The following letter was sent by Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins to Commissioner Danny Werfel of the Internal Revenue Service:

Missouri’s farmers and ranchers are experiencing substantial crop and pasture losses due to continued dry weather that has persisted across our state since 2022. According to the latest drought monitor report, over 94 percent of Missouri land is classified under some degree of drought, with over 48 percent of the state listed as extreme drought. Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) is very concerned about the impacts of this disaster on farmers and ranchers, agribusinesses and rural communities.

Livestock producers are suffering from the lack of moisture around the state. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), current pasture conditions are reported as 58 percent poor to very poor, resulting in a shortage of hay and other forage forcing producers to pay higher prices for feed. In addition, many producers have not been able to access local forage, resulting in the need to haul hay from out of state or even sell their cattle herd.

In previous drought years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended critical provisions that allow livestock producers to defer tax on any gains from the forced sale of stock due to drought. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the IRS extend these provisions further to include the current drought year leaving livestock producers with questions about whether or not they will be able to qualify for this relief.

MOFB requests that you move to extend this provision for an additional year in order to provide certainty to farmers and ranchers as they continue to face the drought.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you to provide relief for Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.