As the 2014 Iowa Legislative session begins, the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) will be working with lawmakers to promote policies and programs important to Iowa corn growers and to monitor any policy that could negatively affect farmers.
In late August, grassroots representatives of ICGA reinstated expiring policies and adopted new resolutions at the ICGA annual meeting and policy conference in Des Moines.
"Input from ICGA members is the cornerstone of our legislative process," says Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Lynnville and the current Iowa Corn Growers Association president. "It is important that corn growers from across the state are engaged in policy decisions that affect their operations. Our organization is working tirelessly at the state and national levels on behalf of our farmer members to enact and protect policies that affect our profitability."
The Iowa Corn Growers Association has established the top legislative priorities at the state and federal levels for 2014.
The 2014 state-level priorities, in alphabetical order, include:
* Support extension of current production tax credit for biodiesel plants (expiring)
* Raise the legislative cap to the corn checkoff so that farmers can choose by referendum whether they want a corn checkoff increase.
* Implementation of Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy: funding, revisions, monitoring, etc.
Iowa Department of Agriculture:
* Funding for Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship budget requests (state veterinarian, conservation, fuels, etc.)
* Support a legislative resolution of the Iowa House and Senate in support of the federal RFS, to be submitted to Environmental Protection Agency, as well as support for an extension or increase of current income tax credits and fuel tax differential for ethanol
* Support for the livestock industry and the existing laws regulating livestock operations
* Support for increased funding for the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (to full $4 million)
* Increased funding ($2.8 million) for Iowa State University Experiment Station and other agriculture-related research
* Property Tax - support maintaining the agriculture productivity formula
* Increased funding, including fuel tax increase for roads and bridges
The 2014 federal-level priorities, in alphabetical order, include:
* Support and defend the use of genetically modified crops
* Defend against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality issues: (Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), nutrient criteria, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC), Clean Water Act Jurisdiction)
* Support for retaining Renewable Fuel Standard - Defense against EPA’s 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations and Congressional action
* Support for higher blends for conventional cars (E15+) including regulatory issues (ex: removing the1 pound waiver)
* Pass farm bill and retain current structure and funding level for crop insurance
* Protect/maintain Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD)
* Support agricultural research for corn, corn products, and agriculture
* Extend expiring agricultural tax credits or make permanent: bonus depreciation, Sec. 179, capital gains
* Support for Trade Promotion Authority
* Support for appropriation for Mississippi River lock & dams, including the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) & barge fuel tax
In late February, farmer delegates from Iowa and other states will come together at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Commodity Classic to set, edit and establish NCGA policy for the coming years.
The complete 2013-14 Iowa Corn Growers Association state and federal policy resolution book can be found online at www.iowacorn.org/policy.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association is a membership organization, lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its over 7,600 farmer members.