ELECT Primary Endorsements Page 3
Winter 2013-14: How Bad Was It? Pages 4, 5
INSIDE: News in Brief.....................2 State & Nation...................3 Around IFB........................6 Communications...............7 Around Indiana.................8
The Hoosier Farmer
A Publication for Voting Members of Indiana Farm Bureau
APRIL 28, 2014 Issue No. 52
Congress takes on expired “tax extenders” among broader reform efforts —By Kyle Cline National Policy Advisor Public Policy Team More than three months following the expiration of around 50 tax credits and deductions commonly known as “tax extenders,” momentum is picking up in Congress to address the issue in the context of a broader tax reform discussion. In early April, the Senate Finance Committee approved the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (or “EXPIRE”) Act, a bill which extends all but two of the expired tax provisions for two more years. All of the expiring provisions supported by Farm Bureau were included in the two-year extension, including Section 179, bonus depreciation, and biodiesel tax credits among others: Section 179 small business expensing The maximum $500,000 deduction reduced dollar for dollar when expenditures exceed $2 million. (The deduction did not expire at the end of 2013 but was reduced to $25,000.) Bonus depreciation An additional 50 percent bonus depreciation for the purchase of new capital assets, including agricultural equipment. Cellulosic (second generation) biofuel producer tax credit The $1.01 per gallon income tax credit for cellulosic biofuel sold for fuel Indiana Farm Bureau P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206
plus the additional first-year 50 percent bonus depreciation for cellulosic biofuel production facilities. Biodiesel • The $1 per gallon biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit. • The 10 cents per gallon small agri-biodiesel producer credit. • The $1 per gallon tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass. Alternative fuel refueling property The 30 percent investment tax credit for alternative vehicle refueling property. Other • The production tax credit, which provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity using wind energy. • The community and distributed wind investment tax credit, which gives the option to take an investment tax credit in lieu of the production tax credit. • Fair market test for unrelated business income tax. • Provision encouraging donations of conservations easements. • Fifty percent railroad track maintenance credit for short line railroads. • Enhanced deduction for donated food. • Deduction for state and local sales tax. • Deduction for tuition and fees for higher education. In the House of Representatives, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Michigan, recently Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
Berne, IN Permit NO. 43
The current class of IFB’s Leaders in Action program met on April 12 in St. Joseph County to learn about self-leadership. Here, a blindfolded team is trying to spell words related to agriculture or leadership using the letters provided. From left are Kate Keefer, IFB Insurance agency coordinator for the Allen-Adams agency; Nick Wenning, Decatur County; Daniel Stauffer, Wabash County; Alan Duttlinger, Tippecanoe County; and John Childs, Marshall County. More information about LiA is available on the IFB website, www.infb.org, under “Programs.” Photo by Julie Klarich
conducted hearings on Section 179 Small Business Expensing among a few other provisions. Section 179 allows a taxpayer to deduct all or part of the cost of new or used business property rather than depreciating the cost over a longer period of time. The immediate expensing provided by Section 179 allows farmers and ranchers to cash flow purchases that otherwise would be impossible or that would require them to incur debt expense when purchases cannot be delayed. Uncontrollable weather and unpredictable markets create huge fluctuations in farm profitability. When farmers and
ranchers have good years, Section 179 helps them to maximize their income so they are able to invest more for equipment replacement. This averages out against the poor years when cash flow isn’t available to invest, making their businesses more efficient and sustainable in the long term. In response to recent committee activities, Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, and Ron Kind, D-Wis., have introduced legislation H.R. 4457 to make permanent a Section 179 small business expensing maximum limit of $500,000 with the dollar per dollar phase-out threshold set at $2 million. On Jan. 1, the
maximum deduction shrank to $25,000. The Tiberi/Kind bill retroactively returns the deduction to last year’s level and makes it permanent. H.R. 4457 was also co-sponsored by Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind. The bill could reach the floor in early May. Members are urged to contact their representatives to express their support for the Farm Bureau-supported provisions during committee consideration of the tax extenders and the ongoing debate of tax reform. For more information about tax reform, or to learn how to engage on the issue, contact me at 317-692-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA proposes extensive revisions to agricultural worker protection standards —By Amy Cornell Public Policy Team EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (or WPS) is a regulation aimed at reducing the risk of pesticide poisonings and injuries among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. The a new proposed rule extensively revises the existing WPS in several areas, including training, notification, hazard communication, minimum age, and personal protective equipment. The current comment deadline for comments is June 17, 2014. AFBF has requested a 90-day extension of the comment deadline. The EPA issued the pro-
posed rulemaking at one of the busiest times of year for farmers. Farm Bureau members who would be most affected by the proposed changes are now cultivating soil and planting crops. AFBF pointed out that the existing WPS provisions have been in place for approximately 20 years and the issue surrounding the revisions has been ongoing for at least a decade. A 90-day extension of the comment period, given the context of the dialogue that has surrounded this topic, is a reasonable request. The proposed changes in the rule are extensive and will impact many of Indiana Farm Bureau members
directly. Examples of such proposals include: Altering the family farm exemption. Increasing legal obligation related to training of workers, content of training materials and timing of training. Imposing stricter requirements related to personal protective equipment and availability of decontamination supplies. Imposing buffer zones related to application of pesticides that could reduce available acreage for crop production. For more information contact me at acornell@infb. org or Kyle Cline at kcline@ infb.org.
NEWS IN BRIEF
GMO labeling bill introduced in Congress
News Bites —Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
—By Mindy Reef Public Relations Team
AFBF ‘dismayed’ by EPA’s new ‘waters of the U.S.’ rule—Pud-
dles, ponds, ditches, ephemerals (land that looks like a small stream during heavy rain but isn’t wet most of the time) and small wetlands dot the nation’s farmland. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on March 25 issued a proposed rule that would expand their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to many of these land features and waters, giving the agencies the power to regulate or prohibit land-uses and farming practices in or near them. The American Farm Bureau Federation has reviewed the proposed rule, and the results, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman, are “dismaying.” “EPA says its new rule will reduce uncertainty, and that much seems to be true: There isn’t much uncertainty if most every feature where water flows or stands after a rainfall is federally regulated,” Stallman said. Stallman noted that EPA accompanied the proposal with a new “interpretive rule” claiming to clarify certain statutory exemptions for agricultural conservation practices, including activities as commonplace and essential to farming as building a fence. However, he noted, these exemptions apply only to ‘dredge and fill’ permit requirements. “They do not protect farmers from federal veto power over pest and weed control, fertilizer application, and other essential farming activities that may result in the addition of ‘pollutants’ to ‘navigable waters,’ – providing one views every ditch and wet spot across the landscape as ‘navigable
The American Farm Bureau Federation says that a new rule proposed by EPA would give the agency too much power over temporary water features.
A bill to create a national labeling program for foods made with genetically modified organisms was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo and a number of others representatives on April 9. “The national GMO labeling bill is important for several reasons,” said Kyle Cline, IFB’s national government relations policy advisor. “First, it creates a uniform labeling standard that will help consumers avoid unnecessary confusion that would occur if all 50 states establish their own label and safety laws. “Second, it would prevent higher food prices by setting a single label and safety standard for all food manufacturers and retailers to follow, regardless of which markets their products are sold, something important to us all during this slow economic recovery,” he said. The bill, H.R. 4432, known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014, amends the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic
now being accepted for the Farm Bureau Women’s Communications Boot Camp, which is open to all women who are Farm Bureau members and want to enhance their communication and leadership skills. The intensive training offers sessions on public
speaking, testifying, targeting your message, working with the media and seeking elected office. Participants will complete an intense round of media interviews on a pre-selected issue and practice testifying. The training offers multiple interactive opportunities to build skills needed to communicate about agriculture and for Farm Bureau. Each participant will also network and develop relationships with Farm Bureau members and staff. Applications for Women’s Communication Boot Camp must be completed electronically and signed by a state Farm Bureau administrator, organization director or Women’s Leadership program director. The deadline for submitting applications is June 30. Applicants will be notified of their application status via email by July 31. A maximum of 15 applicants will
Legal Affairs Team
Public Relations Team
President...................................... Don Villwock Vice President.................................Randy Kron Second Vice President................. Isabella Chism Chief Operating Officer/Treasurer....Mark Sigler Receptionist...................................... Kim Duke General Fund Accountant.............. Tiffanie Ellis Office Manager & Meeting Planner.Kay Keown Controller.......................................Elaine Rueff Administrative Assistant....................Jill Shanley Executive Secretary..................... Beverly Thorpe
Director & General Counsel ...Mark Thornburg Associate Counsel for Corporate Compliance & Nonprofit Affairs ............Sara MacLaughlin Legal Assistant........................... Maria Spellman
Director & Editor .......................Andy Dietrick Web Designer/Developer..............Diane Brewer Publications Managing Editor & Media Relations Specialist...... Kathleen Dutro Marketing & PR Specialist.............. Mindy Reef Communications Assistant......... Rachel Schrage
Wayne Belden (1 & 3) Greg Bohlander (6) Andrew Cleveland (4 & 6) Janice Deno (3) Jennifer Chandler Gish (9) Seth Harden (7 & 9) Allison Hines (10) Amy Hutson (5) Susan Lawrence (2) John Newsom (1 & 2) Kermit Paris (8) Keegan Poe (5 & 8) Brad Ponsler (10) E.B. Rawles (7) Allie Rieth (4)
District Directors Larry Jernas (1) Kevin Ousley (2) Kevin Underwood (3) Steve Maple (4) Dave Wyeth (5)
Scott Trennepohl (6) Jeff Gormong (7) Mark Bacon (8) Philip Springstun (9) Robert Schickel (10)
Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation Director..................... John Shoup
April 28, 2014
waters.’ “The American Farm Bureau Federation will dedicate itself to opposing this attempted end run around the limits set by Congress and the Supreme Court,” Stallman said. “The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that Congress meant what it said: ‘navigable waters’ does not mean all waters. This proposed rule shows that EPA refuses to accept those limits.” (AFBF 4/1/14)
Apply today for ABFB Women’s Communications Boot Camp—Applications are
Public Policy Team Director........................................ Megan Ritter Policy Development & Industry Relations.........................Bob Cherry National Government Relations Policy Advisor................. Kyle Cline State GR Policy Advisor & Counsel.......................................Amy Cornell Administrative Assistant .................... B.J. Fields State Government Relations Director...................................... Katrina Hall Administrative Assistant .............Wanda Hunter State GR Senior Policy Advisor & Counsel..................................Justin Schneider Livestock Development Specialist... Greg Slipher Direct Retail Business Specialist........Bob White
Organizational Development Team Director............................................... Kim Vail Program Assistant........................ Ashley Beasley Field Services Program Director.....Chris Fenner Young Farmer & Women’s Program Coordinator................ Meggie Foster Collegiate Farm Bureau Coordinator................................ Seth Harden Program Assistant.......................Kathryn Rogers Education Coordinator.................... Julie Taylor Member Services Coordinator...........Anna Todd Program Assistant............................ Tracie Trent
be selected to participate. Staff of AFBF, state or county Farm Bureaus or affiliated companies are not eligible to participate. (AFBF 4/18/14)
CBO: Food stamp costs could fall $24 billion—After the buckets of political blood spilled over food stamps this past year, the Congressional Budget Office has quietly lowered its cost estimate for the nutrition program by $24 billion over the next decade, the American Farm Bureau said. The “technical” adjustment is tucked into a report issued April 14, and
Indiana Farm Bureau Inc./ Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Director of Affiliate Relations.................. Julie Klarich
Act to establish a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with GMOs. The federal standard would prevent states from creating their own labeling standards, discouraging a network of varying rules around the country. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would affirm the Food and Drug Administration as the nation’s food safety authority. Several requirements for the FDA would be set forth through the bill, including conducting safety reviews of all new plant varieties used for genetically engineered food and developing a federal definition for “natural” claims on product labels. Indiana Farm Bureau supports a national approach to the labeling of foods made from ingredients derived from biotechnology when labeling is deemed appropriate for health or safety reasons, specifically when a biotech food differs materially from a food product made from conventionally grown ingredients. Visit www.ifbstayinformed.org for resources and more information about GMOs and the new bill. it reflects revisions in how CBO calculates what the average beneficiary receives each month under food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It’s just a 3-percent change but more than a little ironic after the fighting over fewer SNAP dollars that dogged the recently enacted five-year farm bill, AFBF said. Indeed, having announced the adjustment, CBO’s report then goes out of its way to say as little as possible about the rest of the farm bill’s costs, even with the drop in grain prices. (AFBF 4/16/14)
Address Letters & Questions To: Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Phone: 1-800-327-6287 or (317) 692-7776 E-Mail Address: email@example.com Duplicate Magazines If you are receiving more than one copy of The Hoosier Farmer®, please cut out both labels and return them to the address above. Magazine Design and Layout Davis Graphic Design www.davisgraphics.com The Hoosier Farmer® is published 14 times per year by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., P.O. Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and is furnished as a service to voting members and others. Controlled circulation. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Hoosier Farmer® P.O. Box 1290 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1290. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
STATE & NATION
Farm bill implementation roll-out continues —By Kyle Cline Public Policy Team Nearly three months have passed since the longawaited passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, which was signed into law in early February. Since then, the USDA has been working to define and write the rules and program parameters for each farm bill title. Several program announcements have been made in recent weeks with more to come. Below are summaries for the most recent developments: Payment limit provisions In general, the majority of the rules and requirements effective for previous years’ program payments and benefits remain and are applica-
ble to recipients of program payments and benefits under the 2014 Farm Bill. This includes the requirements of actively engaged in farming, cash-rent tenant, substantive change, minor child, and spousal provisions. Payments will continue to be limited by direct attribution to person and legal entity. New provisions effective for 2014 require that to be eligible for program benefits, persons and legal entities must have an average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $900,000 or less. This applies to commodity, price support and disaster assistance program payments and benefits. The definitions for determining AGI for persons and legal entities and the corresponding 3-year
periods for the determination of average AGI remain unchanged. Effective for 2015, the same average AGI limitation applies to the recipients of payments and benefits from most conservation programs. Block grants The USDA recently announced the availability of approximately $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants to state departments of agriculture for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, through research, programs to increase demand, and more. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is designed to enhance the markets for specialty crops like fruits,
Disaster Assistance Programs USDA began accepting applications for the following disaster assistance programs on April 15: Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses, and other livestock as determined by the Secretary. Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire on publicly managed land. An eligible livestock producer must own, cash lease, or be a contract grower of eligible livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of the qualifying drought or fire in a county that is rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as D2, D3, or D4. Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible pro-
ducers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.
vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. As directed by the Farm Bill, the block grants are now allocated to U.S. States and territories based on a formula that takes into consideration both specialty crop acreage and production value. Nearly all states are seeing an increase in funds. Interested applicants should apply directly to their state department of agriculture. Disaster programs Beginning on April 15, the USDA began accepting enrollments into several disaster assistance programs. The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses
that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. Enrollment also began on April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and FarmRaised Fish Program and the Tree Assistance Program. To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs. Information on the types of records necessary can be provided by local FSA county offices. Producers also are encouraged to contact their county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment.
ELECT endorses 15 candidates for 2014 primaries —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Indiana Farm Bureau ELECT, the political action committee of Indiana Farm Bureau, has made endorsements in the primary races for three congressional seats and 12 legislative seats. Because Indiana Farm Bureau’s PAC is grassroots-driven, it is more complicated than most. With the ELECT endorsement, candidates have made it through the multi-step process to gain the organization’s support.
In the congressional races, ELECT endorsed: Rep. Susan Brooks, Congressional District 5 (which encompasses all or part of Blackford, Boone, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Madison, Marion and Tipton counties). Rep. Larry Bucshon, CD 8 (encompasses all or parts of Clay, Daviess, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warrick, Crawford, Dubois, Perry and Spencer counties). Rep. Todd Young, CD 9
(encompasses all or parts of Johnson, Morgan, Monroe, Brown, Jackson, Scott, Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Crawford, Orange and Lawrence counties). In the Indiana Senate primaries, the committee endorsed Rick Niemeyer, Indiana Senate District 6 (which encompasses all or part of Benton, Lake and Newton counties); Ken Fries, S15 (which covers a significant portion of Allen County); R. Bruce Wissel, S27 (encompasses all or part of Dearborn, Fayette, Franklin, Randolph,
Union and Wayne counties); Chip Perfect, S43 (encompasses all or part of Dearborn, Jennings, Ripley, Decatur, Bartholomew and Jackson counties); and Rep. Mark Messmer, S48 (which encompasses all or part of Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Pike, Spencer and Warrick counties). In the Indiana House primaries, the endorsed candidates are Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, Indiana House District 22 (which covers parts of Elkhart and Kosciusko counties); Rep. Don Lehe, H25 (encompasses
all or part of Carroll, Cass, Clinton, White and Tippecanoe counties); Rep. Jerry Torr, H39 (which covers part of Hamilton County); Adam Bujalski, H48 (which covers the northern part of Elkhart County); Rep. Milo Smith, H59 (which covers much of Bartholomew County); Mike Braun, H63 (encompasses all or part of Daviess, Dubois, Martin and Pike counties); and Rep. Casey Cox, H85 (covers eastern and northeastern Allen County).
April 28, 2014
Winter 2013-2014: H —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team It isn’t any secret that people across the state thought this winter was harsher than most, but how bad was it really? According to associate state cli-
matologist Ken Scheeringa, it was bad, but not the worst he has seen. “While this was a close second, the winters of 1976-1979 still stand out in my memory as the worst,” he said. “The average temperature that winter was more than 8 degrees colder, the snow events were longer,
Winter of 2013‐2014: Snowfall By the Numbers Crop Reporting District 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Normal Snowfall 28.9" 46.8" 28.8" 15.8" 20.9" 32.8" 16.6" 16.7" 19.0"
2013/2014 Snowfall 71.0" 74.3" 62.0" 41.1" 51.1" 55.6" 22.9" 25.1" 37.5"
Maximum Snowfall 113.5" 112.6" 80.2" 56.3" 101.0" 69.9" 39.3" 35.4" 37.5"
Inches Above Normal 42.1" 27.5" 33.2" 25.3" 30.2" 22.8" 6.3" 8.4" 18.5"
% Above Normal 245.7 158.8 215.3 260.1 244.5 169.5 138.0 150.3 197.4
% Above Normal of Max. Snowfall 392.7 240.6 278.5 356.3 483.3 213.1 236.7 212.0 197.4
Information courtesy of the Office of the Indiana State Climatologist
the winds higher, and it directly affected more of the state.” Of the 90 days encompassing January, February and March of 2014, 65 of them had below-average high temperatures. On Jan. 6, right in the middle of a frigid winter weather system dubbed the “polar vortex,” high temperatures across much of the state failed to reach -10 degrees. It was only the 10th day in the past 100 years where the temperature failed to reach a high of 0 degrees. The cold was not the only harsh aspect of this winter. From November through March, some areas of the state saw more than 110 inches of snow. As a whole this winter, the state saw almost twice as much snow as normal; in this case, “normal” is defined as the average snowfall in the 30 years between 1981 and 2010. The hardest hit areas of the state saw snow totals nearly three times larger than normal, including the snowiest city in the state, La Porte, where 113.5 inches of snow fell. Extreme cold and heavy snow brought economic activity to a
grinding halt for several days in early January. Closed highways, impassible county roads and drifting snow made it impossible for trucks to make pickups and deliveries. Fair Oaks Farm, a dairy in northwest Indiana, felt major losses due to the inclement weather. For each day that milk did not make it to the marketplace, Fair Oaks lost nearly half a million dollars. “We don’t stop milking,” said Mike McCloskey, chairman of the Fair Oaks board. “Unfortunately, we had to let the milk go down the drain because capacity for storage on the dairy farm was full. The trucks couldn’t come back to pick up the milk, but we don’t have a choice but to continue to milk the cows — because they need to be milked.” “It’s tough to compare winters, because you wonder if they should be compared by total snowfall, coldest temperature or the greatest number of snow days,” Scheeringa said. “The comparison gets long and blurry, but this winter doesn’t tick any of those boxes.”
2013-14 was a long, hard winter for pork producers —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team Humans had a difficult time coping with the hard winter, so it’s not surprising that pigs – and those who raise them – did, too. “It was an extremely long winter,” said Marc Hill, who with his parents and wife markets about 13,000 pigs per year from their Hancock County farm. Challenges included ridiculously low temperatures – including a week in which the temperature never got above zero – blowing snow, persistently poor road conditions, issues with transporting market hogs, and issues with transporting feed from the bins to the pigs. “The weather made ‘simple’ jobs a lot more difficult,” he said. “At 20 below zero, nothing wants to work right.” And then, to cap everything off, the Hills’ herd contracted porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, better known as PEDv, a virus that has killed millions of pigs since it first
April 28, 2014
entered the U.S. last year. PEDv thrives in cold weather, and it is nearly always fatal in pigs under 2 weeks of age, according to Purdue University. That was certainly how it worked on his farm, Hill said. “We lost every pig born for roughly four weeks,” he explained. The Hills’ experience wasn’t unique, of course. Judging by the quarterly “Hogs & Pigs” report released on March 28, the nation’s losses of baby pigs over the past six months appears to have been about 5 percent of the total herd, according to analysis from Purdue University. From December 2013 through February 2014, the national average number of pigs per litter dropped to 9.53, compared with an expected rate of 10.3, a decline of more than 7 percent. Indiana’s pigs per litter dropped from an average of 9.55 in 2013 to 9.20 during the winter period. Things are slowly getting back to normal on Hill Farms. The wet spring has kept them from cleaning
Marc Hill of Hancock County poses in one of his swine barns. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
up fence rows and installing some new tile drain, as they usually do in the spring, but the family is ready to “call it good for this year” and move on to other things, such as planting. The roads – though still “pothole laden” – are passable again, and the feed and hog transport trucks are
back to normal. And while PEDv is still present in the herd, it’s decreased in severity. According to Purdue, Indiana’s pig losses should decrease as the weather continues to warm up. “We’re still not quite over it,” Hill said.
How bad was it really? Winter hard on humans but probably not a big deal for most crop pests overwinter beneath the soil surface. Soil and snow insulates insects from wild temperature fluctuations. Insects change their body chemisAccording to Purdue entomolotry to withstand freezing. gists Christian Krupke and John The pests that overwinter in the Obermeyer, a common question from Midwest – including Japanese beetles, farmers and homeowners alike this corn rootworm, bean leaf beetles and year is “Did the polar vortexes of the two-spotted spider mite – do so the 2013/2014 winter reduce insect under plant residues or in the soil. populations?” This insulates them from temperature In most cases, however, the answer extremes. In fact, Krupke and Oberis probably not, they said in the April 4 meyer said, a long, cold winter might issue of the “Pest & Crop Newsletter” even be better for the pests than a (which can be found at http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/pestcrop/2014/) winter with fluctuating temperatures that cause the pests to wake up too – or at least not enough to make any early or too often. significant difference in many of the The chart to the right shows the state’s most destructive pests. Consider these basic facts, they said: problem. The bars on the left side Most corn and soybean insect pests show the unbearable temperature fluctuations that humans endured at the Purdue ACRE farm in Tippecanoe County. The bars on the right side show the less extreme fluctuations in temperature found 4 inches under the soil. “With the probe just a few inches in the soil, the temperature extremes are greatly tempered. Add to consideration is the snow White grub in wintering earthen cell. Photo courtesy of that was present for much —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team
Chart courtesy of Purdue University
of the state throughout the winter,” adding another insulating blanket, they wrote. The bright spot for farmers is that not all of Indiana’s crop pests overwinter underground. “Insects that overwinter above the ground, including soybean aphids and bean leaf beetles, will suffer higher mortality as a result of a harsh winter,” they said. Rootworm eggs that are laid at or
just below the soil surface will probably dry out from exposure to the air, but eggs laid by female beetles that ventured down soil cracks, earthworm holes, etc. to depths of 6” or more “will be ready for this season’s corn roots,” they said. The same can be said, they added, for the assortment of grubs, wireworms and maggots, many of which overwinter far below the surface where soil temps are relatively consistent.
Wheat crop causing worry for some farmers —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team In some ways, Mark Bacon’s wheat crop reflects the crop for Indiana as a whole. One of his Rush County fields looks the way it ought to in mid-April: vibrant green and obviously growing. At just 3-4 inches in height, it isn’t as tall as it should be, Bacon said, but it’s looking pretty good. And then there’s that other field – the one with some decent-looking patches, but others that show stunted, brownish blades of wheat, and still
others that have very little growth of any kind. “I can wait until mid-May to decide,” Bacon said, “but it might be best to burn it off and no-till corn into it.” This variability can be found throughout Indiana, according to the April 21 “Crop Progress & Condition Report” from the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service. Around 60 percent of wheat statewide is rated “good” to “excellent,” but 33 percent is rated only “fair” and 7 percent is “poor” or “very poor.” The lateness of Bacon’s crop is also reflected elsewhere. Nine percent of
One of Mark Bacon’s wheat fields exhibits uneven growth and bare patches as a result of damage caused by a long and difficult winter. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
the crop has reached the “jointing” stage, compared to the fiveyear average of 19 percent. The primary determining factor in whether wheat survived the winter is the amount of snow cover present during the periods of bitter cold, Purdue Extension agronomist Shaun Casteel said in a recent release. “The snow blanket protected the crop in some areas, but in others, particularly in the southern part of the state, we didn’t have that snow cover,” Casteel said. Other types of damage that growers might Mark Bacon of Rush County poses in one of his two wheat see this spring are fields. This one is coming along nicely despite the hard winter. heaving (caused by Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro freezing and thawing cycles) and smothering (caused by ponding). other, it shouldn’t have been enough Bacon said he doesn’t know why to make a big difference. one of his fields looks good while the “Maybe it (the better field) just had other is marginal. They were planted better snow cover because it’s flatonly two days apart, and while one ter,” he theorized. “But I really don’t had a little bit more nitrogen than the know.”
April 28, 2014
Livestock producers urged to join certification program —From the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Join the more than 90 livestock producers from across Indiana who publicly demonstrate their commitment to animal care, environmental stewardship, food safety, biosecurity, emergency planning and community relations by becoming a “certified livestock producer.” Why should all livestock producers become certified? According to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, which runs the program, the reason is maintaining consumer confidence, which is important to all producers The average American is three to four generations removed from the farm, and less than 2 percent are involved in agriculture. With fewer and fewer people involved in agriculture each
year, consumers are becoming more and more interested in learning where their food comes from and how it is produced. They want to know that farmers care about their cows, the environment and about producing wholesome, safe food for consumers. In addition to improving consumer confidence in modern agriculture, the Certified Livestock Producer Program provides the following for certified producers: • 5 percent discount on Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance farm policies . • $50 reimbursement from MWI Veterinary Supply for the veterinarian trip charge associated with the biosecurity section. • 5 percent discount on Townsends Sales Livestock Equipment. • 10% discount on Cherry Brother Designs Farm
Source Systems (farm emergency plans). • Various discounts on Cowco Inc. livestock equipment and custom signs. Certified producers also receive a “Certified Livestock Producer” sign for their farm, use of the official logo on marketing materials, a subscription to the exclusive semi-annual CLPP Connector newsletter for certified producers, an invitation to the Certified Livestock Producer luncheon at the Indiana State Fair, opportunities to participate in various events to inform consumers about modern agriculture and farm practices, and more. For more information on the certification process, please contact livestock program Manager Kimmi Devaney at KDevaney@isda.in.gov or 317450-3570. Applications are due to Devaney by May 30.
County woman leaders recognized for leadership —By Kathleen M. Dutro Public Relations Team County woman leaders who completed the Indiana Farm Bureau Leadership Incentive Program for 2013 were recently recognized by the Women’s Leadership Committee. The recognition occurred during the 2014 Spring Conference. The Leadership Incentive Program is designed to promote and reward leadership for county woman leaders. High-point achiever for 2013 was Cindy Berning, Allen County woman leader. For her achievement, Cindy will have the opportunity to travel with Farm Bureau to her choice of the AFBF National Convention in San Diego, the National Ag in the
Classroom Conference or to an Indiana Farm Bureau trip to Washington, D.C. The next highest level of achievement is level 2. In addition to Berning, the level 2 winners were Glenda Wallpe, Benton; Patricia Burkhalter, Clinton; Janice Uhlmansiek, Dearborn; Vickie Mitchell, Delaware; Melba Loyd, Floyd; Martha Bergman, Franklin; and Sue Stuckey, Gibson. Iris Eller, Howard; Sharon Schafer, Jefferson; Maryann Maschino, Jennings; Tina Goon, Kosciusko; Betty Wade, Marshall; Michelle Stanger, Monroe; Diana Love, Orange; Katherine Rust, Porter; and Rose Gauck, Ripley. Marlene Fudge, Rush; Carolyn Sue Smith, Scott; Ruth Lohide, Switzerland Elsa Smith, Tipton; Cynthia
Maasberg, Vanderburgh; and Deborah Denton, White Level 2 achievers received an Indiana Farm Bureau padfolio. Those who achieved level 1 were Lois Bonnell, Bartholomew County; Janice Frey, Carroll; Karen Riggle, Daviess; Carolyn Shoemaker, Jackson; Marilyn Knapke, Jay; Susan Hayden, Lake; Suzanne Burns, Laporte; and Amanda Potts, Pike. Christina Seifert, Posey; Cindy Ramsey, Shelby; Linda Sikorski, St. Joseph; Judy Troike, Starke; Mary Workman, Tippecanoe; Linda Brookbank, Union; Bonita Watson, Warrick; Connie Fisher, Washington; and Patricia Baker, Wells For reaching level 1, county woman leaders received an Indiana Farm Bureau tote bag.
Cynthia Berning was the top achievement winner in 2013 for the Leadership Incentive Program sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Committee. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Scholarship winners named —Rachel Schrage Public Relations Team Each year, the Indiana Farm Bureau Foundation awards a $500 scholarship to a high school senior in each district, to be used in pursuit of an agriculture or agribusiness-related degree at an accredited institution. To be eligible the student’s family must have been an Indiana Farm Bureau member for two years prior to application. Winners are chosen based on demonstrated community involvement, leadership skills and financial need.
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This year’s winners are: District 1 – Olivia Kuczmanski. District 2 – Kelsey Sue Younce . District 3 – Abigail Clark. District 4 – Megan Dragstrem. District 5 – Brooke Harvey. District 6 – Brooke Renee Lane. District 7 – Joshlyn Dee Held. District 8 – Layne Sanders. District 9 – Not determined. District 10 – Cheyce A. Thomas.
If there’s a possible annexation in your future, keep IFB in the loop —By Katrina Hall Public Policy Team As Indiana Farm Bureau staff focus their efforts to help members deal with the recent rash of annexation proposals occurring across the state, we need to hear from you. If you see something, say something. This is the current catch phrase for reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement. Some would say it’s a stretch to compare a proposed annexation to the threats contemplated in the “See something, say something” warning, but to those in the path of an annexation, the pangs may be just as real and the consequences may be as long lasting. On March 31, a group of landowners whose property lies along SR 4 connecting an interchange on the new US 31 bypass to Lakeville attended an open house where the town board and their consultants answered questions about an annexation proposal. I attended the meeting and walked away with some lasting impressions of the local dynamics in an annexation process.
The stated goal of the Lakeville annexation is to provide for orderly development along the SR 4 corridor and fulfill objectives of the town’s master plan that was adopted in back 2011. The master plan mentions the creation of a tax increment financing (or “TIF”) district that would capture all new taxes in the annexed area which has a few homes but is unmistakably farmland. A TIF district captures taxes that would otherwise go to the county, township, library and the local school district with the most to lose. The Lakeville master plan lays out the goal of redirecting captured TIF revenues away from the annexed area to improve the current downtown corridor on what will become “old US 31.” Landowners present at this meeting had no idea that others were making plans for their property three years ago. While these objectives may have a broad public purpose, the thing that struck a nerve was the complete disregard for the plans and goals of the landowners in the annexation area. There was no understanding of what farmers sacrificed to
accumulate acres and build a working farm. The value of generational landownership wasn’t on the radar of these well-meaning local officials. Since the new road is complete, the impact of new terrain road land acquisition and disruptive construction was off their radar. This was an informal meeting not required by law, but shouldn’t landowners who cannot vote for those proposing an annexation have a notice, a formal opportunity or at least a forum to voice their opinion about the future use of their land? It seemed as though the town board should have realized that their neighbors, the people they have known for years, have concerns. But if the proposal moves forward, do landowners have an effective way to determine their future? Indiana’s law on involuntary annexation and surrounding case law basically gives landowners little chance to stop the process. Sensing resistance at this meeting, the town board’s consultants said concessions could be made to current landowners who consented to voluntary annexation. The annexation
Pictured below: The Lakeville Centennial Quilt
The fabric of community, the patchwork of history, stitched together with hometown values.
Working Person’s Store
Lakeville Public Library
Potato Creek State Park
The Lakes of Lakeville
Joshua Tree Earth & Space Museum
Town of Lakeville 2011 Comprehensive Plan DRAFT, June 27, 2011
The cover of the master plan document for the town of Lakeville.
laws simply must change. Farmers within a few miles of an annexation may think they will not be affected, but the “2-mile fringe” of even very small towns pushes out proportionately when an annexation occurs. Towns are being advised to look far beyond their borders to their area of urban influence which hardly seems appropriate for rural Indiana. No one in rural Indiana thinks they can live without the goods and professional services that are generally congregated within a municipality, but it’s time to remember that
the people and economic activity inside the town are supported by the rural areas already through the normal course of commerce. Even though legislative efforts to curb involuntary annexation failed by a couple of votes in the Senate last month, it is important for farmers across the state to be paying attention to any chatter or official notice about a proposed annexation in their area. Please email me at khall@INFB.org with any details about annexations occurring near you. We have a lot of work to do with legislators this summer.
Working with other counties can make county FBs more effective —By Chris Fenner Organizational Development Team How does your county Farm Bureau promote agriculture? How do you communicate with your members and potential members in your community? Print and radio continue to be very effective ways to distribute our position on issues, activities you conduct for your community, opportunities for members to engage with your organization and promote insurance products. This may sound overwhelming but you don’t have to do this alone. Eight counties in District 2 have combined their resources with Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to increase their buying power and expand their reach to members. Most advertising dollars include your local radio station or newspaper writing the scripts and doing the voice-overs for your ads. The ability to work together as a group has allowed District 2 to purchase a larger number of ads over a full year and have greater influence over their local media outlets.
Primary messages they promote include: membership, grassroots policy issues, scholarships, county fair activities, state conventions, commodities such as dairy month and ice cream month, ag week, insurance products and member benefits. The Public Relations Team at Indiana Farm Bureau can provide some materials about agricultural promotion, and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance supplied all its own advertising copy. The insurance company is guaranteed one week per quarter for their ads. You might be asking yourself how this would all work. District 2 had a volunteer and its regional manager be the point people for approving ads and making sure there was new material to share. The district was able to purchase 27 prime-time monthly radio spots for $1,100 per month. If you purchase enough ads, many will throw in rotator ads, airing your ads at other times for free as they need material to fill any dead space on the radio. District 2 is guaranteed an additional seven rotator ads each month free of additional charge.
ads in an ag newspaper, ag web-based news source, fair book, plat book or similar ag publication; and meeting with a local media source and providing a new or updated media contact sheet.
If you would like to pursue advertising in your local media outlets, contact the public relations team at Indiana Farm Bureau, askus@ infarmbureau.org, or your local regional manager.
Multi-county media buys can increase ad leverage —By Andy Dietrick Public Relations Team
All these activities can lead to your county receiving credit in the County Recognition Program as well. This recognition could be included as part of your efforts: led to new memberships written; county Farm Bureaus conducting membership campaigns; the county Farm Bureau increasing its visibility by publicizing a local or state policy issue through paid advertisement; purchasing three or more ads in newspaper, radio, TV or billboards; purchasing three or more
Sometimes an issue impacts more than one county or a program needs a broader reach. That’s when it makes sense for a group of county Farm Bureaus to work together to buy more coverage than what the local station provides. It may sound like a lot of work, but bulk purchasing of radio time doesn’t have to be complicated. Even though both Hoosier Ag Today and the Brownfield Network are statewide radio networks with dozens of stations, today’s technology allows these networks to be broken up into regional pieces that make sense for you. We at IFB will occasionally purchase the entire network when we need statewide reach, but that rarely makes sense for county Farm Bureaus. Find out how you can easily target your specific regional audience by contacting Cayla McLeland at Hoosier Ag Today (317-247-9360 or Cayla@hoosieragtoday. com) or Jill Makovec at Brownfield (608-848-2770 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Cline adds IFB voice to ethanol talks
Indiana Farm Bureau national policy advisor Kyle Cline was in Washington, D.C., April 8-10 to meet with congressional leaders to highlight the important role ethanol plays in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and providing new economic opportunities for farmers, rural communities, and the entire nation. He joined Growth Energy members including representatives from Indiana ethanol facilities and Indiana Corn Marketing Council along with the organization’s CEO, Tom Buis, for a series of meetings with congressional leaders and staff. The pro-ethanol group
discussed the current state of the industry, stressing the importance of protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and increasing market access for E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol. “Our message on Capitol Hill was clear – the RFS is working and there is no need for Congress to repeal or reform this successful energy policy,” said Cline. “I was proud to represent Indiana’s farmers and show support for the ethanol industry in meetings with our leaders in Washington.” America’s energy independence and economic prosperity are directly tied to the renewable fuels industry.
Indiana Farm Bureau is part of a pro-ethanol group that met recently with congressional leaders and staff to discuss the importance of ethanol to Indiana grain farmers. Photo by Kathleen M. Dutro
Face-to-face meetings with lawmakers are an important opportunity for them to hear directly about the issues that matter most and the local impacts of regulatory changes. “It’s crucial that our representatives in Washington understand the benefits of eth-
anol – that it creates Hoosier jobs, keeps gas prices down and contributes to our rural economies,” said IFB president Don Villwock. “Kyle works with our lawmakers to help them understand this important issue, but it’s even more important that
they hear from you, their constituents back home, about how the EPA’s volume reductions will impact your farming operation.” You can learn more about the RFS and E15 at http:// www.growthenergy.org/.
Purdue study reveals farmers’ buying preferences, concerns —From Purdue University Ag Communications A new Purdue University study is designed to help agribusiness leaders understand their farmer customers better. The “Large Commercial Producer Survey,” conducted every five years by the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, explores the concerns, preferences, behaviors and attitudes of U.S. farmers and ranchers. This year’s survey is based on results from nearly 1,700 producers. “Our goal is to help agricultural producers and agribusinesses reach higher levels of success,” said Mike Gunderson, Purdue professor and associate director of research at the center. “Armed with information and insights about their farmer customers, agribusinesses can create new business strategies based on what their customers value. That approach results in more effective partnerships
with key clients.” Started in 1998, the survey focuses on corn/soybean, wheat/barley, cotton, fruit/nut/vegetable, dairy, hog and cattle producers across the U.S. From this year’s survey, Gunderson led the center’s research team in condensing more than 400,000 data points into four categories – producer strategy, loyalty, buying preferences, and information and the salesperson. Gunderson said the team, consisting of Purdue agricultural economists, included questions about “how producers think about the strategies that make them successful, what amount of time it takes to implement those strategies, and what worries them at night.” Farmers answered questions about five strategies: managing production, managing people, controlling costs, spending time marketing their output, and controlling land, equipment and facilities. “We found it interest-
ing that what farmers think makes them successful and what they actually spend their time focusing on are not always the same,” Gunderson said. The team also studied farmer loyalty across different products – seed, crop protection, feed and nutrition, animal health, fertilizer and capital – at the brand and local dealer/retailer level. They used the same products to evaluate buying preferences based on three attributes: price, performance and relationship. The role of information and salespeople has long been included in the annual survey. This version reflected changes in Internet-based technologies, including the addition of questions about social media, email and text messaging. The team looked at how the importance of different media, information sources, salesperson activities and salesperson attributes affected producers’ decision making. Results from the survey
Calendar of Events May 21, 22 IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis. 25 IFB Leaders in Action program session, Indianapolis. 31 IFB Leaders in Action workshop, Indianapolis. June 9 IFB Women’s Leadership Committee meeting, Indianapolis. 10 Ag in the Classroom Update, Indianapolis. 12 IFB policy advisory group meeting on taxes, Indianapolis. 13 District 1 Summer Meeting (location to be announced). 13 Deadline for IFB policy recommendations. 18, 19 IFB Board of Directors meeting, Indianapolis. 30 IFB policy advisory group meetings on crops, livestock, transportation, local government and fiscal policy, private property and nutrient management, Indianapolis.
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are now available at www. agecon.purdue.edu/cab/lcpproducts. There is a charge, structured in two levels of detail.
For questions about survey methods, contact David Widmar, research associate, at email@example.com.
Case IH Tractor & Equipment Incentive Program Farm Bureau members can now take advantage of Case IH equipment discounts thanks to a new membership value program. Eligible Farm Bureau members will receive an incentive discount – from $300 to $500 – when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealerships. The discount is stackable, meaning it can be used with other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that may be provided by Case IH or a Case IH dealership. A current Farm Bureau membership verification certificate must be presented to the Case IH dealer in advance of product delivery to receive the incentive discount.
To print your verification certificate please visit www.fbverify.com/case and enter your 10-digit Farm Bureau membership number and your zip code.