Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Unmanned Aerial Systems or “drone” technology is emerging in agriculture. They are used in military technology. Domestic uses of these aircraft are already underway and the Federal Aviation Administration is considering licenses for commercial use.
Policy & Politics
The Renewable Fuels Standard mandates a target amount of ethanol/biofuels that must be introduced into our nation's transportation supply. Decreasing gasoline consumption and non-acceptance of a 15% ethanol blend create concern with future ability to meet the Renewable Fuels Standard.
The 2013 AFBF Annual Meeting approved new policy in support of only pasteurized milk/products being sold/distributed for human consumption. The major concern of raw milk is risk to public health. Six states dissented from AFBF policy. States have the authority to govern the sale of raw milk.
Agricultural companies are combining computer technology and outside analysts to provide farming data systems for a service fee. When farmers use mobile devices to access and store data related to this system, questions arise as to who owns the data and how it can be used.
The enforcement for laws regarding the Endangered Species Act has evolved drastically, as activists have resorted to the courts to drive policy decisions. A recent settlement with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) brings hundreds of changes on species listings. More lawsuits means less resources.
The Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program values have increased due to higher crop prices and lower interest rates, but continue to provide an average 67 percent reduction from fair market value.
OFBF has a substantial amount of member-developed policy on wildlife issues, including: wildlife management; wildlife control; and regulations on hunting, fishing, and trapping. Consider the following issues concerning hunting regulations and whether current policies should be amended.
The Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) Program says for property tax purposes, farmland devoted solely to commercial agriculture may be valued by its current use, instead of its "highest and best" potential use. CAUV usually results in a substantially lower tax bill for working farmers.
Since term limits have been enacted in Ohio and other states, the composition of the legislatures has remained largely the same regarding women and minorities. Critics argue legislators become less effective as they grow in experience.
Ohio has constitutional amendment processes which allow citizens to vote directly to change Ohio’s constitution and laws. Recently we have seen an increase in ballot initiatives and referendums, which leads to many questions.
Governor Kasich has introduced a proposal to make significant changes in the Ohio severance tax system that applies to oil and natural gas wells in exchange for lowering Ohio’s income tax.
Federal legislation has been introduced for an agreement between the Humane Society of the U.S. and the United Egg Producers dealing with cage size and other animal care standards for our nation’s 280 million egg-laying hens.
The law is different for farmers selling eggs produced on their farm vs. selling eggs at a farmers’ market or farm product auction. One is exempt from retail food licensing requirements, the other is not exempt. The number of birds is a factor, along with the requirement of a free inspection.
Animal issues continue to evolve at national, state, and county levels. Ohio Farm Bureau is engaged, from traditional livestock to companion animals to wild dangerous animals. As society continues to evolve, the perception of what is or is not animal agriculture has become less clear.
More farmers and ranchers are getting closer to their customers, and finding that they can capture a higher margin when they grow vegetable or meat products with a specific consumer market segment in mind.
Many rural communities find themselves losing their retail base. Local retailers are competing with Internet retailers who do not have to collect sales tax if they do not have a physical presence in that state.
Pre-harvest food safety has become a topic of increasing focus, particularly in the beef industry. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that their next step in reducing E. coli is through pre-harvest intervention, and they have repeatedly re-stated their intentions.
The Mississippi River is used to transport agricultural goods from across the country. There is a problem with silt/soil removal along the Mississippi River, causing barges and carriers to load their cargo in increasingly shallow waters.
From their inception in the mid-19th century, futures markets have functioned as an important tool for agricultural producers to transfer their price risk to other investors.
Foreign animal disease outbreaks have the potential to create massive financial losses in the livestock sector through loss of access to foreign markets, a decline in meat demand by domestic consumers, and direct production losses (death loss and morbidity).
Frequently, producers’ grain is docked because of the presence of aflatoxin when offered for sale at the local elevator although the grain is subsequently found to be free of the fungus when samples are submitted for crop insurance reimbursement.