A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is improperly issuing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for concentrated animal feeding operations without authorization by the U.S. EPA. Two residents of northwest Ohio filed the suit last summer against the ODA, the Ohio EPA and the U.S.
by: Carl Zulauf and Sanghyo Kim, Professor and PhD student, Ohio State University, and Gary Schnitkey, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This article provides payment indicators for ARC-CO and PLC based on the January 12, 2015 WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) mid-price estimate and NASS’s (National Agricultural Statistical Service) crop production annual reports for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The term, payment indicator, is used because the estimates use state yield not the county yield used by ARC-CO or farm payment yield used by PLC. Thus, the indicators are not estimates of payments an individual FSA farm will receive. Nevertheless, they should help frame perspectives and questions regarding crop program choices. Previous estimates exist for the U.S. and are available at the farmdocdaily articles of August 13, September 18, October 14, and December 18, 2014.
Calculation of Estimated Payment Indicators: ARC-CO makes a payment if county revenue is below 86% of the county’s benchmark revenue. Benchmark revenue is obtained by multiplying 5-year Olympic moving averages (removes high and low values) of county yield and U.S. crop year price. ARC-CO payments are capped at 10% of the benchmark revenue. PLC makes payments when U.S. crop year average price is less than the crop’s reference price. Congress specified the reference price in the 2014 farm bill.
Both programs use yield per planted, not harvested acre. Yield per planted acre is calculated as production divided by acres planted to the crop, expect for corn. For corn, acres harvested for silage are subtracted from planted acres. Note that information is not available for all states to make yield per planted acre calculations.
The estimated per acre payment use the mid-price estimate, which is obtained by averaging the low and high end of the price range projected in the January 2015 WASDE. The mid-price estimates are $3.65, $10.20, and $6.10 for corn, soybeans, and wheat, respectively. Estimated per acre payments are adjusted for the program parameter that ARC-CO and PLC payments are made on 85%, not 100%, of program base acres (ARC-IC pays on 65% of base acres).
State per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year Corn: Indicated ARC-CO payments per acre vary from $0 to $97 (Washington) (see Figure 1). No ARC-CO payment is indicated for 8 of the 41 states for which information exist, including the top 10 corn production states of Kansas and Missouri. The range of ARC-CO indicated payments underscores the significance of yield in determining payments by ARC. For example, Illinois has an indicated payment of $6 per acre while neighboring Iowa has an indicated ARC-CO payment of $74 per acre. Their ARC benchmark yields are close, 161 for Illinois and 165 for Iowa, but their yield per planted acre for the 2014 corn crop is 177 for Iowa vs. 199 for Illinois.
PLC payments are made for each state because the U.S. corn crop year price, currently projected at $3.65 for corn, is less than the corn reference price, $3.70. PLC payments exceed ARC-CO payments for 10 of the 41 states for which information exist. Compared with ARC-CO, the range in indicated PLC payments is much narrower, ranging from $3 for South Carolina to $8 for Washington. The reason is that an average of yields (for 2008-2012) is used to calculate PLC payments. In contrast, current, or 2014 crop year yields, are used when calculating ARC-CO payments. Yields vary much more for a single year than when averaged over multiple years.
State per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year Soybeans: ARC-CO payments are indicated for 7 of the 31 states for which information is available, including the top 10 producing states of Minnesota and Nebraska. New York has the highest indicated payment of $20 per acre. The states with an indicated payment had 2014 yields that were relatively low compared with their benchmark yields. While the 2014 soybean crop year price is less than the soybean benchmark price, the 2014 soybean price is not low enough relative to its price benchmark to trigger widespread payments. No PLC payment is indicated since the projected 2014 mid-price estimate of $10.20 is higher than the soybean reference price of $8.40.
State per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year Wheat: ARC-CO payments are indicated for 12 of the 42 states for which information is available, including the top 10 producing states of Kansas, Texas, and Washington. Washington has the highest indicated payment, $37 per acre. The states with an indicated payment had 2014 yields that were relatively low compared with their benchmark yields. While the 2014 wheat crop year price is less than the wheat benchmark price, the 2014 wheat price is not low enough relative to its price benchmark to trigger widespread payments. No PLC payment is indicated since the projected 2014 mid-price estimate of $6.10 is higher than the wheat reference price of $5.50.
► For corn, ARC-CO is currently projected to make a higher payment than PLC for most, but not all, states. Exceptions exist because 2014 yield is high enough to offset the lower 2014 price compared with the ARC benchmark price.
► ARC-CO is currently indicated to make payments for soybeans and wheat in some states, with a key factor being how the state’s 2014 yield compares with its ARC benchmark yield.
► The indicated payment estimates clearly underscore that ARC is a revenue, not a price, program. Yield, not just price, is a key determinant of ARC payments.
► PLC’s single focus is price. Yield can offset or enhance the degree of risk resulting from price. Low price does not necessary mean low revenue, just as high price does not necessarily mean high revenue. Revenue is a broader measure of financial wellness than price. Understanding the distinction between price and revenue is important to making an informed decision between ARC and PLC. The focus of ARC is multiple years of shallow revenue risk with a benchmark of the previous 5 years, as modified by the use of a reference price floor; whereas PLC’s focus is the risk of multiple years of prices notably below a benchmark known as the reference price.
► IMPORTANT CAVEAT: Considerable uncertainty exists regarding actual 2014 crop year payments, if any, by ARC and PLC. The reasons are that county yields are largely not available yet and that considerable uncertainty remains over the 2014 crop year average price. For a more extensive discussion of the latter topic, see the January 8, 2015 farmdoc article, “2014 Crop Program Decision: March WASDE Price Uncertainty,” by Carl Zulauf and Andrea Hershey.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture indicates that 28% of farmers in Ohio (31,413 of 113,624 operators) are female. Women farm operators play a vital role in eastern Ohio agriculture. Of the nineteen Ohio counties with over 500 women operators, ten are located in eastern Ohio including Ashtabula, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Medina, Muskingum, Stark, Washington and Wayne counties. Wayne County ranks #1 in the state with 810 women farm operators and Holmes county ranks #2 with 782 female farmers.
The East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference was created in response to the needs of women in agriculture in eastern Ohio. The second annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference will be March 27, 2015 at the Kent State University Tuscarawas Branch in New Philadelphia. Last year over 70 women from 23 Ohio counties and Pennsylvania attended. This year’s program will feature 12 break-out sessions related to: Business & Finance, Production- Made/Grown, Entrepreneurial, Family & Community. Keynote speaker will be agricultural attorney, Kristi Wilhemy. There is also a youth track for high school students with sessions presented by Ohio FFA Association state officers.
This conference invites women to learn about a variety of agricultural topics and to form connections with other women of similar interests. A more detailed schedule and both online and mail in registration information can be found at http://go.osu.edu/womeninageast
by David Marrison, OSU Extension
OSU Extension is asking for your assistance in securing up-to-date information about the fee to perform tasks in Ohio vineyards. Many vineyards across Ohio hire machinery operations and other vineyard 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 vineyards do not own equipment for every possible job they may encounter and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. To date, no survey has been conducted to analyze custom rates for vineyard work in Ohio. We are asking for your assistance in responding to this inaugural Ohio Vineyard Custom Rate Survey.
Please respond even if you only have a few rates to report. Please report for what you have paid to hire work or what you charge if you perform custom work. Custom Rates should include all ownership costs of implement & tractor (if needed), operator labor, fuel and lube. All data will be reported as averages/range in the final report. Thank you for your participation in this survey. More information can be received by calling OSU Extension-Ashtabula County at 440-576-9008 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
by Tony Nye, OSU Extension Educator
These high impact programs are designed for producers wanting to be on the “Cutting Edge” of corn production for their operations.
Topics will include:
Agronomic Practices that Optimize Profitability in Corn Production-Perception vs. Reality – Dr Peter Thomison, OSU Extension, Corn production
Nitrogen Timing and Needs During Corn Development – Dr. Steve Culman OSU Extension, Soil Fertility
Influence of N Source on Timing of Application – Dr. Steve Culman OSU Extension, Soil Fertility
Fungicide Effects on Disease, Ear Rot and Yield in Field Corn – Dr. Pierce Paul, OSU Extension, Plant Pathology
Real Field Experiences with Variable Rate Nitrogen Applications – Tim Norris, Ag-Info Tech
The Central Ohio Corn College will be held Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Agricultural Services Building, 1025 Harcourt Road, Mt. Vernon, OH from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Deadline for registration is January 19, 2015. Please send registration for the Central Ohio Corn College to OSU Extension Knox County, PO Box 1268, Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Make checks payable to OSU Extension. For more information contact John Barker (email@example.com / 740-397-0401).
The Southwest Ohio Corn College will be held Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Clinton County Extension Community Room from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Deadline for registration is January 21, 2015. Please send registration for the Southwest Ohio Corn College to OSU Extension Clinton County, 111 S. Nelson Avenue, Suite 2, Wilmington, OH 45177. Make checks payable to OSU Extension. For more information contact Tony Nye (firstname.lastname@example.org / 937-382-0901).
Cost is $50 per person for the Corn College. Cost will include handouts, bulletins, refreshments, and lunch. CCA Credits will be available that day.
Ohio State University Extension will offer four Farmland Leasing Workshops throughout Ohio this February.
The three hour workshops will include topics of interest to both landowners and farm operators, such as factors affecting leasing options and rental rates, analyzing rent survey data and legal requirements and provisions for farm leases. The speakers will help attendees consider how to use data in negotiations and to apply legal information to leasing practices.
Attorney Bill Bridgforth will present OSU’s next webinar on “The 2014 Farm Bill: Guiding a Client through the New Law” on Friday, January 9 at 1 pm EST. Bridgforth is a senior partner in the Arkansas law firm of Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson & Raley, LLP who represents agricultural producers around the United States. He will explain the election decisions producers and landowners must make under the new Farm Bill and will provide examples of decision making impacts.