Tax laws and their impacts on farms in 2018

A breakfast meeting on April 17 in St. Joseph County will focus on various tax laws, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and how they will impact farmers in 2018. The meeting will also be available online.

The Michigan State University Extension field crops team in southwest Michigan is hosting a 2018 Breakfast Meeting Series developed to address common farm management issues as well as those that may be emerging or are longer term in nature. On April 17, Kristiana Coutu of Varnum Attorneys at Law in Kalamazoo, Michigan, will discuss various tax laws that have direct impacts on farms. The meeting will take place from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the St. Joseph County MSU Extension office612 E. Main St., Centreville, MI 49032 and is sponsored by Aaron Hollister with Schaefer and Hollister Wealth Management Group of Raymond James in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Coutu will address specific issues including sales of livestock, issues related to crop insurance, income from cooperatives, payroll issues related to farm labor and the tax issues related to farm losses. Changes stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, will first impact farmers and their families with their 2018 tax returns. Changes will occur with depreciation, the Section 179 deduction, treatment of net operating losses and other issues. You can read about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the website in its entirety, or just the highlights, questions and answers and its proposed impacts on Americans at the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee website.

For those not able to attend the meeting in person, a Zoom session (similar to Skype) will be open to the public and accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone with a stable internet connection. Remote attendees can click on this link to join:, or enter into a web browser. Video and microphones will be turned off for participants, but questions and comments can be sent in via a chat feature. Each session will also be recorded for viewing later by visiting the Agriculture page of the St. Joseph County Extension website.

Future breakfast meetings will follow the same format, and the public is welcome to participate in person or online for each. (Any last-minute schedule changes that may be necessary will be communicated when attendees call to sign up.) The series runs from March 27 through May 15 on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the St. Joseph County MSU Extension office612 E. Main St., Centreville, MI 49032. Attendees are asked to call the St. Joseph County Extension office at 269-467-5511 or email Eric Anderson at so enough food can be prepared.




March 27

How to Keep Your Crop Field From Becoming a Wildlife Food Plot

Tim Wilson, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Ken Kesson, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and James DeDecker, MSU Extension educator

April 10

Early Season Crop Pests

Bruce MacKellar, MSU Extension educator

April 17

Tax Laws and Their Impacts on Farms

Kristiana Coutu, Attorney, Varnum Attorneys at Law

April 24

Managing White Mold in Soybeans

Martin Chilvers, assistant professor of plant pathology, MSU

May 1

Spring Irrigation and Drainage Issues

Ehsan Ghane, assistant professor and Extension specialist, MSU; and Lyndon Kelley, irrigation educator for Purdue and MSU Extension

May 8

Doubling Up: Forages as Cover Crops

Kim Cassida, forage and cover crop specialist, MSU

May 15

Reintroduction of Industrial Hemp into U.S. Agriculture

Marguerite Bolt, master's student in the Department of Entomology, Purdue University

Did you find this article useful?