Examining USDA 2019 Acreage and Yield Estimates

By: Ashley Hungerford, Shawn Arita, and Rob Johansson, Office of the Chief Economist USDA. October 3, 2019. farmdoc daily (9):185

2019 has been a turbulent year.  Unprecedented rains during spring, which led to heavy flooding and disrupted corn planting in many states, created a forecasting environment more challenging than usual.  When USDA’s August report delivered much higher than expected production estimates, it resulted in a great deal of questions. Many were shocked by the 90 million planted acres for corn that had been forecasted by NASS, particularly when juxtaposed with the over 11 million corn acres of prevent plant reported by FSA.  Further, many others had felt that yield estimates were too high. This article sheds some light on the different sources of data USDA has for estimating corn production. Continue reading

Weekly Farm Economics: The Agricultural Risk Coverage — County Level (ARC-CO) Option in the 2018 Farm Bill

By: Gary Schnitkey, Jonathan Coppess, Nick Paulson, Krista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University. farmdoc daily (9):173

Farmers and landowners can now make the decision between farm programs, receiving commodity title payments from either Agricultural Risk Coverage at the county level (ARC-CO) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for each covered commodity with base acres on the farm; the Agricultural Risk Coverage at the individual level (ARC-IC) is also available but must be elected for all covered commodities with base acres on the farm. For the 2019 and 2020 programs, the deadline for the decision for each Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm is March 15th, 2020. This article describes the ARC-CO option contained in 2018 Farm Bill. Future articles will describe PLC, making choices between PLC and ARC-CO, and ARC-IC. Continue reading

Changes on the Horizon for H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Rules

By: Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) says that it has found a number of inefficiencies in the H-2A temporary agricultural labor visa program, and the department has a solution: change the program’s rules. The DOL has proposed a number of administrative rule changes that it believes will make the approval process move along quicker, relieve burdens on U.S. farms, and create a more level playing field with regards to pay. Before we talk about the rule changes, let’s recap what the H-2A program is. Continue reading

“Ask the Expert” Area Seeks to Help Farmers Mitigate the Challenges of 2019 at this year’s Farm Science Review

By: David Marrison, OSU Extension Coshocton County

Each year, faculty and staff of The Ohio State University address some of the top farm management challenges which Ohio farmers are facing during the “Ask the Expert” sessions held each day at the Farm Science Review at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.  The 20 minute “Ask the Expert” presentations at Farm Science Review are one segment of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) comprehensive extension education efforts during the three days of the Farm Science Review which will be held September 17-19 in London, Ohio. Continue reading

Questions about Corn Crop Continue

By: Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois. farmdoc Daily.

The USDA’s August crop production forecast delivered a shock to corn markets with much larger production than expected.  Market participants continue to question the size of the 2019 corn crop, in particular, harvested acreage and yield come in for much speculation.

Producers reported they planted 90 million acres of corn and intended to harvest 82 million acres for grain.  Initial reaction to 90 million planted acres with 11.2 million acres of prevent plant corn approached complete disbelief.  The switch into corn acres happened for both the prevented planting decisions and crop planting.  The expansion of corn acres reduced soybean acres in particular.  When matched with FSA data on reported planted acres, the possibility of USDA lowering planted corn acreage by a significant amount this year seems very low. Continue reading

USDA Opens Signup for Market Facilitation Program

Signup is open for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations. Through MFP, USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July. The sign-up period runs through Dec. 6. Continue reading

Ohio’s Disaster Aid Levels Still Uncertain

Though the disaster declaration for nearly half of Ohio’s counties extends low-interest loans to farmers, many growers are hoping for changes that could offer more financial help, according to experts with The Ohio State University.

The full extent of benefits that come with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s disaster declaration are still unknown. The federal agency has yet to make decisions about the federal disaster aid bill passed in June.

Growers want the USDA to approve requested changes to disaster aid packages that would increase payment guarantees to farmers who file crop insurance claims on acres where they could not plant a cash crop, said Ben Brown, assistant professor of agricultural risk management in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Continue reading

USDA Natural Disaster Designations Declaration Affects 40 Ohio Counties

Source: Ohio Ag Net (online)

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is encouraging farmers in 40 Ohio counties to seek potential relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) following the USDA Secretarial disaster designation in their counties or contiguous counties due to rain, flooding, or other weather conditions.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, in letters dated July 25, 2019, designated several counties as primary natural disaster areas due to production losses caused by extreme weather events that occurred during the 2019 crop year. Continue reading

Tax Planning in an Unusual Year – Prevented Planting Indemnity Payments, Market Facilitation Payments and Cost-Share Payments

By: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management & Director, OSU Income Tax Schools

Prevented Planting Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

With unprecedented amounts of prevented planting insurance claims this year in Ohio and other parts of the Midwest, many producers will be considering different tax management strategies in dealing with this unusual income stream. In a normal year, producers have flexibility in how they generate and report income. In a year such as this when they will have a large amount of income from insurance indemnity payments the flexibility is greatly reduced. Continue reading

Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2018-19

By: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools

Ohio cropland values and cash rental rates are projected to decrease slightly in 2019. According to the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey, bare cropland values in western Ohio are expected to decline by 1.3 to 2.9 percent in 2019 depending on the region and land class. Cash rents are expected to decrease from one-half a percent to 2.5 percent depending on the region and land class.

The Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents study was conducted from February through April in 2019. The opinion-based study surveyed professionals with a knowledge of Ohio’s cropland values and rental rates. Professionals surveyed were farm managers, rural appraisers, agricultural lenders, OSU Extension educators, farmers, landowners, and Farm Service Agency personnel. The study results are based on 162 surveys returned, analyzed, and summarized. For the complete survey summary go to the OSU Extension FarmOffice website at: