Farmland Values and Cash Rental Rates In Ohio – Will Strong Markets Continue?

by: Barry Ward. Leader Production Business Management- The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Farmland prices have strengthened in recent months and there are a number of key fundamentals that will likely continue to support land values in the near term. High crop prices and margins along with last year’s COVID-19 related government payments and continued low interest rates have all contributed to stronger land markets. Higher production costs and recent minor decreases in crop prices may decrease profit margins this next year and take some strength out of the market but farmland will likely continue to see increases in value through the end of this year and into the next year. Similar factors have impacted cash rental markets in Ohio and will likely continue to pressure rental rates higher in the near term.

Recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) August Land Values 2021 Summary shows Ohio Farm Real Estate increasing 3.9% from 2020 to an average of $6,600 per acre in 2021. Ohio Cropland (bare cropland) showed an increase of 5.3% from 2020 to 2021. Average Cropland value is $6,800 per acre in 2021 according to this survey. Pastureland value in Ohio increased 2.1% to $3,440 per acre in 2021. Average cash rents in Ohio increased 2.6% in 2021 to $160 per acre according to this survey. The National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) also summarizes average cash rental rates by county available through Ohio NASS:

Each year, Ohio State University Extension (The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences) conducts an Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey. The Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents study was conducted from January through April in 2021. The opinion-based study surveyed professionals with a knowledge of Ohio’s cropland values and rental rates. Professionals surveyed were rural appraisers, agricultural lenders, professional farm managers, ag business professionals, OSU Extension educators, farmers, landowners, and Farm Service Agency personnel.

Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of southern and eastern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rents are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils, fertility, and drainage/irrigation capabilities are primary factors that most influence land productivity, crop return and variability of those crop returns.

Other factors impacting land values and cash rents may include field size and shape, field accessibility, market access, local market prices, field perimeter characteristics and potential for wildlife damage, buildings and grain storage, previous tillage system and crops, tolerant/resistant weed populations, USDA Program Yields, population density, and competition for cropland in a region. Factors specific to cash rental rates may include services provided by the operator and specific conditions of the lease.

According to the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey, cropland values in western Ohio are expected to increase in 2021 by 3.8 to 5.3 percent from 2020 to 2021 depending on the region and land class. Cash rents are expected to increase from 3.6 to 3.9 percent depending on the region and land class. For the complete survey research summary go to:

This survey and the results are reflective of the thoughts of survey participants in early 2021. Recent farmland sales would lead us to believe that farmland value has likely increased more than the 3.8 to 5.3 percent that the summary indicates for 2021. Continued high crop prices along with relatively strong predicted yields throughout much of Ohio have lent more strength to farmland markets in Ohio.

Others survey results in the eastern Corn Belt may be useful in gauging the magnitude of Ohio farmland value change thus far in 2021. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (7th Fed District) surveys ag lenders in their districts each quarter. (The 7th Fed District includes parts of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and all of Iowa.) Their survey in July showed the value of good farmland in their district had increased by 14 percent from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021. The mid-year survey conducted by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers of their members revealed an increase of 20% in farmland values from the beginning of 2021. While Ohio is not Illinois nor does Ohio sit in the 7th Fed District, these surveys may give some guidance on the level of change in farmland values in Ohio in 2021.






2021 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Slated for November 18-19

You’re invited to the premier forum for Ohio’s food and agriculture industry as the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics will be hosting the  2021 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference on November 18-19, 2021.

This conference will be held virtually over the course of two days, with experts covering issues important to producers, agribusinesses and elected officials. The schedule for this conference is:

Thursday, Nov. 18 (Day One) Schedule

  • (9 a.m. – 10 a.m): “Consumers, Shopping, and Local Food: What’s Next?” presented by AEDE Assistant Professor Dr. Zoë Plakias.
  • (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.): “Now Hiring: An Ohio Food & Agricultural Labor Update,” presented by AEDE Assistant Professor Dr. Margaret Jodlowski.
  • (1 p.m. – 2 p.m.): “US Trade Policy and Prospects for Agricultural Trade,” presented by AEDE Professor and Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy Dr. Ian Sheldon.

Friday, November 19 (Day Two) Schedule

  • (9 a.m. – 10 a.m): “Agricultural Commodity Markets: Trends and Prospects,” presented by AEDE Assistant Professor Dr. Seungki Lee.
  • (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.): “Ag Finance Recovery,” presented by Dr. Nathan Kauffman, Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • (1 p.m. – 2 p.m.): “A Conversation about the Next US Farm Bill, ” presented by Assistant Professor Jonathan Coppess, J.D., University of Illinois

Registration can be made at:





USDA October Dairy Outlook Report

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County

The United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) released its latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook on October 18, 2021.  The complete report is available here:  Highlights of the dairy section of the report are provided in this article.

Milk Production

The latest report showed August milk production in the U.S. at 18.8 billion pounds in August 2021, a 1.1 percent increase over August 2020.  Milk per cow was 1,987 pounds, a decline of one pound compared to August 2020.  Heavy culling resulted in 19,000 less dairy cows in August compared to July.  In fact, August was the third month milk cow numbers declined from the previous month.

What’s are the Contributing Factors?

While the percentage of milk cows in drought areas has declined to 40 percent for the week of October 5th, over 60 percent of the alfalfa hay areas have been in drought since mid-June.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the summer of 2021 was the hottest on record, resulting in reduced milk production.

There is often a several month lag in milk production response to milk and input prices.  Feed prices have been relatively high in recent months compared to milk prices.

Higher labor and fuel costs are also contributing factors.  The Farm Labor report released by USDA NASS on May 26 reported average hourly rates for farm workers increased six percent in April 2021 compared to April 2020.

In the first six months of 2021, NASS reported farmers paid less for fuel compared to the same period in 2020.  However, in July the index was 3.1 higher than July 2020, and in August the index was 7.7 above the same month in 2020.

Feed Price Outlook

The most recent WASDE report has the 2021-2022 season average corn price at $5.45 per bushel.  Soybean meal for 2021-2022 is projected at $325 per ton, a $35 reduction from the previous month.

Using the five-state weighted average, the report put premium alfalfa hay at $238 per ton.  This is $6 higher than July 2021 and $46 higher than August 2020.

2021 Dairy Forecast

Based on declining milk cow numbers, increased feed costs, and higher culling rates, USDA-ERS has revised to 9.475 million the average number of head of dairy cows for 2021, 10,000 less than the forecast from the previous month.

Reduced milk production is expected for the final two quarters of 2021.  Average milk production per cow is reduced by 50 pounds per cow from the previous month and is projected to be 23,960 pounds per year.  Total milk production for 2021 is forecast at 227 billion pounds, 0.8 billion pounds below the July forecast.

Class 2021 Forecast Price
III $17.05/cwt.
IV $15.70/cwt.
All Milk $18.45/cwt.

2022 Dairy Forecast

It is expected that milk cow numbers will continue their decline into the first quarter of 2022.  As a result, USDA-ERS is projecting 9.45 million head, a reduction of 30,000 from the previous month’s forecast.  Milk production per cow has been lowered by 25 pounds from the previous month’s estimate to 24,350 pounds per cow.

Class 2022 Forecast Price
III $17.10/cwt.
IV $17.15/cwt.
All Milk $19.20/cwt.


Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, USDA Economic Research Service, October 18, 2021. Available at:

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE), USDA, October 12, 2021.  Available at:


Questions about the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Model of Direct Marketing? Attend a Virtual Mini-Conference October 25, 2021

by: Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educator

There are many options when it comes to direct marketing farm-raised products. One of those option is using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model whereby customers buy a weekly ‘subscription’ of fresh produce, meat, eggs, etc. If you have interest in learning more about this model of direct marketing, you may consider attending the virtual mini-conference Thinking Inside the Box: Growing CSA’s Across the Tri-State Region.

The mini-conference will take place on Monday, October 25, 2021 from 8:30 am – 12:00 noon EST on Zoom.  This conference is free but registration is required to receive the conference link (registration: For questions, contact Christie Welch or Anna Adams The deadline for registration is October 22, 2021.

Breakout room topics will include starting a CSA, scaling up your CSA, implied warranty (legal) information, and choosing an online platform to manage your CSA. Speakers will include OSU Extension Specialists and CSA farmers from across the Tri-state region. A keynote session entitled You Have What It Takes: Grit, Growth, and Gumption on the Small Farm will feature Dan & Julie Perkins of Good Earth Farm in Indiana.

Farm Office Live Webinar Slated for October 13 & 15

OSU Extension is pleased that two Farm Office Live webinars will be held this week.  Join OSU Extension Faculty and Staff as we discuss current farm management and legislation issues. Sessions will be held on Wednesday, October 13 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Friday, October 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Details and registration link are available at  Below are this week’s topics:

  • Introducing…..Seungki Lee,  new Ag Economist
  • Federal Legislative Update
  • Farm Tax Implications from Federal Legislative Proposals
  • State Legislative Update
  • Ohio Farm Business Analysis 2020: Costs & returns for corn, soybeans and wheat
  • Crop Costs and Margins for 2022
  • Farm Office Program Updates
  • Panel Discussion: Considerations for End of Year Tax Planning with returning Special Guest Robert Moore, Esq.
  • Q&A

We hope to see you at one of these virtual sessions!

Dry Weather Accelerates Rapid Decline of Soybean Harvest Moistures. What Are the Economic Ramifications?

by: Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator

After a rainy Farm Science Review, farmers took to the fields last week to begin harvest of corn and soybeans. Reports around the state indicate a soybean crop that is surprisingly dry. August weather conditions played a role in the rapid dry down of both corn and soybeans. Extension educators from around the state reported in this week’s Crop Observation Recommendation Network call and social media posted cab videos, confirm very good soybean yields and harvest moistures under 10% in many incidences.

With these extremely dry crop conditions farmers can experience economic losses during harvest. The first and most obvious loss is what’s left in the field from Gathering Unit Loss, by way of shattering of the soybean pods, low pod set beans that remain attached to stubble, and soybeans that pass through the combine through cylinder and separation loss. This can range anywhere from 5% to 20% depending upon the year. Reducing this as little as 3% to 4% can make a difference to the bottom line. 1

When a farmer delivers soybeans to the elevator, if the moisture is higher than 13% there is a penalty in the form of moisture shrink, that deducts from the final bushel calculation. So, what is the penalty for delivering soybeans that are too dry? That simply is the lost dry matter (bushels) that was sacrificed by not harvesting earlier and capturing that moisture.

If I could show you how to gain an extra profit of $23.98 per acre by harvesting soybeans at 13% instead of 10% with 60-bushel beans and a cash price of $12.00 would you read the following article from the Crop Watch Newsletter from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? This is a very well written article to help you gather more beans from the field as well as deliver more bushels to the elevator by managing harvest moisture.

Harvest Soybeans At 13% Moisture Nebraska Copwatch Newsletter by Thomas Dorn, Extension Educator.

1. Beasley, E.O. Reduce Soybean Harvest Loss. North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Ag Lender Seminars offered in October

By Wm. Bruce Clevenger, Amanda Douridas, Ken Ford, Haley Zynda, Extension Educators

Ohio State University Extension has scheduled four seminars in Ohio for Agricultural Lenders. The dates are Tuesday, October 19th in Ottawa, Ohio; Thursday, October 21 in Urbana, Ohio; Thursday, October 21 in Washington Court House, OH, and Monday, October 25th in Wooster, OH.

These seminars are excellent professional development 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.

2021 Topics and Speakers by Location

Ottawa, OH – October 19th, Putnam Co. Educational Service Center, 124 Putman Parkway, Ottawa, OH  45875

  • Farm Service Agency – Loan Program Update, Kurt Leber, Northwest Ohio FSA, District Director, Farm Loan & Farm Program
  • Examining Land Values, Rents, Crop Input Costs & Margins & Tax Implications, Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension
  • Behind the Meter Solar Energy on-Farm, Eric Romich, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Energy Education
  • Solar Leasing Farmland, Eric Romich, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Energy Education
  • Carbon Market, Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources – Pickaway County
  • Machinery Replacement Strategies & Investment in Precision Ag, Terry W. Griffin, Associate Professor, Department of Ag Economics at Kansas State University.

Urbana, OH – October 21st, Champaign Co. Community Center Auditorium, 1512 South US Highway 68, Urbana, OH  43078

  • FSA Update, Shari Deao, Champaign County Director, Farm Service Agency
  • Examining Land Values, Rents, Crop Input Costs & Margins – 2022, Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management
  • Supply Chain Issues and What it Means for Farmers, Dr. John Fulton, Professor, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • Value of Timber to Landowners, Dr. Andy Londo, Professor of Silviculture and Extension Specialist, The Ohio State University
  • Carbon Markets, Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator, Pickaway County

Washington Court House, OH – October 21st, Fayette County Agricultural Center, 1415 US Hwy 22 SW, Washington Court House, OH  43160

  • FSA Update, Katie Maust, Fayette County Director, Farm Service Agency
  • Value of Timber to Landowners, Dr. Andy Londo, Professor of Silviculture and Extension Specialist, The Ohio State University
  • Carbon Markets, Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Pickaway County
  • Examining Land Values, Rents, Crop Input Costs & Margins – 2022, Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension
  • Supply Chain Issues and What it Means for Farmers, John Fulton, Professor, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University

Wooster, OH – October 25th, – Buckeye Agricultural Museum, 877 West Old Lincoln Way, Wooster, OH  44691

  • Ag Law Update, Peggy Kirk Hall, OSU Ag Law Team
  • Meter Solar Energy on-Farm, Eric Romich, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Energy Education
  • Examining Land Values, Rents, Crop Input Costs & Margins & Tax Implications, Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension
  • Staying Profitable in Dairy, Dianne Shoemaker, OSU Extension Dairy Economics Filed Specialist
  • Carbon Markets, Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Pickaway County

The registration cost to attend one of the Ag Lender Seminars is $65.00 and the registration deadline is one week prior to the seminar you are attending. Payments can be made by check by mail or by credit card (by phone only to 419-782-4771). Registration forms are available online at:

Registration questions can be directed to OSU Extension Defiance County 419-782-4771 or email

OSU Extension conducts the seminars from input from Ag Lenders, County Extension Educators and Extension Specialists.  The seminars are designed to provide information that Ag Lenders will use directly with their customers, indirectly within the lending industry, and as professional development for current issues and trends in production agriculture.  OSU Extension has been offering Ag Lenders seminars for nearly 30 years.

OSU Income Tax Schools 2021 Two-Day Tax Schools for Tax Practitioners & Agricultural & Natural Resources Income Tax Issues Webinar

by: Barry Ward & Julie Strawser, OSU Income Tax Schools

Dealing with the tax provisions of the COVID-related legislation for both individuals and businesses are among the topics to be discussed during the upcoming Tax School workshop series offered throughout Ohio in November and December.

The annual series is designed to help tax preparers 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 2021 tax returns.

OSU Income Tax Schools are intermediate-level courses that focus on interpreting tax regulations and changes in tax law to help tax preparers, accountants, financial planners and attorneys advise their clients. The schools offer continuing education credit for certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys, annual filing season preparers and certified financial planners.

Attendees also receive a class workbook that alone is an extremely valuable reference as it offers over 600 pages of material including helpful tables and examples that will be valuable to practitioners. Summaries of the chapters in this year’s workbook can be viewed at this site:

A sample chapter from a past workbook can be found at:

This year, OSU Income Tax Schools will offer both in-person schools and an online virtual school presented over the course of four afternoons.

In-person schools:

November 1-2, Presidential Banquet Center, Kettering/Dayton

November 3-4, Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, Gibsonburg/Fremont

November 17-18, Ashland University John C. Meyer Convocation Center, Ashland

November 22-23, Christopher Conference Center, Chillicothe

November 29-30, Zane State/Ohio University Zanesville Campus, Zanesville

December 2-3, Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, OSU Campus, Columbus

December 6-7, Hartville Kitchen, Hartville

Virtual On-Line School presented via Zoom:

November 8, 12, 15 & 19, 12:30 – 4:45 p.m.

Register two weeks prior to the school date and receive the two-day tax school early-bird registration fee of $400.  This includes all materials, lunches and refreshments. The deadline to enroll is 10 business days prior to the date of each school. After the school deadline, the fee increases to $450.

Additionally, the 2022 RIA Federal Tax Handbook is available to purchase by participants for a discounted fee of $50 each. Registration information and the online registration portal can be found online at:

In addition to the tax schools, the program offers a separate, two-hour ethics webinar that will broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. The webinar is $25 for school attendees and $50 for non-attendees and is approved by the IRS and the Ohio Accountancy Board for continuing education credit.

A webinar on Ag Tax Issues will be held Monday, Dec. 13 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

If you are a tax practitioner that represents farmers or rural landowners or are a farmer or farmland owner that prepares your own taxes, this five-hour webinar is for you. It will focus on key topics and new legislation related specifically to those income tax returns.

Registration, which includes the Ag Tax Issues workbook, is $150 if registered at least two weeks prior to the webinar. After November 29, registration is $200. Register by mail or on-line at

Participants may contact Ward at 614-688-3959, or Julie Strawser 614-292-2433, for more information.

Ohio Crop Enterprise Budgets – Projected Returns for 2022

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Each year, preliminary crop enterprise budgets are unveiled at the Farm Science Review which reveals our best estimates for costs and returns for the main row crops in Ohio for the upcoming year. With continued high crop prices projected for 2022 there is some optimism, however, higher costs will likely decrease profit margins to levels lower than 2021 margins.

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be higher compared to last year with higher fertilizer, seed, chemical, fuel, machinery and repair costs leading the way.

Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2022 are projected to range from $477 to $583 per acre depending on land productivity. Variable costs for 2022 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $266 to $302 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2022 are projected to range from $213 to $262 per acre. These are increases over last year of 19%, 18%, and 25% for corn, soybeans and wheat, respectively.

If the current grain prices and costs endure through next year, profit margins will likely be positive although higher costs may create losses for some producers. Grain prices currently used as assumptions in the 2022 crop enterprise budgets are $4.80/bushel for corn, $12.20/bushel for soybeans and $6.90/bushel for wheat. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $226 to $472 per acre for corn and $288 to $529 per acre for soybeans. Projected returns above variable costs for wheat range from $191 to $344 per acre.

Return to Land is a measure calculated to assist in land rental and purchase decision making. The measure is calculated by starting with total receipts or revenue from the crop and subtracting all expenses except the land expense. Returns to Land for Ohio corn (Total receipts minus total costs except land cost) are projected to range from $54 to $283 per acre in 2022 depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for Ohio soybeans are expected to range from $166 to $393 per acre depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for wheat (not including straw or double-crop returns) are projected to range from $99 per acre to $242 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line corn production in Ohio are estimated to be $919 per acre. This includes all variable costs as well as fixed costs (or overhead if you prefer) including machinery, labor, management and land costs. Fixed machinery costs of $78 per acre include depreciation and other overhead. A land charge of $207 per acre is based on data from the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey Summary. Labor and management costs combined are calculated at $82 per acre. Details of budget assumptions and numbers can be found in footnotes included in each budget.

Total costs projected for trend line soybean production in Ohio are estimated to be $619 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs: $62 per acre, land charge: $207 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $53 per acre.)

Total costs projected for trend line wheat production in Ohio are estimated to be $541 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs: $36 per acre, land charge: $207 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $48 per acre.)

Current budget analyses indicates favorable returns for soybeans compared to corn or wheat but crop price change, harvest yields and other factors through fall and into summer of next year may change this outcome. These projections are based on OSU Extension Ohio Crop Enterprise Budgets. Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2022 have been completed and posted to the Farm Office website:

In addition to projected row crop budgets for 2022, there are newly updated forage budgets posted to our Farm Office site. These include Alfalfa Hay, Alfalfa Haylage and Corn Silage. Also recently updated are two Market Beef Budgets which include Market Beef Budget (Self-Fed) and Market Beef Budget (Bunk-Fed).




Inaugural Director for the Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI) Sought

The Ohio State University Department of Extension, and the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) together are pleased to announce that they are seeking an innovative and transformative inaugural Director for the new Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI).  The FFMPI Director will be appointed as an Associate Professor or Professor in the Department of Extension (75%), with the consideration of a joint teaching and/or applied research appointment in AEDE (not to exceed 25%) or other relevant college at The Ohio State University.

Under the direction of the Associate Dean and Director for Ohio State University Extension (OSUE) in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), in collaboration with the Chair of AEDE, the FFMPI Director will serve as the administrative head of the institute.

The Director will be responsible for leading, developing, and maintaining robust high-quality research, teaching, and Extension programs to find solutions to the most critical farm management and agricultural policy issues facing Ohio producers; including, but not limited to, issues of marketing, finance, risk management, supply chain, human resources, and agricultural policy.

For more information or for the full job description, please follow the link below:–Farm-Financial-Management-and-Policy-Institute–FFMPI–Associate-Professor-Professor-in-the-Department-of-Extension-and-Department-of-Agricultural—Environmental–and-Development-Economics_R27629-1


Or visit:   Requisition# R27629