan Bartlett, Ph.D., has joined Compass Minerals as vice president, innovation and product development. Dr. Bartlett will be responsible for Read More
HerbicidesHerbicides 2017: New Cropping Systems Set For Debut
December 7, 2016
Herbicide-resistant weed are inching ever-closer to a potentially frightening saturation point here in the U.S. Heading into 2016, USDA planting Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
December 7, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
Fertilizer storage The Andersons
CropLife 1002016 Fertilizer Report: Another Really Rough Year For A…
December 7, 2016
In many ways, the fertilizer category cannot seem to catch a break. During the early part of the 2010s decade, Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Winter wheat
HerbicidesTalinor Herbicide Approved For Wheat And Barley
December 7, 2016
Talinor herbicide from Syngenta has received federal registration from the U.S. EPA, giving wheat and barley growers a new option Read More
Forage Sorghum
UncategorizedMilestone Achievement Continues For Dow AgroSciences, A…
December 7, 2016
New and innovative forage products are on the horizon driven by continued collaboration between Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesNew WSSA Factsheet Explores Weed Seeds And Their Longev…
December 7, 2016
Did you know some weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for more than a century and then sprout Read More
Crop InputsARA 2016: 5 Developments Worth Monitoring Into 2017
December 6, 2016
You can pretty much set your watch to it (do people even still wear watches? I know I do…but I’m Read More
Tim McCardle, ARA Chairman
CropLife 100BRANDT COO Named ARA Chairman
December 5, 2016
BRANDT EVP and Chief Operating Officer Tim McArdle has been named chairman of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) during a Read More
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Receives ResponsibleAg Certification At Mo…
December 5, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis Co., a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution of crop protection products, announces the ResponsibleAg certification Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Eric SfiligojThe Read On 2017 For Agricultural Fortunes Is Anybody’s…
December 5, 2016
As I (and others) have written in recent months, the nation has just experienced one of the most offbeat election Read More
Acceleron B-300 seed coating
Crop InputsThe BioAg Alliance Launches New Yield-Boosting Microbia…
December 5, 2016
As part of their commitment to develop and commercialize innovative microbial solutions for farmers through The BioAg Alliance, Monsanto Co. Read More
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research have announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify the Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More