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Iowa’s cattle industry faces a tough year in 2013. The drought of 2012 is projected to extend at least until next fall unless well-timed rains and a moderately warm summer restore the soil profile to normal levels. Congress has all but abandoned the farm bill in its discussion of the fiscal nightmare taking effect on January 1. Cattle producers also face an increase in the capital gains tax, as President Obama has proposed, from 15% to 23.8%, as well as a restoration of the estate tax exemption and rate to levels from 2001 – a mere $1 million and 55% after that, respectively.
But of all of the uncertain factors, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association President Ed Greiman from Garner, Iowa, says corn prices will be the primary challenge for producers heading into the new year.