It’s been a long year with lots going on in agriculture, the economy and ag policy. The coming year promises to be just as interesting. Some of the most significant agriculturally-related fall out will be determined by changes in tax policy and the farm bill. The Senate passed a farm bill that would have, among other things, cut direct payments but the House failed to act after Republicans split over the size of the cuts to nutrition programs. Some of what is at stake is summarized by the National Sustainable Ag Coalition’s posts describing likely stop gap provisions for the post-cliff reality http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/farm-bill-plan-b/
Short term fixes enacted to minimize the negative effects of our cliff jump include and an extension of the 2008 farm bill that provides a legislative reprieve that is a disappointment to many http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/29/us/politics/new-effort-in-congress-to-extend-disputed-farm-bill.html?ref=politics.
A recent article in the Illinois Agrinews by Jeannine Otto provides explains why some are calling for higher estate taxes and why that won’t present a hardship for agriculture http://www.agrinews-pubs.com/Content/Default/HomepageRotatingStory/Article/Groupofnationswealthiestcallforhigherestatetax/-3/23/5888.