Murphy’s Law 2019 #19

March 13, 2019

The last couple of days have seen a lot of activity with the farm home exemption (2360) as we try to get a feeling for the floor vote by speaking to as many House members as possible. Right now I would say it has a fighting chance. The bill has been held in committee while hoping for a result better than the 7-7 vote we had last week. The House Finance and Tax committee passed out the Farm Home Exemption 11 yes and 2 no.
Another that is coming up for a hearing is 2346 which is the grain licensing bill sponsored by Senator Wanzek. That is on Friday at 10:30 and it remains to be seen how it may be amended. One feature that some like and others do not is the indemnity fund with the smaller contribution (1/4 of what it is now) but broader (all grains and oilseeds) once the trigger gets pulled. The bill uses an Indiana model that allows producers to opt out of the fund which would seem to remove the heartburn, but we will see.
A couple of weeks ago there surfaced a story about misallocation of funds from the oil extraction tax which could potentially result in up to $125 million into the Resources Trust Fund. It involves the Tax Commissioner and the ND Land Commissioner who have differing opinions about where that money should have gone. All of a sudden there is a delayed bill and a hearing today about how to handle that.
Yesterday I attended the NRCS Technical meeting which featured a presentation on a program that was continued in the new farm bill called EQIP. That stands for Environmental Quality Incentives Program and was begun with input from the ND Grain Growers, our Agriculture Department, the NRCS and Delta Waterfowl. It involves small wetlands less than 2 acres which producers can farm when possible with the right to burn. Pricing is based on forgone income. This blog is getting long and I gotta jump. I will write more later.