The Status and Changing Face of Ohio Agriculture

by: Ani Katchova, Associate Professor and Farm Income Enhancement Chair, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

Farmers deal with many stressors, most of which are out of their control: extreme weather, market changes, COVID-19, trade wars, fluctuating market prices, and environmental challenges. In 2019 particularly, a harsh winter followed by high spring and early summer rainfall led to damaged hay fields, delays in the planting of corn and soybean crops, and an inability to harvest early season crops in a timely manner. Tariffs on exported farm products led to declines in soybean and corn prices and contributed to uncertainty about the long-term security of global trade relationships. Growing attention to harmful algal blooms and other water quality challenges has increased pressure on farmers to reduce nutrient runoff from farm fields. Is this an unprecedented time in history, or have farmers experienced similar levels of stress in the past? It’s helpful to place current events in the context of long-term trends. Researchers from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences explored 20 years of data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture and multiple public sources to understand long-term trends in Ohio. Here’s what they discovered.

https://aede.osu.edu/sites/aede/files/publication_files/AgCensus_Ebook_V5.pdf

 

Farm Office Live Continues!

by: Barry Ward, David Marrison, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker – Ohio State University Extension

“Farm Office Live” continues this winter as an opportunity for you to get the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis and other related issues from faculty and educators with the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Each Farm Office Live begins with presentations on select ag law and farm management topics from our specialists followed by open discussions and a Q&A session. Viewers can attend “Farm Office Live” online each month on Wednesday evening or Friday morning, or can catch a recording of each program.

The full slate of offerings remaining for this winter are:

  • March 10th 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • March 12th 10:00 – 11:30 am
  • April 7th 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • April 9th 10:00 – 11:30 am

Topics to be addressed in March include:

  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
  • Proposed Stimulus Legislation
  • General Legislative Update
  • Ohio Farm Business Analysis – A Look at Crops
  • Crop Budget & Rental Rates

To register or view past recordings, visit https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelive

For more information or to submit a topic for discussion, email Julie Strawser at strawser.35@osu.edu or call the farm office at 614-292-2433. We look forward to you joining us!

Lady Landowners Leaving a Legacy Series 

by: Amanda Douridas and Amanda Bennett, OSU Extension

Land is an expensive and important investment that is often handed down through generations. As such, it should be cared for and maintained to remain profitable for future generations.

Almost half of landowners in Ohio are women. OSU Extension in Champaign and Miami Counties are offering a series designed to help female 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.

The series runs every Friday, February 26 through March 26 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and will be a blend of in-person and virtual sessions. It is $50 for the series. If you are only able to attend a couple of session, it is $10 per session but there is a lot of value in getting to know other participants in the series and talking with them each week. Registration can be found at go.osu.edu/legacy2021. For more information, please contact Amanda Douridas at Douridas.9@osu.edu or 937-772-6012. Registration deadline is February 24. The detailed agenda can be found at

https://miami.osu.edu/events/lady-landowners-leaving-legacy.

 

Whole Farm Planning – Take Time to Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

By David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator

We have all heard the saying “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.”  Planning is one of the most important aspects of managing any business. This is especially true for farms and agribusinesses due to their complexity and the inherent uncertainties associated with agriculture.

OSU Extension encourages farm families to adopt a whole farm planning approach as they develop strategies for the future success of their business. The whole farm approach allows families to examine the internal structure of their business and then develop business, retirement, transition, estate, and investment plans that work in harmony.

The Farm Business– At the center of most farms and agricultural businesses is the family unit. Each family, individually and collectively, has its own history, values, and goals. It is valuable for the business to begin the planning process by reflecting on family and farm history. Valuable lessons can be learned by all the generations involved by examining past successes and disappointments. The underlying values and goals of the family unit and each individual should also be determined. While these values and goals oftentimes remain unspoken, they have a large impact on how family members treat each other and employees and make business decisions.

An analysis of the current state of the farm should also be conducted to determine the physical, fiscal and personnel status of the business. This analysis should also examine the operation’s efficiency and identify any available resources that are not currently being utilized. The farm’s profitability, business structure, operating procedures and employee management should also be examined. It is also helpful for the management team to identify the external influences that could impact the business in the future. These influences could include any governmental, political, economic, environmental, social or technological elements.

Developing the Five Essential Plans – Once a family has completed its internal analysis, family members can continue the planning process by developing business, retirement, transition, estate, and investment plans. A description of each planning area is given in the following paragraphs. It should be noted that each of these planning areas does not stand alone. Like spokes in a wheel, all will need to work in harmony to ensure the long-term viability of the business. Each area can positively or negatively affect the performance of the others. One example of this would be if investment planning has gone well, more assets will be available to help fund business operations or retirement needs. As plans are developed for each of the five areas, it is essential that the management team examine the effects that each has or could potentially have on the other plans.

 

 

Business Plan– A business must be profitable in the long run in order to exist. On most farms, the major planning that occurs is for the farm’s production practices. An example of this is deciding what variety of corn to plant or deciding what sires to use for breeding cows. However, planning for the success of the farm business should include much more.

A comprehensive business plan should be developed. This plan not only helps the family develop a plan of action for production and operation practices, but also helps develop plans for the financial, marketing, personnel and risk-management sectors of the business. One recommended method of evaluating the farm business is to conduct a SWOT analysis. This analysis examines the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in each of these areas. In short, the agricultural business plan presents a picture of the agricultural business or farm, where the business is going, and how it will get there.

Retirement Plan– No one expects to work forever. A strategy to help each business member meet his or her expected retirement needs should be developed. The two main retirement questions that should be addressed are how much money does each family member need for retirement and what will the farm’s obligation be to retirees? A variety of factors such as age at retirement, retirement housing and other retirement accounts held by the family will affect retirement needs. It is essential that retirement plans are established early for all members of the business. It is also important that the profitability of the farm be such that a family member can retire and not adversely affect the financial position of the business.

Transition Plan– The goal of transition planning is to ensure that the business has the resources to continue for many generations. Transition planning helps the family analyze its current situation, examine the future, and then develop a plan to transfer the business to the next generation. This includes planning not only for the transfer of assets but also managerial control. Members of the primary generation should invest time in transferring their knowledge to the next generation.

Estate Plan– Farm estate planning is determining how the farm assets, such as land, buildings, livestock, crops, investments, machinery, feed, savings, life insurance, personal possessions, and debts owed to or by the farm, will be distributed upon the death of the principal operator(s). The estate plan, in concert with the transition plan, helps to address how the off-farm heirs can be fairly treated without jeopardizing the future of the farming heir.

Investment Plan– The primary investments made by farm families are usually in land, machinery, and livestock. Farm operations may, however, wish to invest in such off-farm investments as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, life insurance, retirement homes, precious metals or disability insurance. These investments allow farm families to save for future education or retirement needs and allow for investment diversification. Factors that farmers will need to consider during investment planning include the rate of return, personal risk tolerance levels, tax considerations and the time horizon available for investing.

More Information- More information about the whole farm planning model can be found in a factsheet accessible at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-52

Farm families are encouraged to use this and other OSU Extension farm management resources, along with a competent attorney and accountant, to develop their plans.

Check out the Farm Office Website at http://farmoffice.osu.edu/ for additional farm management resources.

Farm Office Live Returns on February 10 & 12

by: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

Wondering what’s happening with CFAP, the Paycheck Protection Program, and Executive Orders?  So is the Farm Office team, and we’re ready to provide you with updates.  Join us this month for Farm Office Live on Wednesday, February 10 from 7–8:30 p.m. and again on Friday, February 12 from 10–11:30 a.m., when we’ll cover economic and legal issues affecting Ohio agriculture, including:

Status of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Update on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Tax credits information

Executive Orders that may impact agriculture

Legal update on small refinery exemptions

Farm Business Analysis program results

Legislative update

Your questions

To register for the free event, visit this link:  go.osu.edu/farmofficelive

 

 

OSU Extension to Host “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshop

By David Marrison, Peggy Hall and Jeffrey Lewis

Planning For Future Farm Webinar

OSU Extension will host a virtual three part “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” workshop on February 15, 22 and March 1, 2021 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. This workshop will challenge farm families to actively plan for the future of the farm business. This workshop is designed to help farm families learn strategies and tools to successfully create a succession and estate plan that helps you transfer your farm’s ownership, management, and assets to the next generation. Learn how to have the crucial conversations about the future of your farm.

Topics discussed during this series include: Developing Goals for Estate and Succession; Planning for the Transition of Control; Planning for the Unexpected; Communication and Conflict Management during Farm Transfer; Legal Tools & Strategies; Developing Your Team; Getting Affairs in Order; and Selecting an Attorney

This workshop will be taught by members of the OSU Farm Office Team featuring Peggy Hall & Jeffrey Lewis, Attorneys from OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program and David Marrison, Extension Educator for Coshocton County.

Because of its virtual nature, you can invite your parents, children, and/or grandchildren (regardless of where they live in Ohio or across the United States) to join you as you develop a plan for the future of your family farm.

Pre-registration is required as one packet of program materials will be mailed to participating families. Electronic copies of the course materials will also be available to all participants. The registration fee is $40 per farm family.  The registration deadline is February 10, 2021. More information and on-line registration can be obtained at go.osu.edu/farmsuccession

For more information about this webinar contact David Marrison at the Coshocton County Extension office at 740-622-2265 or by email at marrison.2@osu.edu.

FARM OFFICE LIVE WINTER EDITION

by: Barry Ward, David Marrison, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker – Ohio State University Extension

“Farm Office Live” returns virtually this winter as an opportunity for you to get the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis and other related issues from faculty and educators with the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Each Farm Office Live will start off with presentations on select ag law and farm management topics from our experts and then we’ll open it up for questions from attendees on other topics of interest.  Viewers can attend “Farm Office Live” online each month on Wednesday evening or Friday morning, or can catch a recording of each program. The full slate of offerings for this winter:

January 13th 7:00 – 8:30 pm

January 15th 10:00 – 11:30 am

February 10th 7:00 – 8:30 pm

February 12th 10:00 – 11:30 am

March 10th 7:00 – 8:30 pm

March 12th 10:00 – 11:30 am

April 7th 7:00 – 8:30 pm

April 9th 10:00 – 11:30 am

Topics to be addressed this winter include:

  • New COVID Related Legislation – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
  • Outlook on Crop Input Costs and Profit Margins
  • Outlook on Cropland Values and Cash Rents
  • Outlook on Interest Rates
  • Tax Issues That May Impact Farm Businesses
  • Legal trends for 2021
  • Legislative updates
  • Farm business management and analysis updates
  • Farm succession & estate planning updates

Who’s on the Farm Office Team?  Our team features OSU experts ready to help you manage your farm office:

  • Peggy Kirk Hall — agricultural law
  • Dianne Shoemaker — farm business analysis and dairy production
  • David Marrison — farm management
  • Barry Ward — agricultural economics and tax

Register at  https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelive

We look forward to you joining us this winter!

Farm Management Needs Pulse Survey

The Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources program works to improve production and maximize profitability while promoting environmental stewardship.

We are reviewing our farm management resources and ask you to rank your “top 3” areas from the following list for your farm management needs and support wanted.

  1. Agricultural Finance: farm income, farm business analysis, financial management, budgeting, and investing, agricultural taxes, benchmarking, record keeping
  2. Agricultural Human Resources: farm succession planning, labor law and policy, human resource management/labor management, liability
  3. Agricultural Law: legal issues within the agriculture system and estate planning
  4. Agricultural Marketing: marketing and price analysis, commodity trading
  5. Agricultural Policy: Farm Bill/Agricultural Policy, environmental and resource policy agricultural trade
  6. Agricultural Production and Risk Management: risk evaluation and management, land use, crop and livestock production, crop and livestock insurance
  7. Agricultural Supply Chain Stability and New Market Access: stability of upstream and downstream supply chains during disruptions, identifying new markets
  8. Rural and Community Development: infrastructure – broadband access, community resources, health care, non-agricultural small business support; rural/urban interface

Please complete the survey at: https://go.osu.edu/FarmMgmtNeeds by December 18, 2020.

Thank you.

Farm Office Live Scheduled for October 7, 2020

Join the OSU Extension Farm Office team for discussions on the latest agricultural law and farm management news.  The next session will be held on October 7, 2020 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Farm Office Live will be back for a review of the latest on round two of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), 2020 crop enterprise budgets, new custom rates and Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents survey summary, Ohio’s COVID-19 immunity legislation, and other current issues in farm management.

Join our experts for quick presentations and Q & A.   Go to https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive  to register or view past webinars and PowerPoint slides.

 

OSU Income Tax Schools Summer Update Federal Income Tax & Financial Update Webinar

by: Barry Ward, Director, OSU income Tax Schools

 Significant tax related changes as a result of the new legislation passed in response COVID-19 have created some questions and perhaps consternation over the past few months as taxpayers and tax professionals wrestle with how these many changes may affect tax returns this year and beyond. OSU Income Tax Schools is offering a Summer Update to address these issues and other important information for tax professionals and taxpayers.

The OSU Income Tax Schools Summer Update: Federal Income Tax & Financial Update Webinar is scheduled for August 13th and will be presented as a webinar using the Zoom platform.

John Lawrence, CPA, will teach the course that offers continuing education credits for tax professionals and attorneys. Mr. Lawrence has taught at OSU Extension tax schools for over 20 years and developed this curriculum. He retired from the IRS in 2006 and has since run his own firm in Lawrence, Indiana and Wooster, Ohio.

Webinar Content:

New tax provisions implemented by the CARES Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how to account for them such as the new net operating loss rules, the payroll tax credit, etc. Paycheck Protection Program Loan Issues: loan applications, forgiveness issues and the IRS ruling on loan expenditures that are forgiven under PPP are not tax deductible and how to account for them in preparing a return, etc.

Dealing with the IRS in these difficult times.  Also, what it means to the practitioner as to “dos” and don’ts” regarding the announcement that beginning this summer the IRS will allow the electronic filing of amended returns.

The “Hot IRS Audit Issues – Pitfalls for S Corporations and Partnerships”.  Basis of entities as to the rules and related rulings, how to track basis in these entities, creation of basis where none had been computed in prior tax years, losses in excess of basis and when they are not allowed, definition of an excess distribution, taxation of excess distributions, distribution of appreciated property,  conversion of C corporations to S corporations – do and don’ts, computation of the Built-In Gains Tax, inference and imputation of a reasonable wage for purposes of the computation of the qualified business income deduction, etc.

Other rulings, developments, and cases.

Webinar personnel:

John Lawrence, CPA, John M. Lawrence & Associates: Instructor

Barry Ward, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools: Co-Host & Question Wrangler

Julie Strawser, Program Assistant, OSU Income Tax Schools: Co-Host and Webinar Manager

Details:

OSU Income Tax Schools Summer Update

Federal Income Tax & Financial Update Webinar

(Zoom Webinar)

August 13th, 2020: 10am – 3:30 (Lunch Break: Noon – 12:50pm)

Cost: $150

Registration information and link to the registration page can be found at:

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/osu-income-tax-schools

This workshop is designed to be interactive with questions from the audience encouraged.

Continuing education offered:

Accountancy Board of Ohio (5 hours)

IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (5 hours)

Continuing Legal Education, Ohio Supreme Court (4.5 hours)