Ag Decision Maker website updates for February 2015

February 17th, 2015

Ag Decision Maker

Business Solutions for Farms and Agribusiness from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

February Newsletter (pdf)

New and Updated Files


Iowa Farm Outlook

Outlook Information for Crops and Livestock

February Newsletter (pdf)

LivestockTakeaways from the January Cattle Inventory Report
Crops Pressure from Outside Markets


AgMRC Renewable Fuels Monthly Report

Big Changes in Ethanol Revenue, Costs and Profitability
Intermediate Term Issues for U.S. Biofuels, Part I
PDF of the January 2015 Monthly Report


 

 

 Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

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Tax Planning for 2014

February 4th, 2015

Contributed by Charles BrownFarm Management Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, crbrown@iastate.edu641-673-5841

charlesBrown2014 has ended, but that doesn’t mean that some things can’t be done to increase or decrease taxable farm income. Again, late in the year Congress passed legislation that affected 2014 taxable income. Section 179 Expense Election and bonus depreciation were extended for 2014, but 2014 only. In 2015, the Section 179 Expense Election is back to $25,000 with phase-out starting at $200,000 of qualifying assets and bonus depreciation is gone.

For 2014, the Section 179 Expense Election is $500,000 with the phase-out starting at $2,000,000 of qualifying new or used asset purchases. Section 179 can generally be used on 15-year property or less, which would include farm drainage tile, single purpose ag buildings (confinement buildings), grain bins, machinery, breeding livestock and many farm pickups. You can choose any amount from $0 to $500,000 to be used as a fast write-off in the year of purchase of a single asset or multiple assets, but the aggregate total can’t exceed $500,000. Section 179 can be used on the cash difference paid for the asset. Section 179 must be reduced dollar for dollar for every $1 spent on qualifying assets exceeding $2,000,000. Section 179 reduces both Federal and Iowa taxable income and can reduce business and wage income to $0, but not below $0.

Bonus depreciation can only be used on new, not previously used, asset purchases. Fifty percent of the cash purchase price plus the basis left on any trade-ins can be used in the first year of purchase to reduce Federal taxable income. Iowa does not allow bonus depreciation, so you may reduce your Federal income tax to $0, but could still get hit with a sizeable Iowa income tax. Unlike Section 179, bonus depreciation can create a net operating loss. Also there is no phase-out for the bonus depreciation.

You can use both Section 179 and bonus depreciation on the same asset, but must first use Section 179 and then use bonus on the remainder. For example; confinement building costing $1,000,000, the first year depreciation could be Section 179 of $500,000, bonus depreciation of $250,000 (50 percent of $1,000,000 – $500,000) plus $18,750 (7.5 percent x remaining $250,000) of MACRS depreciation. On the Federal income tax return the total depreciation would be $768,750.

What if you had purchased assets in 2014, but not knowing if and when Section 179 and bonus depreciation would be extended you had deferred some of your grain income to 2015 to keep your taxable income down for 2014? If you are a cash basis taxpayer and have deferred payment contracts, you can pull some or all of those contracts back into 2014 and declare the income for 2014 instead of 2015. It has to be a full contract, you can’t pull back part of the income on a contract.

At this time, we don’t know if Section 179 and/or bonus depreciation will be extended again for 2015, so if you have the capital purchases in 2014 to use the Section 179 and/or bonus, you may want to raise your income in 2014 to take advantage of the accelerated methods of depreciation.

Another option that can be applied after the end of the year is whether or not to expense fertilizer and lime costs or amortize them over a period of years. Expensing them at the time of purchase would decrease taxable income and amortizing them over a period of years would increase taxable income for 2014.

As always, visit with you tax preparer to see what your options are, even though 2014 has ended there are certain tax planning strategies that can still be applied.

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

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Ag Decision Maker website updates for January 2015

January 23rd, 2015

Ag Decision Maker

Business Solutions for Farms and Agribusiness from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

January Newsletter (pdf)

New and Updated Files


Iowa Farm Outlook

Outlook Information for Crops and Livestock

January Newsletter (pdf)

LivestockMonitoring Farrowings and Farrowing Intentions in USDA’s Hogs and Pigs Reports
Crops Looking Back, Looking Forward


Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

An agricultural economics and business website.

Other

2014 Farm Bill: Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

January 13th, 2015

Contributed by Kristen SchulteFarm Business Management Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, kschulte@iastate.edu, 563-547-3001

schultek_finalThe 2014 Farm Bill extended the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), and the program expanded its coverage by allowing producers to purchase additional coverage. Producers have the opportunity to make this change for policies set for the 2015 crop year until January 15th, 2015.

What does NAP cover?

  • Crops (not livestock) that are commercially produced for food and fiber for which catastrophic coverage under Federal Crop Insurance is not available.
  • Losses due to damaging weather (drought, hurricane, freeze, etc.), adverse natural occurrences (volcanic eruption, flood, etc), and other adverse natural occurrences (ex. excessive heat, insect infestation, ect.).

Signing up for NAP?

  • Producers must apply by application closing date; application is completed with form CCC-471. Application closing dates may vary by crop.
  • To be eligible for NAP, producers must report crop type and variety, location of acres, producers and related shares of crop, growing practice, crop planting date, and intended use of crop commodity. After planting or harvest, producers must also report acres planted, quantity of harvest, and disposition of crop. Production records may be required by FSA.
  • Application must also include service fee. Service fee is $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county. Premiums are also due if electing buy-up coverage.
  • Beginning, limited resource, and traditional underserved farmers are eligible for a waiver of the service fee and 50% premium reduction (file form CCC-860).

What are the NAP coverage levels?

  • Catastrophic Coverage (CAT) covers losses greater than 50 percent at 55 percent of the commodity price.
  • Additional coverage, with premium, is available from 50 to 65 percent in 5 percent increments for production loss at 100 percent of average market price.
  • Premiums for additional coverage is equivalent to 5.25 percent of calculated crop covered value (accounts for share of crop, eligible acres, approved yield, coverage level, and average market price)

Crop losses and NAP?

  • When a loss occurs, notify the FSA office within 15 days of the natural disaster occurrence, prevented planting due to natural influences, date damage is apparent, or normal harvest date (whichever date comes first).
  • For hand-harvested crops that require a timely assessment of loss before deterioration, notify FSA of losses within 72 hours for certain crops.
  • Losses must be verified by the producer by completing form CCC-576, additional documentation/evidence may apply.
  • Average market values are used. At the state level, FSA may set separate market prices for a crop based on represented farming practices or sales to different markets within the state.
  • Retroactive pay for 2012 NAP assistance is available for losses to fruit crops (trees or bushes) in counties that had Secretarial disaster designations due to frost or freeze are available.

Additional Information

  • Grazed acres can only participate in NAP at the CAT level; however, these acres can only participate in either NAP or Livestock Forage Disaster Assistance Program
  • Annually, payments are limited to $125,000 per individual or entity.
  • Additional information can be found at fsa.usda.gov/nap.
  • A decision tool is available through FSA and collaborating universities, http://fsa.usapas.com/

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Ag Decision Maker website updates for December 2014

December 19th, 2014

Ag Decision Maker

Business Solutions for Farms and Agribusiness from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

December Newsletter (pdf)

New and Updated Files


Iowa Farm Outlook

Outlook Information for Crops and Livestock

December Newsletter (pdf)

LivestockWhat Do Beef Sector Relative Prices Suggest for Industry Participants?
CropsThe Light at the End of the Tunnel


Choices – The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues

A Publication of AAEA, Agricultural & Applied Economics Association


CARD Agricultural Policy Review

Center For Agricultural and Rural Development


 

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

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A Quiet Report

December 10th, 2014

Chad Hart, ISU Extension Grain Marketing Economist, provides a summary of the latest USDA report.

Hart_Chad-thumbThere were very few changes in this month’s USDA report. As is typical in December, the supply side estimates were left unchanged from the November numbers. And the demand changes were minor, but in a positive direction. Corn use for sweeteners was increased 10 million bushels. That was enough to lower 2014/15 ending stocks to just below the 2 billion bushel mark. For soybeans, exports continue to lead the demand charge. Soybean exports were raised 40 million bushels, to a record 1.76 billion. That reduced soybean ending stocks to 410 million bushels. However, for both crops, the midpoints of the season-average price ranges remained at last month’s levels, $3.50 for corn and $10 for soybeans. It was a quiet report for the holiday season.

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

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Crop Outlook

Land Value Survey News Conference to be Held Dec. 18

December 5th, 2014

A news conference will be held at 10 a.m. on Dec. 18 announcing the results of the 2014 Iowa Land Value Survey conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. This year, the conference will take place in Room 004 of the Scheman building on the ISU campus in Ames.

Michael Duffy, a retired ISU Extension economist who is helping transition responsibility for conducting the survey from ISU Extension to CARD, will head the news conference and announce the latest findings. Background materials will be available at the conference, and will include Iowa land value data from 1950 to present, current land value data from all 99 counties, and a press release summarizing the 2014 survey results. Duffy will make himself available to reporters for follow-up questions or one-on-one interviews immediately following the presentation of results.

For those who can’t attend, the conference will be videotaped, and the video and printed materials from the conference will be made available on the CARD homepage at http://www.card.iastate.edu soon after the conference. Survey information from past years are also available.

The Scheman building is located next to Hilton Coliseum and Fisher Theater. Maps and directions to Scheman are available at http://bit.ly/LVSDirections. Free parking is available in the Scheman and Hilton lots.

 

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

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Land

ISU Extension Farm Bill – Program Overview Meetings

October 17th, 2014

Iowa farmers and landowners will learn about the new programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the Farm Bill) at informational meetings conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and local USDA Farm Service Agency staff members. Meetings will be held across the state to explain options available under the new Farm Bill.

Farm Bill – Program Overview meetings will focus on the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) that will be administered by USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) administered by USDA Risk Management Agency through federal crop insurance providers.

“Extension farm management specialists are prepared to discuss decisions farmers and landowners need to make in the coming months regarding Price Loss Coverage, and Agricultural Risk Coverage Individual and County options,” said Chad Hart, ISU Extension and Outreach economist and program coordinator. “Local FSA staff members who administer the programs will be available to answer questions.”

The timeline for when decisions need to be made along with information about online Farm Bill decision tools also will be shared at the meetings. Topics that will be covered during the meetings include:

  • Base reallocation
  • Yield updating
  • Price Loss Coverage (PLC)
  • Ag Risk Coverage (ARC)
  • Implications of PLC and ARC on participation in the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)
  • Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP)
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)

Locate a Farm Bill – Program Overview meeting
Farm Bill meetings for upcoming months continue to be added to the ISU Extension and Outreach Statewide Calendar. For the most current listing of meeting locations and dates visit the Ag Decision Maker Farm Bill website at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/farmbill.html or contact your county extension office.

The Ag Decision Maker Farm Bill website also contains useful links and resources related to Farm Bill decision making. Contact a county extension office for additional details about upcoming local meetings.

PHOTO:
Steve Johnson, farm management specialist, and Chad Hard, extension economist, visited with 2014 Farm Progress Show visitors about  the farm bill.

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

An agricultural economics and business website.

Government Programs

Ag Decision Maker website updates for October 2014

October 15th, 2014

Ag Decision Maker

Business Solutions for Farms and Agribusiness from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

October Newsletter (pdf)

New and Updated Files


Iowa Farm Outlook

Outlook Information for Crops and Livestock

October Newsletter (pdf)

LivestockAn Update on Herd Rebuilding and Hog and Pig Inventories
Crops As the Combines Start to Roll


Choices – The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues

A Publication of AAEA, Agricultural & Applied Economics Association

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

An agricultural economics and business website.

Other

Acreage Reduced, But Yields Offset

October 10th, 2014

Acreage Reduced, But Yields Offset (10/10/14)

Chad Hart, ISU Extension Grain Marketing Economist, provides a summary of the latest USDA report.

Hart_Chad-thumbOver the past couple of months, there had been significant discussion of crop acreage numbers and whether the NASS estimates would be adjusted downward. That adjustment occurred in the most recent reports. For corn, planted and harvested area were reduced by 700,000 acres. A similar downward adjustment took place for soybeans. But in both cases, the acreage losses were offset by higher yields so that total production continued to climb. The national average corn yield was raised 2.5 bushels to 174.2 bushels per acre. The corn yield estimates were raised in 22 states. And 22 states are projected to set state records as well. Illinois is projected at 200 bushels per acre. The jump in soybean yields isn’t quite as dramatic, but the end result is the same, larger production. The national average is projected at 47.1 bushels per acre, up 0.5 bushels. 13 states are expected to have record yields.

Putting it all together, USDA estimates a 14.475 billion bushel corn crop and a 3.927 billion bushel soybean crop. Both, by far, the largest crops the country has ever produced. In comparison, the demand projections were little changed. Corn feed and residual use was increased by 50 million bushels. That was the only shift in projected demand for the 2014 crops. Estimates for the 2014/15 market year average prices dropped 10 cents for corn to a midpoint of $3.40 per bushel. For soybeans, the price estimates held steady, with a midpoint of $10 per bushel.

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

An agricultural economics and business website.

Crop Outlook