Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dates to Remember

Putnam County Farm Bureau is preparing for an active March.  This week we will have our second Legislative Update session, Saturday morning at 8 am.  In March we will be holding our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 10th.  Newsletters and cards are on the way.  March 14th is AG DAY in Putnam County starting with breakfast, a program, and the mini farm fest open to all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Crop Management Tool

Crop Management Tool Helps to Control Inputs

360 Yield Center – Logan Welker at Trupointe Cooperative

DCIM100GOPROCrop management just got a little easier as a new precision agriculture tool has hit the Indiana market. Using big data to make on-farm decisions is quickly becoming the status quo in agriculture. The 360 Yield Center, a new precision agriculture tool, is designed to deliver those decisions says Trupointe Cooperative’s Logan Welker.
“It helps them out with nitrogen utilization and efficiency. Ensuring it with the  weather patterns that they’ve experienced on their farms, it helps them judge what actual nitrogen rates they need to be using right at that moment.”
Welker says growers tend to question the rate of nitrogen they should be applying to their fields.
“This will help us to determine, judging by that farmer’s field, their location, their soil types, how much nitrogen to put out there as well as their seeding populations based on what type of hybrid they’re using.”
The math just works for growers: when you effectively apply nitrogen, you save on your bottom line.
“This will help them maintain their yields as well as help them save on nitrogen application. I mean, maintaining yields and increasing yields is where we want to be; but if we can do it more efficiently, I think that’s where this tool can really help out.”
Welker says for farmers who do invest in precision agriculture, they get paid back.
“A lot of it is determining how it functions and how it best functions on their farm. It’s something that’s real and it’s something that needs to be helped with. Growers needs to understand it’s not just spending money on things, it can also save them money on their inputs. That’s kind of a big discussion piece and understanding we have to go through.”
The 360 Yield Center has four different components:
360 SOILSCAN – provides you with zone-specific soil nitrate analysis results right in your field in as little as 5 minutes, with accuracy that’s comparable to lab resultsSOILSCAN1_675x425
360 COMMANDER – generates optimized, actionable seed, nitrogen and irrigation recommendations based on real-time information
360 UNDERCOVER – mounts easily to your 360 Y-DROP riser and glides smoothly through the field for targeted fungicide, insecticide and nutrient applications. It also gives you multiple nozzle choices, which allow you adjust your application speed and pressure accordingly
360 Y-DROP – gives you more control over when and where you apply nitrogen to your crops – now even up to tassel. And since corn uses 75 percent of nitrogen after the V10 stage, a late season nitrogen application can help improve yield in ways you haven’t been able to before

Get more information on the 360 Yield Center.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Farmland Property taxes

Purdue Ag Economist Deboer Outlines Farmland Tax Issues

Purdue University agricultural economist Larry DeBoer has outlined the major issues involved in the current legislative discussion of farmland taxes. “It seems likely that something will be done about farmland property taxes,” DeBoer writes in his latest “Capital Comments” column for Purdue Extension. “How it will be done, and who will foot the bill are the big questions.”
Among the possible options the legislature could consider is changing the formula used to calculate farmland assessments to better reflect current market conditions, DeBoer writes. The current formula calculates the taxable value of farmland based on four-to-nine-year-old data, including commodity prices, yields, rents, interest rates and other costs.
But calculating this year’s taxes based on more recent data could increase tax bills in the short term, according to DeBoer, because market conditions have been generally favorable to farmers over the past few years, resulting in higher land values.
Another option could be introducing new deductions for farmland owners, DeBoer writes.
DeBoer’s column appears monthly in the “News Columns” section on the Extension homepage, DeBoer and Tamara Ogle, an Extension educator in Cass County, also have an active Twitter account, @INTaxRockstars, focusing on farmland tax and assessment issues.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Isabella Chism elected as vice chair of AFBF

Chism elected vice chair of NWLC

Indiana Farm Bureau second vice-president Isabella Chism will serve the American Farm Bureau Federation in a new role. Chism was elected as vice chair of the National Women’s Leadership Committee.
Her election to vice chair left an opening on the NWLC board for the Midwest representative. Deb Walsh, of Indiana’s District 1, was elected to fill that role.

Friday, January 9, 2015

farmland taxes

Fighting the increase in farmland taxes

The 2015 Legislative Session is underway.  Katrina Hall, Indiana Farm Bureau’s director of state government relations says the biggest issue facing farmers in 2015 is farmland taxes.  “The increase in farmland taxes is simply escalating at a point where they are going to be consuming the profits that farmers will be making,” she says.
Between 2007 and 2013, farmers paid an additional $100 million in property taxes – or a 33 percent increase.  “Beyond this year – and even taxes that they will pay in 2015 most farmers will see their assessments have gone up 16.5 percent,” she says.  “It may not be a 1 to 1 ration as to how much their bills will go up, but we have to stop the bleeding.”
And with the significant drop in commodity prices and farm incomes, Hall tells Brownfield the issue becomes even more critical.
With issues like farmland taxes, she says it is important for farmers to be in regular communication with their legislators.  “They need to understand the issues of the folks that are affected by the things they are passing and working on,” she says.  “That’s really is the best way for our members to have the chance to get policies implemented that impact them in the best way.”
And not hinder farmers’ ability to business.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Senator Donnelly supports the Hoosier farmers on the proposed rules on clean water

Click here to view this message in your browser.

December 4, 2014
Dear Steven,
We all know the importance of clean water, especially our farming families, whose work is so dependent on an adequate supply of one of our most important natural resources. That’s why so many Hoosier farmers have voluntarily taken the initiative and proactively implemented conservation practices to improve water quality throughout the state. As a result, our state’s waters get cleaner each year. While challenges remain and we need to keep improving, we also need to ensure the Hoosier agriculture community is not overly burdened with rules and regulations or we risk inadvertently inhibiting future progress.

During a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to raise the concerns and frustrations of Hoosier farmers and producers related to the “Waters of the United States.” I questioned Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Jason Weller of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on voluntary conservation efforts by Hoosier farmers and the troublesome rule defining “Waters of the United States” within the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the interpretive rule on exemptions for certain agricultural practices. You may watch my questions and Weller’s answers here.

Watch Senator Donnelly’s questions
and Chief Weller’s responses here.

During the hearing, I expressed the frustration I have heard from many agricultural, manufacturing, property development, and conservation stakeholders regarding the confusing attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Army Corps of Engineers, and the NRCS to update the rules defining waters protected by the CWA. The regulations as currently written may have harmful and unintended consequences on the economy and the environment and I urged the agencies to work more effectively with the agriculture community to solve the problem without additional, burdensome regulation.

As you know, the EPA and Army Corps proposed a rule earlier this year defining the “Waters of the United States” that are protected by the CWA. Like many of you, I wanted the agencies to develop a rule that is narrowly tailored, consistent, and provides the certainty businesses need to plan for the future, while also balancing the need to protect our health and environment. I am concerned, however, that the proposed rule as currently written does not meet this goal.

In October, I wrote a letter to the EPA and Army Corps requesting that the agencies revise and clarify the proposed “Waters of the United States” rule. I asked that the agencies continue to work with stakeholders to address their valid concerns, consider input from those on the local level, and fulfill the requirements to study the proposed rule’s impact on small businesses and manufacturers before proposing the rule for another round of public comment. For more information and to see a copy of the letter, click here.

We will keep you updated on this issue and our work on the Senate Agriculture Committee. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions either by emailing or calling our Washington D.C. office at 202-224-4814. 


Senator Joe Donnelly
Please do not reply to this email. To contact my office, please click here.
Senator Joe Donnelly
Office Locations 

Washington, D.C.
SH-720 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4814
Fax: (202) 224-5011

Indianapolis, IN
115 N. Pennsylvania Street, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 226-5555
Fax: (855) 772-7518
For a full list of office locations, please click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Year of the Farmer

It’s official: 2015 will be the Year of the Farmer at the Indiana State Fair announced yesterday by fair officials, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Dow Agrosciences. Indiana State Fair Executive Director, Cindy Hoye, says it’s a great theme for consumer education on production agriculture.
“This year is just perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better year. Talking about individual farmers and what they contribute to put on your table, production farmers, the young 4-Her who’s out growing vegetables and learning about farming to little ones who are following in mom or dad’s footsteps combining, I’m just so excited about it. Even though farming is two percent of the population, it truly is so important to what we do here at the Indiana State Fair.”
Hoye adds that “A main reason the Indiana State Fair continues to thrive after 157 years in existence is the focus we place on agriculture. At the heart of agriculture is the individual farmer and, especially here in Indiana, farm families. We want them to understand how much they mean to our everyday lives and this is one way we can do that.”
This year’s theme is in partnership with Dow Agrosciences and will feature a number of unique programs and events to honor the Hoosier farmer.  A lot of these will begin early in the year to extend the reach of this year’s fair theme, including:
-          Harvest Dinner during the State fair
-          Farmer’s Care Food Drive
-          A speaker series on the importance of modern farming
-          A creative writing contest for school kids centering on the Year of the Farmer
As planning continues for next year’s fair, the public will see messages and branding for the Year of the Farmer through a variety of communications with the intent of making all Hoosiers more aware of the innovative way that local farmers are keeping up with the growing demand for food, fuel and fiber.
Who better to tell the story of the farmer than farmers, themselves? Doug Morrow from Swayzee was elected as a farmer spokesman for this year’s fair.
“It’s quite an honor to be asked to represent Indiana farmers on the announcement. I think that it’s going to shed a new light on what farmers do. I don’t think people understand exactly how we handle our day to day operations and what we do to make decisions that impact our future and the safety of food. So to have a chance to work with the Indiana State Fair to get that platform out there, I think it’s going to be huge.”
Morrow also adds this is a great time to address consumer concerns on food safety. He looks forward to more educational interaction as the Year of the Farmer gets under way.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann was also in attendance for the announcement and says any day she gets to go to the Indiana State Fair is a pretty good day.
“Recognizing the 2015 Indiana State Fair as the Year of the Farmer is a perfect fit. Productions grown by our farmers are interwoven through our lives and our economy to the point it’s difficult to identify any part of our existence that is not connected to what our farmers provide.”