Ag Notes

Livestock producers receive tax relief

Agriculture Canada has released a list of designated regions on the Prairies where tax deferrals have been authorized for this year.

The designation allows producers who face feed shortages to defer a portion of their 2015 sale proceeds of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish stock in the following year.

Earnings from deferred sales are included as part of the producer’s income in the next tax year. Those proceeds may be partially offset by the cost of replacing breeding animals. A document from the Alberta Ag-Info Centre called Understanding the Federal Livestock Tax Referral provides an overview of the program and explains how the deferral is calculated.

For more information, contact the Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).

Risk management program

Lethbridge College and the provincial Agriculture Financial Services Corp. have developed a partnership involving the college’s agriculture business risk management program.

The college said in an Aug. 21 news release that AFSC “will provide an industry review and subject matter support” to strengthen curriculum for the program.

AFSC will also help develop one of the courses in the risk management program, the news release said.

Instruction from agricultural industry experts is a key part of the new college initiative, which will begin in October.

Calculating ranch costs

Rancher’s Return Lite is a new tool to help Alberta producers manage their future economic decisions.

The Excel spreadsheet will help ranchers calculate feed costs, variable costs and profitability.

It calculates cow-calf enterprise feed and input costs based on the producer’s feeding systems and production practices. Producers can then adjust their feed rations and commodity price scenarios to help minimize winter feeding costs.

The program uses producers’ operating and capital cost estimates to summarize results for total cash costs as well as non-cash costs such as depreciation.

The free download is available from Alberta Agriculture’s website.

Water pumping program

Alberta Agriculture is cutting rental costs in half for its water pumping program in an effort to manage this year’s dry conditions.

The program provides pumps and pipes to help producers fill dugouts for domestic and livestock use.

Full-time Alberta agricultural producers who are experiencing water shortages for domestic and livestock use have priority for equipment use. Rental fees will apply to anyone who uses the program in 2015-16.

The discounted rate during regular season pumping from April 1 to Oct. 31 includes one pump and one mile of six-inch pipe for $250. A second pump and length of pipe can be rented for $125.

For more information, call toll free at 310-0000, then dial 780-422-5000, or call the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).

New Farmer poetry contest

British Columbia writers have until Sept. 13 to submit their agricultural themed poems to the third annual Ode to a Farmer Poetry Contest.

The B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets is inviting residents to submit their original rhymes as part of the annual Farmers Appreciation Week scheduled for Sept. 12-19.

The winner will receive a $150 gift certificate to spend at a B.C. farmers market. Regional winners will get $50 gift certificates.

For more information, visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org.

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