Sign up for USDA-CFAP Direct Support to Begin May 26, 2020

By: Ben Brown, Peggy Kirk Hall, David Marrison, Dianne Shoemaker and Barry Ward, The Ohio State University

Since the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020 and the announcement of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) on April 17, 2020, producers in Ohio and across the country have been anxiously awaiting additional details on how the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide financial assistance for losses experienced as a result of lost demand, short-term oversupply and shipping pattern disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The additional details on CFAP eligibility, payment limitations, payment rates, and enrollment timeline arrived on May 19, 2020, when the USDA issued its Final Rule for CFAP.  In this article, we explain the Final Rule in this issue of News from the Farm Office.

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USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Source:USDA 5/19/2020

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 1/22/2020

New Year, New Ag Policy

In the last week or so, there have been a couple of rather large announcements that could impact agriculture and those involved in 2020. First of which is the governor’s unrolling of $30 million through the Ohio Department of Agriculture through the new H2Ohio program. The program will incentivize voluntary conservation practices of the next five years in counties, including Henry, that lie in the lower Maumee watershed. There are information meetings scheduled, with the Henry/Putnam meeting being at the Fogle Center in Leipsic at 6 p.m. on February 20th.

Other news over the least week also included the signing of a Phase 1 China trade deal, which is intended to increase the amount of agricultural exports into China. U.S. soy, pork, and beef, entering China are all part of the deal. Continue reading

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

Winter Application of Manure: Remember Setbacks

By: Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Some Ohio livestock producers will be looking to apply manure to farm fields frozen enough to support application equipment. Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. Thus, this article is for non-permitted livestock operations.

In the Grand Lake St Marys watershed, the winter manure application ban from December 15 to March 1 is still in effect. Thus, no manure application would normally be allowed from now until March 1. Continue reading

A Hunting We Will Go: Laws Landowners Need To Know

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

With archery season in full swing and deer gun season opening this week, hunters will be out in full force across Ohio. That means it’s also high season for questions about hunting laws, trespassers, property harm, and landowner liability. Below, we provide answers to the top ten frequently asked questions we receive on these topics.

I gave them permission to hunt on my land, but do I have to sign something? Permission to hunt should be in writing. Ohio law requires a person to obtain written permission from a landowner or the landowner’s agent before hunting on private lands or waters and to carry the written permission while hunting. A hunter who doesn’t obtain written permission can be subject to criminal misdemeanor charges. ORC 1533.17. The ODNR provides a permission form at If a hunter uses another form, read it carefully before signing and ensure that it only addresses hunting and doesn’t grant other rights that you don’t want to allow on the land. 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

Ohio Bill Would Provide Support For Beginning Farmers

Published by the Ohio Farmer Online

A bipartisan effort to create incentives to support new and beginning farmers is gaining traction and broad support in the Ohio Legislature.

The Ohio Soybean Association recently testified before the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in support of House Bill 183.

“The average age of farmers in Ohio increased from 54.6 in 2012 to 55.8 in 2017,” said Trish Cunningham, OSA Policy Committee chair who testified on behalf of OSA. “As this increases, the need to support the next generation of farmers becomes more critical.”

Sponsored by Rep. Susan Manchester, R-Waynesfield, and Rep. John Patterson D-Jefferson, HB 183 will provide a state income tax credit to established farmers and agricultural producers that sell or rent assets such as land, machinery, building facilities and livestock to a beginning farmer. This credit is equivalent to 5% of the sale price, 10% of the cash rent, or 15% for a cash share deal. Continue reading

Ohio CAUV Values Projected to Decline Through 2020

By: David Marrison, OSU Extension Coshocton Co.

The Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program allows farmland devoted exclusively to commercial agriculture to be taxed based on their value in agriculture, rather than the full market value, resulting in a substantially lower tax bill for the farmer.

The formula for CAUV values incorporates agricultural factors (soil types, yields, prices, and non-land costs for corn, soybeans, and wheat) to calculate the capitalized net returns to farming land based on the previous 5 to 10 years. CAUV underwent large-scale changes to its calculation in 2017 that was targeted to reduce the property tax burden of farmland.

A new report, Ohio CAUV Values Projected to Decline Through 2020, shows the projection of CAUV values though 2020. According to the study authors, OSU agricultural economists Robert Dinterman and Ani Katchova forecast a decrease in the assessed value of agricultural land to an average CAUV value of approximately $600 in 2020.

Access this report at:

Ohio’s Proposed Hemp Rules Are Out

By: Peggy Kirk Hall and Ellen Essman, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Ohio’s newly created hemp program is one step further toward getting off the ground.   On October 9, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) released its anxiously awaited proposal of the rules that will regulate hemp production in Ohio.   ODA seeks public comments on the proposed regulations until October 30, 2019.

There are two parts to the rules package:  one rule for hemp cultivation and another for hemp processing.   Here’s an overview of the components of each rule: Continue reading