The Facts on Australia’s Live Sheep Export Industry |

The live sheep export industry is an important industry to Australia, providing a vital market for sheep producers to sell their livestock to and underpinning the domestic sheep farming industry.The majority of sheep are exported from the port of Fremantle in Western Australia, with almost three quarters of Australian sheep exported from this port in 2009. Over 50% of sheep from the sheep production industry in Western Australia are exported live overseas, making the industry especially important to the Western Australian economy. Other ports that export live sheep include Portland and Port Adelaide.Australian sheep are exported to countries across the Middle East, primarily Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE. In 2009 over 3.5 million sheep were exported to these countries, with Kuwait taking 950,000 head and and Bahrain taking 747,000 head of sheep respectively. The number of sheep exported in 2009 represented a drop of 15% on the previous year, with demand for the live export of sheep far outstripping supply in the Australian sheep production industry last year. This has resulted in calls for the sheep farming industry to rebuild sheep flocks in the coming years.In 2009 the live export of sheep contributed A$323 million to the Australian economy.Australia also has a live cattle export industry and a live goat export industry, primarily exporting to countries throughout South East Asia. Indonesia is the primary market for the live cattle export industry, and Malaysia is the primary market for the live goat export industry. The live cattle export industry contributed A$662 million to the Australian economy in 2009, and the live goat export industry contributed A$11.5 million.Australia is also involved in the meat export industry, exporting chilled and frozen beef, sheep and goat meat products to countries across the world in addition to exporting livestock. This is because there is demand for red meat products as well as livestock from overseas countries, and Meat and Livestock Australia invests in promoting all of these products to consumers overseas.This is why arguments that Australia could cease supplying live sheep exports and replace them with sheep meat exports are not realistic. The two trades are complementary, and it is not as simple as replacing one trade with the other as they serve the needs of different consumers in Middle Eastern markets.Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp invest heavily in improving the welfare of sheep, cattle and goats throughout the livestock export industry.This investment involves programs to improve the welfare of live sheep exports once they arrive in the Middle East. This includes employing a team of animal welfare experts that work with local veterinarians, stockmen, truck drivers, feedlot operators and port staff to improve how Australian sheep are cared for in the region.This team provides training courses to local workers, upgrades facilities and installs new equipment and infrastructure to improve the care of Australian sheep overseas.Highlights of this work in 2009 included the development of a sheep trolley, which assists local workers in the Middle East to move sheep humanely and efficiently. The trolleys have been distributed to each major importing country in the region and allow sheep to be comfortably wheeled from feedlots to processing facilities.It also included the installation of new port discharge facilities in Kuwait, which have ensured sheep are able to be unloaded in Shuwaikh Port safely and securely.This work has made a significant difference to the welfare of live sheep exports from Australia, and the live sheep export industry is committed to continuing to improve animal welfare in the countries we export to.

Unique Tax Rules For Farmers and Ranchers |

So you want to be a farmer? Farming is not an easy profession. It requires long, hard days, during planting and harvest seasons. Then there is the constant worry about various infestations, weather, poor crop production, lack of rain, equipment issues, price fluctuations. You get the point. Farming requires a passion unlike any other profession. Passion is a hard intangible to come by. This is why many heirs sell the farmland they inherit to developers for a quick, one-time profit. The heirs simply cannot find the passion for farming that their parents and grandparents had. But if you’re reading this article, you clearly have a passion for farming. so lets get started.A farm includes the growing of grain, cotton, fruit, sod and tobacco. It also includes the raising of livestock for food, dairy and poultry. It includes fish grown and raised, as well as plantations, ranches and orchards. A ranch is considered by the Internal Revenue Service to be a large farm, primarily used to raise horses, beef cattle, sheep or other specialty livestock.Farmers and ranchers are one of the few manufacturers to be exempted from using the accrual method of accounting, and are permitted to utilize the cash method of accounting. The cash method can be advantageous to farmers and ranchers by allowing for the deferral of income and acceleration of expenses. The cash method allows taxpayers to target an optimum level of net income, which translates into an ability to manage their income tax burden from year to year. The cash method requires revenue to be recognized in the year when cash is received and expenses are paid. The cost of livestock and other items purchased for resale can only be deducted in the year the sale occurs (i.e. the year cash is received). Similarly, the purchase of seeds and young plants bought for further development (further growing) may be treated as an expense when incurred (when paid) as long as such expenses are reported consistently from one year to the next.Deferral of Income – General RulesFarmers and ranchers typically sell their products under deferred arrangements which call for payment in a year subsequent to the year the sale actually takes place. Such arrangements allow farmers to avoid current taxation of such sales.Crop-share landlords include in their income, as rent, their percentage of the crop in the year the crop is converted into cash by the farmer. If the landlord materially participates in the production or management of the farm, the income is subject to self employment tax (15.3% currently). In such case, the landlord reports their share of the crop as farm income, which is reported on Schedule F and then Schedule SE. If the landlord does not materially participate, their share of the crop is considered to be a rental activity and reported on Form 4835. Factors which determine whether or not a landlord materially participates includes their involvement in management of the farming activity and decisions as to when and what to plant, the rotation of crops and the type of machinery to be used. The Internal Revenue Code allows farmers who participate in insurance arrangements, which compensate for weather-related damage to crops, or farmers who are eligible for government disaster and drought assistance payments to elect to defer crop insurance proceeds and such government payments received to the tax year following the year of the destruction or damage. The farmer must treat such payments received in a consistent manner from one year to the next.Deferral of Income – Crop Revenue Coverage and Disaster or Disease EventsFarmers often buy a form of insurance called Crop Revenue Coverage. Essentially, a farmer sets up the insurance contract to guarantee a certain level of revenue from the crop. Any shortfall is reimbursed under this insurance arrangement regardless of the event causing the loss. To the extent a farmer receives any such insurance proceeds, which are not attributable to the destruction or damage to crops, such proceeds must be reported in the year received. If there is a destruction or damage event, such insurance proceeds may be deferred to the year following the destruction or damage as long as a Section 451(d) deferral election is made by the farmer. This election is a one-time election, which requires consistent treatment from one year to the next. Similar income deferral rules apply with respect to livestock damages as a result of drought, flood or other weather-related conditions. Cash basis farmers have up to four years after a disaster event year, in a federally declared disaster area, to elect a one-year deferral on income election, on the forced sale of livestock. This is known as a 453(e) (3) election. Livestock destroyed or sold or exchanged because of disease are considered an involuntary conversion. Any income received in such cases is eligible for a one year deferral (deferred to the year following the year of the disease event).Prepaid ExpensesPrepaid farm expenses are defined as amounts paid for feed, seed, fertilizer or similar farm supplies, to the extent the expenditure item has not actually been used or consumed during the current tax year. If the prepaid items exceed 50% of other deductible expenses, such excess prepaid expenses are not allowed to be deducted during the current year and must be deferred to any subsequent year in which they are actually used or consumed (presumably in the following tax year). This expense deferral requirement is ignored if the farmer’s cumulative prepaid farm expenses for the prior three years is less than 50% of the farmer’s cumulative deductible farm expenses for that same three year period.Fertilizer Expense Reporting OptionsFarmers producing crops normally incur significant fertilizer and soil nutrient expenses. These costs often have a long-term impact and arguably could represent costs that should be capitalized (treated as a fixed asset and amortized). The IRS allows farmers to elect to annually expense such fertilizer costs, rather than capitalize them. This increases the farmer’s expenses for the year, and thus reduces their taxable income. The election is very easy to make. The farmer simply claims a deduction for fertilizer expense each year on line 19 of Schedule F. Conversely, the decision to capitalize such fertilizer expenses is made for a particular year by declining to claim the current year deduction and then opting instead to amortize such expenses.Soil and water Conservation ExpendituresFarmers may deduct in the current year all expenses associated with soil or water conservation or for the prevention of erosion. Such expenses include treating or removing earth, including leveling, conditioning, grading, terracing, contour furrowing or restoration. It also includes construction, control and protection of diversion channels, drainage or irrigation ditches, earthen terraces and dams, watercourses, outlets and ponds. The amount which may be deducted instead of capitalized to the basis of the farmland, is limited to 25% of the farmer’s gross farm income. This income includes gross receipts from farming, as well as gains from the sale of livestock held for draft, breeding or dairy purposes. Any excess conservation expense above this 25% threshold may be carried forward to the next year, but it is once again subject to the 25% gross farm income limitation test. Amounts required to be carried forward, may be carried forward indefinitely until used in full.Uniform Capitalization Rules for Farmersin general, the Internal Revenue Code Section 263A uniform capitalization rules (UNICAP) require direct costs and an allocable portion of certain indirect costs to be capitalized to farm inventory costs (thus reducing current year expenses and increasing taxable income). For farmers, the UNICAP rules only apply to plants and animals with a preproductive period (not able to produce fruit, vegetables, offspring, dairy etc.) of more than two years. Thus, all plants and animals with a preproduction period of two years or less are exempt from the application of the UNICP rules. This rule primarily impacts orchards and vinelands.There are many other tax nuances associated with farming, but we have covered the main areas. It is important to secure the services of a CPA firm which specializes in farming activities. Farming is such a unique practice area and, as you can see, is a bit complicated. Not having a specialist in this niche will result in lost tax benefits or negligent tax filings.

Meat Goats For Sale – Which Ones Should You Buy? |

Meat goats are available in many different varieties across the world. It is important to have proper knowledge and understanding of the different breeds that hail from various parts of the world in order to select the best option. The extensive range of Spanish meat goats is particularly well renowned for its meat. In general it is recommended to go for horned varieties only as these are free from harmful diseases that may crop up in naturally polled goats.You will also be able to find some livestock exporters that actually cross Spanish goats with different dairy breeds. The end result is a larger sized kid that has the capacity to produce large volumes of milk. However, when it comes to meat qualities you will find it to be lacking a meaty carcass. This is why such varieties are better suited for milk production. The reason why such varieties are starting to gain popularity as meat goats is because of their low price and easy availability which tends to offset its carcass characteristics. Furthermore, the meat qualities can drastically improve if they are cross bred with Boer-type bucks which are also inexpensive to produce.Another great variety is the range of Angora goats. However, this breed is not adaptable to cold climates and locating reliable livestock exporters may be a problem for people in certain areas. Boer goats are termed as the best of the lot when it comes to meat goats for sale. Although expensive to rear these goats have a remarkable growth rate and equally impressive meat characteristics. The Boer breed originated from South Africa but is today found in many different places of the world with Australia being one of the largest livestock exporters of Boer goats.The Boer-Spanish cross is yet another interesting variety of meat goats that is definitely worth investing in. It is also more affordable than the genuine Boer as the costs of rearing the crossbreeds is lower. A full size Boer goat can weigh up to 200 pounds which is why they require considerably more feed and care than any other breed used for meat production. Some livestock exporters also cross Boer goats with Cashmere goats which deliver outstanding results. These types of goats are in high demand all over the world because of their desirable qualities.Hailing from New Zealand, the Kiko is a classic variety of meat goat. Characterized by their large frames these goats can survive under tough conditions and are easy to rare. However, this is a relatively rare variety which may be difficult to find and expensive to acquire.Above mentioned are just some of the leading varieties of meat goats for sale that you will be able to find out there. Livestock exporters from across the world specialize in dealing with these different types of meat goats and you should go for an exporter with expertise in the particular breed that you are looking to buy.