ASA and its state affiliates successfully championed the original biodiesel incentive that became law in 2004. In 2005, ASA also achieved its goal when the landmark energy bill extended the biodiesel tax incentive through 2008. And in 2010, ASA successfully worked for the inclusion of soy biodiesel in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Final Rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires the use of 800 million gallons of biodiesel in 2011.

In addition to reinstating the tax incentive, the legislation includes provisions that will raise the exclusion level to $5 million per spouse and lower the tax rate on estates exceeding the exclusion to 35 percent. Passage of this legislation will strengthen the business climate for farm and ranch families and help to ensure that agricultural businesses can be passed to future generations.

“ASA supports the estate tax provisions of this bill and thanks the House for not making changes to the legislation,” Kemper said. “Without those provisions, family farm operations would have been put at risk and succession to the next generation of farmers would have been threatened.”

Without the new estate tax provisions, the exclusion amount would have gone to $1 million with a tax rate of 55 percent on Jan. 1. With farmland in many regions selling for $5,000 per acre or more, it takes only 200 acres of land to reach the exclusion value of $1 million, which was inadequate to account for the value of machinery, livestock, and buildings necessary to a capital-intensive farming operation.

ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary membership in ASA by over 22,500 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.