“National Sorghum Producers believes in the need for a strong and reliable Title I safety net that is balanced and provides assistance when needed,” Atkisson said. “The Price Loss Coverage Program has been a valuable safety net for sorghum farmers, and we will continue to work with the committee to ensure a proper balance is struck and an adequate safety net is likewise crafted in the next bill.”
“Crop insurance is also indispensable for sorghum farmers,” he said, “and while positive enhancements were made to the program the last farm bill that helped us, we will continue to support crop insurance going forward and look at options this year that will decrease rates for sorghum and address county-by-county inequities between sorghum and competing crops.”
You can visit NSP’s website to read the full testimony.
EPA Denies Environmentalists’ Petition on Chlorpyrifos
On March 29, the Environmental Protection Agency, under the new direction of Scott Pruitt, denied a petition filed in 2007 by environmental groups calling for a ban on the pesticide Chlorpyrifos, a major win for the agricultural industry. The decision reverses a November 2016 EPA proposal that called for revoking the pesticide’s permitted tolerances. According to the agency’s notice, “further evaluation of the science during the remaining time for completion of registration review is warranted to achieve greater certainty as to whether the potential exists for adverse neurodevelopmental effects to occur from human exposures to Chlorpyrifos.” National Sorghum Producers has actively supported keeping Chlorpyrifos in the hands of sorghum producers and is encouraged by the EPA’s decision.
NSP Signs Letter Supporting Estate Tax Repeal
Last week, the National Sorghum Producers joined several family farm and ranch organizations on a letter asking Congress to support a permanent repeal of the estate tax. The letter says, “Family farmers and ranchers are not only the caretakers of our nation’s rural lands but they are also small businesses. The estate tax is especially damaging to agriculture because we are a land-based, capital-intensive industry with few options for pay estate taxes when they come due. Unfortunately, all too often at the time of death, farming and ranching families are forced to sell off land, farm equipment, parts of the operation or take out loans to pay off tax liabilities and attorney’s fees.”
The letter also asks Congress to preserve the stepped-up basis policy, which limits the amount of property value appreciation that is subject to capital gains taxes if the inherited assets are sold. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said tax reform is now clearly the main focus.
Senate Ag Approves Perdue Nomination
Today, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee approved by voice vote Sonny Perdue’s nomination for Secretary of Agriculture. The nomination was supported by every Senator who was present except for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Perdue’s cousin, Senator David Perdue (R-GA), abstained. The timing of the full Senate vote is unclear as the Senate will be focused on debate for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch next week with his vote being held on April 7, according to Senate leaders. After April 7, the Senate is scheduled for a two-week recess, and will not return to Washington until April 24. Roberts expressed he would like a vote to take place prior to this recess period.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
April 14 Office Closed for Good Friday, Lubbock, Texas
April 18 Swisher Spring Ag Day, Tulia, Texas
May 1-2 NAFB Washington Watch, Washington, D.C.
May 4 PGFA Conference, Amarillo, Texas
June 9 McLennan County Row Crop Tour, Waco, Texas
June 16 McLennan County Row Crop Tour-Westside, Crawford, Texas
For a full view of calendar events, visit the NSP website calendar.
Market News – To view this week’s Gulf export grain report, click here.
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