Estimates for Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Payments for Program Year 2017

by: Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics- The Ohio State University

Click Here to Access the Entire Article With Figures/Tables

The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 2014 ushered in two programs to the safety net for producers in Ohio and across the country: Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC0-CO) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Both programs serve as shallow loss programs protecting against large variations in revenue and price respectively. The two programs operate differently and should not be compared as substitute programs. However, producers were allowed a one time choice at the beginning of the farm bill to enroll each commodity in either ARC-CO or PLC. Participation rates in Ohio largely followed the national participation rates for corn and soybeans but differed for wheat. The national participation rate for wheat favored PLC, whereas in Ohio, producers favored heavily toward ARC-CO. Nonetheless there are producers in Ohio that are enrolled in ARC-CO and PLC for corn, soybeans, and wheat. This report looks toward the end of the marketing year to estimate county level payments for ARC-CO and PLC in Ohio. As a reminder, payments finalized in October 2018 will be for program year 2017. This information will be important for producers and lenders wishing to estimate their autumn cash flow.

In October of 2017, the majority of producers in Ohio received some form of commodity program payment for the program year 2016. In fact, every county across Ohio triggered a corn ARC-CO payment except Ashtabula county. Soybean ARC-CO payments for Ohio in program year 2016 were smaller and sparce compared to corn.  The majority of Ohio counties triggered a wheat ARC-CO payment, but smaller base acres of wheat exist. In program year 2017, it is estimated fourteen counties triggered corn payments while nearly half triggered soybean payments and two thirds triggered wheat payments.

Data Source and Calculation:

ARC-CO payments are based on a formula separated into two parts: historical revenue benchmark and actual year revenue. The historical revenue benchmark is the Olympic average of yields and prices for the five previous cropping years at 86% of the total. The actual year revenue is the current year yields multiplied by the Marketing Year Average (MYA) price for each commodity. In the case where the current year revenue falls below the historical revenue benchmark, a payment is triggered up to a 10% cap. If the current year revenue is higher than historical revenue then no payment is triggered.

As a reminder both ARC-CO and PLC payments are calculated from a formula using Farm Service Agency (FSA) yields and marketing year average prices. The estimations for this report use National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) yields for 2017. It should be noted that FSA yields are historically lower than NASS yields and should be treated as a lower bound for possible payments. NASS does not provide county yields for all counties, particially due to a low survey response rate. Counties with a NASS yield are included.

The corn and soybean marketing year is September 1st to August 31st meaning that final prices won’t be known for several more months. Using World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) average prices from February, MYA prices of $3.30 for corn, $9.30 for soybeans, and $4.60 for wheat are applied. As the marketing year progresses, it is likely that these estimates will flucuate with price. Higher price results in a smaller payment, similarily, a lower price results a larger payment.

MYA prices used in the historical calculation are as followed:

MYA 2012/13 MYA 2013/14 MYA 2014/15 MYA 2015/16 MYA 2016/17
Corn $6.89 $4.46 $3.70 $3.70 $3.70
Soybeans $14.40 $13.00 $10.10 $8.95 $9.50
Wheat $7.77 $6.87 $5.99 $5.50 $5.50

Years where the MYA price finished below the fixed reference price are replaced with the respective value and represented in bold above. Payments would be lower if the actual MYA price was used in the calculation. Soybeans have never finished below the reference price. Crossed out prices represent the highest and lowest values; these are thrown out in the Olympic average.

Established in the program payment calculations is a limit for payments on 85% of base acres. For simplicity purposes, these figures are adjusted to rates that represent the payment on 100% of enrolled acres. Because of the Budget Control Act of 2011, a 6.8% government sequester has been applied similar to payments made in program years 2014, 2015 and 2016. There is uncertainty as to how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will impact the sequestration level.

Corn Estimates

Expectations for program year 2017 corn ARC-CO payments will be smaller and rare across much of Ohio. This is largely because of the formula benchmark lowering each year as a result of lower prices. In previous years the historical five year revenue included high prices from MYA 2011/12 and 2012/13. Those have been worked out of the formula and the probability of triggering a payment has lowered. The 5 year olympic average price in 2016 was $4.79 compared to a price of $3.95 in 2017. Payment variations across counties happen due to variations in yields. Highland County triggers the largest estimated payment at $37 per acre as a result of a 2017 yield of 167 bu/acre compared to a 2016 yield of 176. The average payment in 2016 was $57 whereas in 2017 it is estimated at $12. Fewer counties are expected to receive a payment with a smaller average payment in comparison from 2016.

Soybean Estimates

In a complete reverse of 2016, the majority of counties in Ohio are expected to trigger a soybean ARC-CO payment due to smaller county soybean yields and a lower historical revenue benchmark. County yields across Ohio were closer to historical trend than previous years and the five year MYA prce was $10.86 in 2017 compared to $11.86 in 2016. Payments are projected larger in the northern part of the state where soybean acres are more prevalent. In 2016, 29 Ohio counties triggered an ARC-CO payment whereas in 2017, 49 counties are expected to trigger a payment.  The average payment in 2016 was $23, whereas in 2017 the average payment is projected at $19. In difference to corn more counties are expected to trigger a payment, but similar to corn the payments are expected to be smaller in 2017.

Wheat Estimates

Corn and soybeans represent the majority of commodity base acres in Ohio with over 4 million base acres of corn and over 3 million base acres of soybeans. Wheat has just over 800 thousand base acres enrolled in ARC-CO or PLC.  However, 82% of wheat base acres have ARC-CO enrollment. In 2016, all but four Ohio counties triggered an ARC-CO payment with an average payment rate of $32. In 2017, the estimated average payment rate is $24 in roughly two-thirds of Ohio’s counties. The lower rate is a product of a higher expected MYA price for the current year of 2017/18. The largest payments are located along the Indiana/Ohio boarder.

PLC Payments

PLC county payments estimates can be made at this time, but with less certainty. Largely because the PLC program has a higher focus on the current MYA price, which is being replaced with the WASDE estimated average price. In Ohio, 3% of soybean base acres, 7% of corn acres and 18% of wheat acres are enrolled in the PLC program. PLC calculation includes taking the positive difference of the fixed reference price minus the current MYA price. Fixed reference prices are as followed: corn- $3.70, soybeans- $8.40, and wheat- $5.50. Given current WASDE projections for a high, low and average MYA price, a PLC payment is triggered at all three levels for corn and wheat with differing levels of size while soybeans do not trigger a payment at any level. PLC payments are expected to be larger for corn than last year while smaller for wheat. Soybeans have never triggered a PLC payment since the creation of the farm bill.


Payments for ARC-CO and PLC will not be made until later in the calendar year, but for cash flow, planning an estimate can be seen as important. Estimates for program year 2017 include fewer counties in Ohio triggering a corn ARC-CO payment in 2017 compared to 2016 with a smaller average payment of $12. This is due to a lower historical benchmark after high prices were removed from the five year Olympic average. In relation to 2016, more Ohio counties are expected to trigger a soybean ARC-CO payment with a smaller per acre average payment rate. Yields closer to a historical trend line have created a higher probability of a soybean payment for half of Ohio’s 88 counties. Like corn, a similar story exists for wheat where fewer counties are expected to receive a payment with a lower average per acre payment rate compared to 2016. A higher expected current year marketing year average brings the current year revenue above the historical benchmark for a third of Ohio’s counties. PLC payment rates are expected to be higher for corn and lower for wheat in 2017 than 2016, but applies to a small percentage of Ohio base acres. Soybeans are not expected to trigger a PLC payment. Estimates for ARC-CO and PLC for each county are included in the appendix.

These are estimates of what payment rates could look like in the majority of Ohio’s 88 counties. Yields and prices will be finalized by the Farm Service Agency later in the calendar year.

Data Sources:

United State Department of Agriculture- Farm Service Agency. ARC/PLC Program. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, 2018.

United States Department of Agriculture- National Agricultural Statistics Service. County Yields. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, 2018

United States Department of Agriculture- World Agricultural Outlook Board. World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, WASDE-574, February 8, 2018.


Economic Contribution of Agricultural and Food Production Cluster to Ohio Economy – County Level Analysis


Contributors: Ben Brown, Ryan Brune, Connor Frame, and Megan Ritter

Click here for the entire PDF Article for the County Level Report

In November of 2017, researchers in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics released The Economic Contribution of Agricultural and Food Production to the Ohio Economy report with analysis of Ohio’s entire Agricultural and Food Production Cluster. Details of that report are included, but this serves as a parallel analysis of agriculture to each of Ohio’s eighty-eight counties. Key results match initial assumptions in those counties with large concentrations of equipment manufacturing, professional services and diary & milk production led total economic contribution by the production agriculture subsector. In addition, counties containing relatively high food processing see the largest total sector contributions, and that counties with relatively small populations experience a higher percentage of employers involved in food and agriculture related careers. Large population centers within Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties produced high economic contributions, but had low total population participation in agriculture. Data obtained from IMPLAN, a North Carolina based economic software company, provided the most recent total values, while the North American Industry Classification System was used to determine the percent agriculture contributed to each sector. The IMPLAN model estimates value added for 536 separate subsectors within Ohio’s economy. Unlike the statewide report, these county level calculations do not include the contribution from restaurants and bars. It also includes Farm Inputs, Equipment and Farm Professional Services in the agricultural production subsector.

Key findings in the statewide report: Ohio’s Agricultural and Food Production Cluster plus Restaurant and Bars account for $1 in every $13 of Ohio’s GSP and 1 in 8 jobs in Ohio. Each county differed in these ratios, but as expected large population counties were negatively correlated with small population counties in economic contribution and percentage of workforce involved in agriculture. The total statewide economic value added contribution of the Agricultural and Food Production Cluster minus Restaurants and Bars was $32.5 billion dollars and accounted for a little over 5 percent of the state’s gross state product. Value added being the sum of sales minus input costs for each sector. Example: corn production minus seed, fertilizer, ext. The sector employed 402,874 Ohioans in 2015 and because of purchases outside the cluster; a multiplier of 1.6 was used for every dollar of valued added making the total contribution $53 billion. Multipliers are a way of capturing the money spent within Ohio made from an agricultural sector that is then used to purchase additional products, like household items, into the economic contribution.

Declining commodity prices for corn, soybeans and milk in recent years have lowered the value added contribution of some counties, especially those that have corn, soybeans and milk ranked in the top three subsectors. Other subsectors including fruit and vegetable production have shown an increase to the value added contribution. Along with decreasing commodity prices, increasing productivity due to technology advancements have correlated with a decrease in employment within agriculture and food production. Ohio’s characteristic as a top agriculture producing state remains strong, but external factors like increasing pressure on land values could be seen as a potential challenge for the production agriculture subsector.

The three main divisions of the Agricultural and Food Production Cluster: Agricultural Production, Agricultural and Food Processing and Food Wholesale/Retail are included in Table 1 with subsectors broken out under their respective division. Different from the statewide report is the inclusion of Farm Inputs, Equipment and Professional Services under the division of Agricultural Production instead of an isolated division.

Table 1: Classification of Sectors

Agricultural Production Agricultural and Food Processing Food Wholesale/ Retail  
Farm Inputs, Equipment and Professional Services Processed Meat, Fish, Poultry & Eggs Food and Forestry Wholesale
Dairy Cattle and Milk Production Dairy Processing Food and Forestry Retail
Beef Cattle Production


Processed Food & Kindred Products
Poultry & Egg Production


Grain Milling & Flour
Hogs & Other Farm Animals Fats & Oils Processing
Grain Production


Beverage Processing
Soybeans & Other Oil Seeds Wood/ Paper/ Furniture Manufacturing
Misc. Crops, Hay, Sugar, Tobacco & Nuts
Fruit & Vegetable Production
Greenhouse, Nursery & Floriculture Production
Forestry, Hunting & Fishing
Sum of Agriculture Production Sum of Food Processing Sum of Food Wholesale/ Retail Total Agricultural and Food Production Cluster


Starting with Total Value Added from the Agriculture and Food Production Cluster it is not surprising to see in Figure 1 that the top five counties also match five counties with large population centers. With Franklin, Hamilton, and Cuyahoga counties being the location of Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland respectively, it was expected and found that the contribution of production agriculture in terms of both value added and employment was the smallest division contributor, with food processing being the largest contributing division in Franklin, Hamilton, Butler, and Stark Counties. Food wholesale/ retail was the largest contributing division for Cuyahoga County.  Statewide, the food processing sector was the largest contributing division at $14,986 million and 2.43% of the states’ Gross State Product (GSP).

Franklin County had a high food processing contribution due to the beverage processing sector at $916 million. Notable companies in the area include Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., BrewDog USA, Coca-Cola and others according to the Columbus Economic Development Annual Report. Employment within the Cluster was also largely contributed from the beverage processing subsector. For Hamilton county, the beverage processing subsector was also the largest contribution to the food processing division. Boston Beer Company, the parent company of Sam Adams Beer, and The J.M. Smuckers Co., parent company to Folgers Coffee are major contributors to the subsector. Boston Beer Company produces 20 percent of all Sam Adams Beer within Hamilton County. Cuyahoga County was the lone county in the top five where the top contributing division was Food Wholesale/Retail. Multiple subsectors in this division contributed to the large value, but noticeable was the smaller value for the beverage processing subsector in the Food Processing division. Analysis was not conducted across all 88 counties, but based on the top total value added counties, counties with large beverage processing subsectors had food processing divisions that made up the largest portion of the county’s Agricultural and Food Cluster contribution. While Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton Counties are only 3 out of 88, the population represents roughly 29 percent of Ohio’s population based on U.S. Census Bureau data and make up a large portion of the Cluster’s impact to Ohio.

Figure 1: Top Five Value Added Counties

In Figure 1, counties producing the largest total values of economic contribution from agriculture and food were identified, and it isn’t surprising that counties with relatively large total economies also had the largest contributions of agriculture. However, in none of the top five producing counties was production agriculture the top contributing division. To look at the relative value of production agriculture to a county’s economy we can use the value added from agricultural production as a percent of the counties total economic output and indeed counties with larger agricultural output in regards to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) do rise to the top.  However, this should not be interpreted as the five counties with the largest total value contribution from production agriculture. The 2016-2017 Ohio Agricultural Statistics Annual Bulletin shows that land use for agricultural purposes in Mercer, Darke, Paulding, Putnam and Union Counties are 93%, 89%, 83%, 99% and 88% respectively, where land use is the sum of cropland, pastureland, and woodland. Figure 2 illustrates where the five counties lie within Ohio.

Figure 2: Top Five Counties

County agriculture contribution profiles for Mercer and Darke counties were similar as both counties had the same two subsectors contributing the majority of value added products to the county economies: Poultry & Egg Production and Pork Production. For Paulding and Putnam counties there was not a specific subsector that stood above the rest, but more of a balanced distribution. Soybeans & Other Oil Crops had relatively high values for both counties. In contrast, Union County had a top contributing subsector of Farm Inputs, Equipment & Other Professional services that made up 9% of the entire counties economy. This subsector made up 90% of the contribution of the Agricultural and Food Cluster.

While one indication of contribution to a county’s economy is through the value added calculation, another indicator is the number of people employed with-in the Cluster. Similar to the total contribution illustration above in Figure 1, counties with high food processing and relatively large populations also have the largest total number of employment in agriculture, but have a low percentage in relation to the entire county population. Figure 3, identifies the five counties with the highest percentage of the population involved in the Agriculture and Food Cluster. As seen above, Franklin County had the largest total value added to the economy and the highest employment at almost 38 thousand people, but represents roughly 4% of the counties workforce. Whereas Jackson County did not make the top five in total value added contribution, but has 25 percent of its workforce involved in the Cluster.

Figure 3: Percent of Population involved in Agriculture and Food


Understanding components of the statewide economy are important, as trends within the sector help identify strengths and weaknesses. However, county analysis helps those within and around the industry become stronger more informed decision makers in issues relevant to the Agricultural and Food Production Cluster. Not surprising, counties with larger populations had the highest total value added contribution to the county’s economy and the highest number of employees within the work force, but had lower percentages of the county total in values and employees to those counties with small populations. In counties with large value added from the entire cluster, Food Processing was the largest contributing division for the majority of counties in the top five. A strong beverage-processing subsector helped elevate the Food Processing division for these counties.  Isolating the Production Agriculture division including Farm Inputs, Equipment and Professional Services as a percent of the county’s total economy identified five counties that have relatively high land use in agriculture and high total sales from agriculture commodities.

Individual county fact sheets for all eighty-eight Ohio counties are listed here:

Appendix I. includes a list of counties and their value of total contribution, value of production agriculture contribution, and employment. State rankings are in parentheses.


“Columbus Region: Food and Beverage.” Columbus 2020, 2017.

DiCarolis, Janice. et al. The Economic Contribution of Agricultural and Food Production to the Ohio Economy. 2017.

IMPLAN. 2017. 2015 Ohio state data package.

Turner, Cheryl, and Brooke Morris. Ohio Agricultural Statistics 2016-2017 Annual Bulletin. USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017.

US Census. 2017a. County Business Profiles.

  Agriculture Production Value Added Ag Production % of Employment Total Cluster Value Added Total % of Employment
Adams $26,132,407 (72) 10% (5) $56,773,236 (77) 14% (13)
Allen $78,125,934 (19) 2% (65) $319,126,539 (24) 7% (64)
Ashland $74,074,340 (24) 5% (36) $184,902,491 (48) 10% (38)
Ashtabula $46,313,267 (52) 3% (56) $170,069,071 (50) 8% (59)
Athens $10,832,931 (82) 2% (63) $84,474,544 (69) 6% (74)
Auglaize $71,793,513 (25) 4% (39) $265,307,529 (34) 10% (33)
Belmont $48,773,321 (50) 3% (58) $145,203,550 (55) 8% (54)
Brown $32,761,777 (68) 7% (20) $61,715,467 (76) 11% (28)
Butler $49,768,789 (48) 1% (81) $1,323,431,575 (4) 6% (73)
Carroll $27,087,761 (71) 6% (22) $52,115,212 (78) 10% (37)
Champaign $41,533,589 (62) 5% (28) $106,563,182 (65) 11% (30)
Clark $49,500,983 (49) 2% (69) $287,447,821 (29) 7% (62)
Clermont $38,145,667 (65) 2% (70) $290,746,554 (27) 6% (75)
Clinton $53,920,762 (42) 4% (42) $132,673,146 (57) 8% (51)
Columbiana $56,804,685 (35) 3% (54) $264,737,172 (35) 9% (41)
Coshocton $60,830,386 (31) 7% (17) $187,589,390 (47) 15% (7)
Crawford $56,705,986 (37) 4% (40) $94,785,325 (67) 8% (57)
Cuyahoga $97,944,901 (9) >1% (86) $2,870,230,295 (3) 4% (88)
Darke $239,806,461 (4) 8% (12) $301,799,993 (25) 12% (23)
Defiance $74,738,470 (21) 5% (33) $132,202,917 (58) 9% (43)
Delaware $71,115,273 (26) 1% (78) $414,656,942 (15) 5% (81)
Erie $40,597,271 (64) 2% (62) $168,143,020 (51) 6% (68)
Fairfield $57,092,509 (34) 2% (64) $286,483,386 (30) 7% (66)
Fayette $41,430,653 (63) 4% (44) $203,165,951 (45) 13% (19)
Franklin $163,203,968 (5) > 1% (87) $4,233,913,386 (1) 4% (86)
Fulton $74,574,695 (22) 5% (34) $195,829,037 (46) 10% (32)
Gallia $15,592,444 (77) 6% (27) $37,233,957 (81) 8% (49)
Geauga $56,208,056 (38) 3% (61) $237,554,367 (40) 7% (63)
Greene $43,688,591 (56) 1% (77) $215,452,629 (43) 4% (83)
Guernsey $20,965,101 (75) 6% (26) $74,530,511 (72) 10% (35)
Hamilton $111,589,093 (8) >1% (88) $3,094,701,906 (2) 4% (85)
Hancock $56,118,896 (39) 2% (67) $385,962,349 (18) 9% (46)
Hardin $82,800,471 (14) 8% (13) $138,666,355 (56) 15% (11)
Harrison $10,621,659 (83) 7% (18) $28,975,047 (84) 13% (16)
Henry $54,239,652 (41) 6% (24) $334,766,774 (21) 18% (3)
Highland $45,616,926 (55) 9% (9) $76,818,531 (71) 13% (18)
Hocking $6,799,259 (87) 5% (32) $47,538,393 (79) 12% (22)
Holmes $132,411,907 (7) 7% (16) $385,876,069 (19) 22% (2)
Huron $89,862,265 (11) 5% (37) $324,490,460 (22) 11% (26)
Jackson $22,937,105 (74) 4% (47) $239,977,669 (39) 25% (1)
Jefferson $9,879,886 (84) 2% (71) $79,391,785 (70) 6% (69)
Knox $50,521,887 (47) 5% (30) $122,081,622 (62) 10% (34)
Lake $82,942,001 (13) 1% (80) $630,592,252 (10) 6% (76)
Lawrence $6,325,381 (88) 4% (41) $40,616,956 (80) 8% (55)
  Agriculture Production Value Added Ag Production % of Employment Total Cluster Value Added Total % of Employment
Licking $80,959,369 (17) 3% (57) $290,176,991 (28) 7% (61)
Logan $47,525,570 (51) 4% (45) $129,164,871 (61) 8% (58)
Lorain $75,209,443 (20) 1%  (73) $376,334,667 (20) 5% (78)
Lucas $65,557,760 (29) >1% (84) $745,401,227 (9) 4% (87)
Madison $69,435,722 (27) 4% (38) $113,507,126 (64) 8% (53)
Mahoning $43,627,477 (57) 1% (82) $413,002,404 (16) 5% (80)
Marion $82,089,222 (16) 3% (50) $261,902,767 (36) 10% (36)
Medina $67,362,783 (28) 2% (72) $492,849,630 (13) 6% (67)
Meigs $12,179,096 (81) 9% (6) $22,478,977 (87) 13% (17)
Mercer $287,020,607 (2) 7% (15) $486,428,489 (14) 16% (5)
Miami $41,628,715 (61) 3% (59) $320,490,163 (23) 9% (44)
Monroe $13,856,148 (79) 12% (2) $21,979,543 (88) 15% (12)
Montgomery $53,434,618 (43) >1% (83) $965,102,826 (8) 4% (84)
Morgan $13,011,573 (80) 9% (8) $23,902,013 (86) 14% (14)
Morrow $42,743,432 (59) 9% (7) $70,494,294 (73) 12% (20)
Muskingum $30,721,596 (70) 3% (55) $272,726,649 (33) 8% (47)
Noble $8,823,935 (85) 10% (4) $29,242,985 (83) 16% (6)
Ottawa $42,511,100 (60) 4% (43) $89,869,973 (68) 8% (56)
Paulding $54,709,543 (40) 12% (1) $66,561,674 (75) 15% (9)
Perry $14,860,292 (78) 8% (14) $30,646,479 (82) 12% (24)
Pickaway $58,449,378 (33) 5% (29) $104,937,335 (66) 9% (42)
Pike $20,526,229 (76) 4% (48) $69,036,918 (74) 11% (25)
Portage $33,902,467 (66) 1% (75) $282,939,009 (31) 5% (79)
Preble $52,009,567 (46) 9% (10) $171,486,943 (49) 15% (10)
Putnam $145,093,953 (6) 10% (3) $299,022,297 (26) 13% (15)
Richland $60,865,434 (30) 2% (66) $241,549,299 (38) 6% (72)
Ross $33,267,855 (67) 3% (52) $281,600,791 (32) 10% (39)
Sandusky $74,346,534 (23) 3% (53) $212,843,255 (44) 8% (48)
Scioto $24,304,785 (73) 3% (51) $117,445,217 (63) 7% (60)
Seneca $56,748,780 (36) 6% (25) $153,350,740 (52) 10% (31)
Shelby $80,446,033 (18) 3% (49) $226,462,435 (42) 9% (45)
Stark $82,669,192 (15) 1% (79) $1,225,863,198 (5) 7% (65)
Summit $53,052,421 (44) >1% (85) $1,086,245,523 (6) 4% (82)
Trumbull $46,191,278 (54) 1% (74) $256,092,067 (37) 6% (77)
Tuscarawas $52,437,891 (45) 3% (60) $227,995,907 (41) 8% (52)
Union $459,647,601 (1) 7% (21) $549,639,730 (12) 9% (40)
Van Wert $89,276,531 (12) 7% (19) $131,848,326 (60) 11% (27)
Vinton $8,559,330 (86) 8% (11) $27,107,972 (85) 17% (4)
Warren $46,224,334 (53) 1% (76) $552,430,711 (11) 6% (70)
Washington $30,966,222 (69) 4% (46) $132,119,584 (59) 8% (50)
Wayne $283,008,467 (3) 5% (31) $1,002,275,825 (7) 15% (8)
Williams $43,262,519 (58) 5% (35) $145,407,816 (54) 11% (29)
Wood $97,920,671 (10) 2% (68) $387,193,635 (17) 6% (71)
Wyandot $60,516,234 (32) 6% (23) $149,052,657 (53) 12% (21)


Review of “Constructed wetlands for water quality improvements: Benefit transfer analysis from Ohio”

by N.B. Irwin, E.G. Irwin, J.F. Martin and P. Aracena

Bodies of water provide many benefits to residents through recreation and use but run-off from agriculture and urban areas can impair water quality. While Ohio has worked on improving water quality in its rivers and large streams, with 80 percent meeting aquatic life goals, less than 13 percent of its lakes meet such a standard. A possible solution to this problem is the construction of treatment wetlands to remove excessive nutrients from water bodies. Constructed wetlands utilize the natural environment as a form of water treatment and act as a filter to remove excessive nutrients and pollutants in runoff water.  Compared to other forms of water treatment, wetlands deliver water quality improvements with significantly smaller lifetime operation and maintenance costs.

This study examines the feasibility of using constructed wetlands to improve water quality in sample of 24 inland lakes from Ohio. Using water quality data collected from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, data on population, housing prices and incomes from the U.S. Census, and information on recreational visitors, the total cost of creating and operating free surface water wetlands to improve water quality by 10 percent through the removal of phosphorous is estimated. Additionally, the study derives the willingness-to-pay for a 10 percent water quality improvements by both homeowners and recreation users. Nearby residents benefit from improved water quality through higher house prices while recreation users value the changes in water quality through an expansion of possible outdoor opportunities.

The total cost of constructing wetlands for all 24 lakes is over $107 million, with size and surrounding land cost for each lake differing greatly. The willingness-to-pay estimates for both the surrounding homeowners and recreation users averages over $606 million, depending on the model specification. The most conservative estimates indicate that constructed wetlands could provide a lifetime cost benefit ratio of 1:2.92 or a $2.92 return for every $1 invested. The average per capita benefit per resident or recreation user would be $68. These results indicate that wetlands are clearly an effective means of both reducing nutrient loadings in surface water and providing positive economic returns to homeowners and recreational users.

The study also examines the cost implications for constructed wetlands to be used as a strategy to meet hypothetical statewide standards for phosphorous concentrations in lakes at 50 µg/L and 25 µ/L per lake. At the lower standard of 50 µg/L the estimated cost is $870 million, whereas at the stricter standard of 25 µg/L costs would exceed $2.7 billion and require 0.5% of all arable land in Ohio. Using wetlands for achieved phosphorus reduction goals is not a cost-effective strategy. Instead, a comprehensive approach to nutrient reduction and water quality is necessary.

To read the complete article follow the link:


Summarized by Ben Brown, Program Manager: Farm Management Program

2018 OSU Outlook Meeting Schedule

Source: Chris Bruynis, Associate Professor & Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Meetings! In 2018 there will be seven locations in Ohio. Each location will have speaker addressing the topics of Free Trade Agreements: Why They Matter to US Agriculture, Grain Market Outlook, and Examining the 2018 Ohio Farm Economy. Additional topics vary by location and include 2018 Farm Bill Policy Update, Dairy Production Economics Update, and Farm Tax Update.

Join the faculty from Ohio State University Extension, Ohio State Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics, and Industry Leaders as they discuss the issues and trends affecting agriculture in Ohio. Each meeting is being hosted by a county OSU Extension Educator to provide a local personal contact for this meeting. A meal is provided with each meeting and included in the registration price. Questions can be directed to the local host contact.

The Ag Outlook presentations will be recorded this year and be made available to farmers not living close to the meeting locations or those unable to attend. These will be posted in early February on the Ohio Ag Manager website located at For additional information on recording, please contact Chris Bruynis at

The outlook meeting are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Date: January 22, 2018
Time: 7:30 am – 10:30 am
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: Emmett Chapel, 318 Tarlton Rd, Circleville, OH 43113
Cost: $10.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension Pickaway County 740-474-7534
By: January 15th
More information can be found at:

Date: January 22, 2018
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: The Loft at Pickwick Place, 1875 N Sandusky Ave., Bucyrus OH 44820
Cost: $15.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Crawford County 419-562-8731 or email
By: January 15th
More information can be found at:

Date: January 26, 2018
Time: 8:00 am – noon
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: Der Dutchman, Plain City
Cost: $15.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Union County 937-644-8117
By: January 19th
More information can be found at:

Date: January 29, 2018
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Speakers: Mike Gastier, Matt Roberts, Ian Sheldon
Location: St Mary’s Hall 46 East Main St. Wakeman, OH 44889
Cost: No Charge; $20.00 if past deadline
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Huron County 419-668-8219
By: January 22nd
More information can be found at:

Date: January 29, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Speakers: Barry Ward, Jim Byrne, Ian Sheldon
Location: Jewell Community Center,
Cost: $10:00 (after deadline $20.00)
RSVP: OSU Extension, Defiance County 419-782-4771 or online at
By: January 22nd
More information can be found at:

Date: January 31, 2018
Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Speakers: Ian Sheldon, Jim Byrne, Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Dianne Shoemaker, David Marrison
Location: Fisher Auditorium
Cost: $15.00
RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Wayne County 330-264-8722
By: January 24th
More information can be found at:

Date: March 23, 2018
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Speakers: Barry Ward, Matt Roberts, Chris Bruynis
Location: Chamber Ag Day / Ag Outlook meeting, Darke County
Registration Flyer:
Cost: $20
RSVP: Darke County Extension office at 937-548-5215
By: March 16th
More information can be found at:

OSU Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Video Recordings

On November 9, 2017 the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics at The Ohio State University offered their annual Agricultural Outlook Program. Each presentation was recorded for those agricultural leaders that could not attend. We are making these available to everyone. Below are the links to the full conference and each individual presenter.

Full Seminar – 2017 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference: View Full Conference

Ani Katchova – Ohio Farm Financial Conditions and Outlook: View Dr Katchova’s Presentation

Ian Sheldon – Free Trade Agreements: View Dr Sheldon’s Presentation

Ben Brown – Ohio Farm Management Program Overview: View Ben Brown’s Presentation

Carl Zulauf – 2018 Farm Bill Outlook: View Dr Zulauf’s PresentationGeorge Mokrzan – Economic Outlook:

George Mokrzan – Economic Outlook: View George Mokrzan’s Presentation

Gary Schnitkey – Current Outlook and Economic Conditions on Corn-Belt Farms: View Dr Schnitkey’s Presentation

Conference power point presentations can be found here

Technical difficulties or questions can be directed to
Kelli Trinoskey
Communication and Outreach Manager
The Ohio State University
Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
Agricultural Administration Building, Room 250H – 2120 Fyffe Rd. Columbus, OH 43210

Sharpen Management Skills through Farm Management School

by: Amanda Douridas: Extension Educator

Managing your farm business is always important but the difference in just doing it and doing it well can be big during challenging times. When commodity prices are down, it is crucial to understand your balance sheet, maintain a good relationship with your lender and carefully consider budgets for next year. These topics will be covered during a 5 night Farm Management School in Urbana, Ohio beginning in December.

During the first session, learn how to properly complete your end of year balance sheet from Greg Knight with Civista Bank and Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension, will provide tips on tax issues that make the most sense for your farm business. During the next session, a panel of agricultural lenders will talk about what they would like to see from farmers before making a loan and will answer questions from the participants.

Legal issues can be very specific to agriculture and also very complicated. Peggy Kirk Hall, OSU Extension Agricultural Law Specialist, will discuss the legal issues that are most important to the class. Another complicated issue that can be difficult to make a decision on is healthcare. The fourth session will focus on the issues farmers face with healthcare and a healthcare professional will cover any changes and updates to the current system.

Lastly, Barry Ward, OSU Extension, will talk about commodity budgets for 2018 and take a look at cash flow to help you prepare for the 2018 season.

The session dates are Dec 6, 20, and Jan 3, 17 and 31. They begin at 5:30 pm with dinner and the program will run 6-8:00 pm. The cost to attend is $50 per farm and RSVPs are due Nov 27. Class space is limited so register early. Download the registration flyer at Childcare is available for $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional per night due day of. For questions about the program or to register with a credit card, please contact Amanda Douridas at 937-484-1526 or

Ohio Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Payments for Program Year 2016

By Ben Brown and Chris Bruynis

As the calendar turned to October producers around Ohio and the country started to receive federal assistance in the form of commodity payments from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in regards to yields and prices experienced in the 2016 cropping year and 2016/2017 marketing year respectively; that is if their county triggered payments. The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) were two new programs created in the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 2014 (2014 farm bill), designed to project producers against shallow losses in revenue and price declines respectively with crop insurance designed to cover deeper losses experienced by floods or droughts. Considering both programs rely on Marketing Year Average (MYA) prices to calculate payment rates, the 2016 program year didn’t officially end until the marketing year was completed: September 1st 2017 for corn and soybeans and June 1st 2017 for wheat. After calculations by FSA in September, payments have started to arrive here in October. This report will look at the payment rates created by ARC-CO and PLC for corn, soybeans, and wheat in the 88 Ohio counties for the 2016 program year. Click here to read the story.

Ohio’s Western Basin of Lake Erie will not be listed as ‘impaired’

Written by Ellen Essman, Law Fellow, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally rendered a decision on Ohio’s list of impaired waters following several months of delay and two lawsuits filed to compel the EPA to make a decision. (For a background on impaired waters and the two lawsuits, check out our previous blog posts here and here.)   On May 19, 2017, the EPA decided to accept the Ohio EPA’s proposed list of impaired waters for the State of Ohio.  Ohio’s list does not include the open waters in the Western Basin of Lake Erie.   However, the State of Michigan’s list of impaired waters previously approved by the EPA does include the open waters in its portion of the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

The EPA explained that the agency deferred to Ohio’s judgment not to include the open waters of the Western Basin of Lake Erie on the impaired waters list.  “EPA recognizes the State’s ongoing efforts to control nutrient pollution in the Western Basin of Lake Erie,” stated Chris Korleski, EPA’s Region 5 Water Division Director and previously Ohio’s EPA Director.   “EPA understands that Ohio EPA intends to evaluate options for developing objective criteria (e.g., microcystin or other metrics) for use in making decisions regarding the Western Basin for the 2018 list.  EPA expects the development of appropriate metrics, and is committed to working with you on them.”

For now, the EPA appears satisfied with Ohio’s plan for addressing nutrient reductions in Lake Erie’s Western Basin.  It is possible, however, that additional lawsuits could be filed against the EPA in order to reconcile Ohio and Michigan’s different designations of water in the same general area.

Read the EPA’s Approval of Ohio’s Submission of the State’s Integrated Report with Respect to Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act here.

Census of Agriculture: Important for Agriculture, Important to You!

Emily Adams, Extension Educator Coshocton County and Chris Bruynis, Extension Educator Ross County

What an exciting and uncertain time to be involved in agriculture! There are several items affecting agriculture, most of which we have little influence over. Recently President Trump announced the Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America ( and that we would remain in NAFTA (  But amidst all the headline news, there is another important item for agriculture that we all can affect. That is the 2017 Census of Agriculture (

A lot has changed in the last five years since 2012 when the last Census of Agriculture was taken. Much of the federal funding decisions, farm support, and rural development policies are a direct result of the data collected in the Census of Agriculture. The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. Through the Census of Agriculture, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and they can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By responding to the Census of Agriculture, producers are helping themselves, their communities, and all of U.S. agriculture.

There are some interesting changes coming to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. These include:

  1. Expanded questions about food marketing practices, including the gross value of edible agricultural products sold directly to both consumers and retail markets. In 2012, this section only included yes/no type questions to determine whether an operation marketed food items directly to consumers.
  2. Elimination of specific designations or titles such as principal operator and new/beginning farmer. Removing these designations helps to better capture the roles and contributions of women and new/beginning farmers. To maintain continuity with the principal operator data series in earlier censuses, the 2017 Census of Agriculture retains a principal operator bridge question.
  3. An expanded question about who makes what kind of decisions on the farm. The 2017 Census questionnaire includes functional decision-making categories for each decision maker listed and asks respondents to mark all that apply: day-to-day decisions, land use/crop decisions, livestock decisions, record keeping/financial decisions, and estate planning.

Farmers can voluntarily sign up for the census at by June 30 to make sure their voice is included in the results. Farmers are required to complete the census if selected by the deadline of February 5, 2018. Farmers should begin to look for Census forms in their mailboxes this December. There are also options to complete the Census online. The online form will be more user-friendly in 2017, automatically calculating totals and skipping questions that are not pertinent.

Wayne County Dairy Manure Storage Inventory Survey

by: Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

In early January 2017, the Wayne County Extension office in partnership with the Wayne County Farm Bureau, Wayne County SWCD and NRCS, the Wayne County Ag Success Team and the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit, mailed a survey to 339 Wayne County dairy farms to determine the current manure storage capacity on those farms.  Addresses of dairy farms were provided by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and included both Grade A and Grade B milk producers.  The purpose of the survey was to gather base-line information to assess how prepared Wayne County dairy farms are to comply with Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) type of clean water/nutrient management legislation.  Surveys were returned in early February of 2017 and Ohio University Environmental Studies graduate student Janessa Hill tabulated survey responses and prepared summaries of the results.

SB 1 legislation became effective on July 3, 2015 and currently covers the Western Lake Erie Basin and contains specific provisions regarding manure application and prohibitions against application of manure (and granular fertilizer) during winter months and when soils are saturated.  Depending upon who you talk to, it is expected that this type of legislation will move state-wide in the future, possibly within two to five years.   In order to comply with the winter application prohibitions and other manure application provisions, the general consensus of persons who work with manure management and write manure management plans, seems to be that most farms should have 9 to 12 months of manure storage.  The SB 1 law provided medium-sized facilities (200-699 dairy cattle) a year to comply with the regulations.  Small agricultural operations could apply for a two year exemption before compliance.  The entire SB 1 legislation text is available at:  A summary of SB1 legislation and explanation of the legislation written by Peggy Hall, OSU Extension director of the Agricultural &Resource Law program is available on-line at:

The dairy farm manure storage survey was designed to collect information regarding the type of manure storage present on dairy farms along with the storage capacity and typical manure application timing.  Additionally, the survey asked farms to rate the degree of financial hardship that would be experienced if legislation similar to SB 1 was extended to Wayne County and additional manure storage had to be added.

The goal is to use the collected survey information in conversations with legislators, policy makers, and other elected officials to provide a better understanding of the on-farm situation within the county.  It is hoped that this baseline data might help to guide legislators as they craft water quality/nutrient management legislation and avoid unintended consequences for agriculture.   The results of the survey have implications for compliance time frames, environmental considerations and the social fabric of the community.  The information collected regarding the financial cost and hardship that will be incurred by adding additional manure storage has to be considered in any future clean water/nutrient management legislation.

According to Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) statistics, there are 32,000 milk cows in Wayne County.  Surveys mailed back to the Wayne County Extension office represented a total of 14,811 dairy cows or about 46% of the ODA statistic number.   The overall survey return rate was 33%.  The majority of dairy farms who completed the survey indicated the use of both liquid and bedded pack manure storage systems for their milking herd, with bedded pack manure storage the dominant form of manure storage for the heifers and calves.  When asked about a nutrient/manure management plan, 44% of the survey respondents stated they do have a current nutrient and manure management plan and 43% said they did not.  With regard to manure storage capacity, 52% of the responding farms have less than 3 months of liquid manure storage, 36% have 3-6 months of storage, 5% have 7-9 months of storage and only 3% have 10-12 months of storage.   With regard to solid manure storage, survey results indicate that 23% of the responding farms have less than 3 months of storage and 34% have 3-6 months of storage, 14% have 7-9 months of storage and 8% have 10-12 months of storage.

In terms of financial hardship, farms were asked to choose a statement that would best describe their situation if they had to construct additional manure storage to allow 9-12 months of storage capacity.  Approximately 20% of the survey respondents checked “It could not be done in my current dairy situation.  The dairy operation would end.”  Another 40% of the survey respondents checked the statement; “It could be done but at great financial hardship and greatly increasing risk of business failure.”  Another 14% of the respondents checked the statement “It would be done as part of the cost of staying in business.”  In a follow up question, 43% of the respondents stated they would not accept a government program if cost share support was provided to help finance the cost of additional storage to stay in business, while 11% said they would need 50% cost-share financing and 27% said it would require75% cost share financing.

More information about the survey and survey summary documents with results to all the survey questions are available on the OSU Wayne county extension website at: .