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In this issue:

Annual Meeting set for September

Interim Committees Starting to Meet

SD Department of Transportation Holds Public Input Meetings

Ag Department Conducting Karnal Bunt Survey

NCFC Washington Conference, Congressional Visits

Secretary Purdue Addresses NCFC Washington Conference

IRS Issues Section 199A Proposed Regulations

Quotable

Calendar of Events

Annual Meeting set for September

               SDAC and the Co-op Managers Association are holding their annual meetings and joint convention in Sioux Falls. September 17-18.  Please mark your calendars and be watching for further details.

Interim Committees Starting to Meet

               Legislative interim committees have scheduled a number of meetings for the month of July.  Among them are the Industrial Hemp study committee meeting on July 11, and the Electric Services in an Annexed Area on July 25.  You can find complete interim information on the LRC website:  www.sdlegislature.gov

              

SD Department of Transportation Holds Public Input Meetings

               The South Dakota Department of Transportation will be holding a series of meetings across the state to take input on their 2020-2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Projects (STIP).  The dates and locations for the STIP public meetings

  • July 9, 2019 – Aberdeen at the AmericInn, 7:00 p.m.
  • July 10, 2019 – Mitchell at the Highland Conference Center, 7:00 p.m.
  • July 11, 2019 – Rapid City at the Ramkota Hotel, 7:00 p.m.
  • July 15, 2019 – Pierre at the Ramkota Hotel, 7:00 p.m.
  • July 18, 2019 – Webinar, 2:30 p.m. CDT

More information is available online at: http://www.sddot.com/transportation/highways/planning/stip/stipdocs.aspx

Ag Department Conducting Karnal Bunt Survey

               The SD Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with USDA, is participating in the National Karnal Bunt Survey again this year.  Thanks to industry cooperation, South Dakota continues to qualify as a Pest Free Area. 

               The Department conducts the survey bi-annually, rotating the target locations.  In addition, counties with less than one million bushels wheat production are excluded from sampling.  For 2019, the Department will be collecting samples from the following counties:  Brown, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Corson, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, McPherson, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Sully, Walworth, and Ziebach.

               The Department will be sending a letter to the facilities where they plan to take wheat samples, outlining the sampling protocol.  Collected samples will be sent to an authorized laboratory for an official examination for the presence or absence of bunted kernels.

               Karnal bunt is a fungal disease of wheat, durum wheat, and triticale.   It was identified in the southern United States in 1996.  Currently, the regulated area for Karnal bunt includes approximately 170,000 acres in three Arizona counties.  Although this disease has been considered a quarantinable disease, experience with Karnal bunt in the U.S. demonstrates that the disease is neither a production nor a quality problem.  However, many countries continue to maintain quarantines against Karnal bunt and insist on certification that imported lots of wheat are free of the disease or that wheat comes from areas that are free of the disease.

               If you have questions or comments, please contact Dale Anderson, Brenda Sievers, or Tom Gere at the Ag Department, phone 605.773.3796.

NCFC Washington Conference, Congressional Visits

Representatives from several South Dakota cooperatives attended the 2019 NCFC Washington Conference. The conference provides cooperative directors, staff and state councils and opportunity to network, receive issue/policy updates and take the cooperative message to Capitol Hill.

Policy updates covered taxes/199A implementation, antitrust, pension relief, CFTC reauthorization, nutrition, and environmental regulation issues. Speakers addressed immigration, public policy implication on the farm economy, prevent planting and disaster programs, and trade priorities. Secretary of Agriculture Purdue addressed the attendees (see story below.)

Attendees also had time to head to the Hill to share state and national issues with Senators and Representatives including Senator Thune, Senator Rounds, Representative Johnson, Senator Cramer (ND) and Representative Armstrong (ND).  Topics covered were:

  • United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Encouraged support for the passage of USMCA and getting a vote done ASAP. Farm exports to Mexico and Canada have quadrupled over the past 25 years and the USMCA builds on past agreements and provides a more level playing field and improved access to markets.
  • Immigration Reform. Agriculture is dependent on migrant labor; we need legal, experienced workers through the passage of legislation that preserved our workforce. Conversation specific to H2A and H2B programs asked that workers for cooperatives be allowed to work under an H2A program verses the H2B. This change would enable workers to meet agricultural production timelines vs those of tourism and other non-ag business.
  • SECURE Act (H.R 1994). Passed by the House 417-3, the legislation addresses the overcharging of premiums by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for rural cooperative “multiple-employer” pension plans. Nearly 30 cooperatives in SD would benefit as passage would prevent the unnecessary diversion of scarce investment and operating capital to pension requirements.
  • Prevent Planting/disaster programs.  Getting the harvest date moved back to September will benefit South Dakota producers. Due to some difference of opinion on program details, it was also suggested that a one-stop site be developed so that everyone is on the same page as details are announced.

Secretary Purdue Addresses NCFC Washington Conference

               Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue addressed over 200 co-op leaders from around the country who had come to our nation's capital for the 2019 NCFC Washington Conference. In introducing the Secretary, NCFC Chairman Jim Spradlin of GROWMARK said, "A true champion of America’s farmers and ranchers, the Secretary works every day to ensure that the Department meets its mission of serving producers and agribusinesses and he has been a strong advocate for agriculture and rural America within the Trump Administration."

Secretary Perdue focused his remarks on trade, in particular emphasizing the benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), one of the key talking points that NCFC took to Capitol Hill. The Secretary also discussed ongoing negotiations with China, the prospects of an agricultural trade agreement with Japan and USDA's efforts to provide trade relief to farmers. On this last point, he emphasized that prevent plant acres with a cover crop would receive what he termed a "minimal" payment under the Market Facilitation Program.

IRS Issues Section 199A Proposed Regulations

               The U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have issued proposed guidance on Section 199A as it applies to co-ops and co-op members; the proposal is open for comment until August 19. NCFC’s Legal, Tax & Accounting (LTA) working group on Section 199A reviewed the proposed guidance last week and has been assessing the potential impact. As part of this preliminary review, the group is identifying provisions of the guidance that warrant a response from NCFC in the comment process.

LTA’s working group will be developing comments in the next month and a half. In addition, NCFC staff will be reaching out as appropriate to policy makers in the Administration and on Capitol Hill to share our comments on the proposed guidance.

Quotable:

               ”No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” ~ Albert Einstein

Calendar of Events:

               SDAC/SDCMA Joint Convention – September 17-18, Sioux Falls

               Co-op Hall of Fame banquet – September 17, Sioux Falls

 “Cooperative Value – Unified Voice”

SDAC: Telephone: 605-945-2548 ● Website:www.sdac.coop

Brenda Forman, Executive Director ● bforman@sdac.coop

Mary Duvall, Administrative Assistant ● office@sdac.coop

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