Well, every now and again we get some good news, and this came in the form of a tax overhaul.
The new Tax Reform plan signed by President Trump on December 22, 2017 brings these exciting new advantages into play
Here’s how the new plan works:
Section 179. Beginning with the 2018 tax year, producers will be allowed to immediately write off capital purchases such as breeding livestock, farm equipment and single-purpose structures (like calving barns) up to $1 million. The phase out on this expensing provision doesn’t kick in until a farm reaches $2.5 million in purchases.
The Estate Tax had a few tweaks made to it as well. An individual exemption is now $11.2 million, meaning a couple can claim $22.4 million. In addition, promises to completely bury this burdensome tax in 2025 continue to excite the beef producing community.
Here’s an outstanding educational resource brought to you courtesy of your Checkoff dollars and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The video follows a likeable group of half a dozen high school culinary students as they learn all about how beef and other meats make it from farm to plate. It’s a documentary, a cooking show, and a window into the lives of some very cool people; this comprehensive training program comes with a very informative 42-page manual. True Beef: Pasture to Plate is a must for anybody over the age of 14 (my recommendation) who has even the slightest inclination towards preparing meats or working in the food service sector. I personally rate this program as a 10/10, which is rare, because everyone knows I’m a crusty old editor. Go to www.agfoundation.org for more info.
WR Viral Facebook post
As thousands of you already know, we’ve launched a new FUN contest (see the ad on page 7) inspiring you to send us your phone videos for a chance to win some CA$H. How’s it going?
A video sent in by Melissa Blasi of her husband working with a troubled horse to get him to quit pullin’ the pin every time someone climbs aboard went viral (Melissa reports that after many sessions and a lot of TLC they were able to re-harness all that negative energy and he’s doing fine now). As we go to press, it has reached 1,314,000 people, was viewed 389,000 times for a total of 255,000 viewing minutes. That’s 177 solid days, 24 hours a day, of viewing!
We want your ranch videos. Think of it as the Best of American Ranching – funny, cool, awesome, beautiful…featuring our amazing animal friends, gorgeous ranch and beef farm settings, the wonder of nature, and the outstanding personality of our readers.
Turn that phone sideways, keep it short and sweet, under 30 seconds (go to our FB page and watch a few, we post a new one every day) and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send one today, send as many as you like, and have fun with it. Who knows? You could win some cash – most views by June 30th WINS ($500 for First, $300 for Second, and $200 for Third).
WR Special Report
Should you dally up to a Precondition Payoff?
By Tim O’Byrne
That’s a dang good question, so I asked Dr. Jeremy Powell with U of Arkansas (many of you know his respected work) and here’s what he had to say.
WR Doc, calving is underway for many of our readers, but I’m thinking that it’s not too early to start considering a preconditioning strategy for down the road. Am I daydreaming here?
JP Well, the old saying is ‘we never plan to fail, but we fail to plan’. Preconditioning does a lot of great things for the cattle. It has been shown to improve the health over the lifetime of that calf. It decreases the risk of those calves becoming sick. It improves animal well-being and certainly it can enhance profitability for the cow-calf producer.
WR Doc, today’s preconditioning programs are pretty solid, right?
JP There’s a lot of consistency between programs today, and some of those programs are even certified by the herd veterinarian; they’re putting their name on the line that these cattle have been preconditioned.
WR How important is it for our readers who are thinking about this strategy to establish a valid VCPR (veterinarian, client, patient relationship)? That’s something we here at Working Ranch have been endorsing for a long time.
JP I certainly think it’s important, you need to rely on some expertise and maybe even build a team. The veterinarian is important when it comes to the health products and how they’re used, or the region, what types of vaccines need to be used. But I think you might need someone helping with the nutrition of those animals, perhaps you have a consulting nutritionist for your ranch. Most preconditioned calves are going to have to stay on the ranch of origin for 45 days past weaning, so you need to have an ideal ration so you maximize gain during that time period.
Also, I think it’s important to consider a marketing consultant. If it’s your sale barn owner you could say to them, “Hey, I’m going to precondition calves, is there a sale I can target when we have them 45-days weaned and ready to go?”.
WR It’s generally accepted that a producer will realize a decent ROI if they go this route. Is that true?
JP It is true, we see a good ROI in most of the studies they’ve conducted year after year. I am familiar with one from Purdue University where they tracked a program over an 11-year period, and there were variations over those years, but on average there were net returns of $80 per calf. That’s net, after costs were taken out.
2 doses respiratory vaccines
2 doses clostridial vaccines
Internal and external parasites
45-day post weaning period, bunk & water tank broke
Tipped or dehorned
PLUS – whatever your herd veterinarian recommends in your region
AND verified ownership/identification
Contact your local veterinarian or extension agent in your area, and while you’re at it, get onboard with BQA. For the entire interview with Dr. Jeremy Powell go to www.workingranchmag.com and click on our WR Radio Show icon.