Weekly Column

USDA comment period extended for three Farmer Fair Practice Rules

There is still time to comment on three “Farmer Fair Practice Rules” introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December. The comment period has been extended to March 24.

The interim and proposed rules level the playing field and would create much needed protections for poultry and livestock producers. Provisions include:

Allowing producers to protect their rights without having to prove that a processor’s actions hurt the entire livestock industry.

Ask your insurance agent about signing up for Whole Farm Revenue Protection

Many farmers rely on crop insurance to help manage the risks of farming. Crop insurance is known for covering major commodity crops, however, there’s a new crop insurance policy that expands what commodities farmers can insure.

The policy is called Whole Farm Revenue Protection. While not yet well-known, Whole Farm is a great new tool for risk management. It insures the revenue of an entire operation and will cover crops and livestock that were uninsurable before. This can be valuable to farmers and ranchers who plant organic wheat or raise livestock.

Proposal to cut income taxes misguided

In the face of a budget shortfall, some political leaders in Lincoln are clamoring to cut income taxes for the wealthiest Nebraskans.

The move would compound our real challenge. It’s property taxes that Nebraskans are asking lawmakers to look at.

The Center for Rural Affairs has long held that state revenue should be balanced among property, sales and income tax. Today, property tax accounts for 36 percent of revenue; sales tax, 30 percent; and income tax, just 26 percent.

Income tax is already the shortest of the three revenue legs.

Agricultores Principiantes: La Búsqueda Para Encontrar Terreno

Usted ha decidido ser un agricultor, y el siguiente paso es de encontrar terreno.

Como un nuevo agricultor, usted quisiera identificar al principio cuando los terratenientes están pensando de hacer un cambio. Usted quisiera saber cuando los hijos del terrateniente decidan no regresar a la granja o cuando la enfermedad cambie la actividad en la granja. Es necesario saber esto lo más pronto posible, para que usted se la solucion.

Energy infrastructure needs community input

Renewable wind energy has seen fantastic growth, generating cheap and clean energy across Midwestern states. The power of the wind is no secret to Iowans, as they’ve already worked to become leaders in the wind industry. Iowa currently generates 36 percent of its energy from wind, making it first in the nation for making use of wind energy. Investing in wind energy hasn’t just provided renewable energy to the state – it has also brought new economic opportunities to communities.

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