Some Thoughts As We Begin the New Year

As 2014 quickly fades into the rear-view mirror, now is a good time to reflect.  The past year saw a number of changes to the agricultural landscape for beginning farmers.  In no particular order:

  •  The Farm Bill passed early in the year with a number of provisions aimed at beginning farmers.  From increased lending limits on microloans to increased cost-sharing for EQIP contracts and revival of the Conservation Reserve Program’s Transition Incentive Program, beginning farmers have some new resources at their disposal.  As we enter 2015, and before the crop year begins, now is a good time to research how many of the updates in the Farm Bill can help with your operation.
  • The Nebraska Department of Agriculture launched new websites for the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit.  The NextGen website contains all the information and forms you need to apply for the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit.  The website also lists upcoming workshops and clinics for young and transitioning farmers and ranchers.
  • The 2014 crop year was one in which some beginning farmers and ranchers faced financial headwinds.  The 2015 crop year may intensify those headwinds.  However, one-on-one clinics to discuss financial concerns are available throughout the year.
  • New crop insurance products are rolling out, including changes in the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.  These products will assist beginning farmers weather the headwinds identified above.  These products also address how beginning farmers are farming in today.
  • And last but certainly not least, ARC and PLC are coming down the pike.  ARC and PLC replace direct payments.  Now is the time to begin considering what product to enroll in for the best potential benefit to your operation.

The upcoming year has the potential to change your operation, in both positive and negative respects.  If you ever want to take some time to discuss your operation, your options, and what programs are available, feel free to contact us.

Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit for 2014 Tax Year

If you are an owner of an agricultural asset, such as land, livestock, machinery, or buildings, and are interested in the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit for the 2014 tax year, the deadline to apply is approaching.  The Nebraska Department of Agriculture requires applications for the tax credit to be received by December 31, 2014 for a tax credit beginning in the 2014 tax year.

If you have any questions, please contact us!

CRP-TIP Program Taking Applications

A little known program continued from the 2008 Farm Bill is the Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentive Program (TIP).  TIP is a program that assists farmers interested in selling land to a beginning farmer.

Under TIP, landowners with expiring CRP contracts receive an additional two years of CRP payments on land that is sold or leased to a beginning, socially disadvantaged, or veteran farmer.  The sold or leased land is then returned to production by the beginning farmer.  Keep in mind the participating farmers must develop and/or implement a conversation plan for the land coming out of CRP.

TIP sign-ups began June 9.  Funding increased from the 2008 Farm Bill; currently, TIP is funded with $33 million through 2018.

But there are other advantages to TIP.  TIP can be combined with existing state and federal programs.  For example, the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit can be utilized by the landowner and beginning farmer while enrolled in TIP.  That way, the landowner receives two additional CRP payments while also receiving the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit.  TIP may also be combined with EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) and CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program).

We are happy to help with any questions you may have regarding TIP.  It is a wonderful program for both landowners and beginning farmers and ranchers so look into it!