The biggest gains for Indiana farmers coming from this week’s last second legislative maneuvers in Washington come from the fiscal cliff bill itself and not the 2008 Farm Bill extension within the bill. That’s the opinion of Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock who prefers to focus on the positive rather than the lack of budget cuts to really address deficit reduction. Villwock first highlighted the Bush tax cuts.
“Extending them was a major victory for agriculture, especially estate taxes where we were able to keep the $5 million per person exemption and with today’s land prices for Indiana agriculture and our farmers that’s a good thing even though they did up the rate from 35 to 40 percent.”
The capital gains rate for those earning under $400,000 will stay at 15 percent and “if Indiana farmers are thinking about maybe selling farms or liquidating assets that’s a positive.”
In the farm bill extension disaster provisions and 37 programs are authorized but not funded, but Villwock says the good news for Indiana farmers “is that we have a program. We know what is there. We’re used to Direct Payments. That was one thing we were trying to eliminate and shore up crop insurance, but crop insurance will still remain in place so that’s a positive. And for our dairy producers they did not go over the dairy cliff, which would have been a terrific market loss for them I believe with consumers if milk had actually gotten to the 7-8 dollar a gallon range. So we have reinstituted the Milk Income Loss Contracts for them. Even though that’s not a great program it’s better than no program.”
He also lauded the reinstitution of the $1biodiesel tax credit and its importance to Indiana.
Villwock told HAT Congress will talk about getting a new 5 year farm bill passed well before September but their track record says they can’t work together so it might be another last second deal.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Villwock-looks-at-cliff-and-farm-bill.mp3|titles=Villwock looks at cliff and farm bill]
Hear more in the full HAT interview:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Don-Villwock-on-farm-bill-extension.mp3|titles=Don Villwock on farm bill extension]