The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Cattlemen applaud tax bill vote

February 27, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 636 America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) will make permanent the $500,000 expensing levels for small businesses under Section 179 of the tax code.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis said permanency to the tax code is critical for cattlemen in order to make necessary purchasing decisions and informed business decisions. The passage of this bill allows farmers and ranchers to write off capital expenditures in the year that purchases are made rather than depreciate them over time. The passage of this bill follows a letter NCBA along with 33 other groups signed to Speaker of the House, Rep. Boehner, urging the permanency of Section 179 of the tax code.

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Update on Personal Property Tax Exemptions (HB 2105)

February 25, 2015 --

Oregon-Farm-BureauBy Oregon Farm Bureau

Update on Personal Property Tax Exemptions (HB 2105)
HB 2105 would sunset multiple property tax exemptions in 2018, including those related related to agriculture and forestry:

307.315 – Nursery Stock
307.320 – Deciduous trees, shrubs, plants, crops, cultured Christmas trees or hardwood on ag land
307.325 – Ag products in possession of the farmer
307.391 – field burning equipment
307.394 – agriculture machinery and equipment
307.397 – certain agriculture machinery including aquaculture
307.398 – irrigation equipment
307.400 – inventory
307.827 – environmentally sensitive logging equipment
307.831 – skyline and swing yarders

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Sen. Baertschiger: Solving rural Oregon’s tax death trap

February 23, 2015 --

josephinemapState Senator Herman Baertschiger Jr. aims to liberate rural communities from the tax death trap.
By Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon

State Senator Herman Baertschiger is bringing to light the tax death trap that rural Oregon is facing. The trap is that rural counties cannot grow due to deadlocked failed land-use policies and what land is left faces increasing taxes and fees. Senator Herman Baertschiger is using Josephine County as the perfect example.

The attached map shows in red the vast amount of publicly owned land that is not producing property tax revenue. It amounts to 72% of the entire county. Upon inspection it gets worse. The map reveals that the brown mapped areas are land that is in special zones (EFU; exclusive farm use, FC; forestry commercial, WR; woodlot reserve) where property tax revenue is limited or reduced. The area in white is private land.

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Killing this will boost timber, farming & ranching

February 20, 2015 --

esquivelsalRepresentative Sal Esquivel has a plan to help timber, farming, ranching and boost Oregon’s water levels by tackling the State’s Juniper problem.
By Oregon Tax News

State Representative Sal Esquivel is working to rid Oregon of the quiet destruction caused by Juniper plants. Juniper interferes with the habitat of sage-grouse which is on the verge of becoming listed on the endangered species list. From that listing comes untold restrictions on farmers and ranchers. Juniper also cuts of grass used by Mule Deer. Juniper also hinders Oregon’s agriculture water supply. A ten foot tall Juniper can consume up to 40 to 70 gallons of water a day. In the light of California’s water crisis and Oregon’s water battles, addressing this plant may be the saving grace.

There is one bill in the Legislature that would dedicate $500,000 to Juniper elimination in the State. Sal Esquivel envisions a stronger and faster effort with a $5 million state dedicated effort to removing Juniper. All of this will help provide more water while saving Oregon farmers, ranchers and timber industry from more needless regulations.

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Bill to end Cuba trade embargo introduced


Wheat-Growers-National-AssociationBy National Association of Wheat Growers

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced major legislation that would end the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba. The bill would end the restrictions on U.S. companies doing business in Cuba that have been in place since 1961. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) co-sponsored the bill.

NAWG and USW are pleased to see bipartisan Congressional progress being made, and look toward a speedy and permanent end to the Cuban trade embargo. NAWG and USW are members of the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, which also endorsed the legislation.

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Port slow-down a disaster for rural Oregon

February 18, 2015 --

waldenpressCongressman Greg Walden,

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden called for a swift resolution to the labor slowdown affecting ports up and down the West Coast. At a press conference today, Walden outlined the disastrous consequences the crisis has caused for farmers and manufacturers in Oregon, like tree fruit growers in the Columbia Gorge and potato and onion growers in Eastern Oregon.

“Enough is enough. These sides need to come together. I believe as someone who represents part of the Columbia River Basin that the lack of an agreement has caused severe economic hardship, not only around the ports, but also for our growers and our manufacturers. And this needs to change. I think those who are involved in this discussion about a contract have to understand that they have a special public obligation. In many respects, they are a public carrier, if you will. There are very few if any alternatives to shipping,” Walden said.

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Wolf Plan Phase II engaged after 7 breeding pairs found

February 16, 2015 --

wolf-or10By Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife,

Oregon is moving to Phase II of its wolf recovery plan after wildlife biologists documented seven breeding pairs of wolves in Oregon in 2014.

Of nine known wolf packs, only the Imnaha Pack is not a breeding pair. The Umatilla River pack still needs to be surveyed.

A breeding pair is a pair of adult wolves which produce at least two pups that survive to the end of each year. Six of Oregon’s 2014 breeding pairs are in eastern Oregon.

While surveys are not completed on all of Oregon’s wolves, confirmation of at least four breeding pairs for the third consecutive year in eastern Oregon moves the eastern part of the state to Phase 2 of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

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Oregonians for Food-Shelter gets new director

February 13, 2015 --

ofs-foodshelterBy Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Oregonians for Food and Shelter Appoints New Executive Director

Oregonians for Food and Shelter (OFS) announced today that Katie Fast has been hired as Executive Director. Katie comes with a wealth of natural resource and political experience. For the past 11 years, Katie has worked for the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation; most recently in the position of Vice President of Public Policy. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Farm Bureau’s legislative agendas and strategies.

Katie joins OFS as Executive Director to continue OFS’s advocacy for the use of modern technology in the production of food and fiber. Said, Fast, “I am excited to start a new challenge with Oregonians for Food and Shelter and look forward to working with their members and staff team to continue OFS’s strong reputation of advocacy for the natural resource sectors.”

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Ag bills in 2015 Legislature

February 11, 2015 --

Oregon-Farm-BureauFirst Week of Session: Go Big or Go Home
By Oregon Farm Bureau

OFB’s New Legislative Outreach Program

Oregon Farm Bureau will be using a new program this session-Voter Voice-to help communicate with you on important bills and coordinate your outreach to legislators. Through this program, we can provide links to different outreach campaigns, enabling you to target all of your legislators through one email. We encourage you to personalize your message to make sure your legislators understand how the bills they are considering this session will impact their constituents. It is going to be an important session for you to get involved in, and we are excited to have a new tool to help facilitate this process.

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2015 looks good for lumber, housing

February 10, 2015 --

By Rick Sohn Ph.D
Umpqua Coquille LLC

2015 looks promising. 30-year mortgage rates are again below 4%, unsold inventories are down, home prices are up steadily, and construction remains above 1 million. Trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2005.


Interpretation and Looking Ahead.

Stud prices gave up some significant ground in January, dropping to $320, lower than any third- week-of-the-month price in 2013. At the same time, log prices reached $758, a December price not seen in the last 10 years — except last December’s $768. A steady log diet at the current price is steep for manufacturers, well over double the stud price. Increased manufacturing output and competition may be an issue.

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