Farm Bill Summit Video Available

 by Sam Custer, Extension Educator-Darke County

The 2018 Farm Bill, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, now awaits implementation by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), agencies like the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Risk Management Agency and many others. The passage of the farm bill authorizes funding for many of the federal programs producers utilize throughout the growing season. This bill is considered to be mostly evolutionary not revolutionary, but there are still changes that will be important to producers and agribusinesses.

The Ohio State University, the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, the University of Kentucky and Farm Credit Mid-America hosted a Farm Bill Summit on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at the Versailles High School in Versailles, Ohio. The program featured presentations by three of the nation’s top ag policy professionals: Keith Coble from Mississippi State; Jonathan Coppess from the University of Illinois; and Patrick Westhoff from the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

The three keynote speakers spoke on their areas of expertise and covered the three largest agricultural titles in terms of spending within the farm bill: commodities (Patrick Westhoff), conservation (Jonathan Coppess) and crop insurance (Keith Coble).

Could not make it to the Farm Bill Summit last week? Check out the recording here: http://go.osu.edu/farmbillvideo

More detailed meetings and explanation on how to use developing tools will becoming as the rules are released.

 

Guidelines for Employing Youth on Your Farm

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

Students will be wrapping up their school year in a few short weeks and you may have a young person contact you about a summer job. Young people often have an interest to work on a farm and many are excellent employees. However, as an employer, there are rules and regulations you must understand before hiring minors to do work on your farm.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has established certain provisions to protect the safety of minors. In 1967, the U.S. Secretary of Labor determined certain agricultural jobs as hazardous to youth less than 16 years of age. There are two exemptions to these regulations:

1-The list of hazardous agricultural occupations does not apply to youth under 16 years of age working on a farm owned by their parents or guardians; and

2- The list of hazardous agricultural occupations does not apply to youth under 16 years of age who have completed an approved Tractor and Machinery Certification course. Such course allows youth who are 14 or 15 years of age to operate tractors over 20 horsepower for hire to someone other than their parents.

For most Ohio laws, anyone under 18 years of age is considered a minor and the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) prohibits minors from working in hazardous occupations. There are certain sections of the ORC that do not apply to minors, including obtaining an age and school certificate (unless you employ children of migrant workers), keeping a list of minor employees, and paying the minimum wage.

Agricultural occupations considered hazardous to youth under 16 years of age include:

  • Operating a tractor of more than 20 PTO horsepower, or connecting or disconnecting implements from such tractor;
  • Operating a combine, corn picker, hay mower, harvester, hay baler or potato digger;
  • Operating a feed grinder, grain dryer, forage blower, auger conveyor or the unloading mechanism of a non-gravity type self-unloading wagon or trailer;
  • Operating a trencher, earth moving equipment, fork lift, power-driven circular, band or chain saw;
  • Working in a yard, stall, or pen occupied by a bull, boar or stud horse; or sow with suckling pigs or cow with newborn calf;
  • Felling, bucking, skidding, loading or unloading timber with butt diameter of greater than six inches;
  • Working on a ladder at a height of more than 20 feet;
  • Driving a bus, truck or automobile or riding on a tractor as a passenger;
  • Working in a forage, fruit, or grain storage facility; an upright silo within two weeks after silage has been added or when a top unloading device is operating; a manure pit; or a horizontal silo when operating a tractor for packing purposes;
  • Handling or applying pesticides with the words or symbols “Danger”, “Poison”, “Skull and Crossbones”, or “Warning” on the label;
  • Handling or using blasting agents;
  • Transporting, transferring, or applying anhydrous ammoniaThere may be restrictions to the number of hours and when a minor can perform farm work. See the table for a summary:
14-15 years old 16-17 years old
 

 

 

School in

Session

Cannot work before 7am or after 7pm.

Cannot work more than 3 hours in a school day.

Cannot work more than 18 hours per school week.

Cannot work during school hours unless employed in a certified vocational training program.

Cannot work before 7am or 6am if not employed after 8pm the previous night.

Cannot work after 11pm Sunday through Thursday.

No limitations in hours per day or per week.

 

 

School not in

Session

Cannot be employed before 7am or after 9pm.

Cannot work more than 8 hours per day.

Cannot work more than 40 hours per week.

No limitation on starting and ending time.

No limitation in hours per day or per week.

Federal regulations require employers of youth under 16 years of age to maintain records about each employee. Minors employed by a parent or guardian are exempt from this requirement.

The Ohio Revised Code exempts agricultural employers from record keeping requirements for minors. However, the Ohio Revised Code does require an agreement as to wages for work to be performed be made between the employer and minor before employment begins. The agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties.

Additional information about the employment of minors in agriculture is available from this OSU Extension Fact Sheet: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/blog/fri-04122019-340pm/ohio-agricultural-law-blog-navigating-ohio%E2%80%99s-line-fence-law.

Should I Continue Farming?

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

 It’s no secret that all of agriculture is suffering from years of low commodity prices and rising input costs. The economic struggles have affected you financially and physically. You’ve looked at the numbers, met with advisors, and talked to family.   The thought of selling part or your entire farm brings with it added worry and concern. What can you do?

Find someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable discussing your situation. This person may not have many answers to your questions, but they can listen to your frustrations and worries. They may be able to help you sort through the confusion and develop a course of action. Think of your situation as a picture – a set of eyes looking at the picture from the outside may see things you can’t because you are caught up in the picture.

Understand that you are not alone. Nearly every farm and farm family is in a similar situation. Don’t live in the past or dwell on what could or should have been done. Take control of the situation and develop a plan for managing the things you are able to control.

Assessment

Evaluate your financial position by meeting with your lender to discuss options for restructuring debt. Can you extend the repayment terms to provide more cash flow? Contact your Extension Educator about completing a FINPACK analysis (https://farmprofitability.osu.edu/).

What are your Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timed (SMART) goals? How are your goals similar and different from those of family and/or business partners?

Develop a list of your education, experiences, and skills. How can you use these in another career? What career opportunities fit you best?

Evaluation

If you come to the decision that selling all or part of your farm is the best option, there are several items to address. Begin with a balance sheet and other financial information to understand your present financial situation. Doing so will help you decide how much money (and approximate number of assets) you must sell. You may want to meet with an appraiser, auctioneer, or real estate professional for help determining the expected value of assets.

Professionals

Your attorney can answer questions and advise you about legal considerations related to a sale. An accountant will help minimize your tax liability and give an estimate of what you may expect to pay in taxes.

Help is Available

There are people and agencies/organizations that can help with the transition and the emotions that come with the sale. Clergy, licensed counselors, and medical professionals can help you cope. Other sources of help include:

Ohio State University Extension (extension.osu.edu)

National Suicide Prevention (1-800-273-8255)

National Alliance for Mental Illness (1-800-950-6264)

Ohio Workforce Training (ohio.gov/working/training)

Ohio Job & Family Services, Office of Workforce Development (jfs.ohio.gov/owd)

Additional Information

Coming to the decision to sell all or a part of your farm is not an easy decision. Find someone with good listening skills. Talk to professionals, reach out for help, get answers, and make the best possible decisions. More information about this subject is available at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-71.

 

REMINDER- Registration will close soon…Come Join Us for the…Small Farm Conference & Trade Show

The two day conference will be held on Friday, March 29th and Saturday, March 30th at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio.

The conference is designed for small farm owners wanting to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them. Many topics will be offered to help landowners expand their operations. Land owners can attend workshops and seminars taught by Extension professionals and industry leaders on a wide variety of agricultural enterprises.  Attendees will also get to meet various vendors at the trade show.  The trade show will be open part of the day on Friday, and all day Saturday.

Attached is the brochure that includes a mail-in registration, the agenda with session descriptions, and the registration letter for vendors.

Please see the flyer below for additional information.

For full details, please go to go.osu.edu/OSUFARMConference2019.

Returns for Ohio Corn at Risk Management Association Projected Prices

by: Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University, March 17, 2019

Click here to access complete article complete with Figures

The month of February represents the price discovery period for Projected Prices of corn, soybeans, and spring wheat. Barley and winter wheat in Ohio have price discovery periods August 15 through September 14. The Projected Prices represent the Risk Management Associations (RMA) baseline for establishing federally sponsored corn and soybean insurance products for 2019. The Projected Price for corn is the average of the February settlement prices for the December futures contract (ZCX2019). The subsequent Harvest Price is the average of the October settlement prices for the same December futures contract. The Projected Price and the Harvest Price are used to identify the guaranteed revenue for revenue based crop insurance products. However, neither price takes into account local cash basis.

The February settlement prices for the December futures contract are represented in figure 1. The projected price established by RMA for 2019 corn revenue is $4.00/bushel. This is up $0.04/bushel from the 2018 and 2017 projected prices of $3.96/bushel representing the increase in corn prices during the last few months of 2018 after a drop during the summer months. The December futures price maintained during the month of February before falling Returns for Ohio Corn at Risk Management Assocation Projected Prices 3.17.2019-20bhk4lduring the beginning of March. Price volatility is considered when setting premium levels for insurance products. A higher volatility increases the premium paid by the producer all else equal. Volatility rates are set by averaging the volatility of the most recent five trading days. Corn volatility has continued decreasing and since 2011 is at its lowest point of 0.15.

In October, RMA will calculate the 2019 Harvest Price to set guaranteed revenue for the year. Historical Projected and Harvest corn prices are represented in figure 2. The Projected Price for corn has been higher than the Harvest Price the last six years after two years of increases in 2011 and 2012. For the entire series 2011-2018, the Projected Price was above the Harvest Price by $0.21/bushel. Looking at only the last six years of high production values across the country, the Projected Price exceeded the Harvest Price by $0.64/bushel. In 2013, both prices finished at $12.87/ bushel. The December Futures contract ZCX2019 is averaging below the Projected Price halfway through March. Several factors will determine the final Harvest Price for the December Futures contract between now and the discovery period in October.

Returns for Ohio Corn Producers based on 2019 Projected Prices

Through the Farm Office at The Ohio State University Extension, enterprise budgets can be found for 2019 corn and soybeans along with enterprise budgets from the previous years. These enterprise budgets break out all costs for production on low, medium and high yielding scenarios. These budgets can be found at farmoffice.osu.edu.

To calculate a cost of production for each crop reporting district in Ohio, the OSU enterprise budgets were used along with inputs from credible sources. Yield estimates for each crop reporting district came from the most current 5 years of National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) data.

Insurance policies are based on an Actual Production History (APH), which represents a maximum of 10 previous years of yield records for a particular field or enterprise. Since the 2012 crop year, these yields have been adjusted to account for improved crop genetics and current practices. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board approves a trend adjustment factor for corn and soybeans in each county. This factor is equal to the annual increase in yield, and is based on county average yields determined by NASS each year. For the calculations below, a corn trend adjustment factor of 1.6 bushels is multiplied to the difference in the current year to the base year and then added to the yield of the base year. As an example, consider a county that has a yield in 2013 of 164 bushels per acre. Using 2017 as the current year the adjustment would be (((2017-2013)*1.6) + 164) for an adjusted yield of 170 bushels per acre. Seeding rates for cost estimates were taken from the 2018 eField Report published by The Ohio State University. The most profitable seeding rate based on a $3.50/1000 seeds was used in these cost calculations. Cash rent estimates for each crop reporting district were reported by NASS in 2017.

Ohio producers have the option to select coverage levels from 50% of APH to 85% of APH. Using the Summary of Business operations from the RMA website, the most popular coverage level for Ohio corn producers is 80%. For this article, it is assumed that an 80% APH coverage level is selected for revenue insurance products. An 80% coverage level means that the projected price is only covered on 80% of bushels not the total number of bushels.

When considering all acres within the unit, the uninsured acres have no direct revenue insurance coverage. In this case, it would equal the remaining 20% based on the 80% coverage level. The 2018 Farm Bill signed into law on December 20, 2018 raised the marketing loan rates for covered commodities. These loan rates are often considered a price floor under commodity markets. In the case of corn, the marketing loan rate is $2.20 per bushel. If the marketing loan rate is used as the price floor for the remain 20% bushels that are left uncovered then an adjustment can be made to cover all acres within a unit. The $3.64 per bushel represents the complete coverage of all acres.

(0.80 x $4.00/ bu.) + ($2.20 x 0.20) = $3.64 per bushel.

Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the coverage of the RMA projected price at a coverage level of 80% and at a complete coverage level for all corn bushels compared to cost of production for Ohio corn producers in each crop reporting district. The $4.00 Projected Price covers cost of production for almost all of Ohio’s crop reporting districts. Four exceptions include Central, North Central, Northwest and West Central Ohio, where the majority of Ohio’s corn is produced. Higher comparative cash rents and high seeding rate costs bring cost of production above the projected price in all regions. Southwest Ohio was able to compensate a portion its costs with higher yields than all the other districts. Their APH is likely the highest and therefore has the highest absolute value of covered bushels under a revenue policy.

Taking into account all bushels, using the marketing loan rate as a price floor, every district except the Southeast District has costs of production above the guaranteed price established with the RMA Projected Price. In the Southwest, cost of production remains below the Projected Price of all acres due to relatively low cash rented in relation to yields compared to the districts with costs of production above the Projected Price for all acres. The OSU eFields Report only reports corn seeding rates for a couple of districts so estimates based on soil type and yield were used to determine the rest. Southeast Ohio had the lowest cost of production, but also represented the smallest amount of covered acres according to the RMA Summary of Business. (Figure 5)

Summary

The Projected Price used in guarantees for revenue insurance and for premium costs for RMA federally subsidized insurance policies was finalized at the end of February. The $4.00/ bushel Projected Price is $0.04 above the Projected Prices of 2018 and 2019. Harvest Price will be discovered in the month of October and has historically been lower than the Projected Price of the corresponding year. The RMA Projected Price is used by Ohio corn producers to manage price risk, but it is not the only tool. The marketing loan rate set in the 2018 Farm Bill provides a price floor that is used to calculate insurance revenue guarantees. Four of Ohio’s 9 crop reporting districts showed higher costs of production compared to the $4.00 Projected Price. However, 8 of the 9 districts showed higher costs of production than the “Complete” Coverage when adjusting for 80% revenue coverage. Southeast Ohio was the only crop reporting district to show gains compared to the Projected Price set by RMA for both covered bushels only and all bushels using the marketing loan rate of $2.20 as a price floor. The districts of Central, North Central and Northwest are at best meeting their cost of production, while West Central has cost of production above the revenue guarantee. These districts represent the majority of corn revenue policies and corn production for the state as shown in Figure 5. Many producers reported higher than normal yields in 2018. If higher than historical average yields appear again in 2019, cost of production per bushel will be reduced below these calculations. In 2019, these programs are protecting the downside risk for producers as proponents argue they were designed to do. Districts having net returns above cost of production have low production and low insurance coverage. Thus, these insurance programs are providing a risk management tool for Ohio producers.

References

CFAES 2018 eFields Report: Ohio State Digital Ag Program. The Ohio State University. Jan. 2019.

O’Brien, Daniel, and Greg Ibendahl. “2019 Kansas Soybean Returns at RMA Projected Soybean Prices.” Ag Manager, Kansas State University Research and Extension, 8 Mar. 2019.

Ohio Cash Rent Estimates 2017.” United States Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service, 8 Sept. 2019.

“OSU Corn Enterprise Budgets.” Farm Budgets, Ohio State University Extension Farm Office, 5 Oct. 2018.

Plastin, Alejandro. “Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History (APH).” Ag Decision Maker, Iowa State University, Sept. 2014

Quick Stats, United State Department of Agriculture- National Agricultural Statistics Service, 17 Mar. 2019.

Summary of Business, USDA-Risk Management Agency Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, 18 Mar. 2019.

 

 

Returns for Ohio Soybeans at Risk Management Association Projected Prices

by: Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University, March 17, 2019

Click here to access complete article–includes Figures.

The month of February represents the price discovery period for Projected Prices of corn, soybeans, and spring wheat. Barley and winter wheat in Ohio have price discovery periods August 15 through September 14. The Projected Prices represent the Risk Management Associations (RMA) baseline for establishing federally sponsored corn and soybean insurance products for 2019. The Projected Price for soybeans is the average of the February settlement prices for the November futures contract (ZSX2019). The subsequent Harvest Price is the average of the October settlement prices for the same November futures contract. The Projected Price and the Harvest Price are used to identify the guaranteed revenue for revenue based crop insurance products. However, neither price takes into account local cash basis.

The February settlement prices for the November futures contract are represented in figure 1. The projected price established by RMA for 2019 soybean revenue is $9.54/bushel. This is down $0.62/bushel from the 2018 projected price of $10.16/bushel representing the drop in soybean prices from 2018 to 2019. Price volatility is considered when setting premium levels for insurance products. A higher volatility increases the premium paid by the producer all else equal. Volatility rates are set by averaging the volatility of the most recent five trading days. Soybean volatility has continued decreasing after an increase in 2017 from 2016.

In October, RMA will calculate the 2019 Harvest Price to set guaranteed revenue for the year. Historical Projected and Harvest soybean prices are represented in figure 2. The Projected Price for soybeans has been higher than the Harvest Price in all but three years since 2011. Yield shortfalls in 2012 and 2016 increased soybean prices through harvest increasing the Harvest Price above the Projected Price. In 2013, both prices finished at $12.87/ bushel. Last year, the Harvest price was $1.56/ bushel below the 2018 Projected Price of $10.16/ bushel explained by a record soybean crop in the United States and trade disturbances between the United States and China.

Returns for Ohio Soybean Producers based on 2019 Projected Prices

Through the Farm Office at The Ohio State University Extension, enterprise budgets can be found for 2019 corn and soybeans along with enterprise budgets from the previous years. These enterprise budgets break out all costs for production on low, medium and high yielding scenarios. These budgets can be found at farmoffice.osu.edu.

To calculate a cost of production for each crop reporting district in Ohio, the OSU enterprise budgets were used with inputs from credible sources. Yield estimates for each crop reporting district came from the most current 5 years of National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) data.

Insurance policies are based on an Actual Production History (APH), which represents a maximum of 10 previous years of yield records for a particular field or enterprise. Since the 2012 crop year, these yields have been adjusted to account for improved crop genetics and current practices. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board approves a trend adjustment factor for corn and soybeans in each county. This factor is equal to the annual increase in yield, and is based on county average yields determined by NASS each year. For the calculations below, a soybean trend adjustment factor of 0.5 bushels is multiplied to the difference in the current year to the base year and then added to the yield of the base year. As an example, consider a county that has a yield in 2013 of 53 bushels per acre. Using 2017 as the current year the adjustment would be (((2017-2013)*0.5) + 53) for an adjusted yield of 55 bushels per acre. Seeding rates for cost estimates were taken from the 2018 eField Report published by The Ohio State University. The most profitable seeding rate based on a $0.428/1000 seeds was used in these cost calculations. Cash rent estimates for each crop reporting district were reported by NASS in 2017.

Ohio producers have the option to select coverage levels from 50% of APH to 85% of APH. Using the Summary of Business operations from the RMA website, the most popular coverage level for Ohio soybean producers is 80%. For this article, it is assumed that an 80% APH coverage level is selected for revenue insurance products. An 80% coverage level means that the projected price is only covered on 80% of yield not the total number of bushels.

When considering all acres within the unit, the uninsured acres have no direct revenue insurance coverage. In this case, it would equal the remaining 20% based on the 80% coverage level. The 2018 Farm Bill signed into law on December 20, 2018 raised the marketing loan rates for covered commodities. These loan rates are often considered a price floor under commodity markets. In the case of soybeans, the marketing loan rate is $6.20 per bushel. If the marketing loan rate is used as the price floor for the remain 20% bushels that are left uncovered then an adjustment can be made to cover all acres within a unit. The $8.87 per bushel represents the complete coverage of all acres.

(0.80 x 9.54/ bu.) + ($6.20 x 0.20) = $8.87 per bushel.

Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the coverage of the RMA projected price at a coverage level of 80% and at a complete coverage level for all soybean bushels compared to cost of production for Ohio soybean producers in each crop reporting district. The $9.54 Projected Price covers cost of production for almost all of Ohio’s crop reporting districts. Two exceptions include Northwest and West Central Ohio, where the majority of Ohio’s soybeans are produced. High cash rents and high seeding rate costs bring cost of production above the projected price in both regions. West Central Ohio compensates a portion of these higher costs with higher yields than all the other districts. Their APH is likely the highest and therefore has the highest absolute value of covered bushels under a revenue policy.

Taking into account all bushels, using the marketing loan rate as a price floor, Central, North Central, Northwest, and West Central Ohio all have costs of production above the guaranteed price established with the RMA Projected Price. In districts where the cost of production remains below the Projected Price of all acres cash rented in relation to yields, are lower than those districts that have costs of production above the Projected Price for all acres. According to the OSU eFields Report, these districts also have lower seeding rates with a lower seed costs. Southeast Ohio had the lowest cost of production, but also represented the smallest amount of covered acres according to the RMA Summary of Business. (Figure 5)

 

Summary

The Projected Price used in guarantees for revenue insurance and for premium costs for RMA federally subsidized insurance policies was finalized at the end of February. The $9.54/ bushel Projected Price is $0.62 below the Projected Price of 2018, and the lowest of the prices reported on the RMA webpage going back to 2011. The Harvest Price will be discovered in the month of October and has historically been lower than the Projected Price of the corresponding year. The RMA Projected Price is used by Ohio soybean producers to manage price risk, but it is not the only tool. The marketing loan rate set in the 2018 Farm Bill provides a price floor that is used to calculate insurance revenue guarantees. While several crop reporting districts showed gains over cost of production for soybeans, the crop reporting districts of Northwest, North Central, West Central, and Central are at best meeting costs for all acres given a coverage level of 80% of APH. These districts represent the majority of soybean revenue policies and soybean production for the state. In 2019, these programs are protecting the downside risk for producers as proponents argue they were designed to do. Districts having net returns above cost of production have low production and low insurance coverage. Thus, these insurance programs are providing a risk management tool for Ohio producers.

References

CFAES 2018 eFields Report: Ohio State Digital Ag Program. The Ohio State University. Jan. 2019.

O’Brien, Daniel, and Greg Ibendahl. “2019 Kansas Soybean Returns at RMA Projected Soybean Prices.” Ag Manager, Kansas State University Research and Extension, 8 Mar. 2019.

Ohio Cash Rent Estimates 2017.” United States Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service, 8 Sept. 2019.

“OSU Soybean Enterprise Budgets.” Farm Budgets, Ohio State University Extension Farm Office, 5 Oct. 2018.

Plastin, Alejandro. “Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History (APH).” Ag Decision Maker, Iowa State University, Sept. 2014

Quick Stats, United State Department of Agriculture- National Agricultural Statistics Service, 17 Mar. 2019.

Summary of Business, USDA-Risk Management Agency Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, 18 Mar. 2019.

 

 

Suggestions for Managing Stress

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources

You have faced several years of poor commodity prices, depressed milk prices, increased input costs, and wet weather. You have looked for areas to reduce costs, evaluated options, implemented changes…and the financial stress continues to take a toll on your physical and mental health. What can you do?

Mindset

According to the Michigan State University Extension publication “How to Create a Productive Mindset,”…The mind has 70,000 thoughts per day…that’s 70,000 opportunities. The brain is about two percent of your body weight – but uses 20 percent of your energy. Eighty percent of repetitive thoughts are negative, but don’t have to be.

In addition to the Michigan State University Extension publication mentioned earlier, Iowa State University Extension Dairy Specialists Dr. Fred Hall and Dr. Larry Tranel provide the following suggestions for coping with stress:

  • Self-Talk – remind yourself that you have been through difficult times before and will do so again.
  • Choose words like “calm”, “capable”, and “controlled” to maintain a positive mindset.
  • Use deep breathing – do this five times and release slowly.
  • Accept the situation and focus on solutions instead of focusing on the problem.
  • Avoid negative people.
  • Check in on your friends and family. Men generally don’t communicate as well as women. Phone calls or texts to friends and family are simple gestures that can be very comforting and meaningful.
  • Don’t shut out family – communicate with members about your worries and concerns. Family can provide support.

Advisory Team

Assemble a team of professionals to help you analyze your situation and provide suggestions. The team may include your veterinarian, nutritionist, agronomist, lender, accountant, attorney, and Extension Educator. Have these professionals come together to review your past performance, present situation, and goals for the near and short-term. Each professional brings a different perspective to the meeting based on his or her experiences and can be a valuable resource to analyze, answer questions, and provide recommendations.

Plan

What are your plans for the short-term and long-term? What Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timed (SMART) goals will get you where you want to be? Do other members of your family share the same vision?

What if you decide to exit the dairy business? Do you have a written exit plan? There is life after exiting the business. Talk to your attorney and accountant about the sale and tax liabilities.

Seek Professional Help

There are trained counselors in or near your community available to help. These professionals provide confidential counseling and can suggest options to best manage your situation. Names of counselors available in your area are available by contacting your physician, local health department, pastor, or conducting an online search. Do not be ashamed to seek help!

Summary

The items presented here are not going to increase milk prices or lower input costs. However, understanding your mindset, assembling an advisory team, developing a plan, and, if necessary, reaching out to use the services of professional counselors can help you better understand your situation and make well-informed decisions.

Sources:

Ohio State University Extension Dairy Team, publications available at: https://dairy.osu.edu/

Helping Farm Men Under Crisis, Dr. Larry Tranel, Dairy Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Market Reality, Stress, and Grief, Dr. Fred Hall, Dairy Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

How to Cultivate a Productive Mindset, Michigan State University Extension, msue.msu.edu/managingstress

 

This article was originally published in the Farm and Dairy, February 28, 2019

 

Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Summary

by: Carl Zulauf, Emeritus Professor, and Ben Brown, Program Manager – Farm Management Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics,  February 2019

click here to access a PDF version this summary paper.

Title I – Commodities ($31.4 billion; +$0.101 billion)

Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC)-County, ARC-individual, and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) are reauthorized. New program election by crop and Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm will be made for 2019 and 2020 crop years; then, starting with 2021 crop, program election can be changed each year. Failure of all producers of a FSA farm to make a unanimous election for the 2019 crop means no program payments to farm for the 2019 crop, and all the farm’s producers are defaulted for the 2020-2023 crops to the same coverage as in 2015-2018 for the covered commodity.

Owners of base acres will have a 1-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields using the following formula: [(90% times average 2013-2017 yield of a covered commodity on a FSA farm) times the ratio of (average US 2008-2012 yield of a covered commodity divided by its average US 2013-2017 yield, but not less than 90% nor greater than 100% of the US yield ratio)]. Yields are per planted acre. Updated PLC yields are first used for the 2020 crop. If a farm’s yield is less than 75% of average county yield for a covered commodity in any year, then 75% of the 2013-2017 average county yield will be the farm’s yield for that year. Average payment yield for seed cotton per planted acre equals (2.4 times average yield for upland cotton per planted acre). Oilseeds designated after enactment of the farm bill will have payment yields equal to 90% of average yield per planted acre over the most recent 5 years.

ARC county yields will be adjusted for trends. The trend adjustment cannot exceed crop insurance adjustment per year. Yield floor (plug yield) is raised to 80% from 70% of the county transitional yield. Insurance yield data is the first priority source of data for ARC yields. A separate irrigated and non-irrigated yield will be calculated in each county.

For ARC, up to 25 counties may be divided into 2 administrative units. Eligible counties are larger than 1,400 square miles with more than 190,000 base acres. Preference is given to counties with greater variation in climate, soils, and expected productivity between the 2 administrative units.

The reference price has an escalator option that results in an effective reference price used to calculate ARC and PLC payment rates. The effective reference price equals the higher of (a) the reference price stated in the farm bill (statutory reference price) for the covered commodity or (b) the escalator option of 85% of the Olympic average price of the covered commodity for 5 most recent crop years (excludes high and low price), but (c) cannot exceed 115% of the statutory reference price. The effective reference price will be used in ARC revenue guarantee calculations beginning with the 2019 crop year. Reference price for temperate japonica rice equals (1) effective reference price established for long grain rice, multiplied by the ratio of average market year price of medium grain rice to average market year price of all rice, both averages for the 2012-2016 years.

No ARC or PLC payments can be received for the 2019-2023 crop years if all base acres on a farm for 2009-2017 were entirely planted to grass and pasture, including idle or fallow land. All base acres and payment yields on the farm are preserved.

Nonrecourse marketing assistance loans are extended through 2023. Loan rates are increased for corn and grain sorghum ($2.20/bu.), soybeans ($6.20), wheat ($3.38/bu.), barley (2.50/bu.), oats ($2.00/bu.), extra-long staple cotton ($0.95/lb.), long and medium grain rice ($7.00/cwt.), dry peas ($6.15/cwt.), lentils ($13/cwt.), small chickpeas ($10/cwt.), large chickpeas ($14/cwt.), and raw cane sugar (19.75 cents/lb.). [ASIDE: started as a provision in the House farm bill to increase the loan rate only for extra-long staple cotton.] Secretary is given authority to adjust the marketing loan program to minimize forfeitures. Loan rate for base quality upland cotton is the simple average of adjusted prevailing world price for 2 immediately preceding market years, except its loan rate cannot decline more than 2%/year nor be lower than $0.45/lb. nor higher than $0.52/lb.

Renames dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program. DMC provides eligible dairy producers milk-feed cost margin coverage between $4/cwt. and $9.50/cwt. for the first 5,000,000 pounds of participating production (i.e., tier 1 production). Premiums are reduced for margins that currently exist, including a premium of $0 for the $4 margin, and are specified for the new margins of $8.50, $9.00, and $9.50. For production over 5,000,000 pounds (i.e., tier 2 production), producers can elect coverage between $4 and $8. Operations can cover between 5% and 95% of production history. Production history is the highest production in 2011, 2012, or 2013. Premiums are increased for tier 2 production, especially for higher coverage levels. Any operation that signs up in 2019 and commits to maintaining their coverage decisions through 2023 will receive a 25% discount on their premium each year. The Secretary is required to repay each dairy that participated in MPP-dairy during calendar years 2014-2017 part of the difference between total MPP-dairy premiums and payments. Repayment is (1) 75% of the difference if taken as a credit toward DMC premiums or (2) 50% of the difference if taken as cash. Dairy operations are permitted to participate in both DMC and Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy insurance (LGM) on the same milk production. All restrictions between DMC and any Federal Crop Insurance product are removed. Dairies that were locked out of the revised 2018 MPP-dairy program due to LGM participation are allowed to retroactively participate in MPP-dairy for the months during 2018 they were excluded. A study of feed costs is required; the difference in feed value of corn silage vs. corn is specifically mentioned. Monthly price reports are to be revised to include prices for high-quality alfalfa hay in the top 5 milk producing states. A Milk Donation Program is established to encourage dairy organizations to donate milk through food banks and similar organizations. Class I skim milk price formula is adjusted.

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is amended to cover (1) death or sale loss as a result of diseases caused or transmitted by a vector that cannot be controlled by vaccination or other acceptable management practices, and (2) death of unweaned livestock due to adverse weather.

Sets Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) payment limits at $125,000 for catastrophic coverage and $300,000 for additional coverage. Service fee for NAP is increased to smaller of (1) $325 per crop per county or (2) $825 per producer per county, but cannot exceed $1,950 per producer. Authority for additional NAP coverage (also called, NAP buy-up) is made permanent.

Current “actively engaged” requirements to qualify as a farm program payment entity is retained. Amends definition of family member to include first cousins, nieces, and nephews. Retains adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility limit of $900,000. Retains $125,000 limit on PLC plus ARC payment per payment entity summed across all crops except peanuts (has its own $125,000 limit). Removes marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments from the $125,000 payment limit.

Suspension of permanent price support authorities is extended through 2023.

TITLE II – CONSERVATION ($28.715 billion; +$0.555 billion)

Increases Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) cap from 24 to 27 million acres by FY 2023, including 8.6 million acres for continuous practices and 2 million for grasslands. Contract length is 10 to 15 years, after which the land is eligible for reenrollment, with some exceptions. A proportional, historic acreage allocation by State is included for a portion of acres eligible for enrollment. Not less than 40% of continuous CRP acres are be devoted to CLEAR (Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers Initiative). Flexibility for haying and grazing is increased. Limits cost-share payments to actual cost of practice installation and may not exceed 50% of seed cost. Soil rental rates for general and continuous enrollment are respectively limited to 85% and 90% of the county average; but the Secretary is required to account for potential impact on the local farmland rental market. Authorizes incentive payments for continuous practices and forest management. Amends rental rate calculations to allow for state and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) partner input and to maintain incentives for specific practices or areas like wellhead protection zones.

Creates a pilot program for CLEAR practices that use 30-year contracts in order to measure demand for longer-term CRP contracts. Also creates a pilot Soil Health and Income Protection Program. Uses 3, 4, or 5 year agreements.

Combines the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) under the same chapter, but the programs’ authorization remain separate with distinct purposes.

Requires Secretary to manage CSP to enhance soil health to the maximum extent feasible. Removes current acre-based funding method and $18/acre national average payment rate. Conservation activities supported by CSP now include advanced grazing management and comprehensive conservation planning. Secretary can allocate State funding for organic and transition to organic production. Establishes a new Grassland Conservation Initiative within CSP for cropland for which base acres have been maintained by Secretary under section 1112(d)(3) of Agricultural Act of 2014 (7 U.S.C. 9012(d)(3)). Producers are provided a 1-time election to enroll such land beginning with FY 2019. Statute specifies an annual payment rate of $18/acre. Limits enrollment in the Grassland Conservation Initiative to 1 time for a length of 5 years. Early contract termination under the Initiative is allowed at any time without penalty, and all land enrolled during a crop year is considered planted to an agricultural commodity during that crop year.

Maintains EQIP’s role of helping agriculture producers meet Federal, state and local regulatory requirements. Allows Secretary to provide water conservation and system efficiency payments to certain entities eligible for implementing water conservation or irrigation practices under a watershed-wide project, such as states and irrigation districts. Reduces EQIP’s livestock allocation to 50% from 60%, clarifies that livestock activities include grazing practices, and increases EQIP’s wildlife allocation to 10% from 5%.

For the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), narrows existing limitation on nonagricultural uses to those that negatively affect agricultural and conservation values. Expands cost-share and program eligibility. Prioritizes water quality improvement on wetland reserve easements (WRE). Land enrolled in Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) may simultaneously be enrolled in CRP.

Increases mandatory funding for Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to $300 million/year (from $100 million/year) for FY 2019-2023 while eliminating the contribution of 7% of covered program funding. Covered programs now include EQIP, CSP, ACEP, CRP, Healthy Forest Reserve Program, and Watershed Act. Highlights water quality and quantity issues.

Provides $50 million in mandatory funding to the Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentives Program to encourage farmers and ranchers to open their land to public recreation.

Provides $50 million in annual mandatory funds for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.

Codifies Working Lands for Wildlife model of conservation partnership between the Departments of Agriculture and Interior to provide regulatory predictability under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 for the purpose of carrying out working landscape conservation activities involving species conservation.

Provides $75 million of mandatory funds for a feral swine eradication and control pilot program for FY 2019-23.

Maintains current conservation compliance requirements for highly erodible land and wetlands.

 

Title III – Trade ($1.809 billion; +$0.235 billion)

Consolidates Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program, Emerging Markets Program, and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops under one Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation section. However, intent is to maintain the unique functions of each program. Provides mandatory CCC funds of $255 million annually for export programs through FY 2023, with at least $200 million for the Market Access Program.

Establishes an International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program to assist eligible countries in developing school-based agriculture and youth extension programs.

Increases limit on US funds for Global Crop Diversity Trust (preserves genetic resources for food crops) from 25% to 33% of total funds contributed from all sources, capped at $5.5 million/year.

 

Title IV – Nutrition ($325.922 billion; +$0.098 billion)

Although work requirements for eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were little changed, a large number of provisions focus on employment and training activities and opportunities for those receiving SNAP benefits.

Directs USDA to continue improving the SNAP electronic benefits transaction (EBT) system to be more compatible with online transactions, mobile payments, and farmer markets.

Requires the Secretary to establish a longitudinal database accessible for research to enhance SNAP’s performance and design.

A number of provisions address incentives for SNAP participants to buy fruits and vegetables and encourage the sharing of information on which incentives and programs work best.

Authorizes pilot projects to incentivize fluid milk purchases for SNAP participants to test and evaluate methods that improve diet quality.

Eliminates performance bonus to states for low SNAP error rates.

A number of provisions address programs to direct current food wastes into programs that reduce food insecurity and hunger.

Authorizes a review of the thrifty food plan every 5 years.

 

Title V – Credit (-$2.205 billion; +$0.000 billion)

Increases the limit on direct ownership loans from $300,000 to $600,000, on guaranteed ownership loans from $700,000 to $1,750,000, on direct operating loans from $300,000 to $400,000, and on guaranteed operating loans from $700,000 to $1,750,000.

Increases overall loan authorization levels per Fiscal Year for ownership and operating Farm Loan Program loans to $10 billion from $4.226 billion.

Reduces current 3-year experience requirement under certain conditions to qualify for loans for young beginning farmers and military veterans.

Increases acreage limit exception for Farmer Mac from 1,000 to 2,000 acres.

Authorizes a study to analyze current capital standards of Farm Credit System institutions.

Expands list of persons eligible for State mediation programs.

 

Title VI – Rural Development ($0.98 billion; -$0.530 billion)

Issues addressed by multiple provisions are (1) broadband service; (2) healthcare, including substance abuse; (3) water quality, and (4) reducing cost of subsidies for government-provided loans and loan guarantees. The budget savings scored for this title come from reducing cost of interest credited to the Rural Utility Service Borrowers’ Cushion of Credit accounts.

Two provisions address the determination of a “rural” area. One excludes prison populations incarcerated on a long-term or regional basis. The second excludes the first 1,500 individuals who reside in housing located on a military base.

 

Title VII – Research ($0.329 billion;+$0.365 billion)

Provides for a transfer of $185 million in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research once it submits to Congress a detailed strategic plan for becoming self-sustaining.

Provides mandatory CCC funding for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, increasing to $50 million for FY 2023 and thereafter.

Provides $4 million/year in mandatory CCC funds along with authorization of appropriations of $10 million/year for competitive research and extension grants for an Urban, Indoor, and Other Emerging Agriculture Production Research, Education, and Extension Initiative.

Authorizes $10 million/year through FY 2023 for a Farm and Stress Assistance Network to provide grants for training programs and workshops for advocates and others who assist farmers in crisis.

Provides mandatory funding from CCC for scholarships for students at 1890 institutions who intend to pursue a career in food and agricultural sciences.

Increases the limit on indirect costs for agricultural research, education, and extension from 22% to 30% of total federal funds received, unless otherwise provided in law.

Adds the following priority research areas to the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act: (1) soil health; (2) tools that accelerate research in use of automation or mechanization for labor-intensive tasks in crop production and distribution; and (3) barriers to entry for young, beginning, socially disadvantaged, veteran, and immigrant farmers and ranchers.

Makes industrial hemp eligible for certain funding under existing research authorities.

The Secretary is directed to implement a strategy to accelerate development and use of automation and mechanization in producing or processing of specialty crops.

 

Title VIII – Forestry ($0.005 billion; +$0.000 billion)

Focus is forest landscape restoration. Provisions include authorization of (1) $20 million/year for a competitive grant program for financial and technical assistance to restore priority forest landscapes and (2) $80 million/year ($40 million increase) for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.

 

Title IX– Energy ($0.362 billion; +$0.109 Billion)

Reauthorizes a majority of the 2014 farm bill energy programs in the Energy title. Moves Biomass Research and Development Initiative to Title VII and Community Wood Energy Program to Title VIII. Repeals Repowering Assistance Program and Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative.

Several definitions used to determine eligibility for programs are expanded. “Biobased product” is amended to include “renewable chemicals.” “Biorefinery” is amended to include facilities that convert renewable biomass into renewable chemicals, or an intermediate ingredient or feedstock of renewable biomass into any one or more, or a combination of biofuels, renewable chemicals, or biobased products. “Renewable Energy System” is amended to include systems that produce usable energy from a renewable energy source including distribution components necessary to move energy to initial point of sale, and other ancillary infrastructure such as storage systems.

Adds algae as an eligible material for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

Provides mandatory funding to Biobased Markets Program ($3 million/year over 5 years); Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program ($50 million in FY 2019 and $25 million in FY 2020); and Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels ($7 million/year over 5 years).

Authorizes grants to educate rural business, communities, and utilities serving rural communities about biogas production.

 

Title X – Horticulture ($0.772 billion; +$0.250 billion)

Provides $50/year in mandatory CCC funds beginning in FY 2019 and each year thereafter for the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP). LAMP is composed of the Farmers’ Market and Local Food Promotion Program and value-added agricultural product market development grants. Highlights a new focus on regional partnerships to encourage multi-stakeholder approach to local food system development.

A number of provisions address organic production, including $24 million in mandatory CCC funding for FY 2019 through FY 2023 for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program.

Adds asexual reproduced plant material to the Plant Variety Protection Act.

Provides $500,000 of CCC funding for a multiple crop and pesticide use survey.

Authorizes a report on regulation of plant biostimulants to facilitate a regulatory framework.

Allows States to regulate hemp production based on a state or tribal plan. Stipulates several conditions, including the testing for THC concentration.

 

Title XI – Crop Insurance ($38.057 billion; -$0.047 billion)

Clarifies conditions for voluntary conservation practices, notably cover crops, to be considered good farming practices for crop insurance coverage. Defines cover crop termination as a practice that historically and under reasonable circumstances result in terminating growth of a cover crop.

Allows producers to establish a single enterprise unit by combining (a) enterprise units across counties or (b) enterprise units with basic units and optional units in one or more counties.

Continues to expand crop insurance in a variety of ways. (1) Directs research and development to improve existing policies or develop new policies for Whole Farm Revenue Protection, tropical storm or hurricane insurance, quality loss, citrus, hops, subsurface irrigation practices, grain sorghum, limited irrigation practices, rice irrigation practices, greenhouse, local foods, and batture land in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. (2) Requires data collected through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program be provided for improving crop insurance coverage (3) Permits separate crop insurance policies for crops that can be both grazed and mechanically harvested on the same acres during the same growing season (separate policies independently indemnified for different causes of loss). (4) Creates a Specialty Crop Liaison in each regional office to focus efforts on developing contracts for specialty crops. (5) Allows hemp to be added to the list of insurable crops.

Codifies RMA practice of allowing producers to limit decrease in actual production history (APH) to not more than 10% of the prior crop year’s APH, provided production decline is due to drought, flood, natural disaster, or other insurable loss. Actuarially sound premiums must be established.

Native sod acreage that has been tilled for the production of an insurable crop after the date of enactment of the 2018 farm bill is subject to a reduction in insurance benefits for not more than 4 cumulative years during the first 10 years after initial tillage.

Authorizes use of NASS and other data sources to reduce insurance waste, fraud, and abuse.

To facilitate use of Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) data in administering FSA commodity programs, approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) must submit to FCIC APH yields used to establish insurable yields not later than 30 days after the applicable reporting date.

Requires FCIC to establish requirements for continuing education for loss adjusters and agents of AIPs, with conservation and agronomic practices specifically mentioned.

 

Title XII – Miscellaneous ($1.259 billion; +$0.685 billion)

Establishes the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program and National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. Foot and Mouth Disease is a priority. Provides mandatory CC funding of $120 million for FY 2019 through 2022 and $30 million/year for FY 2023 and thereafter.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a feasibility study of the viability of a Livestock Dealer Trust for livestock dealer payment default.

Expands assistance and programs for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, veteran farmers and ranchers, and beginning farmers and rancher, including mandatory CCC funds that increases to $50 million/year for FY 2023 and thereafter.

Directs the Secretary to establish an Office for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, including production that occurs indoors and on rooftops.

Directs the Secretary to establish the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development.

Three provisions address issues that in part relate to animals as pets. (1) Penalties are established for knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption for interstate or foreign commerce. (2) A report to Congress is required on the volume of live dogs imported to the US. (3) The Secretary is authorized to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the head of other Departments to facilitate a grant program to assist victims of domestic violence and their pets. Expands federal domestic violence and stalking protections to include crimes targeting pets, horses, service animals and emotional support animals.

Authorizes $5 million/year for activities to improve the accuracy of the US Drought Monitor.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a study of food waste. Establishes a liaison position for food loss and waste reduction.

Authorizes a National Agriculture Imagery Program to annually acquire aerial imagery during the continental US agricultural growing seasons.

 

Sources:

US Congress. December 10, 2018. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Conference Report to Accompany H. R. 2. https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/2018-farm-bill

US Congress, Congressional Budget Office. April 2018. CBO’s April 2018 Baseline for Farm Programs. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/recurringdata/51317-2018-04-usda.pdf

US Congress, Congressional Budget Office. Letter to Honorable K. Michael Conway, “Direct Spending and Revenue Effects of the Conference Agreement for H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.” December 11, 2018. . https://www.cbo.gov/system/files?file=2018-12/hr2conf_0.pdf

US Senate Agriculture Committee. Summary: Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. January 2019. https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Conference%20Report%20Summaries.pdf

 

 

 

 

Source:  IR-2019-28

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will waive the estimated tax penalty for any qualifying farmer or fisherman who files his or her 2018 federal income tax return and pays any tax due by Monday, April 15, 2019. The deadline is Wednesday, April 17, 2019, for taxpayers residing in Maine or Massachusetts.

The IRS is providing this relief because, due to certain rule changes, many farmers and fishermen may have difficulty accurately determining their tax liability by the March 1 deadline that usually applies to them. For tax year 2018, an individual who received at least two-thirds of his or her total gross income from farming or fishing during either 2017 or 2018 qualifies as a farmer or fisherman.

To be eligible for the waiver, qualifying taxpayers must attach Form 2210-F, available on IRS.gov, to their 2018 income tax return. This form can be submitted either electronically or on paper. The taxpayer’s name and identifying number, usually a Social Security number, must be entered at the top of the form. The waiver box—Part I, Box A—should be checked. The rest of the form should be left blank.

Further details can be found in Notice 2019-17, posted today on IRS.gov.

 

 

Ohio Agricultural Law Blog – Affirmative defenses for agricultural production activities

by Peggy Kirk Hall

Whether producing crops, livestock, or other agricultural products, it can be challenging if not impossible for a farmer to completely prevent dust, odors, surface water runoff, noise, and other unintended impacts. Ohio law recognizes these challenges as well as the value of agricultural production by extending legal protections to farmers. The protections are “affirmative defenses” that can shield a farmer from liability if someone files a private civil lawsuit against the farmer because of the unintended impacts of farming. A court will dismiss the lawsuit if the farmer successfully raises and proves an applicable affirmative defense.

In our latest law bulletin, we summarize Ohio’s affirmative defenses that relate to production agriculture. The statutes afford legal protections based on the type of activity and the type of resulting harm. For example, one offers protections to farmers who obtain fertilizer application certification training and operate in compliance with an approved nutrient management plan, while another offers nuisance lawsuit protection against neighbors who move to an agricultural area. Each affirmative defense has different requirements a farmer must meet but a common thread among the laws is that a farmer must be a “good farmer” who is in compliance with the law and utilizing generally accepted agricultural practices. It is important for farmers to understand these laws and know how the laws apply to a farm’s production activities.

To learn more about Ohio’s affirmative defenses for agricultural production activities, view our latest law bulletin HERE.