Farm Management Series to be held in Fulton County in February

by Eric Richer, Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension-Fulton County will again be offering its Farm Management Series on Tuesdays in February.  The series is for any farmer who raises commodity grain and livestock. This year’s program will focus on farm succession, financial and production planning. Additionally, the series will help farmers look at options for taking your farm a different direction to complement commodity production. This year the series is offered as a daytime program from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and includes lunch. Each session will feature guest speakers and content relevant to today’s farm management. The series, which runs February 6, 13, 20 and 27, is taught by a combination of Extension Educators and state specialists and private sector individuals.

On Tuesday, February 6, the series will emphasize transition and estate planning (farm succession).  Topics will include working together to develop your farm’s business plan, answering 9 key succession planning, legal structures, getting your financial affairs in order and family communication.

Tuesday, February 13th will focus on financial planning.  Time will be spent reviewing key farm financial statements and strategies including an Ag Lender/Professional panel at lunch.  The afternoon will address ways to reduce family living expense and financial stress as well as taking a hard look at the value of enterprise analysis on your farm.

February 20th will be spent looking at key production planning areas of farm management.  Speakers will address the outlook for inputs, best management practices for leasing or buying, and calculating your cost of production.  Additional sessions will focus on the CAUV property tax production formula and converting your farm to natural gas.

The final session of the series on February 27 will conclude with a day full of guest speakers who will offer options for “taking your farm a different direction” to complement commodity production.  The buffet of topics will include transitioning to organic, swine production, agri-tourism, barley production in Ohio, and non-GMO grain opportunities.

The total cost for the series is $60 or $20 per day session if pre-registered by February 1.  Registration after the deadline will still be accepted but the cost goes up to $70 for the series or $25 per session. Registration includes materials and lunch.  Support for this series is provided in part by Farm Credit Mid America, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Metamora State Bank, Sherwood State Bank and Ag Credit.  The farm management series will be held at the Robert Fulton Ag Center, 8770 State Route 108, Wauseon, Ohio 43567.  The registration form can be downloaded at www.fulton.osu.edu or call 419-337-9210 or email richer.5@osu.edu for more information.

 

 

Completing the Farm Balance Sheet

by: Eric Richer, OSUE Fulton County & Diane Shoemaker, OSUE Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics

It is never too late to complete your farm’s balance sheet. The balance sheet is a “snap shot” in time of your farm’s financial position, including what assets you own and how they are financed. The balance sheet is also known as the net worth statement. When completed accurately and in a timely manner, the balance sheet and corresponding ratios are a very valuable tool to evaluate farm financial health. The balance sheet objectively measures farm business growth, liquidity, solvency, and risk-bearing capacity.

Categorizing Balance Sheet Items

The assets and liabilities on the balance sheet (including the financing of the assets) are used to determine the equity, or net worth, of the farm owner. The owner’s equity is used by lenders and insurers to determine a farm business’ value.  Calculation of  owner’s equity, or net worth is simple. Simply subtract the total liabilities from the total assets:

Assets – Liabilities = Owner’s Equity

Terms of Assets and Liabilities

Beyond the broad categories of assets or liabilities, a balance sheet categorizes items into “time compartments” or terms of useful life. Useful life is a term for the amount of time an item can be utilized for the farm business. Depreciation allocates the cost of this asset over its useful life. Both assets and liabilities can be categorized into current, intermediate, and long, or fixed, terms of useful life.

Assets – Current assets can be converted to cash in one year or less. Common current assets are cash, growing crops, harvested crop inventory, market livestock, accounts receivable, and other similar items. Intermediate assets have an assumed useful life or depreciable value of one to ten years. Common intermediate assets are breeding livestock, machinery and equipment, titled vehicles, and not-readily-marketable bonds and securities. Long term, or fixed, assets are typically permanent items with value—depreciable or not—for more than ten years and include farmland, buildings, farmsteads, and other similar items.

Liabilities – Current liabilities are obligations that are due and payable in the next twelve months. Most common current liabilities include accounts payable (bills), credit card bills, operating lines of credit, accrued interest, and the current portion of principal on loans due in the coming year. Intermediate liabilities are obligations that are due to be paid back within two to ten years and are usually associated with intermediate farm assets on the left side of the balance sheet. Common intermediate liabilities are the principal remaining on machinery and equipment loans or breeding livestock purchases. Finally, long term, or fixed, liabilities are debts with terms greater than ten years like the principal balance remaining on a farmland or building mortgage.

Assets: Market Value vs. Cost Value

Market value – Today’s market values minus selling costs are used to determine market value. For example, a fully depreciated 15-year-old tractor certainly has a current market value greater than zero. A realistic current market value for this tractor can be obtained with an appraisal, or by looking at current sales of similar tractors online. Similarly, farmland bought 30 years ago likely has a different current market value today. In general, lenders prefer the use of current market values in a balance sheet for asset valuation.

Cost value – The net book value, or the cost of the item minus accumulated depreciation, is the cost value. For example, a fully depreciated 15-year-old tractor may have a cost value of $0 in a cost-based balance sheet. No appraisal is needed; only record the cost minus accumulated depreciation. Farmland (a non-depreciable, long term asset) purchased 30 years ago has a balance sheet value of the purchase cost.  In general, accountants prefer cost value balance sheets as a more clear reflection of business success, based on business decisions rather than inflation, depreciation, or appreciation of investments.

In an accurately completed balance sheet, the cost value and the market value columns usually produce different total asset values.

Keys to Completing the Balance Sheet

Several keys can help farmer improve their accuracy, effectiveness, and efficiency when completing year-end balance sheets.

  • Complete the balance sheet on the same date each year, usually as of December 31st. The information will never be more accurate than immediately after the end of the year.
  • Inventory all assets, including standard weight and measure units (ie. lbs, head, bushels, bales, etc).
  • Utilize current market prices for crop and livestock inventories.
  • Calculate cost value for growing crops such as wheat, new hay seedings or cover crops.
  • Include government payments and insurance indemnities yet to be received in accounts receivable.
  • Apply conservative breeding livestock values, avoiding large year-to-year changes.
  • Maintain a separate, easy-to-update depreciation schedule for depreciable assets.

Balance Sheet Tools

 

 

Balance Sheet Ratios to Evaluate Financial Health

A balance sheet is an accounting statement needed by a farmer to evaluate his or her financial health. An income statement and a statement of cashflows are also needed to provide the entire financial picture. These three statements can be used with the Farm Finance Scorecard available from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Health at https://www.cffm.umn.edu/Publications/pubs/FarmMgtTopics/FarmFinanceScorecard.pdf.

The scorecard uses these three accounting statements to determine financial ratios and measurements to benchmark a farm operation against acceptable industry standards.

An annual comparison of the same farm, referred to as a vertical analysis, can be used to evaluate the health of a balance sheet. With vertical analysis, one year’s balance sheet totals can be added to a spreadsheet with entries from previous years for comparison. Additionally, the spreadsheet would be used for upcoming years to continue the vertical analysis. This analysis does not benchmark a farm against the industry but, instead, shows the growth achieved and trends developed by the farm over time.  This analysis is one of the features provided for farms that participate in the Ohio Farm Business Analysis and Benchmarking Program.  Contact Dianne Shoemaker at shoemaker.3@osu.edu for more information about this program.

References:

Hachfeld, G. A., D.B. Bau, C.R. Holcomb. 2016. Balance Sheet. Farm Financial Series, #1, University of Minnesota Extension.

Langemeier, M. R. 2011. Balance Sheet—A Financial Management Tool. MF-291, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University Extension. Available online at: www.agmanager.info

 

Ever Consider Solar Panels to Power Your Farm?

Beginning in January, a six-part series of webinars will inform participants about Photovoltaic (PV) solar system design and the key considerations for conducting a financial analysis. The webinar is based on the Solar Electric Investment Analysis Bulletin Series and will be taught by Eric Romich, statewide energy specialist for Ohio State University Extension and John Hay, an energy specialist with University of Nebraska Extension. Hosted by Michigan State University Extension, the webinars are once a week starting Jan. 18 through Feb. 22. Each of the six webinars starts at 7 p.m. EST and is 60 minutes long. Time for question and answers will follow each session. Registration fee is $10 per session or $40 for all six sessions.
Registration information can be found at:
https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=A687E78FABE63A79
For more information, contact Charles Gould at 616-994-4547 or gouldm@msu.edu.

What are Lenders Looking For?

Source: Amanda Douridas

During my farm management school in December in Urbana, I invited a panel of ag lenders to answer questions about what they are looking for in a potential client and what can clients do to build stronger relationships with their lenders. The panelists were Greg Kinght with Civista Bank in Urbana, Paul Lensman with Agri Business Finance in St. Paris and Rudi Perry with Farm Credit Mid-America. Here are the questions asked and a summary of their responses.

Q: What characteristics do you look for in a potential client?
A: Character is a big part of the lending decision. Is the person honest? Trustworthy? Do they have the responsibility, knowledge and experience to be successful?

Q: How does the current economic outlook for agriculture affect the lending decision?
A: The big questions is: what is the producer doing to protect themselves? We don’t see crop prices increasing anytime soon. Having a contingency plan is a great way to show us that they are planning for future and not taking each day as it comes.

Q: What about debt re-structuring? What does that look like and what are the options?
A: It is very situational dependent. We are proponents of constructive credit but sometimes it does not make sense. Replenishing working capital through selling assets or spreading debt out over several years can also be an answer. FSA guarantee loans may be an option or restructuring loans on longer terms can work for some farm operations.

Q: What land value, dollar per acre, are you willing to finance?
A: We mostly prefer not to put a dollar figure on land value and look more at loan to value. That figure has been reduced somewhat from 5 years ago and the borrower will likely have to make a larger down payment or add more equity than in recent years. Overall land will be a good long-term investment.

Q: What is your first impression of the new tax law and how it might impact agriculture?
A: It likely will not have an effect on lending but there is a concern about the overall increase in the deficit. Legislature could look to make the deficit up in the Farm Bill by cutting farm programs.

Q: Do you have programs for young and/or beginning farmers?
A: Farm Credit has recently created a Young and Beginning Farmer program. Some benefits include up to 85% loan to value and not quite 50% equity for loans. It also has a 2-day farm finance educational program. Lenders also work with FSA guarantees and are willing to work with new farmers.

Q: What information do you need from niche or specialty crop producers?
A: We want to make sure the producer has a very good understanding of producing and marketing that product. If the farmer knows what they are doing and can back it up with data, we will definitely consider it for a loan. The farmer just needs to be prepared to educate their lender. If the equipment being used as collateral is very specialized, it will likely have a lower loan to value ratio because it is a lot harder to move that equipment. Diversification can be a good thing!

Q: How do you determine the operating line of credit for a farm?
A: We want the customer to establish that number based on their farm and cash flow.

Q: How do you determine the value of collateral?
A: We use several different sources such as local sales, online equipment listings such as tractorhouse.com, Hot Line Farm Equipment Guide and even some outside appraisers. When using real estate as collateral, we always use an appraiser.

Q: What about if I’m putting it on my balance sheet?
A: Farmers can do it as cost less depreciation but most lenders prefer the market value using recent sales. We just ask that the farmer is consistent from year to year and if changes are made, be prepared to tell the lender why the value was increased or decreased.

Q: Where do you see farmers making errors on their balance sheets?
A: Missing pre-paid expenses on the assets side and missing accounts payable to go with them. Credit card debit is also often left off. Remember that long term loans have a portion that is due each year and that portion of the loan needs to be moved up to current liabilities. Accrued interest is another that can be missed.

Sole proprietorships have assets and liabilities for non-farm assets that need to be reported on the balance sheet or create a second balance sheet for the non-farm portion. We start looking into everything after meeting with the borrower. It is better for the borrower to bring up everything rather than us find it in our research afterwards.

It is important to the lender to know what the ownership structure is: LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, etc. If you are making some risk separation business decisions using these entities, it can help us make a lending decision in your favor.

Q: How often would you like customers to communicate with you?
A: It depends on the situation but definitely when major life events occur and it is always better to share something with your lender before we hear it from someone else. It is also nice to hear from the farmer when they are considering purchasing a new piece of equipment, making changes to planned crops, or what their marketing plan might be.

Q: If a farmer participates in the FINPACK program, does that add value?
A: We are impressed when someone uses the program. It shows that they have attention to detail and discipline in record keeping. The benchmarking piece also allows them to discuss with us areas where they excel and where they would like to make improvements.

Q: What should a client bring to a meeting?
A:
• Entity paperwork such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, partnership operating agreement, LLC setup, etc.
• 3 years of tax returns, these are not always needed but if they are, we have them and don’t need to contact you to follow-up.
• A current balance sheet is a must and multiple year-end balance sheets are even better.
• We don’t always need to see your insurance information upfront but we may need it so have it ready.
• For new or expanding enterprises, we need to see a business plan.
• Cost of production and cash flow or budgets

They summed up the panel by asking the audience what they can do for the farmers. Lenders want to make loans so how can they serve farmers better? There are very few problems you can’t work through with your lender if you have a good relationship.

Greg Knight can be reached at 937-653-1165 or gpknight@civistabank.com
Paul Lensman can be reached at 937-663-0186 or pelensman@agribusinessfinance.net
Rudi Perry a regional vice president for Farm Credit and recommends contacting your local office to speak with a lender.

“Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshops to be Held Across Ohio

By David Marrison, Associate Professor – OSU Extension

OSU Extension will be hosting five “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” workshops across Ohio during the winter of 2018.  These planning workshops are designed to help farm families develop a succession and estate plan for their farm business. Attend and learn ways to successfully transfer management skills and the farm’s business assets from one generation to the next. Learn how to have the crucial conversations about the future of your farm.

This workshop will challenge farm families to actively plan for the future of the farm business.  The featured speakers for this event will include: Robert Moore, Attorney at Law, Wright & Moore Law Company, Peggy Hall, Agricultural & Resource Law Field Specialist for OSU Extension, David Marrison, Extension Educator for Ashtabula County, and Chris Bruynis, Extension Educator for Ross County. Farm families are encouraged to bring members from each generation to the workshop. Plan today for the future success of your family business!

The workshops will be offered at the following locations.

Knox County Join us in Central Ohio for this workshop split over two nights in January.  These sessions will be held on Thursday, January 11 & 18, 2018 from to 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Brandon Baptist located at 13513 Sycamore Road in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 50 persons.  The registration fee is $35 per person or $50 per family. This fee includes a hot meal at 5:30 p.m. prior to each session.  The registration deadline is January 4, 2018.  Make Checks payable to OSU Extension. Mail checks and registration to: OSU Extension – Knox County, P.O. Box 1268 Mt. Vernon, Oh. 43050. More information can be obtained by calling the Knox County Extension office at 740-397-0401 or by visiting http://u.osu.edu/knoxcountyag

Clinton County– Join us in south central Ohio for this workshop on Friday, January 19, 2018 from 9:00 to 3:30 p.m.    This workshop will be held in the community room of the Clinton County Extension office located at 111 South Nelson Avenue in Wilmington, Ohio.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 40 registrants. The cost is $20 per person or $45 for family. The registration fee includes lunch and one set of program materials per family. Registration deadline is January 12, 2018. Payment options are credit card, check or cash. Registration and payment by credit card may be completed in person at the Clinton County Extension Office. Make checks payable to OSU Extension- Farm Plan and mail with this registration form to: OSU Extension- Clinton County, 111 S. Nelson Ave., Suite 2, Wilmington, OH 45177.  More information can be obtained by calling the Clinton County Extension office at 937-382-0901.

Williams County– Travel to the far northwest corner of Ohio for this program on Monday, February 5, 2018 from 9:30 to 4:00 p.m.  This workshop will be held at the Williams County Extension office located at 1425 East High Street, Bryan, Ohio.

Pre-registration is required by January 26, 2018. The cost is $10 per person. This fee includes snacks, lunch and a program notebook.  Make checks payable to OSU Extension and return to the OSU Extension- Williams County, 1425 E. High St., Suite 112, Bryan, OH 43506.  More information can be obtained by calling the Williams County Extension office at 419-636-5608.

Coshocton County– Join us in historical Roscoe Village in Coshocton County on February 23, 2018 from 9:00 to 4:00 p.m. for this workshop. The program will be held in Montgomery Hall on the Central Ohio Technical College Coshocton Campus located at 200 North Whitewoman Street, Coshocton, Ohio.

The registration fee for this workshop is $20 which includes lunch and one binder of the program materials per family.  Additional binders can be requested for $15 each. The class is limited to 40 persons and the registration deadline is February 16, 2018. Payment options are credit card, check or cash. Registration and payment by credit card may be completed at: http://go.osu.edu/coshfarmfuture. Registrations by mail can be made by making a check payable to OSU Extension and mailing the registration form to: OSU Extension- Coshocton County, 724 South 7th Street, Room 110, Coshocton, OH 43812. More information can be obtained by contacting the Coshocton County Extension office at:  740-622-2265

Darke County– Join us in western Ohio in Darke County for our final workshop of the winter on February 27, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  This program will be held at Romers located at 118 East Main Street in Greenville, Ohio.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to the first 60 registrants.  The cost is $20 per person which includes program materials and lunch. The registration deadline is February 20, 2018.  Make checks payable to OSU Extension and return to OSU Extension, Darke County, 603 Wagner Avenue, Greenville, Ohio 45331. More information can be obtained by calling the Darke County Extension office at 937-548-5215.

More details:

Each of the program flyers can be obtained at: u.osu.edu/ohioagmanager/farm-management-workshops/

More information about farm succession can be obtained by contacting David Marrison at the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008 or by email at marrison.2@osu.edu

 

 

2018 OSU Outlook Meeting Schedule

Source: Chris Bruynis, Associate Professor & Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Meetings! In 2018 there will be seven locations in Ohio. Each location will have speaker addressing the topics of Free Trade Agreements: Why They Matter to US Agriculture, Grain Market Outlook, and Examining the 2018 Ohio Farm Economy. Additional topics vary by location and include 2018 Farm Bill Policy Update, Dairy Production Economics Update, and Farm Tax Update.

Join the faculty from Ohio State University Extension, Ohio State Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics, and Industry Leaders as they discuss the issues and trends affecting agriculture in Ohio. Each meeting is being hosted by a county OSU Extension Educator to provide a local personal contact for this meeting. A meal is provided with each meeting and included in the registration price. Questions can be directed to the local host contact.

The Ag Outlook presentations will be recorded this year and be made available to farmers not living close to the meeting locations or those unable to attend. These will be posted in early February on the Ohio Ag Manager website located at https://u.osu.edu/ohioagmanager/resources/. For additional information on recording, please contact Chris Bruynis at bruynis.1@osu.edu.

The outlook meeting are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Date: January 22, 2018
Time: 7:30 am – 10:30 am
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: Emmett Chapel, 318 Tarlton Rd, Circleville, OH 43113
Cost: $10.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension Pickaway County 740-474-7534
By: January 15th
More information can be found at: http://pickaway.osu.edu

Date: January 22, 2018
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: The Loft at Pickwick Place, 1875 N Sandusky Ave., Bucyrus OH 44820
Cost: $15.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Crawford County 419-562-8731 or email hartschuh.11@osu.edu
By: January 15th
More information can be found at: http://crawford.osu.edu

Date: January 26, 2018
Time: 8:00 am – noon
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: Der Dutchman, Plain City
Cost: $15.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Union County 937-644-8117
By: January 19th
More information can be found at: http://union.osu.edu

Date: January 29, 2018
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Speakers: Mike Gastier, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: St Mary’s Hall 46 East Main St. Wakeman, OH 44889
Cost: No Charge; $20.00 if past deadline
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Huron County 419-668-8219
By: January 22nd
More information can be found at: http://huron.osu.edu

Date: January 29, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Speakers: Barry Ward, Jim Byrne, Ian Sheldon
Location: Jewell Community Center,
Cost: $10:00 (after deadline $20.00)
RSVP: OSU Extension, Defiance County 419-782-4771 or online at http://defiance.osu.edu
By: January 22nd
More information can be found at: http://defiance.osu.edu

Date: January 31, 2018
Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Speakers: Ian Sheldon, Jim Byrne, Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Dianne Shoemaker, David Marrison
Location: Fisher Auditorium
Cost: $15.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Wayne County 330-264-8722
By: January 24th
More information can be found at: http://wayne.osu.edu

Date: March 23, 2018
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Chris Bruynis
Location: Chamber Ag Day / Ag Outlook meeting, Darke County
Registration Flyer: http://go.osu.edu/2018darkeagoutlook
Cost: $20
RSVP: Darke County Extension office at 937-548-5215
By: March 16th
More information can be found at: http://darke.osu.edu

2018 Wayne County Farm Financial Management School

by Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator

A 6-evening farm financial management school (FFMS) is scheduled for Monday evenings in January and February in Wayne County beginning the evening of January 15 and running consecutively through February19.  The 2018 FFMS will focus on teaching participants how to develop and use core farm financial documents and statements.

The school will use presentations, class discussion, group work, case farm examples and hands-on activities to teach participants how to assemble and use essential farm financial documents.  Participants will learn how to put together and use financial documents to measure their current farm financial situation, track expenses and cash flow, make decisions to help improve or maintain the financial situation, and work more effectively with Ag lenders.  Topics that will be covered over the 6-week school include: mission statements, balance sheets, cost of production, family living expense, farm income statements, farm cash flow statements, enterprise budgets, benchmarking, financial standards/ratios, record keeping, and working with Ag lenders.  Each participant will receive a 3-ring binder notebook with materials and handouts from each session.

The 2018 FFMS will meet in the commissioners meeting room located in the upper level of the Wayne County Administration Building in Wooster.  A light meal will be available each evening at 6:30 pm and class instruction will begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 9:30 pm each evening.  The registration cost is $50/person or for two people from the same farm business.  Sponsorships provided by Farm Credit Mid-America, Farmers National Bank, Wayne Savings Community Bank and Farmers State Bank are helping to cover some of the program expenses. Pre-registration is requested to the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or by email to parker.1269@osu.edu by Thursday, January 11.

 

2018 Wooster Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting

by Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator

International trade agreements and renegotiation of trade agreements, discussions on the 2018 farm bill, a new tax bill.  Each of these topics has implications for the farm economy and quite possibly for on-farm management decisions in 2018.  Get the latest information about these and other timely topics at the 2018 Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 31 at Fisher Auditorium on the OARDC campus in Wooster.

Plan now to attend the 2018 Ag Outlook and Policy meeting and learn about the opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector in 2018.  Pick up some tips on strategies and practices that may help you and your agricultural business.  The day begins with sign-in at 8:45 am; the program starts at 9:30 am and concludes at 3:30 pm.   Registration cost is $15/person.  Registration includes morning refreshments, noon lunch and handout materials.  Facility rental and speaker expenses are covered with thanks to sponsorships provided by Farmers National Bank, Wayne Savings Community Bank, and Farm Credit Mid-America.

Topics and presenters for the Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting include:

  • 2018 Farm Bill Policy Update: Ben Brown, Program Manager, Ohio Farm Management Program. Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
  • International Trade Agreements and Implications for Domestic Agriculture: Ian Sheldon, Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy. Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
  • Dairy Production Economics Update: Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics
  • Examining the 2018 Ohio Farm Economy: Crop Budgets, Land Values and Cropland Rental Rates. Barry Ward, Extension Farm Management and Production Leader.
  • Grain Market Outlook and Grain Marketing Strategies: Jim Byrne, Byrne Investment Services
  • Farm Tax Update: David Marrison, Extension Educator, Ashtabula County

Registration deadline is January 24.  Register by contacting the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or sending an email to parker.1269@osu.edu.  Include your name/names of those attending, phone number and email or mailing address.  An informational flyer and registration form is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/AgOutlook18

 

New care standards for Ohio veal and dairy to begin in 2018

Written by Ellen Essman, Law Fellow, Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Veal and dairy producers in Ohio will be subject to new livestock care standards in 2018. Producers were first made aware of these changes when the Ohio Livestock Care Standards for veal, dairy and other species were originally adopted in September of 2011 after the passage of State Issue 2, a constitutional amendment that required Ohio to establish standards for the care of livestock. Since the new care standards make significant changes to the management of veal and dairy, producers were given a little more than six years to transition their facilities and practices accordingly. The new standards will be effective on January 1, 2018. Producers with veal calves and dairy cattle are encouraged to understand the regulations and make the required changes to their operations by January 1.

Changes to veal regulations
The regulations for veal address housing for veal calves weighing 750 pounds or less. Currently, veal calves may be tethered or non-tethered in stalls of a minimum of 2 feet x 5.5 feet. Next year, the following housing standards will apply:
– Tethering will be permitted only to prevent naval and cross sucking and as restraint for examinations, treatments and transit, if:
– The tether is long enough to allow the veal calf to stand, groom, eat, lie down comfortably and rest in a natural posture;
– The tether’s length and collar size is checked every other week and adjusted as necessary.
– Individual pens must allow for quality air circulation, provide opportunity for socialization, allow calves to stand without impediment, provide for normal resting postures, grooming, eating and lying down, and must be large enough to allow calves to turn around.
– By the time they are ten weeks old, veal calves must be housed in group pens. The regulations currently require that group pens meet the above standards required for individual pens and also must contain at least two calves with a minimum area of 14 square feet per calf, must separate calves of substantially different sizes and that calves must be monitored daily for naval and cross sucking and be moved to individual pens or provided other intervention for naval or cross sucking.
The veal regulations, including both the current rules and the rules that will become effective January 1, are available here.

Changes to dairy cattle regulations
There is only one change to the dairy care standards. As of January 1, docking the tails of dairy cattle will only be permissible if:
– Performed by a licensed veterinarian; and
– Determined to be medically necessary.
The dairy cattle standards, including the current tail docking rule and the rule that becomes effective January 1, are here.

More information is also available in this press release recently published by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and on the website for Ohio’s Livestock Care Stand

Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey 2018

by Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension, Ag and Natural Resources

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

Custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming machinery rate by utilizing Extension surveys results as a starting point. Ohio State University Extension collects surveys and publishes survey results from the Ohio Farm Custom Survey every other year. This year we are updating our published custom farm rates for Ohio.

We need your assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates, machinery and building rental rates and hired labor costs in Ohio.

Please provide rates that are current including the latest price increases or planned increases.

An online option for this survey is available at: OhioFarmCustomRatesSurvey2018

or: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cJa90YBYdWOa6DX

We would ask you to please respond even if you know only have a few operations with data.  We want information on actual rates, either what you paid to hire work or what you charged to perform custom work.

Deadline for Surveys to be returned: March 31st, 2018