Ag Lender Seminars Scheduled for 2013

Bruce Clevenger & Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educators

OSU Extension has scheduled four Agricultural Lender Seminars across Ohio in October. The purpose of the program is to update agricultural lenders on current agricultural issues and topics and to provide them with a knowledge base that will help them to understand potential clientele agricultural financing needs. The agenda is based on evaluations from previous seminars, input from lenders and Agricultural Extension Educators on high priority topics. Program locations and dates follow. All programs run from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm. Lenders, lending support teams and bank board of directors are encouraged to attend these informative and satisfying seminars.

Frankfort, OH – Ross County, October 23rd
Ottawa, OH – Putnam County, October 25th
Urbana, OH – Champaign County, October 28th
Wooster, OH – Wayne County, October 30th

Keynote speakers at all four 2013 seminars include Dr. William Edwards, Emeritus Professor, Iowa State University Department of Economics on Choosing Crop Insurance in 2014, Dr. Carl Zulauf, Professor, Ohio State University Department of Ag, Environmental, and Development Economics on Ag Policy Update, 2013, and Dr. Matt Roberts, Associate Professor, Ohio State University, Department of Ag, Environmental, and Development Economics on Lending and the Coming Income Crisis in Crops. Furthermore, additional topics have been included for each location to meet local needs and interests.

Seminar check-in begins at 9:00 am with the program scheduled from 9:30 am until adjournment around 3:00 pm. Cost of registration is $65/person. This fee covers facility rental, speaker costs, an educational materials packet, continental breakfast, lunch and associated costs. Pre-registration is requested to help plan for the meals and material packets that are needed. Please note the pre-registration deadlines in the enclosed brochure for seminar locations.

Contact Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County, for more information at 419-782-4771, or click on the link for a brochure that includes a complete agenda for each location along with a registration form.

A brochure with more detailed program topics and a registration form is available at: or:

Click here to access the registration brochure

Questions may be directed to the OSU Extension Defiance County office, phone number 419-782-4771 or by email at:

Shale Development, Ohio Agriculture, and Natural Gas Utilization

By: Douglas Southgate, Professor, Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and Associate Director of the Subsurface Energy Resource Center at Ohio State University

Hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling have unlocked untold volumes of oil and natural gas in deep shale formations – first in the United States, where the energy industry has taken the lead in this game-changing advance, and more recently in other parts of the world.

The impact on rural Ohio has been profound. In the eastern part of the state, hundreds of wells have been drilled into the Utica and Marcellus formations, with a thousand or more to follow. Pipelines have been or are being constructed within and beyond areas with active drilling, to carry the dry natural gas (or methane) used to heat homes and businesses and to generate electricity as well as the ethane and other natural gas liquids (NGLs) that the petrochemical and polymers sector transforms into myriad products. Rural landowners are reckoning with the consequences. Many of them have grown wealthy, thanks to the bonus and royalty payments received in return for the leasing of subsurface rights. All must deal with changes in the landscape as drilling pads, access roads, and pipelines are put in place.

For Ohio agriculture, shale development has another impact, one resulting from adjustments in the market for dry natural gas. As recently as 2008, gas prices in this country moved up and down with the value of crude oil and its derived products, such as gasoline and diesel fuel. Prices also spiked whenever hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast, where nearly one-fifth of this country’s gas was produced before shale development began around the turn of the twenty-first century and where terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports are concentrated. But during the past five years, the markets for gas and oil have decoupled, with dry gas consistently changing hands for less than $4.00 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) in spite of swings in the price of oil – which currently exceeds $100 per barrel.

Inexpensive and reliably supplied from domestic sources, natural gas is getting another look from a variety of energy users. In the electric power industry, generating electricity from gas is cheaper than any of the alternatives, not only because of the low price of gas but also owing to the unmatched efficiency of gas-fired turbines. Also interested in fuel conversion are government agencies and private businesses with fleets of vehicles (e.g., city buses, delivery trucks, etc.) that can be re-fueled at a central facility during off-peak hours. Agriculture, which accounts for approximately 7 percent of all off-road use of fossil fuels in the United States, is another potential market.

Already, some agricultural operations in Ohio rely on natural gas. Greenhouses with a connection to the existing pipeline system are a case in point. Others will find it relatively easy to switch fuels, such as farms with propane-fired grain driers that are located alongside a gas line and can make a connection at a modest expense. Some of these farms might choose to retrofit driers so that either gas or propane can be used, whichever is more economical at any given time.

For operations that are farther from existing pipeline networks, fuel conversion requires a larger expenditure. Extending a gas line can cost up to $1 million a mile. Moreover, it is normal for agricultural demand for energy to fluctuate. For example, a lot of fuel may be needed to dry grain one year, but very little twelve months later due to limited precipitation during the fall. This fluctuation diminishes the economic attraction of extending the pipeline network.

Extensions in the pipeline network would not be required to run tractors, combines, and other farm machinery on gas. One option would be to operate mobile implements on compressed natural gas (CNG). However, that fuel’s energy density is low, with a given volume of gas compressed to 3,600 pounds per square inch (PSI) containing approximately one-sixth the British thermal units (BTUs) of energy contained in an equal volume of diesel fuel. Furthermore, the only practical way to deliver CNG may be in canisters. If so, switching from diesel to CNG would require a series of adaptations and adjustments on the operator’s part. For one thing, machinery would have to be retrofitted to accommodate canisters. For another, refueling would have to occur frequently (with full fuel canisters replacing empty canisters) during the peaks of planting and harvesting seasons, when tractors and combines stay out in the field for days on end. Frequent refueling would be a direct consequence of the low energy density of CNG.

Instead of CNG, LNG could be used to power farm machinery. LNG’s energy density is about two-thirds the energy density of diesel fuel. However, liquefying natural gas costs is expensive, adding as much as $4 per MCF to the price of LNG. Distribution costs would be high as well. In addition, on-farm retrofitting would not be free.

Of all the farming areas in the United States, few are in as good a position as Ohio to benefit from the abundant supplies of affordable natural gas that are a product of shale development. With small and large cities scattered throughout the state and with a pipeline network that was extensive before shale development began and that is now expanding in response to shale gas extraction, many farmers in Ohio will find that the up-front costs of fuel conversion outweigh diminished expenditures on energy, so will continue to use diesel and other conventional fuels. But for other farmers, reduced energy expenditures will exceed up-front costs, thus favoring the switch to natural gas.

Buckeye Dairy Newsletter Has Key Management Articles

The September 2013 Issue of the Buckeye Dairy News has some management issues in their latest newsletter which may be of interest to many of the Ohio Ag Manager subscribers. The newsletter is posted at:, then click on Buckeye Dairy News. Articles include:

Protecting Income Over Feed Cost Margin on U.S. Dairy Farms, Dr. Cameron Thraen, State Extension Specialist, Dairy

Markets and Policy, John Newton, Ph.D. Candidate, The Ohio State University, and Dr. Marin Bozic, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

The Cost of Nutrients and Comparison of Feedstuffs Prices, Dr. Normand St-Pierre, Extension Dairy Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Glyphosate-Resistant Palmer Amaranth Problems Developing in Ohio – What Dairy Producers Need to Know
, Dr. Mark Loux, Extension Specialist, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

The Land of “MILC and Honey” – Dairy Policy Watch 2013, John Newton, Ph.D. Candidate, The Ohio State University

Ohio State University to Offer Series of Tax Schools Statewide, November and December

BY Tracy Turner, Staff Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Experienced tax preparers wanting to learn about federal tax law changes and updates for this year as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2013 tax returns can take advantage of a series of two-day income tax schools offered by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The eight OSU Income Tax Schools will focus on interpreting tax regulations and recent changes in tax laws to help tax preparers, accountants, financial planners and attorneys advise their clients, said Larry Gearhardt, director of the Ohio State University Income Tax School Program of Ohio State University Extension.

OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college.

“The schools are an intermediate level course and will also include information on Ohio income taxes,” he said.

Participants in the tax schools will receive the 2013 National Income Tax Workbook prepared by the Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation especially for the income tax schools held in Ohio and 30 other states.

The tax schools will offer continuing education credit, including 100 minutes of ethics, for accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and certified financial planners, Gearhardt said.

Topics include:

New Legislation
Affordable Care Act
Rulings and Cases
Individual Taxpayer Issues
Business Issues
Agricultural and Natural Resources Issues
IRS Issues
Tax Practice
Education Provisions
Construction Industry
Schedule E (Form 1040) Issues
Itemized Deductions
Natural Resources
Tax Issues in Divorce
Tax Rates and Useful Tables

The preregistration fee for each workshop is $325 with late registration $350. The fee includes all materials, lunches and refreshments. The first day program begins at 8 a.m. and adjourns at 5:25 p.m.; the second day resumes at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 5:25 p.m. The deadline to enroll in the tax schools is 10 business days prior to the date of each school, Gearhardt said.

The eight tax school dates and locations are as follows:

Columbus – Nov. 12-13
Bridgewater Banquet and Conference Center
10561 Sawmill Parkway, Powell

Fremont – Nov. 14-15
Ole Zim’s Wagonshed
1375 State Route 590, Gibsonburg

Kent – Nov. 18-19
Kent State University-Student Center
Summit Street, Kent

Dayton – Nov. 20-21
Presidential Banquet Center
4548 Presidential Way, Kettering

Lima – Nov. 25-26
Old Barn Out Back
3175 W. Elm Street, Lima

Ashland – Dec. 3-4
Ashland University-Convocation Center
820 Claremont Ave. Ashland

Chillicothe – Dec. 5-6
Ross County Service Center
475 Western Ave., Chillicothe

Zanesville – Dec. 11-12
Ohio University-Zanesville Branch Campus Center
1425 Newark Road, Zanesville

More information on the workshops, including how to register, can be found at Participants may also contact Gearhardt at 614-292-2433 or by email at

Preliminary 2014 Ohio Field Crop Enterprise Budgets

by: Barry Ward, OSU Extension, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Budgeting helps guide you through your decision making process as you attempt to commit resources to the most profitable enterprises on the farm. Crops or Livestock? Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Hay? We can begin to answer these questions with well thought out budgets that include all revenue and costs. Without some form of budgeting and some method to track your enterprises’ progress you’ll have difficulty determining your most profitable enterprise(s) and if you’ve met your goals for the farm.

Budgeting is often described as “penciling it out” before committing resources to a plan. Ohio State University Extension has had a long history of developing “Enterprise Budgets” that can be used as a starting point for producers in their budgeting process.

Preliminary Enterprise Budgets for 2014 Ohio field crops have been completed and posted to the Farm Management Website of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. Updated Enterprise Budgets can be viewed and downloaded from the following website:

Enterprise Budget projections updated for 2014 include: Corn-Conservation Tillage; Soybeans-No-Till (Roundup Ready); Wheat-Conservation Tillage, (Grain & Straw).

Our 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. Budgets include a date in the upper right hand corner of the front page indicating when the last update occurred.

The SMV Emblem means “Slow Moving Vehicle”

by Deborah Brown, OSU Extension Educator

What does that red and orange triangle with the cut-off corners mean to you? I would hope that you recognize it as a Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) Emblem and that the vehicle to which it’s attached is moving at less than 25 miles per hour.

What does that red and orange triangle with the cut-off corners mean to a non-farmer, someone from town, the city, even a “rural resident”? When they see it, do they know to “slow down” because the vehicle bearing it is moving slowly? Or, have they been conditioned to ignore it because the last many times they saw it the vehicle it was on was going down the road at 45, 50, 55 miles per hour?

You know, what we practice is how we automatically respond: It’s called habit. So, if they get in the “habit” of not slowing down when they see an SMV Emblem because “the Emblem is always traveling close to my speed,” when they do happen to come up behind that tractor/wagon being driven by your wife/husband/kid that is going only 15-20 mph, how will they react??? It’s an accident waiting to happen!!

The SMV Emblem was developed by the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Ohio State University in 1962 in response to studies that showed about 65% of motor vehicle accidents involving Slow Moving Vehicles were rear-end collisions. We needed something to warn those coming up from behind that the tractor/wagon/equipment in front of them was going less than 25 miles per hour.

After much testing of various designs, it was found that a triangle-shaped emblem, with a 12-inch-high florescent orange center and three 1¾-inch-wide reflective borders was most effective for day and night visual identification. The “cut off corners” happened after field testing: One of the graduate students – Ted Gastier – took the prototype to his home farm in Erie county over Thanksgiving. Those 1950s/1960s-era tractors were rear-mount and the corners of the sign put numerous tears in his coveralls as he got on and off. That problem was solved by cutting off the corners which gave us the unique shape we have today! This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication and introduction of the SMV Emblem.

So, how do we protect this icon so it can continue to protect us? We use it properly!!
• Clean, undamaged, not faded
• Visible 500 feet to the rear
• Triangle point facing upward
• Mounted perpendicular to the direction of travel, 20o+/- from the vertical
• Mounted 2’ to 10’ from the ground
• Located in the center or as near left-center of the implement as possible
• Securely/rigidly attached (No “blowin’ in the wind”!)
• MAXIMUM SPEED = 25 miles per hour
o Even when that wagon/implement is being pulled by a pick-up truck!
o Removed or covered when the vehicle is being transported on a truck or trailer (How many times have you seen that semi-truck going down the road with a tractor or other implement loaded on it and the SMV Emblem clearly visible to the rear?? What an impression that makes at 65/70 mph . . .)

Oh, yeah: There are now tractors designed to go over 25 mph. Do they need to have an SMV Emblem? Yes!! They also need to have an SIS – a Speed Identification Symbol – posted that shows the tractor’s maximum speed. This SIS needs to be visible 500’ to the rear. Any wagon or implement towed behind these tractors also need to show the SMV Emblem and the SIS. This law went into effect in October of 2007. (The SIS needs to be ASABE approved and can be obtained through your implement dealer.)

In addition, the operators of these tractors have to have documentation of the manufacturer’s stated maximum speed for the vehicle. The 2007 law also requires that anyone driving a tractor over 25 mph have a valid driver’s license, and it created a duty to operate any agricultural tractor with “reasonable control.” (NOTE: A driver’s license is not required as long as any tractor/implement is being driven less than 25 mph, even if the tractor/implement is designed to go faster.)

As a farm manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that those working with you know, understand, and practice safe procedures. Using the SMV Emblem properly is one of the Most Important procedures to practice! Be sure your workforce knows and understands the rules.

Practicing proper procedures can help protect all of us from rear-end collisions. It’s the responsibility of all of us to re-condition other drivers so that the SMV Emblem means “Slow Moving Vehicle.”

Sources used:;
See also – Fact Sheet AEX-598-08 on Visibility of Ag Equipment:

OSU to Offer Ag and Natural Resource Tax Issues Workshop

Tax preparers and farmers who file their own farm tax returns have an opportunity to participate in OSU Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resource Tax Issues Workshop on December 19, 2013.  The day long webinar-based workshop features Professor Phil Harris of … Continue reading