Landowners Leaving a Legacy

by: Amanda Douridas

Land is an important investment. One that is often passed down through generations. Farmland needs to be monitored and cared for to maintain the value and sustainability if it is to be enjoyed and profitable for future generations. Following the success of Lady Landowners Leaving a Legacy offered this past summer, Landowners Leaving a Legacy is open to everyone. If you want to learn more about your land, farming and conservation practices and how to successfully pass it on to the next generation, this program is for you!

Farming has changed dramatically over the last several decades. The thought of trying to understand it all can be overwhelming, especially if not actively farming. This series is designed to help landowners understand critical conservation and farm management issues related to owning land. It will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to talk with tenants about farming and conservation practices used on their land. The farm management portion will provide an understanding of passing land on to the next generation and help establish fair rental rates by looking at current farm budgets. We will also visit a local farm to view practices currently implemented and hear from the landowners involved.

The series runs every other Monday, February 25 – May 13 from 6:00-8:30 pm in the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium in Urbana, Ohio. It is $70 for the series. If you are only able to attend a couple of session, it is $15 per session but there is a lot of value in getting to know other participants in the series and talking with them each week. Materials and dinner included. The registration flyer can be found at For questions or more information, please contact Amanda Douridas at 937-484-1526 or Please register by February 19. The detailed agenda is below.

Feb 25- Building Soil Structure

    • Introductions
    • Soil Structure Discussion and Demo
    • Tillage Methods and Compaction
  • Soil Coverage Discussion and Demo

March 11- Implementing Conservation

  • Conservation Activity
  • Aquifer Demonstration
  • Watershed Maps of Participants Farms
  • Explanation of Conservation Practices

March 25- Value of the Land Beyond the Dollar

  • Land Value Diagram
  • Landowner/Tenant Relationship Panel
  • Wildlife Habitat Programs

April 15- Transition and Succession Planning

  • Peggy Hall and Wright Moore Law Firm

April 29- Leasing and Budgets

  • Good Leasing Contracts
  • Hunting Leases
  • Overview of Commodity Budgets

May 13- Farm Visit

Some activities developed by Women, Food and Agriculture Network for its Women Caring for the Land program.

Sales to Cooperatives Under the New Tax Law

Barry Ward, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools, Leader, Production Business Management

Upon passage and signing of the Tax Cuts Jobs Act in December 2017, Cooperatives suddenly had a decided advantage in buying over “independent” buyers of ag commodities. The new tax law had somewhat inadvertently included a “grain glitch” (which would have affected more than grain sales) that had effectively allowed for a 20% deduction on gross sales which conferred a decided advantage over sales to other non-Cooperatives. These sales to non-Cooperatives would only be allowed the QBID deduction as discussed previously in this article which effectively a 20% deduction on net income from those sales. With much hand wringing and angst in the ag sector, congress finally got around to passing a “fix” to this “glitch”.

The “Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018” signed on March 23, 2018 “fixed” this inequity and but added more complexity to the reporting of sales to cooperatives. The 20-percent deduction calculated based upon their gross sales was eliminated and replaced with a hybrid Section 199A deduction. For those with sales to both cooperatives and non-cooperatives it will likely add some additional paperwork burden.

To determine the IRC Section 199A Deduction for sales to cooperatives, patrons first calculate the 20 percent 199A QBI deduction that would apply if they had sold the commodity to a non-cooperative. Second, the patron must then subtract from that initial 199A deduction amount whichever of the following is smaller:

  1. Nine (9) percent of net income attributable to cooperative sale(s) OR
  2. Fifty (50) percent of W-2 wages paid to raise products sold to cooperatives

Lastly, the allocable QBID deduction from the cooperative (up to 9%).

Sales to coops may result in a net QBI Deduction. The net deduction may be greater than 20% if the farmer taxpayer pays no W2 wages and the cooperative passes through all or a large portion of the allocable QBI to the patron. Or the net deduction may be equal to 20% if the farmer taxpayer pays enough W2 wages to fully limit their coop sales QBI deduction to 11% and the coop passes through all allocable QBI.  Or the net deduction may be less than 20% if farmer taxpayer pays enough W2 wages to fully limit their coop sales QBI to 11% and the coop passes through less than the allocable QBI.

The following examples illustrate how patrons calculate the QBI deduction at the indi­vidual level.

QBI Deduction for Co-op Patron’s Sales—No Wages Paid                                

Pat Patron, a single taxpayer, is a member patron of Big Co-op. In 2018, he sold all his grain through Big Co-op. Big Co-op paid Pat a $230,000 per-unit retain paid in money (PURPIM) and a $20,000 end-of-year patronage dividend. Thus, in 2018, Pat received $250,000 ($230,000 + $20,000) from Big Co-op for his grain sales. Pat also had $200,000 in expenses, which did not include any W-2 wages. Pat had no capital gain income in 2018, but he received wages from an outside job. His taxable income was $75,000.

Pat’s 2018 QBI is $50,000 ($250,000 − $200,000). Pat calculates a $10,000 (20% × $50,000) tentative QBI deduction. Pat’s taxable income is below the $157,500 threshold for single taxpayers, so his QBI deduction is not limited by the W-2 wages limitation. Because all of Pat’s ten­tative QBI deduction is attributable to qualified payments he received from Big Co-op, Pat must reduce his QBI deduction by the lesser of

  1. $4,500 (9% × $50,000), or
  2. $0 (50% of $0 W-2 wages attributable to Pat’s co-op payments)

Because Pat paid no wages for his grain busi­ness, he does not have to reduce his QBI deduc­tion. Pat claims the $10,000 QBI deduction.

Pass-Through Deduction

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that in 2018, Big Co-op also allocated a $2,500 deduction to Pat for his share of the co-op’s QPAI. The deduction does not exceed Pat’s tax­able income after subtracting his QBI deduction ($75,000 − $10,000 = $65,000). Pat’s QBI deduc­tion is $12,500 ($10,000 + $2,500).

QBI Deduction for Co-op Patron’s Sales—With Wages

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that $25,000 of Pat’s $200,000 in expenses were W-2 wages that he paid to an employee. Pat’s tentative QBI deduction is still $10,000 (20% × $50,000). However, he must reduce his QBI deduction by the lesser of the following:

  1. $4,500 (9% × $50,000) or
  2. $12,500 (50% × $25,000) Pat has a $5,500 QBI deduction ($10,000 − $4,500).

Transition Rules for Sales to Cooperatives

Also as part of the “grain glitch” fix in March of this year, a transition rule was included in the Code regarding qualified payments made by a cooperative with a year that began in 2017 and ended in 2018 (Fiscal Year Cooperative). This provision indicates that any payments received by a patron (farmer) during 2018 that is also included in the cooperatives taxable year ending in 2018 is not allowed to be used in calculating Section 199A.

The farmer will simply receive the DPAD passed through by the cooperative for that year (if any) and be allowed to only deduct that on their tax return. None of the qualified payments made to the farmer during the cooperatives fiscal year ending in 2018 are allowed for QBI. In other words, the farmer selling products to a cooperative with a fiscal year ending sometime in 2018 prior to December 31, 2018 will not be able to claim the sales prior to the fiscal year end date as QBI for purposes of the QBI deduction. Not a great deal for farmers with sales to cooperatives prior to the cooperative’s fiscal year end date.

Many cooperatives issued a Section 199 DPAD deduction in December of 2017. This means that these farmers got a deduction in 2017 when rates were higher, however, due to the transition provision, these farmers will perhaps not qualify for much, if any Section 199A deduction in 2018 AND not receive any DPAD from the cooperative since it was “pushed” out in 2017. This is what we may call a “double whammy.”  The reason it may be so drastic is that many grain farmers receive most of the proceeds from their grain sales in the first few months of the year and then simply have little or no sales the remaining part of the year.

The bottom line is that farmers who sell to a cooperative may not get the deduction they were planning on this year due to the transition rule.

This also means that the cooperative will need to report to the patron the amount of qualified payments made to the patron in 2018 that was included in the cooperative’s Section 199 computation from January 1, 2018 to the last day of the cooperative’s fiscal year ending in 2018.

The New Tax Law and the New Business “Qualified Business Income” Deduction

by: Barry Ward, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools & Leader, Production Business Management

The new tax law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law on December 22, 2017 and will affect income tax returns for all of us for 2018 (to be filed in the next few months). The headline pieces of the new tax law include new tax brackets, higher standard deductions, elimination of personal exemptions and a new corporate flat tax rate of 21%. This will amount to lower total federal income tax for the large majority of taxpayers and C-corporations. Parts of the new tax law will make tax preparation simpler while parts will add complexity to the process.

With the new lower tax rate for corporations (specifically C-corporations) of 21% (a flat 21% rate) this replaces the old graduated tax brackets for C-corporations that started at 15% and topped out at 35%. The new lower tax rate for C-corporations may have created a decidedly uneven playing field if the new tax law hadn’t included a new deduction for all other businesses. This new Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBID) (sometimes referred to as the Pass-Through Deduction) is a 20% deduction of a businesses’ Qualified Business Income (QBI). Without this, businesses across the U.S. would have been strongly considering a change to a C-Corp structure for income tax purposes. With this QBID, the playing field between the different tax entities is mostly re-leveled. There may be inequalities that show up with the new tax law as it relates to business entity selection but it may take some time for these inequalities to reveal themselves.

The new Qualified Business Income Deduction is laid out in Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). This new deduction has also been referred to as the 199A Deduction, the §199A Deduction for Pass-through Entities, the Business Deduction, the QBI Deduction, the Pass-through Entity Deduction, the Pass-through Business Deduction and other names. Each of these names refers to the same new deduction.

The QBID is a deduction in the amount of 20% that is allowed for “pass through entities” – sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations (Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) filing as one of the afore-mentioned are included).

To qualify for this 20% deduction, qualified business income must be earned from what is termed a “qualified trade or business.” The deduction reduces taxable income and is 20% of “qualified business income” (or 20% of taxable ordinary income, whichever is less). The deduction is claimed on the individual’s tax returns whether an individual itemizes or does not itemize personal deductions on Schedule A. This deduction is classified as a “below-the-line” deduction as it is taken after adjusted gross income is calculated.

Net Farm Income from Schedule F qualifies for this deduction. Depreciation recapture income and certain rental income also qualifies. Capital gains income does not qualify. The key consideration for farmers is that Net Farm Profit (if any) from Schedule F does qualify for the deduction.

For higher income filers there are limitation phase-ins for this deduction. This deduction is fully available for individuals with taxable income of less than $157,500 for single filers and less than $315,000 for joint filers. (Filers above these thresholds can also qualify if they meet certain criteria.) The deductible amount for EACH qualified trade or business is 20% of the taxpayers qualified business income (QBI) with respect to each trade or business or 20% of the taxpayer’s taxable income, whichever is less.


You are a sole-proprietor (married filing jointly) and you make $100,000 in net farm income (Schedule F Income) but with the new standard deduction ($24,000) your taxable income is $76,000 (assume the Schedule F net farm income is the sole source of income).

Your deduction is the lesser of:

20% of $100,000 = $20,000

20% of $76,000 = $15,200

Deduction is $15,200

Your taxable income in this simple example will be $60,800 ($100,000 -$24,000 – $15,200).

The QBID is limited for taxpayers with QBI over the threshold amounts of $157,500 for single filers and $315,000 for joint filers. Taxpayers with QBI over these need wages paid (W-2 wages paid) and/or depreciable property to qualify. This “depreciable property” is technically referred to as “Unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition of qualified property” or “UBIA of qualified property” or UBIA for short.

The limitation phase-in ranges are $50,000 for single filers and $100,000 for joint filers which means the limitation phase-in ranges for a single filer is $157,000 – $207,000 and the limitation phase-in range for joint filers is $315,000 – $415,000.

So….once $157,000 and $315,000 are reached, a limitation on the deduction is phased in over the ranges of $50,000 for single filers and $100,000 for joint filers. Taxpayers with taxable income that fall in this limitation phase-in range are subject to a ratable phase-in of the wage and capital limitation which we discuss next.

Once filers reach the top of the phase out ranges ($207,500 for single filers and $415,000 for joint filers) the calculations are relatively simple. The deduction is the lesser of:

  1. QBI for the trade of business (20% x Qualified Business Income) and:
  2. The greater of:
  • 50% of the W-2 wages paid by the business or
  • The sum of 25% of the W-2 wages with respect to the trade or business and 2.5% of the depreciable property (UBIA).


You are a sole-proprietor (married filing jointly) and you have $500,000 of Net Farm Income (Schedule F Income) but with the new standard deduction ($24,000) your taxable income is $476,000 (assume the Schedule F net farm income is the sole source of income). Assume they pay W-2 wages of $60,000 and have depreciable property of $1.2 million.

As they are above the top end of the limitation phase-in range ($415,000 for joint filers), their QBID will be limited to the lesser of 20% of the QBI ($500,000 x 20% = $100,000) or the greater of the two possible wage/UBIA limiting calculations. We can calculate the potential QBID using both methods and take the higher of the two.

  • $60,000 * 50% = $30,000
  • ($60,000 * 25%) + ($1,200,000 * 2%) = $39,000

We compare the greater of the two ($39,000) to the unlimited QBID of $100,000 and take the lesser of the two or $39,000.

The QBID deduction will be $39,000 for this farm business and for this taxpayer assuming 20% of the Taxable Income isn’t less than this. Taxable income of $476,000 * 20% equals $95,200 therefore the QBID for this tax return will be $39,000 and the Taxable Income will be $437,00 ($500,000 – $24,000 – $39,000).

For purposes of the QBID we provide more details on depreciable property to calculate the QBID in and above the phase-out ranges.

What is the depreciable property (UBIA) for purposes of the QBID? This is defined as tangible property, subject to depreciation (meaning inventory doesn’t count), which is held by the business at the end of the year and is used — at ANY point in the year — in the production of QBI. But there’s a catch: if you’re going to count the basis towards your limitation, the “depreciable period” of the period could not have ended prior to the last day of the year for which you are trying to take the deduction.

The depreciable period starts on the date the property is placed in service and ends on the LATER OF:  10 years, or the last day of the last full year in the asset’s “regular” (not ADS) depreciation period.

To illustrate, assume Ohio Farm purchases a piece of machinery on November 18, 2018 for 100,000. The machinery is used in the business, and is depreciated over 5 years. Even though the depreciable life of the asset is only 5 years, the owners of Ohio Farm will be able to take the unadjusted basis of $100,000 into consideration for purposes of this second limitation for ten full years, from 2018-2027, because the qualifying period runs for the LONGER of the useful life (5 years) OR 10 years.

The basis taken into consideration is “unadjusted basis,” meaning it is NOT reduced by any depreciation deductions. In fact, Internal Revenue Code Section (§) 199A(b)(2)(B)(ii) requires that you take into consideration the basis of the property “immediately after acquisition”. Any asset that was fully depreciated prior to 2018, unless it was placed in service after 2008, will not count towards basis.

Just as with W-2 wages, a shareholder or partner may only take into consideration for purposes of applying the limitation, 2.5% of his or her allocable share of the basis of the property. So if the total basis of S corporation property is $1,000,000 and you are a 20% shareholder, your basis limitation is $1,000,000 * 20% * 2.5% = $5,000.

If you are a partner in a partnership, you must allocate your share of asset basis in the same manner in which you are allocated depreciation expense from the partnership.

Special rules apply for sales to cooperatives and farmland lease income and will be covered in a subsequent articles.

Tips for Speaking with Your Lender

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR

2019 is upon us and you may be meeting soon with your lender to discuss financial needs for the year. We all know agriculture is suffering from poor economic conditions – and the outlook for many sectors of the industry doesn’t look real promising. A variety of factors are forcing lenders to be more critical of loan applications. Let’s review a few things you can do to assist your lender as they review your loan application.

Financial Forms:

A year-end Balance Sheet is very helpful and provides a snapshot of the assets, liabilities, and net worth of your farm. Get in the habit of completing one each year for your lender to keep on file and for your own reference so you can monitor changes over time. You can get a blank balance sheet from your lender or access one here:

Cost of Production:

Know your cost of production. What does it cost you to produce 100 pounds of milk? What is your per acre or per ton cost to grow and harvest crops? If you need assistance with determining these, please see: for copies of Ohio State University Extension production budgets and for copies of the Ohio Farm Business Summaries.


Why are you requesting money from your lender? What is your goal(s)? What are you hoping to accomplish with the money you are requesting? Will you use the money as an operating loan to plant your crops? Are you planning an expansion? Are you wanting to consolidate existing debt? Regardless of the reason, your lender is going to need to know how you plan to repay the loan. A budget and cash flow projections will help everyone understand how the money will be used and how it will be repaid. Research has proven that you are more likely to accomplish your goals if they are written. Be sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timed (SMART). See this Ohio State University Extension fact sheet for information about writing SMART goals:

Tax Returns:

Your lender may request copies of your tax returns. Make sure you categorize income and expenses the same way each year. This allows the lender to compare apples-to-apples when evaluating your historic income and expenses. Also, if you pre-pay expenses or defer income, make sure your lender is aware of this so they can make accrual adjustments.


Communication with your lender is critical. Your lender is interested in understanding your farm, knowing how you are progressing, and what your plans are for the short and long-term. Invite your lender to visit the farm for a tour, a ride in the tractor, or to assist with milking!

Business Plan:

Every lender would love to see each client have a written business plan. A business plan is made up of five parts: Executive Summary, Description, Operations, Marketing Plan, and Financial Plan. The University of Minnesota Extension has a template available at the following site:

Summary: The items discussed in this article are ones you can control. Focus on these areas and make adjustments accordingly to make improvements. Contact your local Extension Educator or the Ohio State University Extension Farm Profitability Program for assistance.


The Basics of a Farm Balance Sheet, OSU Extension Fact Sheet ANR-64, available at:

Seven Tips for a Strong Marketing Plan, American Bankers Association, available at:

Tips for Working with Your Lender, University of Minnesota Extension, available at:

Learn to Talk Like Your Banker, Greg Meyer, OSU Extension, Warren County

(Originally published in Farm and Dairy, January 24, 2019)




Learn How The New Tax Law Will Affect Your 2018 Farm Return


Farmers and farmland owners are invited to register for a two-hour webinar that focuses on the new tax law as it relates to farm returns. The webinar is being hosted by OSU Extension’s Income Tax School Department on Monday, January 7, from 10:00 – noon.

General taxpayer topics to be covered include the new modified tax brackets, standard deductions, elimination of the personal exemption, elimination or change of many Schedule A deductions, the increase in the Child Tax Credit, creation of the new Dependent Credit and an update on education provisions.

Specific farm business and farmland owner-related topics that will be covered:

  • Farm equipment depreciation changes
  • Changes to First Year Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
  • Changes to Net Operating Losses
  • Changes to Like Kind Exchanges (farm machinery and equipment no longer are eligible for this provision – this is a significant change)
  • Estate and gift tax update
  • New C-Corporation Tax Rates
  • New Qualified Business Income Deduction (this will impact most farm businesses!)
  • Section 199A Deduction for sales to cooperatives (slightly different from the QBI Deduction for other farm business income and more complex)
  • Which farmland lease income will qualify for the QBI Deduction
  • Tax strategies to consider under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Instructors will be OSU Extension Educators Chris Bruynis and David Marrison, along with Barry Ward, Tax School Director. The cost to attend is $35. To register, visit For questions, contact Julie Strawser at or 614-292-2433.



“Improving Your Grain Marketing Plan” Workshops to be Held

Chris Bruynis, Ag & NR Extension Educator


Do you want to do a better job of pricing your corn and soybeans? Is grain marketing a confusing and daunting task? If so, this workshop is for you!

Ohio State University Extension is offering a three-session workshop focused on helping farmers become better grain marketers. Participants will have a better understanding of risk, marketing tools, and the development of written marketing plans. These workshops are funded through a North Central Risk Management Education Grant and being offered in six locations throughout Ohio. Additional information can be found at

Participants will learn to identify their personal risk tolerance and their farm’s financial risk capacity. Both of these are important in developing a successful grain marketing plan. Participants will also learn how crop insurance products effect marketing decisions and effect risk capacity. Grain marketing consists of understanding and managing many pieces of information. Information on the different grain marketing contracts will be presented. These include basis, hedging, cash, futures, and option contracts. Additionally, participants will be provided an example of a grain marketing plan and the fundamental principles that should be included.

The courses will be offered on three consecutive Tuesdays, two locations each time. Programs in Paulding and Henry Counties will start January 8, 2019. The Fayette and Champaign County programs will commence on January 22, 2019. The final programs will be in Miami and Darke Counties starting on January 29, 2019. For specific times and locations, as well as program registration instruction, go to and select the county you plan to attend. Cost for the program is $45.00 for the first registration and $60.00 for two registrations from the same farm business. Included in registration are the workshop notebook and meals/refreshments (depending on location).

To request additional information or have questions answered, contact Amanda Bennett at 937-440-3945 or at


Farm Tax Update to Be Held on January 17 in New Philadelphia, Ohio

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator

OSU Extension in Tuscarawas County is pleased to be offering a Farm Tax Update on Thursday, January 17 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. p.m. at the OSU Extension office, 419 16th St. SW, New Philadelphia, Ohio.  OSU Extension Educator David Marrison will share details on the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017” and its impact on farm taxes.  It is not business as usual in the world of farm taxes.  Learn more about the changes to farm machinery depreciation, like-kind exchanges, and more about the new Section 199A deduction for Qualified Business Income.  This program is free & open to the public!  However, courtesy reservations are requested so program materials can be prepared. Call the Tuscarawas County Extension office at 330-339-2337 to RSVP or for more information.



Farm Succession Workshop to Be Held in Celina

by: Denny Riethman, Extension Educator

A workshop on farm transition and succession will be held 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. January 30, 2019, at Romer’s Catering at Westlake, 1100 S. Main St., Celina. This event is designed to help families develop a succession plan for their farm business, learn ways to transfer management skills and the farm’s business assets from one generation to the next and learn how to have conversations about the future of one’s farm. Attendees are encouraged to bring members from each generation to the workshop. Featured speakers will include David Marrison, OSU associate professor; extension educator, attorney Robert Moore with Wright & Moore Law Co., Peggy Hall, OSU assistant professor and an attorney in agricultural law; and Denny Riethman, Mercer County OSU Extension educator. Registration is limited to the first 60 people. The cost is $20 per person and $30 per couple. The registration deadline is January 23. Contact the Mercer County OSU Extension Office at 419-586-2179 to register.

Topics covered during the workshop will include:

 • key questions to answer when planning for the future of the family farm business.  

• family communication in the farm-transition process.

• analyzing the family farm business/keeping the business competitive into the future. 

• providing income for multiple generations.

 • developing the next generation of farm managers

• farm succession with multiple offspring and family members: fair versus equal.

• retirement strategies.

• preparing for the unexpected.

• strategies to get farm and family affairs in order.

• analyzing risk in today’s world.

• long-term health-care issues and costs.

• farm business structures and their role in estate and transition planning.

• estate and transfer strategies.

• buy/sell agreements.

• trusts and life insurance.

• tax implications of estate and transition planning.

• information needed by an attorney



2019 Wayne County Farm Financial Management School

by Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator-Wayne County

Many sectors of the commercial agriculture economy are facing very thin to non-existent profit margins.  In these situations, knowing your financial position and the cost of production of various enterprises is critical to making financial decisions and charting a course for the future.

A 6-evening farm financial management school (FFMS) is scheduled for Wednesday evenings in January and February in Wayne County beginning the evening of January 16 and running consecutively through February 20.  The 2019 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 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 2019 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 up to three 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 by Friday, January 11.  A program flyer that includes a registration form is available on-line at

Depreciation of Farm Assets under the 2017 Tax Law

by Chris Zoller, Extension Educator

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) revised some differences between farm and non-farm assets and added other depreciation rules that will have a significant impact when calculating net farm income.

Revised Recovery Period for Farm Machinery & Equipment

Under the TCJA, new farm equipment and machinery placed in service after December 31, 2017, is classified as 5-year MACRS property.  Previously, machinery and equipment was classified as 7-year MACRS property.  These assets must be used in a farming business.  Equipment used in contract harvesting of a crop by another tax payer is not included in the business of farming.

Used equipment is still classified as 7-year MACRS property.  The Alternative Depreciation System (ADS) for all farm machinery and equipment, new and used, is 10 years.  Grain bins and fences are still 7-year MACRS property with a 10-year ADS life.

Farm Equipment Purchase Example:

Bill Brown purchased a new combine on September 28, 2017.  In May 2018, he purchased a new tractor and used tillage tool.  In August 2018, Bill constructed a new fence and in September he constructed a new grain bin.  These assets are MACRS recovery classes:

New combine (2017)                                    7-year

New tractor (2018)                                5-year

Used tillage tool                                             7-year

Fence (2018)                                                   7-year

Grain bin (2018)                                             7-year

New Rules for Depreciation Methods

Assets placed in service after December 31, 2017, have depreciation rates increased to 200% Declining Balance (DB) for those farm assets in the 3, 5, 7, and 10-year MACRS recovery classes.  Assets in the 15 and 20-year MACRS recovery classes are still limited to a maximum of 150% DB.  Residential rental property and nonresidential real property continue to be limited to Straight Line (SL) depreciation.

Farm Equipment Depreciation Example:

Bill Brown paid $430,000 in 2017 for the new combine.  He elected out of bonus depreciation and did not elect any Section 179 expense deduction.  The half-year convention applies.  Bill depreciates the combine over a 7-year MACRS recovery class using the 150% DB method.  His depreciation is:

[($430,000/7) x 0.5 x 150%] = $46,071

What is the difference if Bill waited until 2018 to make the combine purchase?

[($430,000/5) x 200%) = $86,000

$86,000 – $46,071 = $39,929 more than if purchased in 2017

Excess Depreciation

The increase in the rate of depreciation, combined with the shorter MACRS recovery class for new farm equipment and machinery, may generate more depreciation than needed.  Taxpayers may choose to use the Straight Line (SL) method of depreciation and may also elect to use the 150% method.  Both elections are made on a class-by-class basis each year.  To further reduce the amount of depreciation, you may elect to use the ADS, which calculates depreciation using the SL method and lengthens the recovery period.


For additional information about this topic, contact your tax advisor or visit: