Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

Do you know how the COVID legislation may affect your tax return? Do you know how equipment trade-ins may affect your federal and state tax returns? 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 COVID related legislation.

Mark your calendars for December 3rd, 2020 to participate in this live webinar from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The event is a joint offering from OSU Income Tax Schools which are a part of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Purdue University Income Tax Schools.  If you are not able to attend the live webinar, all registered participants will receive a link to view the recorded webinar at a time of their convenience. This link will be available through the tax filing season.

The two-hour program is targeted towards owners who file their own farm taxes or simply wish to arm themselves with more tax information that will help them to better plan for tax filing.

Topics to be discussed during the webinar include:

  • Tax Issues related to COVID-related legislations including tax credits, PPP loans, EIDL loans etc.
  • New 1099-Misc and 1099-NEC
  • Tax planning in an unusual year: prevented planting and revenue crop insurance indemnity payments, CFAP payments, etc.
  • Like Kind Exchanges (farm machinery and equipment no longer are eligible for this provision – this is a significant change), how this change may affect state income tax and how this change may affect your Social Security credits and eventual payments
  • Qualified Business Income Deduction, sales to cooperatives, lease income
  • Other topics

The cost for the webinar is $35. To register, go to

Winter Tree Identification

Our next Virtual A DAY in the WOODS program “Winter Tree Identification”  will be offered as a Zoom webinar on November 13 from 10 am to 11:30 am.

Dave Apsley (Ohio State University Extension) and Jim Downs (Hocking College) will provide you with the information and tips to help you to differentiate among the variety of trees on your property in the coming winter months.

This program will take place from 10:00 to 11:30 am, and participants in this program will:

  • Learn to use bud and twig characteristics to identify trees
  • Become familiar with many tree fruits like acorns and other clues that can be found on the ground
  • Begin to develop an eye for bark to aid in winter tree identification

For program details and to register visit:

We now have a new series of chainsaw safety videos available at   Also, don’t forget about our tree identification videos at  A new video will be launched on Facebook on Treemendous Tuesday’s at .


Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0 – You may be eligible for this even if you were not eligible for the previous program!

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County

Farmers are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0 (CFAP 2.0).  The application deadline is December 11, 2020. President Trump and USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an expansion of the original CFAP intended to provide support to farmers who suffered losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The following information is sourced from USDA and available at


Any individual or legal entity who shares in the risk of producing a commodity may apply for CFAP 2. Producers must be in the business of farming and producing commercially produced commodities at the time of submitting their application to be eligible.  Commodities grown under a contract in which the grower has ownership and production risk are eligible for CFAP 2.

To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI) comes from farming, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply and the person or legal entity is eligible to receive CFAP 2 payments up to the applicable payment limitation.

Persons and legal entities also must:

  • comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions; and
  • not have a controlled substance violation.

Eligible Commodities

Commodities eligible for CFAP 2.0 include: row crops, wool, livestock, specialty livestock, dairy, specialty crops, floriculture and nursery, aquaculture, broilers and eggs, and tobacco.

Ineligible Commodities

Commodities not eligible for CFAP 2 include:

  • Hay, except alfalfa, and crops intended for grazing are ineligible for CFAP 2.
  • All equine, breeding stock, companion or comfort animals, pets, and animals raised for hunting or game purposes.
  • Birdsfoot and trefoil, clover, cover crop, fallow, forage soybeans, forage sorghum, gardens (commercial and home), grass, kochia (prostrata), lespedeza, milkweed, mixed forage, pelts (excluding mink), perennial peanuts, pollinators, sunn hemp, vetch, and seed of ineligible crops.

How to Apply

To complete the CFAP 2 application, producers will need to reference their sales, inventory, and other records. However, since CFAP 2 is a self-certification program, this documentation will not need to be submitted with the application. Because applications are subject to County Committee review and spot check, some producers will be required to provide documentation. Producers should retain the records and documentation they use to complete the application.

Applications can be completed online, manually, or through your local FSA office.  Additional information about the application, including a calculator, is available here

Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference is a Must Attend Event for Anyone Working in Agriculture

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Organizers of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference hosted by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) at The Ohio State University, say the aim of this year’s conference is to offer much-needed insight to those involved in the agricultural industry during a time marked with so much global uncertainty. Past attendees, ranging from producers to consumers and agribusinesses leaders to elected officials, say the annual conference provides information and outlooks that influence their businesses and decision making processes.

A core mission of Land-grant institutions like Ohio State is to take research and knowledge from the university and share it with those in the communities they serve. This mission remains at the fore front even when social distancing measures prevent large group gatherings. According to Ben Brown, assistant professor of agricultural risk management at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), the virtual, four-day event will be structured in a way that provides an even wider variety of perspectives and viewpoints from policymakers to academics to industry leaders, giving the conference a unique degree of depth on topics.

“Unfortunately, we cannot be together in-person sharing thoughts over a baked potato bar,” says Brown. “But this virtual format offers a smorgasbord of impactful economic and policy information from a corral of experts.”

Brown adds that this conference with its access to leading subject matter experts within Ohio and across the country, is walking the walk of being a modern land grant institution.

Bailey Elchinger who works for StoneX Inc., a global institutional-grade financial service network and who will be a panelist on day four of the conference, plans to attend all four sessions so she can gain information to empower her customers with the grain market information and historical analysis required to make sound business decisions for their operations.

“Ideally, producers make grain marketing decisions based more on ‘dollars and cents’ than ‘ifs and buts,’” says Elchinger.

With the pandemic continuing to effect markets and demand, Amanda Douridas, an OSU Extension Educator, plans to attend the conference so she can best inform producers in Champaign County as they continue to weather supply chain disruptions and react to the unexpected effects of the volatile grain markets on their farm incomes. She says the conference is critical to gain some understanding of what markets and policy may look like moving forward.

Other big issues covered during the week:

  • Trade and macroeconomic policy outlooks and how agriculture could be impacted,
  • The enduring impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closures, along with continued immigration policy uncertainty, on the industry’s access to a stable and healthy labor pool,
  • If and when consumer purchasing behaviors will revert to pre-COVID patterns, and
  • Outlooks for the US livestock sector facing global income impacts and a grain and oilseed sector witnessing rapidly improving fundamentals.

Bennett Musselman, a producer in Pickaway County and agricultural service provider, says the line-up of speakers is top notch and the variety of topics will help him keep up to date on the many areas that impact the agricultural industry from local, state, national and global levels. He continues, “If you are in the agricultural industry in any capacity this is a must attend event as the information provided is invaluable.”

The conference is free and open to the public. For the complete program and to register, visit For questions, contact Ben Brown at or Kelli Trinoskey at

For agenda click here: 2020 Conference Agenda

For session descriptions click here:  2020 Session Descriptions

We are returning to standard office hours!

OSU Extension in Licking County will be resuming our office standard hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning October 19th.  While not all staff will be working in the office on any given day, we will have personnel available to assist you.  We do ask for appointments to help us better serve you while maintaining social distancing and a safe environment.

Licking County rainfall totals for the 2020 growing season

Weather extremes have been a theme over the last several years but we have been fortunate in Licking County to not experience the worst of these extremes.  Much of our county experienced a very wet spring but as we reach the end of the growing season the early wetness was balanced by a drier than average end of the summer.  Thanks to our dedicated rainfall reporters from throughout the county, I am able to provide the following chart.  One of our reporters experienced technical difficulties with their weather station but we still have a good picture of rainfall around the county.  For a nicer view of the report click here: AG Rainfall Summary 2020

                                                  Rainfall – Licking County 2020

Alexandria 4.41 6.20 2.19 4.65 5.24 3.39 26.08
Appleton 4.60 5.60 2.20 2.25 3.60 4.00 22.25
Bowling Green 4.40 4.80 1.90 2.70 2.60 1.80 18.20
Madison TWP 5.19 4.92 5.86 4.42 4.63 3.51 28.53
Newton TWP SE 4.77 4.42 3.60 4.70 4.80 2.95 25.24
Union TWP 4.05 5.75 2.65 5.70 4.95 2.79 25.89
Union TWP S 3.70 4.60 1.85 4.80 3.60 2.20 20.75
Utica 4.53 5.09 2.87 3.41 NR NR
Washington TWP 3.60 4.05 3.80 2.30 2.30 3.15 19.20
Washington TWP S 3.80 5.25 3.45 1.70 2.70 3.10 20.00
County Average 4.31 5.07 3.04 3.66 3.82 2.99 22.90
Long-Term County Average 3.66 4.41 4.57 4.37 3.58 2.99 23.58

*NR = Not Reported

Ohio State University Extension Licking County would like to give a special thanks to the following individuals and families who graciously devoted their time and effort to tracking and reporting Licking County rainfall totals. Without their help, this would not be possible.

Rick Black Jim Kiracofe
Larry Coe Jeff Martin
Orville Felumlee David Shipley
John Hankinson Tom Sorg
Kayla Hughes Marcie Williams

If you know someone who would like to participate in this project next year, please have them contact the Extension office at (740) 670-5315.

Exploring Online Sales for Ohio Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing Producers Webinar

With so many platforms it can be daunting to choose the option that fits best for your business.

Join us for this FREE webinar to learn how to utilize online platforms and hear from producers who use them first hand. The webinar is free thanks to funding from NCR SARE but registration is required. Deadline to register is October 14, 2020.

Registration can be found at

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Adams at

Fall Food Preservation Virtual Series

Gardeners and other lovers of fresh produce are often interested in extending the season’s bounty by preserving fruits and vegetables and meats at home.  Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences teach the basics of home canning and preservation through a virtual series called “Food Preservation Office Hours”.  These online classes emphasize the science behind preservation so that everyone who preserves fruits, vegetables, and meats understands why certain procedures must be followed precisely to ensure a high-quality, safe product that they and their family can enjoy.

All online classes are on Tuesday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:00 PM. Topics include: October 13- Preserving Apples; October 20- Canning Soup; October 27- Canning Meat, Poultry, and Game; November 3- Making Jerky; and November 10- Making Sauerkraut. Join OSU Extension educators for one or more of these free programs by registering at . Please contact Shari Gallup at OSU Extension, 740-670-5315, with any questions you may have.

Click here for the flyer: Fall 2020 Food Preservation Office Hours Poster All Webinars w link

How to Become A Master Gardener Volunteer


The OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a premier, statewide network of volunteer education and leadership development; as well as a consumer horticulture education delivery system that maximizes human, material and natural resources, and values teamwork and excellence in educational programming. The Master Gardener Volunteers’ knowledge, experience and enthusiasm have become essential to Extension education of consumer horticulture in the state of Ohio.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides an extensive course in horticulture in exchange for a donation of volunteer hours to share your gardening knowledge with the community through OSU Extension sponsored activities.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Volunteers are an important component of the OSU Extension system. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must! There are many opportunities to obtain hours either with a “hands-in-the-dirt” group project or as a “behind-the-scenes” individual contributor supporting non-physical activities.

Master Gardener Volunteer training is offered for residents of Licking County and surrounding areas. The training program provides a balanced, integrated, practical course in plant science. Core topics that are part of the training are oriented to Extension and the Master Gardener Volunteer Program:

    Basic Botany
Plant Physiology
Soils and Soil Fertility
Basic Entomology
Basic Plant Pathology
Plant Disease Diagnosis
Pesticide Use and Safety
Plant Identification
Home Lawn Care
Trees and Shrubs
Home Vegetable Production
Home Fruit Production
Backyard Wildlife Management
Herbs and more!

How do I know if I’d make a good Master Gardener Volunteer?

  • You want to learn more about plants and gardening.
  • You are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program.
  • You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others.
  • You have the time to attend training and serve your community as a volunteer educator.


The next Master Gardener Volunteer Training will take place virtually, beginning on February 9, 2021 and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 9 weeks. There will be an Orientation Night on February 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm at the Extension Office. More details to follow in interview.

Interviews will begin in December 2020 and continue through January 2021.

COST: The training fee is $150 and is payable after interview and acceptance into the program. Scholarships are available by contacting Lori Swihart at There are additional fees (approximately $30) for a mandatory criminal background check.

Volunteer Commitment

The Master Gardener Volunteer training course consists of:

1. A minimum of 50 hours of instruction which includes hands-on lab work.

2. An equivalent number (50) of horticultural significant volunteer hours is required with in a year to become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer.

Master Gardeners remain active from year to year by:

  1. Obtaining ten (10) continuing education hours
  2. Donating a minimum of twenty (20) community service hours.

. Only pre-approved Ohio State University Extension sponsored activities count toward the requirement.

Understanding more about the program:

If interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, please download and print the application below.

Master Gardener Volunteer Application

Mail the completed application to:

OSU Extension Licking County
Attn: Lori Swihart
771 E. Main Street, Suite 103
Newark, OH 43055

Or, email to or fax to (740) 670-5317.

Applications will be accepted October 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.

If you do not have internet access, call the office at 740-670-5315 and the application packet will be mailed.

For more information on becoming a Licking County Master Gardener Volunteer contact Lori Swihart at (740) 670-5322 or via email at

State Master Gardener Volunteer website

Like us on Facebook! 

Master Gardener Volunteers of Licking County OSUE

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a task is more cost effective and saves time. 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.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates

This publication reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 377 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2020. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation.

Some custom rates published in this study vary widely, possibly influenced by:

  • Type or size of equipment used (e.g. 20-shank chisel plow versus a 9-shank)
  • Size and shape of fields,
  • Condition of the crop (for harvesting operations)
  • Skill level of labor
  • Amount of labor needed in relation to the equipment capabilities
  • Cost margin differences for full-time custom operators compared to farmers supplementing current income

Some custom rates reflect discounted rates as the parties involved have family relationships or are strengthening a relationship to help secure the custom farmed land in a cash or other rental agreement. Some providers charge differently because they are simply attempting to spread their fixed costs over more acreage to decrease fixed costs per acre and are willing to forgo complete cost recovery.

The complete “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020” is available online at the Farm Office website:


Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management
F. John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program
Eric Richer, Extension Educator Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension