Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium set for November 18, 2011

The agenda is in place for the fourth annual Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium, a program for attorneys and others working in the agricultural arena.  The Symposium takes place on Friday, November 18 at The Ohio State University’s Ohio Union and features state and national experts on the most current legal and policy issues facing Ohio agriculture.

Nine topics are packed into the day-long program, including presentations by Ohio Senator Cliff Hite, Washington D.C. agricultural policy consultant Dale Moore and American Farm Bureau attorney Danielle Quist.  Ohio attorneys and experts will speak on Livestock Care Standards, agri-environmental law, USDA audits, CAUV, oil and gas development and estate planning.   Here is the complete agenda for the day:

Welcome Peggy Hall, Director, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Chesapeake TMDL:  EPA’s New Framework for Watershed Regulation

    Danielle Quist, Senior Counsel for Public Policy, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, D.C.  

Nutrient-Enriched Lakes, Livestock Emissions, and Other Hot Environmental Topics for Ohio Agriculture

    Jack Van Kley, Van Kley and Walker LLC, Columbus

Enforcing Ohio’s New Livestock Care Standards  

    James Patterson, Assistant Attorney General, State of Ohio

The Office of Inspector General Audit: Preventing and Detecting Waste, Fraud and Abuse

    Diana Blust, Senior Auditor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General

Current Issues in Current Agricultural Use Valuation 

    Larry Gearhardt, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Columbus

Representing Landowners in Oil and Gas Leases and Mineral Disputes (Concurrent 1)

    Richard A. Yoss, Yoss Law Office, Woodsfield

Estate Planning for Farmers in an Era of  New Laws and New Wealth (Concurrent 2)

      Beatrice Wolper, Emens & Wolper Law Firm, Columbus

      Paul L. Wright, Wright Law Co., LPA, Dublin

Fighting for Agriculture in Washington: The Farm Bill and other Farm Policy Issues

    Dale W. Moore, Vice President, Policy Directions, Inc, Washington, D.C.

 Legislative Outlook for Ohio Agriculture

    Senator Cliff Hite, Chair, Ohio Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee

The Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium is a partnership project of OSU’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program and the Ohio State Bar Association and its Agricultural Law Committee.  The goal of the Symposium is to provide a forum for education, discussion and interaction on legal issues for Ohio agriculture.  As in the past, OSU offers scholarships for law students to attend the Symposium at no cost through the support of the Paul L. Wright Agricultural Law endowment fund.

The Symposium brochure provides additional information about the program.


2012 Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, The Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Newly updated corn, soybean and wheat enterprise budgets for 2012 have been released and were a hot item in the Farm Management Center at the farm Science Review.  These 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 a new look with color coded cells that will enable 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. Starting this year we will be updating these Enterprise Budgets periodically during the year is large changes occur in price or costs. Budgets will include a date in the upper right hand corner of the front page indicating when the last update occurred.

Click on the following links to download the corresponding budgets: 

2012 Corn Budget

2012 Soybean Budget

2012 Wheat Budget

Beware of the Increasing Level of Deferred Income Tax

By: Dwight Raab, University of Illinois

Average (accrual) Net Farm Income for the five year period 2006 to 2010 was $$162,609. Net Farm Income for the five years prior (2001 to 2005) was $58,339. This makes for an increase of $104,270 in average net farm income between the two five-year periods. This should surprise no one and is evidence of higher yields in most of Illinois and increased commodity prices. To read more click here.

2011 OSU Income Tax Schools to be held across Ohio this Fall

David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator

OSU Extension and The Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics Department are pleased to be offering the 48th Annual OSU Income Tax Schools at eight locations across Ohio in November and December. These two-day schools are designed for individuals who have some experience preparing and filing federal and state tax returns for individuals and small businesses. Instruction will focus on federal tax law changes and on the issues that tax preparers may encounter in 2011 preparing tax returns. The schools also will include an Ohio income tax update. Highly qualified instructors will explain and interpret tax regulations and recent changes in tax laws.

The registration fee includes the workbook and other reference materials, instructor fees, meals, meeting rooms, and other expenses. Participants in the Tax Schools will receive the 2012 RIA Federal Tax Handbook and the 700 page National Income Tax Workbook (including a searchable CD containing the 2004-2011 workbook) prepared by the Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation especially for the income tax schools held in Ohio and 30 other states. The National Income Tax Workbook is available only as a part of the tax school registration. Continuing education credit for Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Attorneys, and Certified Financial Planners will be offered.

The tax school locations are as follows:

Dayton – November 8-9
Presidential Banquet Center, Dayton
4548 Presidential Way
Dayton, OH 45429

Columbus – November 14-15
Bridgewater Banquet & Conference Center
10561 Sawmill Parkway
Powell, OH 43065

Fremont – November 17-18
Ole Zim’s Wagonshed
1375 State Route 590
Gibsonburg, Ohio 43431

Kent – November 21-22
Kent State University Student Center
Summit Street
Kent, OH 44242

Ashland – November 29-30
Convocation Center, Ashland University
820 Claremont Ave.
Ashland, OH 44805

Chillicothe – December 1-2
Ross County Service Center
475 Western Avenue
Chillicothe, OH 45601

Lima – December 5-6
Veterans’ Memorial Civic and Convention Center
7 Towne Square
Lima, OH 45801

Zanesville – December 8-9
Ohio University-Zanesville Branch Campus Center
1425 Newark Road
Zanesville, OH 43701

The pre-registration fee for each workshop is $330 with late registration $355. The fee includes all materials, lunches, and refreshments. The first day program begins at 9:00 a.m. and adjourns at 5:00 p.m.; the second day resumes at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m.

In addition, a 2 hour Ethics session will be offered at three of the tax school locations (Kent, Columbus, & Lima) during the first evening of these three schools from 5:15-7:15 p.m. The registration fee for the ethics workshop is $60 per person. The workshop locations are:

Columbus – November 14
Kent – November 21
Lima – December 5

Complete workshop information for the 8 OSU Income Tax Schools and the 3 Ethics workshops can be found at http://incometaxschools.osu.edu. A downloadable registration form as well as on-line registration is available at this location. Information can also be received by contacting Dr. Warren Lee, Ohio Income Tax Schools Director, at 614-292-6308 or lee.69@osu.edu

Ohio Specialty Crop Producers and Local Markets: Distribution as the Missing Link

Jill Clark, Jeff Sharp and Shoshanah Inwood

Many local food systems advocates focus on increasing the number of farmers selling their products directly to consumers, but this type of direct marketing is only one strategy for increasing the consumption of local foods. Over 90 percent of all food for home consumption is acquired from retail venues (such as grocery stores) (USDA, ERS, 2010), suggesting an important strategy to increase the consumption of Ohio grown foods by Ohioans, is to focus on increasing the flow of these foods through the state’s distribution and retail market systems. This research is the first attempt at inventorying the existing produce retail-distribution structure to identify opportunities, barriers and the development needs associated with increasing the flow of Ohio grown fruits and vegetables to existing retailers and ultimately Ohio consumers. The research we report draws on our review of previous food system studies, as well as interviews we conducted with Ohio retailers, and a survey of produce distributors in the state. The goal of this work is to generate useful information that can identify next steps in scaling-up the connections between Ohio specialty crop producers and Ohio retail markets. To read full report click here

Agricultural Lenders’ Seminars

By:Glen Arnold, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Putnam County and Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension The Ohio State University

Extension has scheduled two seminars in western Ohio for Agricultural Lenders. The dates are Wednesday, November 2nd at the Champaign County Extension office in Urbana and Thursday, November 3rd at the Putnam County Extension office in Ottawa. These seminars are excellent opportunities for Lenders, Farm Service Agency personnel, county Extension Educators and others to learn about OSU Extension research, outreach programs and current agricultural topics of interest across the state.

Topics and Speakers for 2011 Seminars:

Assessment of Federal Farm and Energy Program Changes to Meet Budget Challenges Carl Zulauf Professor Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics The Ohio State University

Livestock Economics and Outlook for Ohio Farmers Chris Hurt Professor Department of Agricultural Economics Purdue University

Precision Farming – Implications for Ohio Farmers and Ag Lenders Scott A. Shearer Professor and Chair Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering The Ohio State University

Crop Inputs Outlook, Enterprise Budgets and Flexible Cash Leases Barry Ward Leader, Production Business Management Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics The Ohio State University

How Lenders Can Utilize FSA Loan Programs to Assist Beginning Farmers David Drake Farm Loan Chief USDA Farm Service Agency

The registration cost to attend one of the Ag Lender Seminars is $60.00 and the registration deadline is October 26th. Your local county extension office can provide a registration form or you can access it on the web at: http://putnam.osu.edu/topics/agriculture-and-natural-resources/forms-and-agenda/2011%20brochure.pdf

Tax Tips for Students and Parents Paying for College Expenses

Source-Internal Revenue Service

Fall weather has arrived in Ohio meaning that thousands of young adults have returned to colleges across the state. As college costs continue to increase, the Internal Revenue Service is offering tips for students and parents as they pay tuition and other school related fees. The Internal Revenue Service reminds students or parents paying such expenses to keep receipts and to be aware of some tax benefits that can help offset college costs.

Typically, these benefits apply to you, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

1. American Opportunity Credit This credit, originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been extended for an additional two years – 2011 and 2012. The credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student and is available for the first four years of post secondary education. Forty percent of this credit is refundable, which means that you may be able to receive up to $1,000, even if you owe no taxes. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, course related books, supplies and equipment. The full credit is generally available to eligible taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is below $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing a joint return).

2. Lifetime Learning Credit In 2011, you may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for a student enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for an eligible student, but to claim the credit, your modified adjusted gross income must be below $60,000 ($120,000 if married filing jointly).

3. Tuition and Fees Deduction This deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000 for 2011 even if you do not itemize your deductions. Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction for qualified higher education expenses for an eligible student if your modified adjusted gross income is below $80,000 ($160,000 if married filing jointly).

4. Student loan interest deduction Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible. However, if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 ($150,000 if filing a joint return), you may be able to deduct interest paid on a student loan used for higher education during the year. It can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500, even if you don’t itemize deductions.

For each student, you can choose to claim only one of the credits in a single tax year. However, if you pay college expenses for two or more students in the same year, you can choose to take credits on a per-student, per-year basis. You can claim the American Opportunity Credit for your sophomore daughter and the Lifetime Learning Credit for your senior son.

You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction for the same student in the same year that you claim the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. You must choose to either take the credit or the deduction and should consider which is more beneficial for you.

For more information, visit the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center at www.irs.gov or check out Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, which can be downloaded at www.irs.gov or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Farm Management, Marketing and Economics Events at the 2011 Farm Science Review

by Barry Ward, Stan Ernst and Peggy Hall, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Ohio State University

Even though new equipment and machinery dominate the Farm Science Review each year, economics and the bottom line always play the major role in your decision making. The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics together with Ohio State University Extension will offer several activities, exhibits, presentations and opportunities to interact with Agricultural Economists, Farm Management Specialists and Extension Educators at this year’s Farm Science Review, September 20th through the 22nd at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

The Farm Business Office
The Farm Business Office at the Farm Science Review is located in the Francine Firebaugh Building and will give Review goers the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Ohio State University Extension Farm Management Specialists, OSU Agricultural Economists, and OSU Extension Educators.

Review goers can seek advice on various farm business and management topics including budgeting, cash rents, flexible cash rent arrangements, land purchase issues, input buying, farm transition planning, estate planning, retirement planning, farm record keeping and analysis, tax management, human resources management, risk management issues and more.

OSU Extension Enterprise Budgets will be available along with “Ohio Farm Custom Rates” and “Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rental Rates 2010-11”. A new decision making tool – Flexible Cash Lease Agreement Calculator will be on display and available for Review goers.

Ag Law Office
This year there will be a new “office” in the Firebaugh Building located in OSU Central on Friday Avenue. OSU Extension will sponsor the new “Ag Law Office” to provide law education in areas important to agriculture.

Come in and talk with our agricultural attorney, Peggy Hall, about legal issues on your farm. Hall will have legal resources available on topics such as oil and gas leasing, farmland leases, livestock care standards, agricultural zoning and premises liability, and will show you how to locate legal information on her website.
Hall will also provide review goers with opportunities to meet attorneys from around Ohio who practice in agricultural law. Stop by, meet agricultural attorneys, and hear what they think about the latest legal issues affecting agriculture.

Natural Gas Production: The Impact of Marcellus and Utica Shale on Rural Economies

Our annual Farm Science Review panel will have you thinking about the impact of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas exploration on Ohio’s economy, communities, and infrastructure. Expect some analysis, some predictions, and probably an argument or two. And take an opportunity to stump the panel with your perspective. The OSU experts includes Doug Southgate, Allen Klaiber, Mike Lloyd and moderator Matt Roberts. Come join their lively debate.

10-11 a.m. Tuesday, September 20, 2010
Tobin Building, Molly Caren Center
Sponsored by OSU Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics

“Question the Authorities”
Each day of the Review, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in live conversations on timely topics – everything from current market behavior, marketing and economic performance, to energy economics, and new policy questions for rural America. Stan Ernst from OSU’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics leads the discussion, then opens things up to the audience – your chance to question our authorities. On the stage in Alumni Park on Friday Avenue. (Topics and times are subject to change. Check the signboard along Friday Ave. for daily lineups.)

Tuesday, September 20 – Stan Ernst (OSU AED Economics)
9:00 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)
11:15 Crop Input Costs – Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
11:30 Income & Employment – Luther Tweeten (OSU AED Economics)
11:45 Federal Budget Adventures – Carl Zulauf (OSU AED Economics)
12:05 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)
12:25 Shale Gas: A New Crop for Ohio? – Doug Southgate (OSU AED Economics)
12:45 Legal Issues in Leasing Land for Oil & Gas Production – Peggy Kirk Hall (OSU AED Economics)
1:00 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)
1:20 World Food Economy – Doug Southgate (OSU AED Economics)
1:40 Ag Policy Update – Carl Zulauf (OSU AED Economics)
2:00 Corn, Beans & Eggplant? Adding produce to your farm – Brad Bergefurd (OSU South Centers)
2:20 Working Your Farm Budget – Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
2:40 Estate Planning & Farm Transfer – Chris Bruynis, (OSU Extension)
3:00 The Costs of Farm Safety – OSU Ag Safety Program

Wednesday, September 21 – Stan Ernst (OSU AED Economics)
9:00 Federal Budget Adventures – Carl Zulauf (OSU AED Economics)
9:20 Grain Markets Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)
9:45 Estate Planning & Farm Transfer – Chris Bruynis, (OSU Extension)
10:00 On-farm Energy Audits – Chad Martin (Purdue)
10:20 Farmland Values & Cash Rents – Allan Lines/Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
10:40 Ag Policy Update – Carl Zulauf (OSU AED Economics)
11:00 Farm Finance for Women – Julia Woodruff (OSU Extension Erie Co)
11:15 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics) & Corinne Alexander (Purdue Ag Economics)
11:45 Marketing Small Fruit – Gary Gao (OSU Extension/South Centers)
12:00 Wind Farming – Chad Martin (Purdue)
12:20 Recent Developments in Alternative Fuels: Military & Civilian – Bob Allen (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Fuels Research Lab)
12:40 Legal Issues in Leasing Land for Oil & Gas Production – Peggy Hall (OSU AED Economics)
1:00 Food Price Outlook – Corinne Alexander (Purdue Ag Economics)
1:20 Healthy Food From Gas Stations? – Jill Clark (OSU AED Economics)
1:40 CSA’s…Subscription Farming – Beth Scheckelhoff (OSU Extension ABE Ctr)
2:00 Distribution Channels: Getting Food Crops to Consumers – Jill Clark (OSU AED Economics)
2:20 Hydroponic Market Opportunities – Beth Scheckelhoff (OSU Extension ABE Ctr)
2:40 Crop Input Outlook – Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
3:00 Greenhouse Tomato Opportunities – Beth Scheckelhoff (OSU Extension ABE Ctr)

Thursday, September 22 – Stan Ernst (OSU AED Economics)
9:15 Crop Input Outlook – Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
9:40 Livestock Law– Peggy Kirk Hall (OSU AED Economics)
10:00 Making Room for the Farmer’s Daughter – Julia Woodruff (OSU Extension Erie Co)
10:20 Estate Planning & Farm Transfer – Chris Bruynis, (OSU Extension-Wyandot Co)
10:40 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)
11:00 Markets for Whitetail – Jonathan Ferris (Purdue Extension)
11:20 Legal Issues in Leasing Land for Oil & Gas Production – Peggy Kirk Hall (OSU AED Economics)
11:40 Farmland Values & Cash Rents – Allan Lines/Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
12:00 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)
12:20 Farm Finance for Women – Julia Woodruff (OSU Extension Erie Co)
12:40 Working Your Farm Budget – Barry Ward (OSU AED Economics)
1:00 Grain Market Outlook – Matt Roberts (OSU AED Economics)

Time to Renegotiate Cash Rental Rates

By: Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor & Extension Educator

With the late planting this spring, farmers will be harvesting somewhat later than normal this fall. The late harvest will challenge farmers to get wheat planted on time and crops harvested before winter weather arrives. Many times farm rental arrangements are discussed following harvest, but farmers and land owners may want to get this completed before harvest begins. This will allow both parties the necessary time needed to arrange a rental agreement beneficial to both parties.

One of the more common questions asked of Extension Educators is what is an appropriate cash rent? Establishing an appropriate cash rental rate for a farm is difficult and is often influenced by several factors. While it is likely that each situation will have some features that make it unique, Craig Dobbins, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University states the following items in this list are common considerations for many situations. The list includes land quality, fertility, tile and drainage, use of facilities, expected crop returns, risk, services provided by tenant, previous relationship history, payment dates, tillage, previous crops, federal farm program, logistics of crop movement, size and location of farm, and size and shape of fields. For more information see http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/pubs/LeasePointsConsider.pdf.

Another good source of information that can help determine an appropriate land rental rate is the research report prepared by Barry Ward, Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics, Ohio State University titled Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2010–11. This report can be found at http://ohioline.osu.edu/ae-fact/pdf/11-AED-911.pdf.

Finally, land owners and farmers often inquire what should be included in a quality land rental agreement. Although a qualified attorney should always be consulted, there is a good checklist that was written by Don Breece, OSU Extension. This checklist allows users to think through the different components that are in most good farm leases and can be found at http://ohioline.osu.edu/fr-fact/0003.html. Additional question on farm rental agreements can be directed to your local Agricultural Extension Educator or by email to the Ohio Ag Manager Team at ohioagmanager-on@ag.osu.edu.