AG Rural News

The Agriculture Energy Coalition wants Congress and the Biden administration to increase funding for USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Director Lloyd Ritter says the coalition, made up of many organizations in the ag energy and ag climate space, would like to see a financial infusion of more than $2 billion over ten years to the popular REAP program. “Make it more sort of beneficial for rural communities, and really just be a big climate solution program in the ag and rural sector.” He tells Brownfield without additional REAP dollars, people will continue to be turned away. ...
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The USDA has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through the Single Family Housing loan program. It’s part of the Biden administration’s move to give families more time during the pandemic to make payments. The date has been extended to June 30th. USDA Rural Development says hundreds of thousands of people and families hold USDA single family housing loans. A recent Census Bureau survey shows more than eight-million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments. ...
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The Biden administration is reportedly considering raising the capital gains tax nearly 40 percent to what would be the highest rate in U.S. history. Wanda Patsche, a crop and livestock farmer from Welcome in south-central Minnesota, tells Brownfield it’s her understanding the proposed tax hike would NOT include a stepped-up basis. “I have a problem with that because we feel like we haven’t farmed our whole life here and really put in all our blood, sweat, and tears (to) have this for our kids, then all the sudden 40 percent or close to that goes to the government.” Using the example of 160...
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The University of Missouri Extension is expanding mental health services for farmers and ag workers in rural Missouri. MU received a three-year grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. The project provides stress assistance and suicide prevention services for farmers, ranchers and others in ag occupations. All of the state’s 99 rural counties are short on mental health professionals and more than half of those counties have none. ...
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Ag News

Farmers will have one less dicamba weed control tool for the 2021 growing season.  Corteva Agriscience announced it will no longer offer its FeXapan herbicide in the U.S. and Canada. In a statement, Corteva says many customers have switched to their Enlist™ seed and herbicide products, and will focus their resources on customer and applicator training and sales for Enlist™. Corteva says it will continue to offer Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® seed technology, but those customers will have to use other brands of dicamba. ...
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A member of the House Ag Committee has introduced legislation to provide farmers more flexibility when utilizing the Paycheck Protection Program. Minnesota Republican Jim Hagedorn tells Brownfield his bill would allow farms and ranches categorized as partnerships, like LLC’s, to use gross income when calculating maximum PPP loan amounts. “I mean the whole concept here is to make sure that we can sustain our businesses, including our farms, farmers, and agribusinesses throughout this pandemic. ...
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Many wonder what role the USDA will play in carbon markets as the Biden administration begins to roll out its climate policies Laura Wood Peterson, Senior Director of Government Affairs with indigo Ag says they don’t believe USDA wants to become a carbon market, but the agency has expressed interested in supporting voluntary markets. “What that support looks like is what everyone is trying to get their heads around, but what I do NOT expect it to mean is that USDA becomes the market.” A big question is if there will be any price regulation. ...
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USDA has extended the deadline for farmers and ranchers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. American Farm Bureau recently asked new Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to add 30 days to the February 26th deadline, citing confusion from the regulatory review process and disruptions from last week’s winter storms. AFBF president Zippy Duvall applauded Vilsack for his swift response and says the extra time will help ensure America’s farmers have the opportunity to apply for coronavirus aid. ...
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