2020 marks what could be considered one of the most tumultuous years in Iowa agriculture. A global pandemic caused many agribusinesses, processors and manufacturers to halt production. More than 6 million acres of crops were flattened by a derecho, and millions of bushels of grain storage capacity was lost. A record drought affected up to 99% of the state, and commodity markets witnessed record volatility.
Governor Reynolds has taken a balanced approached to supporting Iowa’s agriculture industry and the farm families that make it strong. She believes that continued investment in rural communities will ensure our recovery and increase opportunities for Iowans.
Iowa leads the nation in corn, soybean, ethanol and biodiesel production. Driving demand for biofuels benefits rural Iowa communities, improves air and water quality, and reduces Iowa’s carbon footprint.
To expand the availability of cleaner-burning, Iowa-grown ethanol and biodiesel, the Governor proposes:
- Raising the ethanol and biodiesel fuel standards at Iowa retail fuel stations.
- Elevating the standard for all newly constructed and upgraded retail fuel stations to install higher blend-compatible fuel infrastructure.
- Increasing Iowa’s investment in the Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program and modernizing fuel retail tax credits to incentivize higher blends of renewable fuels.
Beginning Farmer Tax Credits
Beginning farmers are disproportionately impacted by extreme economic conditions and weather events. Supporting the next generation of farmers is an investment in Iowa’s leading role in feeding and fueling the world. By expanding eligibility for the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, Governor Reynolds is helping more new farmers gain access to capital by connecting owners of agricultural assets with those who are looking to get started.
To expand eligibility, the Governor proposes:
- Increasing the number of years the tax credit can be claimed.
Use of CARES Act funds to boost resilience and recovery in the Iowa agriculture industry
To aid recovery from Covid19-related economic impact, Governor Reynolds allocated over $110 million to critical sectors of the Iowa agriculture industry:
- $61M to assist 6,235 livestock producers
- $14M to provide debt relief to 1,564 beginning farmers
- $12M for ethanol and biodiesel facilities due to demand destruction
- $7M for business disruption losses for 167 fuel retail locations and hundreds of biofuel projects
- $7M for lost revenue for 105 county fairs and the Iowa State Fair
- $750,000 to enable 100+ schools and child care centers to purchase local produce and protein
- $4.7M to assist livestock producers with disposal and supply chain disruption
- $4M to aid processing capacity for 200+ local meat and poultry processors