Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey 2020

By: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources

 A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider. Continue reading

The Ohio Ag Law Blog–New Fact Sheet Describes How To Prepare For A Crop Insurance Audit

By:Ellen Essman, Senior Research Associate, OSU Extension Ag Law Program
With 2019’s ups and downs in the weather and the marketplace, it’s likely that many farmers used the Federal Crop Insurance Program to mitigate their losses.  Those farmers whose crop insurance claims reach $200,000 or more will be audited by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

What’s the purpose of an audit—does it mean you’re in trouble with the government? What can you expect when going through the audit process?  How do you prepare for an audit? What kind of records and documentation do you need?  All of these questions and more are answered in a new fact sheet we recently published through our partnership with the National Agricultural Law Center.  Click here to read the fact sheet to better prepare you for going through an audit.

A Look Back: Agricultural Law in 2019

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

I often receive quizzical looks when someone asks me what kind of law I practice and I say “agricultural law.” A common response is “what in the world is that”? A look back at agricultural law in 2019 provides a pretty good answer to that question. Our review of major developments in the last year illustrates the diversity of legal issues that make up the world of agricultural law. It’s never dull, that’s certain.

Here are the highlights of what we saw in agricultural law in 2019: Continue reading

ARC-IC in 2019: Release of a 2019 ARC-IC Payment Calculator

By: Gary Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Agricultural Risk Coverage at the Individual Level (ARC-IC) should be considered as a commodity title alternative for 2019 and 2020 in two special cases:  1) if a Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm has all its acres as prevent plant or 2) the FSA farm has low yields.  Other cases may exist as well (see farmdoc dailyOctober 29, 2019 for more information). A newly released tool — the ARC-IC Payment Calculator — will calculate ARC-IC payments for one FSA farm enrolled in ARC-IC.  It will not handle the case of multiple FSA farms enrolled in ARC-IC.  This tool is part of the 2018 Farm Bill What-If Tool, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded from the farmdoc website (https://farmdoc.illinois.edu/2018-farm-bill). We suggest farmers estimate 2019 ARC-IC payments by FSA farm, thereby allowing more informed decisions to be made between commodity title alternatives. Continue reading

Add a Farm Lease in Writing to Your Holiday Wish List

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Christmas is a good time to make wishes for the peace and well-being of others. One of our top wishes this year does that: we hope for all farmers in Ohio to have written farmland leases. It’s an odd wish, we know. But putting leases in writing can help landowners and farm tenants live in peace, and we like that.

Farm leases have always been prone to being verbal agreements, sealed with a handshake. Simplicity and trust are two plausible reasons we’ve done business that way. But a written farm lease can be simple, and using one doesn’t have to mean that the parties don’t trust each another. Instead, a lease can keep distrust from arising between the parties by anticipating needs and foreclosing uncertainties and disagreements. Continue reading

Soybean Price Prospects Moving into 2020

By: Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois .December 9, 2019. farmdoc daily (9):230

The two major drivers of uncertainty impacting soybean prices in 2019 appear set to carry over into 2020.  The status of trade negotiations with China continues to move soybean markets despite numerous fits and starts in the process. Another USDA estimate of the 2019 soybean crop comes out in January.  Without supportive information on either issue, the sustainability of the recent price rally into 2020 seems remote.

Nearby soybean futures prices since the middle of September ranged between $8.70 and $9.40.  The highest prices came in mid-October in association with a reduced soybean production level in the October WASDE report and thawing relations on the trade front.  The lowest prices occurred in early December after another round of trade frictions.  Soybean basis during the recent rally in central Illinois sits in a stronger position than during the October price jump.  Soybean basis strengthened almost twenty cents in the region from October levels with cash prices at soybean processors showing particularly strong bids. Continue reading

Registration is Open for Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

By:  Barry Ward, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools

Columbus, Ohio – Are you getting the most from your tax return? Farmers and farmland owners who wish to increase their tax knowledge should consider attending this webinar that will address tax issues specific to this industry. Content focuses on important tax issues and will offer insight into new tax legislation and further guidelines that have been released this year.

Mark your calendars for January 13th, 2020 to participate in this live webinar from 1 to 3 pm. Continue reading

USDA Will Issue Second MFP Payments Before Thanksgiving

Source: USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. The payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they have already received from the 2019 MFP. Continue reading

Change Your Employee Recruitment and Interview Mindset

By: Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Originally written for Dairy Excel column for the 10-31-19 Farm and Dairy

Labor is an important component of any farm operation.  Beyond just checking the box that a certain task has been completed, farm profitability often turns on how well a task was completed, the attention to detail and protocol.  Improving employee recruiting and interviewing skills increases the chance of hiring the right employee for your farm situation.  For many farms, employee recruitment, interviewing and hiring requires a mindset adjustment. Continue reading

When Creating 2020 Budgets, Keep in Mind Family Living Costs

By: Bradley Zwilling, Illinois FBFM Association and Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. University of Illinois. farmdoc Daily (9):216

In 2018, the total noncapital living expenses of 1,306 farm families enrolled in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association (FBFM) average was $77,999–or $6,500 a month for each family. This average was 2.3 percent lower than in 2017.  Another $4,579 was used to buy capital items such as the personal share of the family automobile, furniture, and household equipment.  Thus, the grand total for living expenses averaged $82,578 for 2018 compared with $85,542 for 2017, or a $2,964 decrease per family. Continue reading