November 23, 2017

NDFU Warns that Farmers Should Be Aware of Tax Reform Implications


While the U.S. House of Representatives’ newly passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act aims to simplify the tax code and cut taxes for individuals and corporations, it may possibly raise the tax burden on family farmers and ranchers if left unchecked by the U.S. Senate or conference committee, according to North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) President Mark Watne.

Provisions that are important to agriculture like deductions on state and local taxes, accelerated depreciation (Section 179), carryback provisions, “like kind” exchanges, and Section 199 for cooperatives could be eliminated, capped or reduced depending upon the outcome of congressional action. Watne said the lowering of individual tax rates may not be enough to offset the elimination of these deductions.

“With the rush in Congress to pass tax reforms by year end, there are just too many unknowns,” Watne said. “We need to slow down, get the nonpartisan CBO score and determine exactly what the tax implication is for farmers, especially if tax cuts aren’t offset by growth in GDP. The last thing we need on the farm is increased taxes.”

Watne said statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules require that increases in deficit spending be offset by reduced spending in non-exempt mandatory programs, such as ARC, PLC, disaster assistance programs for commodities, and administrative costs for crop insurance delivery.

“I’m very concerned about the pot of money we will have available to write farm bills,” said Watne. “The baseline for farm bill funding has been cut already by $100 billion over the past 10 years. It’s too low of a benchmark to begin with and we can’t afford to slash farm programs, like crop insurance, to fund tax cuts. That would be disastrous for agriculture and for our country.”

Watne said Farmers Union is working with others to develop a tool that farmers can access online to determine what their tax burden will be given different tax scenarios.

NDFU Website

Headed to Commodity Classic: MN Soybean Farmer Selected for National Leadership Program

The American Soybean Association and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association are pleased to announce Adam Guetter, a Wabasso, Minnesota, farmer, has been named a 2018 ASA DuPont Young Leader.

 Guetter was selected to represent Minnesota in a program that includes soybean producer participants from 19 states and Canada. Guetter will also serve as the ASA DuPont Young Leader on MSGA’s board of directors.

 “When I got the call that I’d been selected, I didn’t think I would be the one selected. I was speechless,” says Guetter, a corn and soybean farmer from Redwood County, Minn. “It’s really an honor to be a DuPont Young Leader, and I’m excited to be on a leadership board for the first time with MSGA.”

 Adam and his wife, Melanie, have a young son, Max. The youngest of seven children, Adam lives on land that’s been in his family for multiple generation and farms full time with help from his father, Louis, and brother, Karl.

 “My wife is a tremendous help, but she’s transitioned from farm wife to farm mom,” Guetter says. “Her tractor driving days got cut back when little Max came along, but she still helps out on the family farm at every opportunity.”

 For more than 30 years, the ASA DuPont Young Leader program has identified and cultivated farmer leaders that shape not only the U.S. soybean industry, but also all of agriculture. Through training, young leaders strengthen their natural leadership skills while building a strong peer network.  Learn More


This year’s class of Young Leaders will participate in a challenging and educational two-part training program, which will focus on communications, soybean/agriculture issues and leadership skills. The first phase of training will take place at DuPont Pioneer’s headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, 2017. Training will continue Feb. 25 to March 1, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif., with training held in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show. Melanie Guetter will also participate with Adam in the training in Anaheim.

 “I’m very excited for the opportunity that being an ASA DuPont Young leader brings,” Adam Guetter says.

 About Minnesota Soybean Growers Association:  MSGA is a non-profit, farmer-controlled membership organization established in 1962. Its goal is to ensure profitable soybean farming by influencing favorable ag legislation, monitoring government policies and supporting research and market development activities. 




USDA Now Accepting Applications For Trade Mission To Central America

U.S. companies have a unique opportunity to grow their food and agricultural exports to Central America’s Northern Triangle of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras during a USDA  trade mission February 26-March 1, 2018.

The mission will be based in Guatemala, but participants will be able to connect with potential customers from Honduras and El Salvador as well through targeted business meetings arranged by local staff from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The itinerary also includes briefings with government and industry leaders and visits to local retail outlets and food processing and handling facilities.

Why the Northern Triangle of Central America?

Central America’s Northern Triangle – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – is a convenient and growing market for U.S. agricultural exports. The U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in all three countries in 2006 and, since then, U.S. farm and food exports have more than doubled. More than 95 percent of U.S. agricultural products enjoy duty-free access under CAFTA-DR.

In 2016, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador imported nearly $5.9 billion of agricultural products –more than 40 percent of which came from the United States, which is the top supplier to all three countries. Throughout the region, rising GDPs and rapidly expanding urban and middle-class populations are expected to lead to continued growth in demand for food and farm products over the coming decade.

FileApplication Form

 Deadline for application submission is December 7, 2017.