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 Agriculture News


Farmers around the country are donating hay for ranchers whose livestock are suffering from the drought in the Northern Plains. But getting the feed to the region isn't proving easy....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Farmers around the country are donating hay for ranchers whose livestock are suffering from the drought in the Northern Plains. But getting the feed to the region isn't proving easy.

    North Dakota's Agriculture Department has issued a plea for truckers to haul donated hay from other states for a hay lottery program for ranchers in the Dakotas and Montana. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the majority of donated hay is in nearby states, but donations also have been offered from as far as Maryland, Tennessee and Texas.

    Separately, an effort in the eastern U.S. started by a tractor pulling team is seeking thousands of dollars to pay for fuel. Organizer Tom Bedgar in Pennsylvania says there's plenty of donated hay, but hauling it costs $1,000 per load.


    DENVER, CO - Farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought in regions designated as eligible for federal assistance, like the drought currently affecting much of the nation, have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

    This relief generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, or poultry are not eligible.

    To qualify, the sales must be solely due to drought, flooding or other severe weather causing the region to be designated as eligible for federal assistance.

    Under these circumstances, livestock generally must be replaced within a four-year period, instead of the usual two-year period. But in addition, the IRS is authorized to further extend this replacement period if the drought continues.  This extension gives eligible farmers and ranchers until the end of the tax year after the first drought-free year to replace the sold livestock. Details, including an example of how this provision works, can be found in Notice 2006-82, available on

    The IRS provides this extension to farmers and ranchers located in any region that qualified for the four-year replacement period if any county, parish, city, or district, that is included in the region is listed as suffering exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), during any weekly period between Sept. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2017. Through July 18, 35 counties in North Dakota were on the NDMC list. A notice, containing the final list for this year for North Dakota and other states, will be issued by the IRS next month.

    As a result, farmers and ranchers in these regions whose drought sale replacement period was scheduled to expire at the end of this tax year, Dec. 31, 2017, in most cases, will now have until the end of their next tax year. Because the normal drought sale replacement period is four years, this extension immediately impacts drought sales that occurred during 2013. But because of previous drought-related extensions affecting some of these localities, the replacement periods for some drought sales before 2013 are also affected. Additional extensions will be granted if severe drought conditions persist.

    The 35 affected counties in North Dakota are: Adams, Barnes, Benson, Billings, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Oliver, Pierce, Renville, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Stutsman, Ward, Wells and Williams.        

    Details on reporting drought sales and other farm-related tax issues can be found in Publication 225, Farmer's Tax Guide, also available on the IRS web site.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge has blocked a new North Dakota law meant to protect farm equipment dealers. Four major manufacturers of farm implements have filed a lawsuit challenging the law that permits North Dakota implement dealers to sell generic rather than name-brand replacement parts. They say the law is unconstitutional.
     KFGO radio reports that the order directs state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to refrain from enforcing the measure until the issue can be resolved. The complaint was filed by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and manufacturers Agco, CNH, Deere & Company and Kubota. The companies contend the new law interferes with federal right-to-contract and copyright protection claims.
     A spokeswoman for Stenehjem's office says the attorney general does not comment on ongoing lawsuits.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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