Texas Agriculture October 16, 2015 : Page 4

Support shown for ESA reform Tax relief extended for drought-stricken ranchers Farmers and ranchers who previ-ously were forced to sell livestock due to drought, like the drought currently affecting much of the nation, have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Farmers and ranchers who, due to drought, sell more livestock than they normally would may defer tax on the extra gains from those sales. To qualify, the livestock generally must be replaced within a four-year period. The IRS is authorized to extend this period if the drought continues. The one-year extension of the re-placement period generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes due to drought. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, and poultry are not eligible. The IRS is providing this relief to any farm located in a county, parish, city, borough, census area or district, listed as suffering excep-tional, extreme or severe drought conditions by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), during any weekly period between Sept. 1, 2014, and Aug. 31, 2015. All or part of 48 states and Puerto Rico are listed. Any county contiguous to a county listed by the NDMC also qualifies for this relief. As a result, farmers and ranchers in these areas whose drought sale replacement period was scheduled to expire at the end of this tax year, Dec. 31, 2015, in most cases, will now have until the end of their next tax year. Because the normal drought sale replacement period is four years, this extension immediately impacts drought sales that occurred dur-ing 2011. But because of previous drought-related extensions affecting some of these localities, the replace-ment periods for some drought sales before 2011 are also affected. Ad-ditional extensions will be granted if severe drought conditions persist. Details on this relief, including a list of NDMC-designated counties, are available in Notice 2015-69, post-ed on IRS.gov. Details on reporting drought sales and other farm-related tax issues can be found in Publication 225, Farmer’s Tax Guide, also avail-able on the IRS web site. Most Americans think the Endan-gered Species Act is outdated and needs to be revised, a survey by Morn-ing Consult shows. The poll conducted in early August adds impetus to congressional efforts to overhaul the increasingly outdated 1970s-era statute. The survey shows: • 63 percent of Americans support modernizing the ESA; • 62 of Americans believe the act should help with species recovery, as opposed to merely cataloguing changes in their populations; and • 69 percent of Americans want the federal government to offer resources to third parties to help species recovery. “The intent of the Endangered Spe-cies Act is inspiring, but results have been less so,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said. “Farmers, ranchers and environ-mentalists agree that we must save wildlife facing preventable extinction, but the current recovery rate of less than 2 percent shows the law is a failure. “The ESA can and must be modern-ized to protect endangered species and respect private property rights. Neither agriculture nor the endangered species have time to wait.” New Texas Beef Checkoff site online Txbeef.org has a fresh new look, complete with eye-catching food photography, mouth-watering reci-pes and a section dedicated to Texas stories. The Texas Beef Checkoff has re-freshed the consumer-facing website in efforts to reach audiences with renewed Texas-specific content and inspiring stories about Texans. “The new website design and content was driven by consumer re-search and web user trends,” Rachel Chou, senior manager of Consumer Communications at the Texas Beef Council (TBC), said. “We have a unique opportunity here in Texas to proudly define our identity and own powerful Texas-specific content that resonates with our target Texas consumer. “We believe we can foster a great relationship with those who are pur-chasing beef and cooking it for their families by having a strong online presence, providing relevant content and evolving with the digital world.” The fully-responsive site is user-friendly, easy to navigate and estab-lishes TBC as the go-to resource for everything beef. Visitors will find unique Texas-specific recipes and content that sets txbeef.org apart from existing recipe sites. The “Texas Stories” section gives visitors an inside look into the lives of Texas ranchers, athletes and restau-rateurs. The likes of Tom Perini and the historic RA Brown Ranch can be found here. Three documentary-style videos featuring Texas ranching fami-lies anchor the page, followed by true tales of beef-loving folks from across the Lone Star State. “Sharing stories of Texans con-nected to the beef community is an honor and privilege,” Austin Brown III, Beeville cattleman and TBC board chairman, said. “It’s easy to forget the faces and stories behind our product. Our website is the best opportunity for us to reach millions and share those stories that encour-age a strong connection to Beef Lov-ing Texans across our great state.” Notable Quotables “Given its expansion of the scope of evidence and movement away from its charter, there is a concern about whether the committee’s recommendations will maintain the scientific integrity necessary to benefit the public. It is my hope that as USDA and HHS review the 2015 dietary committee recommendations, they consider the scientific evidence behind each of the de-terminations to ensure Americans are presented with the best and most reliable information for achieving a healthy, nutritional lifestyle.” — House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway in an op-ed piece in the U.S. News & World Report that takes the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to task for straying from fact-based nutrition advice in its recent report. 4 O CTOBER 16, 2015

AgriCurrents

Tax relief extended for drought-stricken ranchers

Farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought, like the drought currently affecting much of the nation, have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.

Farmers and ranchers who, due to drought, sell more livestock than they normally would may defer tax on the extra gains from those sales. To qualify, the livestock generally must be replaced within a four-year period. The IRS is authorized to extend this period if the drought continues.

The one-year extension of the replacement period generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes due to drought. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, and poultry are not eligible.

The IRS is providing this relief to any farm located in a county, parish, city, borough, census area or district, listed as suffering exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), during any weekly period between Sept. 1, 2014, and Aug. 31, 2015. All or part of 48 states and Puerto Rico are listed. Any county contiguous to a county listed by the NDMC also qualifies for this relief.

As a result, farmers and ranchers in these areas whose drought sale replacement period was scheduled to expire at the end of this tax year, Dec. 31, 2015, in most cases, will now have until the end of their next tax year. Because the normal drought sale replacement period is four years, this extension immediately impacts drought sales that occurred during 2011. But because of previous drought-related extensions affecting some of these localities, the replacement periods for some drought sales before 2011 are also affected. Additional extensions will be granted if severe drought conditions persist.

Details on this relief, including a list of NDMC-designated counties, are available in Notice 2015-69, posted on IRS.gov. Details on reporting drought sales and other farm-related tax issues can be found in Publication 225, Farmer’s Tax Guide, also available on the IRS web site.

Support shown for ESA reform

Most Americans think the Endangered Species Act is outdated and needs to be revised, a survey by Morning Consult shows.

The poll conducted in early August adds impetus to congressional efforts to overhaul the increasingly outdated 1970s-era statute

The survey shows:

• 63 percent of Americans support modernizing the ESA;

• 62 of Americans believe the act should help with species recovery, as opposed to merely cataloguing changes in their populations; and

• 69 percent of Americans want the federal government to offer resources to third parties to help species recovery.

“The intent of the Endangered Species Act is inspiring, but results have been less so,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said. “Farmers, ranchers and environmentalists agree that we must save wildlife facing preventable extinction, but the current recovery rate of less than 2 percent shows the law is a failure.

“The ESA can and must be modernized to protect endangered species and respect private property rights. Neither agriculture nor the endangered species have time to wait.”

New Texas Beef Checkoff site online

Txbeef.org has a fresh new look, complete with eye-catching food photography, mouth-watering recipes and a section dedicated to Texas stories.

The Texas Beef Checkoff has refreshed the consumer-facing website in efforts to reach audiences with renewed Texas-specific content and inspiring stories about Texans.

“The new website design and content was driven by consumer research and web user trends,” Rachel Chou, senior manager of Consumer Communications at the Texas Beef Council (TBC), said. “We have a unique opportunity here in Texas to proudly define our identity and own powerful Texas-specific content that resonates with our target Texas consumer.

“We believe we can foster a great relationship with those who are purchasing beef and cooking it for their families by having a strong online presence, providing relevant content and evolving with the digital world.”

The fully-responsive site is user-friendly, easy to navigate and establishes TBC as the go-to resource for everything beef.

Visitors will find unique Texas-specific recipes and content that sets txbeef.org apart from existing recipe sites.

The “Texas Stories” section gives visitors an inside look into the lives of Texas ranchers, athletes and restaurateurs. The likes of Tom Perini and the historic RA Brown Ranch can be found here. Three documentary-style videos featuring Texas ranching families anchor the page, followed by true tales of beef-loving folks from across the Lone Star State.

“Sharing stories of Texans connected to the beef community is an honor and privilege,” Austin Brown III, Beeville cattleman and TBC board chairman, said. “It’s easy to forget the faces and stories behind our product. Our website is the best opportunity for us to reach millions and share those stories that encourage a strong connection to Beef Loving Texans across our great state.”

Land use data readily available

The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources has recently added a new interactive Web tool to its Texas Land Trends website, http://txlandtrends.org, allowing users to access land-use information released in 2014, according to an institute official.

“This new Web tool allows users to interact with the data to view land trends across Texas for user-defined areas,” said Amy Snelgrove, institute program coordinator.

Snelgrove said users can view 15-year trends in private working lands for such metrics as land use, market value, ownership size and population by county, river basin, eco-region or region of interest.

They can also choose different regional areas to make side-by-side comparisons of different metrics used.

Dr. Roel Lopez said the interactive data in Texas Land Trends provides public and private decisionmakers with information needed to plan for the conservation of these vital working lands.

“Texas Land Trends is a critically important data source for policymakers, conservation organizations, state agencies and federal agencies in terms of looking at what is happening to our land base in Texas,” he said.

Data sources used to build this interactive tool included Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts property tax/value data, which provided an annual compilation of land use and land value data from 1,021 independent school districts. Other data sources included the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Census of Agriculture data from 1997 to 2012 and Texas Department of State Health Services census population data.

Texas Land Trends was developed in cooperation with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Service and Texas Agricultural Land Trust.

Notable Quotables

“Given its expansion of the scope of evidence and movement away from its charter, there is a concern about whether the committee’s recommendations will maintain the scientific integrity necessary to benefit the public. It is my hope that as USDA and HHS review the 2015 dietary committee recommendations, they consider the scientific evidence behind each of the determinations to ensure Americans are presented with the best and most reliable information for achieving a healthy, nutritional lifestyle.”

— House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway in an op-ed piece in the U.S. News & World Report that takes the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to task for straying from fact-based nutrition advice in its recent report.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/AgriCurrents/2296075/276607/article.html.

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