The Mississippi Senate and House agriculture committees both met this week, and passed several bills pertaining to the Mississippi agriculture industry.

The Senate Agriculture Committee bills were:

  • SB 2118 – Increases penalties for those that steal pecans from growers
  • SB 2272 – Extends a repealer in part of Mississippi’s Boll Weevil eradication program
  • SB 2291 – Creates a tax card for farmers issued by DOR. Presently to receive a reduced sales tax rate on certain items, a farmer must sign an affidavit with different retail stores at every store he or she purchases from every year. This bill would allow the farmer to apply for the exemption through the DOR and receive a tax card which will last for four years.
  • SB 2408 – Increases the cottage food sales amount from $20K to $35K and allows internet advertisement
  • SB 2725 – Mississippi’s Hemp Cultivation Act – This would authorize the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce to create a state plan for the regulation of the growing of industrial hemp.
    • Sets the allowable THC amount at .3%
    • Requires processors to be bonded
    • Requires growers to have a permit

The House Agriculture Committee bills were:

  • HB 1208 – Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act
  • HB 1566 – Future of Mississippi Agriculture Bill
    • Provides for increased workforce development
    • Increases funding for nuisance animal control
    • Increases funding for Ag Theft Bureau
  • HB 1027 Emerging Crop Loan Program – Increases cap per use from $200K to $250K and increases lifetime cap from $400K to $500K

In other news:

  • Sharkey/Issaquena County Farm Bureaus hosted their annual legislative breakfast this week. They heard updates from Senator Briggs Hopson, the Senate Appropriation Chair, Rep. Kevin Ford, who authored the House Concurrent Resolution passed by the House and Senate supporting the completion of the pumps, and new Senator Joseph Thomas.
  • Kemper County Farm Bureau members visited the Capitol to meet with their House member. They were also recognized in the Senate.
  • The House Drug Policy Committee passed the Hemp Cultivation Act.