January 18 , 2018
A five-minute summary of AAI, regulation, and industry activities for members of the largest state agribusiness association in the nation.
In This Issue
AAI Legislative Breakfast Jan 23

The annual AAI Legislative breakfast is just a few days away.  Staff, board, and committee members will be at the state Capitol the morning of January 23 to interact with state legislators. 

The breakfast is an opportunity to talk with policy makers from across the state near the beginning of the session and help them connect with the AAI members they represent. The event often draws government officials such as the Governor and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.  Any AAI members who wish to attend the Legislative Breakfast are welcome. 

Legislative Breakfast at the Iowa Capitol Building
7:30 AM, in Room 19 (lower level)
Parking available at AAI or at Capitol

Agronomy Committee Gets Set for 2018

Fertilizer transport and dicamba were topics of discussion during the AAI Agronomy Committee meeting this week.

Members focused a portion of the meeting on setting the agenda for key topics in 2018, which included discussion around anhydrous transport and storage rules. Committee members also heard an update from the Iowa Nutrient Research and Education Council on the official progress measurement system to track environmental efforts of being made in agriculture. The system uses retailer records to track in field practices.

Additional items on the agenda were an update on the Agribusiness Showcase & Conference, February 13-14, in Des Moines, and a look at legislative issues for the current session.

You can provide your voice as part of a committee. Visit our website and use our handy form to join a committee - https://www.agribiz.org/benefits-of-membership/join-a-committee/ . You can also contact the home office to be added to a committee list.

New Federal Tax Law Creates Unintended Consequences

Many media outlets are reporting that a provision in the new tax law gives growers a better deal at tax time if they sell their agricultural products to co-ops rather than other types of companies. The provision will allow farmers to deduct up to 20 percent of their total gross sales to cooperatives. Farmers would get a smaller deduction-20 percent of net income, subject to more stringent limitations-if they sell grain or other farm products to privately held or investor-owned companies. Tax lawyers and accountants say the new law will give cooperatives a significant edge over competitors.

Farm groups and agricultural cooperatives battled last year to preserve the Section 199 deduction on domestic U.S. production, which manufacturers also received. That deduction went away in the tax rewrite, but lawmakers including Sen. John Hoeven (R., N.D.) won the inclusion of the new deduction. The senators have said that 199A was meant to compensate for the loss of Section 199, and they did not intend to put private firms at a disadvantage.


Producer From Corning Announces Run for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
by: KMA 

Ray Gaesser, an Iowa farmer known worldwide for his leading agricultural innovations, pioneering conservation stewardship and volunteer global leadership, has formally announced he is running for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture as a Republican. He has formed an Advisory Committee, named a campaign chairman and laid out his platform, noting that, "Strong, healthy farms lead to strong, healthy Main Streets in Iowa." Read More

Ernst Sees Trump Opposition To NAFTA Softening

Add U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst's voice to those who believe that President Donald Trump is reassessing his position on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Although the president repeatedly has threatened to pull out of the 23-year-old trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, "I think he has doubts," Ernst told members of the Iowa Corn Growers at their winter meeting Monday in Tama.

Ernst, who was among a group of GOP senators who met with the president to discuss NAFTA before Christmas, said Trump was under the impression they wanted him to pull out of the agreement with the countries that are the United States' and Iowa's largest trading partners.

However, when Trump polled everyone at the meeting, Ernst said only U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer supported withdrawing from NAFTA. Read More

Iowa Senators See Deadlock Over Northey and Ethanol 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is sitting on the nomination of Bill Northey for USDA undersecretary in hopes of winning destructive changes in U.S. ethanol policy, said Iowa Senator Charles Grassley during a telephone news conference. "We're doing everything we can to get [Northey] approved," said Grassley, but Cruz's idea of a cap on the price of RINs - credits refiners can buy to comply with the ethanol mandate - "makes negotiations a dead end." Read More

Study: Farmers Engaged in Their Work Are More Likely to Adopt Conservation Practices

For nearly five years now, Iowa has been operating under the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. That has a goal of reducing nitrogen loss from farms by 41 percent and phosphorus by 29 percent.

Since the strategy began, there has been a 25 percent increase in no-till and nitrogen stabilizer use and a 20 percent increase in the use of cover crops according to Iowa State University.

A key aspect of the strategy is that the reductions are voluntary. But who exactly is getting involved depends on how active they are in social networks, like associations, or if they're considered a community leader. That's according to a study from the Iowa Water Center and Iowa State University. Read More

Your company can participate in the 2018 ASC Student
Job Fair!

Click here for more details.
(No cost for current ASC exhibitors.)

Dicamba/auxin training sessions can be found at:
Upcoming Events
& Meeting
AAI Legislative Breakfast
Jan 23, 2018
7 - 9 AM
Iowa Capitol Building

AAI Board Meeting
Jan 23, 2018
9:30 AM
AAI Board Room

Agribusiness Showcase & Conference
Feb 13-14, 2018
VI Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

AAI Annual 2018 Member Meeting
Feb 13, 2018
2:00 PM
VI Building, Iowa State Fairgounds
Strategic Partners
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2018 ASC Sponsors
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Agribusiness Association of Iowa 
515-262-8323 |   aai@agribiz.org www.agribiz.org
900 Des Moines Street |  Des Moines, IA 50309