Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2018

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management OSU Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources and John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program Ohio State University Extension Knox County

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 tasks 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 survey summary reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 352 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2018. 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 measures shown in the summary tables of the survey respondents. The measures are the average (or mean), standard deviation (a statistical measure of variability of the responses), range, median, minimum, and maximum. Average custom rates reported in this publication are a simple average of all the survey responses. Range identified in the tables consists of two numbers. The first is the average plus the standard deviation, which is the variability of the data from the average measure. The second number of the range is the average minus the standard deviation. The median represents the middle value in the survey responses. The minimum and maximum reported in the table are the minimum and maximum amounts reported from the survey data for a given custom operation.

Charges may be added if the custom provider considers a job abnormal such as distance from the operator’s base location, difficulty of terrain, amount of product or labor involved with the operation, or other special requirements of the custom work customer.

As a custom provider, the average rates reported in this publication may not cover total costs for performing the custom service. As a customer, you may not be able to hire a custom service for the average rate published. Calculate your own costs carefully before determining the rate to charge or pay.

The complete summary of Ohio Farm Custom Rates is available online at the Farmoffice website:

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/custom-rates-and-machinery-costs

Understanding the Generational Differences

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

We hear about and read labels for different generations and we know there are differences among them.  What do the differences mean if you are managing people from different generations?  Depending upon the publication you read or with whom you speak, there may be a slight difference in birth start and end years, but the following table provides some general guidelines.

Generation Name Births Start Births End Age Range
Baby Boomer 1946 1964 72 – 54 yrs. old
Generation X (the lost generation) 1965 1985 53 – 33 yrs. Old
Generation Y (Millenials) 1980 1994 38 – 24 yrs. Old
Generation Z

(the unknown)

1995 2012 23 – 6 yrs. Old
Generation Alpha 2013 2025 5

 

Each generation has its thoughts, beliefs, and ideals with respect to a number of items.  What are the differences with respect to employment?  It’s not accurate or fair to say that every person who falls into a particular generational category is the same.  However, general statements can be made about each generation.

Generational Differences:

  Baby Boomers Generation X Generation Y
Business Focus Long Hours Productivity Contribution
Work Ethic & Values Loyal

Question authority

Strive to be their best

Value ambition, collaboration, equality, personal growth, & teamwork

Work efficiently

Want respect from younger workers

Willing to take risks

Care more about work/life balance

Work/family balance is important

Like a casual work environment

Outcome oriented

Output focused

Rely on technology

Work ethic no longer mandates 10 hr. work days

Criticized for not being loyal to a particular job/employer

Believe technology allows them to work flexibly

Work ethic no longer mandates 10 hr. work days

High expectation to be mentored

Goal oriented

Looking for meaningful work

Obsessed with career development

Prefer diversity, informality, technology, and fun

Thrive on collaboration

Training is important

Preferred Work Environment Humane

Equal opportunity

Warm, friendly

Functional, positive, & fun

Fast paced & flexible

Access to leadership

Access to information

Collaborative

Creative

Positive

Diverse

Fun, flexible, want continuous feedback

 

Work is…

 

Exciting

A career

Work & then retire

 

Difficult challenge

Just a job

 

A means to an end

Fulfillment

Flexible work arrangements

 

What They are Looking for in a Job

Ability to “shine”

Make a contribution

Team approach

Need clear and concise job expectations

Dynamic leaders

Cutting edge with technology

Flexible scheduling

Input valued on merit, not age/seniority

Must see the reason for the task

Want to be challenged

Treated with respect

Friendly environments

Flexible scheduling

Expect to be paid well

Want to make a difference

As a product of the “drop down and click menu”, may need to be given options

Work Ethic Driven

Workaholic – 60 hr. weeks

Quality

Balance

Not work long hours

Self-reliant

Skeptical

Ambitious

What’s next?

Multitasking

Entrepreneurial

View on Work/Life Balance Hesitant to take time off – result is an imbalance between work & family More focus on maintaining a balance

Don’t worry about losing their place if they take time off

Flex time, job sharing

Balance work, life, and community involvement

(Source: www.wmfc.org/uploads/GenerationalDifferencesChart)

 

So what does this mean for agricultural employers?

  • The Baby Boomer generation is reaching retirement age.
  • Generations X and Y have a different outlook on work and family life as compared to previous generations. The more recent generations place a greater value on maintaining a balance between family and work.  Workers in these generations are less likely to willingly work extra hours.  They are not workaholics like the Baby Boomer generation.
  • Flexibility is a key word when it comes to Generation X and Y. Members of this generation want to be able to attend their son or daughter’s baseball game or have dinner with their family and then return to work.
  • Money may not be the motivating factor for some in Generation X or Y. Members in these groups often want flex scheduling, to collaborate with others, and not perform routine tasks.
  • Generations X and Y have a greater focus on technology. This can be a real plus to a farm as the use of technology grows.  These generations are much more familiar with and accepting of technology.
  • Generations Z and Alpha are too young to make any conclusions. However, we do know that these generations are heavily focused on technology.  Stay tuned…

The article is an introduction to the topic of understanding the differences across the generations.  Each generation brings with it challenges and opportunities.  As you think about your next employee or the next generation to enter your business, what factors must you consider? Use the information provided here as you plan for additions to your farm team.

(Sources: www.wmfc.org/uploads/GenerationalDifferencesChart; https://www.forbes.com/sites/deeppatel/2017/09/21/8-ways-generation-z-will-differ-from-millennials-in-the-workplace/#34be355576e5)

(Note: This article was published originally in the Farm and Dairy, July 26, 2018)

Margin Protection Program Update

By: Dianne Shoemaker, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics

The Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP) underwent a substantial change earlier this year resulting from language included in the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act. Program enrollment was re-opened from April 9 through June 8, 2018. Significant changes benefiting dairy farmers included a one million pound increase in a farm’s production history eligible for new Tier 1 premium rates. This change meant that the first 5 million pounds of a farm’s annual production history was eligible for substantially reduced premiums. Tier 2 premiums applicable to any production history above 5 million pounds remained unchanged. Other changes included monthly margin calculations and payments of any indemnities, and the 2018 sign-up being retroactive to 1/1/18.
As a result of these changes and 2018’s challenging milk prices, 888 Ohio dairy farms enrolled in the updated MPP program according to the Ohio Farm Service Agency. By July 26, 876 of those farms had been approved. USDA Farm Service Agency announced that through July 11, $7,071,360 in program payments were processed for Ohio dairy farmers, averaging $8,072 before premium costs for the 876 approved farms. Individual farm payments vary depending on each farm’s production history and margin coverage selections.

On June 25, 2018, the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Dairy Division reported 2,206 dairy farms in Ohio. This is a substantial decline from the 2,312 dairies recorded in October 2017. Since the Margin Protection Program was initiated in September 2014, 1,091 Ohio dairy farms have established their production history with the USDA Farm Service Agency. The current sign-up is 81.39% of farms that have established base with the FSA, or 40% of all Ohio dairy farms. It is unlikely that Ohio would experience a near-100% enrollment as the large population of Ohio’s Anabaptist farmers are not likely to participate in this type of program.

Find more details about the new MPP program and resources at this link

Grants and Low-Interest Loans for Ohio Small Farms

by: Eric Barrett, Assistant Professor

Are you looking for funding for a new venture on the farm? Are you interested in doing a research project to try something new on your farm?

OSU Extension has a new factsheet on Ohioline.osu.edu to help you find funding sources that match the ideas you have for your farm. The most difficult part of preparing to apply for these programs is developing a business plan. The factsheet includes information on where to get help with a business plan and where to find enterprise budgets to help develop the plan. The OSU South Centers has a website with templates and other information, a Small Business Toolbox to help you get your plan down on paper. The toolbox is located at: http://go.osu.edu/plans.

Grants to support current farming operations are difficult to find, but more available when it comes to trying a new idea. Most grant programs offer funding for research ideas, new ventures on the farm and ways to add value to products grown or produced on the farm. Many Ohio farmers have found the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program to be a fruitful funding opportunity for project ideas.

Low interest loan programs support all types of family farming operations. The factsheet explains types of loans and gives examples of where to start the search. One example is the AgriLink Deposit Program through the Ohio Treasurer’s Office that helps Ohio farmers get a lower interest rate by partnering with local banks.

The factsheet includes the names and information to use in internet searches to find the right program fits the needs of your farming operation and your ideas.

For complete details, you can read the factsheet at:

http://go.osu.edu/grantsloans

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2018

Part 1: Soil Preparation, Fertilizer Application, Spraying Pesticides, Mechanical Weed Control, Aerial Applications, Planting Operations, Harvest Operations, Grain Drying and Storage, Hay Harvest

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics & John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program, County Director, Ohio State University Extension Knox County

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 tasks 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 survey summary reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 352 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2018. 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 6-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 measures shown in the summary tables are the summaries of the survey respondents. The measures are the average (or mean), range, median, minimum, and maximum. Average custom rates reported in this publication are a simple average of all the survey responses. Range identified in the tables consists of two numbers. The first is the average plus the standard deviation, which is the variability of the data from the average measure. The second number of the range is the average minus the standard deviation. The median represents the middle value in the survey responses. The minimum and maximum reported in the table are the minimum and maximum amounts reported from the survey data for a given custom operation.

The complete summary of part 1 is available online at the Farmoffice website:

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/custom-rates-and-machinery-costs

 

 

 

Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2017-18

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools  OSU Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources

Ohio cropland values and cash rental rates are projected to decrease in 2018. According to the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey, bare cropland values in western Ohio are expected to decrease anywhere from 1.7 to 3.6 percent in 2018 depending on the region and land class. Cash rents are expected to decline anywhere from 1.2 percent to 3.0 percent depending on the region and land class.

Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rent

Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of southern and eastern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rates are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils and drainage capabilities are the two factors that most influence land productivity, crop return and variability of those crop returns.

Other factors impacting land values and cash rents are field size and shape, population density, ease of access, market access, local market prices, potential for wildlife damage, field perimeter characteristics, and competition for rented cropland in a region. This fact sheet summarizes data collected for western Ohio cropland values and cash rents.

2018 Study Results 

The Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents study was conducted from February through April in 2018. The opinion-based study surveyed professionals with a knowledge of Ohio’s cropland values and rental rates. Professionals surveyed were farm managers, rural appraisers, agricultural lenders, OSU Extension educators, farmers, landowners, and Farm Service Agency personnel.

The study results are based on 108 surveys returned, analyzed, and summarized. Respondents were asked to group their estimates based on three land quality classes: average, top, and poor. Within each land-quality class, respondents were asked to estimate average corn and soybean yields for a five-year period based on typical farming practices. Survey respondents were also asked to estimate current bare cropland values and cash rents negotiated in the current or recent year for each land-quality class. Survey results are summarized for western Ohio with regional summaries (subsets of western Ohio) for northwest Ohio and southwest Ohio. See the entire summary at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-publications/cash-rents

 

Ohio Farmland Rental Information

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR & David Marrison, Extension Educator, ANR

How much to charge or pay for farmland rent is a common question among landowners and farmers.  Each party wants to receive or pay a ‘fair’ rate, but questions often arise in determining a ‘fair’ rate.  There are a number of factors involved with establishing a rate with which both parties are comfortable.

What Cash Rental Rate is Fair?

Land ownership costs are summarized using the DIRTI five acronym.  The ownership costs include:

Depreciation, Interest, Repairs, Taxes, and Insurance.  Most landowners would like to at least recover the property tax.  Your annual tax statement can help determine the amount of rent needed to cover the property taxes.  For instance, assume your property tax for 20 acres is $800 annually.  This translates into $40 per acre for the landowner to recover just the property tax.

In addition to the DIRTI five, the landowner should consider the value of the extra things the tenant might do for the landowner.  It is often difficult to assign a value, but consider the value of things a tenant does such as weed control, snow removal, and other tasks.  If you are happy with your present tenant, be cautious if approached by someone offering more money.  Will they do these ‘extra’ things for you?

From the perspective of the tenant, the costs of production, productivity, marketing, transportation, capital investment, and a return to labor and management must be covered.

What Factors Determine Land Rent Value?

All land is not of equal value and there are a number of factors to consider when negotiating a rental rate.  These include: productivity, site characteristics, previous crop, and supply and demand.

Land Productivity – Topography, soil type, pH, and fertility all influence productivity.  Your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) or Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can review with you the soil survey of your county.  “Don’t Guess – Soil Test” is an important slogan to remember.  A soil test will provide a baseline number for soil pH and nutrients.

Site Characteristics – Proximity to land already rented or owned is desirable, as are large tracts of land.  A field surrounded by houses or other development may diminish the rental value.

Previous Cropping History – Land that has been fallow for years is of less value.  High yielding land will bring a greater rental rate.

Supply & Demand – The greater the interest, the greater the value.

Sources of Land Rental Values

The Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service (OASS) maintains a database of county-level land rental information.  Most Ohio counties have cropland rental values recorded, with some counties having rental estimates for pasture land as well.

The OASS divides the state into nine districts and reports values for most counties, along with an average by district.  The district averages for cropland rental range from $62.00 per acre to $190.00 per acre.  The district averages for pasture land rental range from $16.50 per acre to $50.00 per acre.

OSU Extension completes a survey of Ohio land rents and publishes a report each year.  The latest report can be accessed at:

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-publications/cash-rents

More specific questions about local and rental prices can be directed to your local OSU Extension office.

Lease Agreements

Some general legal requirements for lease enforceability that both a tenant and landlord should be aware of based on Ohio law are based on the length of the agreement.  We recommend that a written lease always be used when renting farm ground.

Term  & Legal Requirements

Up to 1 year –  Verbal can be enforceable

1-2 years – Must be in writing and signed by both parties

2-3 years- Must be in writing, signed by both parties, notarized,  and recorded in the county where the land is located

3 years or more- Must be in writing, signed by both parties before two witnesses, notarized, and recorded in the county where the land is located

Example Leases

It is recommended once the landlord and tenant agree on a rental price a written lease should be signed by both parties. The North Central Farm Management Extension Committee has developed a website “Ag Lease 101” which helps both land owners and land operators learn about alternative lease arrangements and includes sample written lease agreements for several alternatives.

Some of the example leases available: Cash Farm Lease, Crop-Share Lease, Pasture Lease, Farm Building/Livestock Facility Lease, Farm Machinery Lease for Non-Commercial Transactions and Livestock Rental Lease. Ag Lease 101 can be accessed at:  https://aglease101.org/

Legal Questions & Answers

OSU Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program helps to provide research and outreach on legal issues affecting agriculture.  A variety of Law Bulletins are available from the Farm Leasing Law Library and include the following discussions: What’s in Your Farmland Lease?, Creating an Enforceable Farm Lease, Protecting Interests in a Verbal Farm Lease Situation, Leasing Your Land for Hunting, Crop Share Leasing in Ohio, and Legal Aspects of Ohio Farmland Leases.  The Agricultural & Resource Law Program can be accessed at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/

Resources

National Ag Statistics Service https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ohio/Publications/County_Estimates/2017/Ohio%202017%20Cash%20Rent%20County%20Est.pdf

OSU Extension Land Rental Survey

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-publications/cash-rents

Ag Lease 101

http://aglease101.com

Ohio State University Farm Management & Agricultural Resource Law

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/

Note

The authors are not attorneys and this publication is not intended to provide legal advice.  All legal questions should be directed to an attorney familiar with lease contracts.

Current Commodity Situation and Outlook for Ohio

By Ben Brown

Agriculture is an uncertain industry, where the only certainty is a guarantee that there will indeed be uncertainty and risk. Already in 2018, frequent rains have delayed spring planting and increased the risk of disease and pest pressure. International trade disputes have increased the volatility in grain and livestock markets and international oil supply forecasts have led to unexpected increases in farm input costs. While the drivers of risk fall outside the hands of producers, individuals responds, react, and decide based on the best information available. This report summarizes several of the commodities important to Ohio producers and provides an outlook of supply and demand given current policies and expectations. Unless otherwise specified, the volatility caused by the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the trade dispute with China are not considered due to their highly fluid situations at the time this article went to press. Supply and demand estimates for the 2018 Marketing Year (MY 2018) are published by the World Agricultural Outlook Board while Ohio inventory estimates are compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Understanding the balance sheet for many of Ohio’s commodities is important when making short and long-term decisions affecting farming and ranching operations.

Cattle Expansion Enters Fifth Year

The U.S. cattle heard on January 1, 2018 was larger than the count a year earlier, making 2017 the fifth consecutive year of herd expansion. Expansions in beef typically last four to six years. The U.S. appears poised for the possibility of at least one more expansion year in 2018 that would push beef production increases into the early part of the next decade. With constant demand for beef products, increases in beef production put downward pressure on the price received by producers. A cow that would have brought $2,000 in January 2015 brought about $1,200 in April 2018. As beef becomes cheaper, it starts to compete with other goods like pork for market share.

The inventory for all cattle including calves in the U.S. on January 1, 2018 was at 94.4 million head, up 0.7% from the previous year. Ohio’s inventory sits at 1.2 million head, a 0.8% increase. The average lifespan for a beef cow is 8 to 12 years meaning that 9.4 million replacement heifers are needed to maintain the current herd size. At almost 11 million replacement heifers at the start of the year, it is likely that 2018 will also be an expansion year in the national herd. In Ohio, dairy replacement heifers were up 0.8%, however it is likely that these heifers will leave Ohio for larger operations in Texas and Idaho where costs of production are lower. Cattle on feed decreases in Ohio by 6.7% while the national average increased 7.2%. Lower feed costs in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska pull calves off farms earlier and out of Ohio. The outlook for cattle appears slight bearish as higher expected feed costs and dry weather in the southwest will move cattle into the market early. The number of cows and replacement heifers sold for slaughter will be important in determining if a herd expansion happens again in 2018.

Low to Negative Margins Drive Hog Industry

Rallies in grain markets, especially soybean meal, have increased feed costs for hog producers that did not lock in contracts when prices were low. Higher input costs along with a decline in pork prices erased many of the margins hog producers experienced in the first quarter of 2018, but prices rebounded in May. Large increases in hog production in Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Nebraska have contributed to the low prices. The national average for fed hog prices was $52.50 in January but fell to $45.3 by April. Prices have rallied in recent weeks, but still below 2017 levels at this same period. Prices reached a peak in July of 2017 at $67.30. Markets for the nearby July futures contract signal horizontal movements in price. Current prices would suggest a per head return of $2-$5 as a national average for 2018. With higher feed costs expected in 2019, negative margins could return.

Exports to international markets will be a large factor in the hog outlook. Exports of U.S. pork were lowered 35 million pounds in the May WASDE report on concerns around Chinese demand. With the implementation of a 25% tariff on U.S. pork, exports to China have lagged. Increased exports to emerging markets like South Korea and the Dominican Republic will be important in offsetting decreases to China and increased domestic supply. Exports make up roughly 22% of U.S. pork production with the largest markets being Mexico and Japan. However, U.S. pork exports to Mexico decreased in the first quarter of 2018, substituted by large amounts of turkey imports. The USDA forecasts even higher pork production in 2018. The key question will be levels of domestic and international consumption of pork with competition from potential substitutes like beef and poultry. If China backs away from U.S. pork, negative margins could return in as early as this year.

Corn Acreage Continues to Decline

Three supply shocks have increased corn prices and brightened the outlook for corn producers. A drought in South America, reducing both the Argentina and Brazilian corn crop, gave corn prices their first positive outlook. Then in March, U.S. producers indicated that they were going to plant 2 million fewer acres in 2018 than in 2017. Even with the reduction in acres, a trend corn yield would make the 2018 crop the fourth largest crop recorded. Frequent rains throughout the central and eastern regions of the Corn Belt have delayed spring plantings and increased prices. With three supply side adjustment to annual production, the corn market has been bullish with December 2018 futures contracts trading well above $4. Dealing with large supplies will continue to be a focus for grain merchandisers. Total supply in 2018 is expected to be 4% lower in 2018 than 2017.

Demand for corn (represented by the shaded area) continues to be strong. Feed and residual is expected slightly higher throughout the remainder of the year but lower in the next marketing year on the adjustments to the national herd size. If the national herd size continues to grow, this number will also increase. Ethanol continues to show growth and is up 1% from 2017 and up 8% since 2014. Changes in Chinese ethanol policy will drive international ethanol demand in the coming years. China announced in 2017 that it would mandate that all fuel for vehicles contain 10% ethanol. Their policy was three fold in that they wanted to reduce their large supplies of domestic stock, clean up air pollution, and create jobs. Whether China imports more raw corn or ethanol, the shock is expected to increase demand for corn on the world market. Only 2% of corn production is exported to China as raw exports. It is possible that it will take China a few years to increase their imports of U.S. corn. Even with the positive signals for demand for U.S. corn, total use is reduced in 2018 mostly a result of lower exports.

The outlook for corn looks favorable to producers as both supply and demand shocks suggest upward pressure on prices moving forward. Lower ending stocks for U.S. corn will increase the magnitude of price shifts due to weather-related events in the coming months. The stocks to use ratio of 19% is lower than 25% in 2017, but above the five-year average of 16%. The U.S. corn crop is mostly planted, and weather will be the largest variable driving U.S. supply through the summer months. December futures prices are currently above cost of production for most producers and potentially a strong option for those that have on-farm storage.

US Corn Balance Sheet- May 10, 2018
Marketing Year Sep-Aug 2014 2015 2016 2017* 2018** 2018 as % of 2017
Area Planted (mil. Acres) 90.6 88 94 90.2 88 97.6%
Yield (bu./acre) 170.9 168.4 174.6 176.6 174 98.5%
Production (mil. Bu.) 14,216 13,602 15,148 14,604 14,040 96.1%
Beg. Stocks (mil. Bu.) 1,232 1,731 1,737 2,293 2,182 95.2%
Imports (mil. Bu.) 32 67 57 50 50 100.0%
Total Supply (mil. Bu.) 15,480 15,400 16,942 16,947 16,272 96.0%
Feed & Residual (mil. Bu.) 5,284 5,114 5,463 5,500 5,375 97.7%
Ethanol (mil. Bu.) 5,200 5,224 5,432 5,575 5,625 100.9%
Food, Seed, & Other (mil. Bu.) 1,401 1,422 1,450 1,465 1,490 101.7%
Exports (mil. Bu.) 1,867 1,898 2,293 2,225 2,100 94.4%
Total Use (mil. Bu.) 13,752 13,658 14,638 14,765 14,590 98.8%
Ending Stocks (mil. Bu.) 1,728 1,742 2,304 2,182 1,682 77.1%
Stocks/Domestic Use Ratio 14.5% 14.8% 18.7% 17.4% 13.5% 77.4%
Season-Average Price ($/bu.) $3.70 $3.61 $3.36 $3.35 $3.57 106.6%
*Estimate **Projection Source: World Agriculture Outlook Board

 

Soybean Price will rely on Demand

For the last few years, soybeans have provided a per acre return to producers greater than corn. Thus, acreage shifts to soybeans have ensued across the Midwest. The ratio of new crop soybean to corn prices from November 2017 to April 2018 traded at 2.5:1. Historically a ratio of 2.5:1 or greater signaled that acres would continue to move from corn to soybeans and that the expectation was for more soybean acres in 2018. However, in March producer signaled that they intended to plant 1 million fewer acres than 2017. With a trend yield of 48.5 bushels/acre, the expected soybean crop would be the third largest crop on record behind the record set in 2017 and the third straight year over 4 billion bushels. Weather will be the largest factor over the summer months to the final production value, but expectations are for another large crop. The carry-over from 2017 was also high creating an expectation that the 2018 supply will be 2.5% higher than a year ago.

Demand for soybeans and soybean products continues to be strong. Increases in livestock numbers, especially pigs, has driven demand for soybean meal. Increases in crude oil prices could encourage use of biodiesel and expand soybean crush further. Chinese per capita income is strengthening and the demand for pork continues to grow internationally. Exports of U.S. soybeans to china have tripled in the last decade, but since 2012, Brazil has been the largest supplier of soybeans to China. Nearly 60% of U.S. soybean exports head to China, and the strength of that market will continue to influence U.S. soybean demand. Exports are projected higher in 2018, but Chinese tariffs could shrink Chinese demand of U.S. soybeans. The drought in South American weakened Chinese leverage over the U.S, as production in South America finished below expectations. Overall, the growth in soybean use appears strong at a 5.5% increase next year, but international trade and weather provide large uncertainties looking forward.

US Soybean Balance Sheet- May 10, 2018
Marketing Year Sep-Aug 2014 2015 2016 2017* 2018** 2018 as % of 2017
Area Planted (mil. Acres) 83.3 82.7 83.4 90.1 89.0 98.8%
Yield (bu./acre) 47.6 48 51.9 49.1 48.5 98.8%
Production (mil. Bu.) 3,927 3,926 4,296 4,392 4,280 97.4%
Beg. Stocks (mil. Bu.) 92 191 197 302 530 175.5%
Imports (mil. Bu.) 33 24 22 25 25 100.0%
Total Supply (mil. Bu.) 4,052 4,141 4,515 4,719 4,835 102.5%
Crush (mil. Bu.) 1,873 1,886 1,901 1,990 1,995 100.3%
Seed & Residual (mil. Bu.) 146 122 139 133 135 101.5%
Exports (mil. Bu.) 1,842 1,942 2,174 2,065 2,290 110.9%
Total Use (mil. Bu.) 3,861 3,950 4,214 4,188 4,420 105.5%
Ending Stocks (mil. Bu.) 191 191 301 531 415 78.2%
Stocks to Domestic Use Ratio 9% 10% 15% 25% 19% 77.9%
Season-Average Price ($/bu.) $10.10 $8.95 $9.47 $9.35 $9.38 100.3%
*Estimate **Projection Source: World Agriculture Outlook Board

Soybean prices in 2018 are expected to be similar to 2017 with the potential for a rally in late June, which would set up an opportunity for producers to contract grain. Trade uncertainty in the Chinese market could change the outlook for soybean profitability for both old and new crop soybeans. Weekly sales numbers will be an important indicator of the ending U.S. export value.

Access to the full report with information on poultry, eggs and wheat can be found here: https://aede.osu.edu/sites/aede/files/imce/images/Current%20Commodity%20Situation%20and%20Outlook%20for%20Ohio%20Report%20.pdf

2018 Ohio Dairy Enterprise Budget for 2018

by: Barry Ward, OSU Extension, Leader, Production Business Management

The newly updated Dairy Enterprise Budget for 2018 has been completed and posted to the farmoffice website: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-budgets

This dairy budget assumes a large breed herd and an 80% corn silage / 20% hay feed ration. Details are provided for feed rations and building and equipment costs. The budget includes the costs associated with a cow during the lactating and dry periods with a 13-month calving interval and is based on a 700-cow herd.

For a herd with mid-level production of 24,000 lbs. rolling herd average, feed costs per hundred weight (cwt) of milk sold is $6.80. Variable costs per cwt are estimated to be $12.45 while total costs are calculated to be $18.36 per cwt.

This dairy budget was authored by Maurice Eastridge, Extension Specialist, Dairy Production; Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management and Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy.

OSU Extension Enterprise Budgets are compiled on downloadable Excel Spreadsheets that contain macros for ease of use. Users can input their own production and price levels to calculate their own numbers. These Enterprise Budgets have color coded cells that allow users to plug in numbers to easily calculate bottoms lines for different scenarios. Detailed footnotes are included to help explain methodologies used to obtain the budget numbers.

Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets Projected Returns for 2018

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be largely unchanged from last year with slightly higher fuel, fertilizer and interest expenses that will increase total costs for some growers. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2018 are projected to range from $359 to $452 per acre depending on land productivity.

Variable costs for 2018 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $210 to $231 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2018 are projected to range from $179 to $219 per acre.

Returns will again be low to negative for many producers. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $175 to $348 per acre for corn and $192 to $371 per acre for soybeans. (This is assuming fall cash prices of $4 per bushel for corn and $10 per bushel for soybeans.) Projected returns above variable costs for wheat range from $135 to $249 per acre (assuming $5.20 per bushel summer cash price).

Returns to land for Ohio corn (Total receipts minus total costs except land cost) are projected to range from $23 to $182 per acre in 2018 depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for Ohio soybeans are expected to range from $84 to $254 per acre depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for wheat (not including straw or double-crop returns) are projected to range from $28 to $135 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line corn production in Ohio are estimated to be $760 per acre. This includes all variable costs as well as fixed machinery, labor, management and land costs. Fixed machinery costs of $65 per acre include depreciation, interest, insurance and housing. A land charge of $192 per acre is based on data from the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey Summary. Labor and management costs combined are calculated at $71 per acre. Returns Above Total Costs for trend line corn production are negative at -$93 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line soybean production in Ohio are estimated to be $525 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs – $50 per acre, land charge: $192 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $48 per acre.) Returns Above Total Costs for trend line soybean production are also negative at -$23 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line wheat production in Ohio are estimated to be $501 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs: $55 per acre, land charge: $192 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $42 per acre.) Returns Above Total Costs for trend line wheat production are also negative at -$110 per acre.

These projections are based on OSU Extension Ohio Crop Enterprise Budgets. Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2018 have been completed and posted to the OSU Extension farmoffice website:

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-budgets