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 https://u.osu.edu/ohioagmanager/resources/. For additional information on recording, please contact Chris Bruynis at bruynis.1@osu.edu.

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: http://pickaway.osu.edu

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 hartschuh.11@osu.edu
By: January 15th
More information can be found at: http://crawford.osu.edu

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: http://union.osu.edu

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: http://huron.osu.edu

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 http://defiance.osu.edu
By: January 22nd
More information can be found at: http://defiance.osu.edu

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: http://wayne.osu.edu

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: http://go.osu.edu/2018darkeagoutlook
Cost: $20
RSVP: Darke County Extension office at 937-548-5215
By: March 16th
More information can be found at: http://darke.osu.edu

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: https://youtu.be/6MPGrj1ugdc

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
614-688-1323
trinoskey.1@osu.edu

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 http://go.osu.edu/agevents. 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 douridas.9@osu.edu.

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 (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/25/presidential-executive-order-promoting-agriculture-and-rural-prosperity) and that we would remain in NAFTA (http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/politics/trump-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 (https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/).

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 www.agcensus.usda.gov 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: http://tiny.cc/OHSenateBill1.  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: https://aglaw.osu.edu/blog-tags/manure-application.

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: http://go.osu.edu/Waynedairymanuresurvey .

 

4R NUTRIENT STEWARDSHIP IN THE WESTERN LAKE ERIE BASIN

A Descriptive Report of Beliefs, Attitudes and Best Management Practices in the Maumee Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin

Prokup, A., Wilson, R., Zubko, C., Heeren, A, and Roe, B. 2017

Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication are threatening Lake Erie, a vital ecological and economic resource in the Great Lakes region. Phosphorus lost through agricultural run-off from the Maumee River Watershed appears to be the greatest contributor to the current problem. To better understand farmers’ perspectives in this region, particularly current nutrient management practices and barriers to implementation of recommended practices, researchers from The Ohio State University’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences conducted a survey of farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin during the winter of 2016.

The majority of farmers (~80%) had great concern for the ecological health of Lake Erie and how they can minimize their farm’s impact on the lake. Similarly, a majority of farmers show a willingness to adopt recommended practices, but there is a small percentage that is currently unwilling to adopt many recommended practices. Although this could reduce the likelihood of positive change in Lake Erie, there is no evidence that these operations are proportionally more responsible for the nutrient loss issues, or that changes in their behavior are key to improving water quality. In fact, around 60 to 90% are willing to consider adopting new practices, and in many cases this potential level of adoption may be enough to achieve the recommended phosphorus reductions for Lake Erie.

Although the current farming population is largely motivated to adopt new practices, there are several significant barriers associated with recently recommended practices. In regards to cover crops, approximately 25 to 40% of respondents were concerned about fall planting windows, interference with spring planting, and/or the short-term costs. Over half of respondents viewed the cost of specialized equipment for subsurface fertilizer placement as too great and that injecting nutrients ran counter to a no-till approach. One-third of respondents also viewed alternatives to broadcasting as taking too much time.

Those willing to adopt recommended practices tend to be more informed about nutrient stewardship from a variety of both private and public sector sources and more concerned about future regulation. Perhaps due to less exposure to nutrient stewardship information, farmers less willing to adopt tended to have lower awareness of 4R principles, concern for environmental issues and nutrient loss, and awareness of state regulatory requirements. For those practices that involve significant financial investments and new technologies there does seem to be a positive effect of farm size and/or income. Applicator training and working with a consultant is often positively associated with adoption. Generally speaking, a belief in the effectiveness of a recommended practice is one of the strongest correlates of adoption. As a result, the best target audience moving forward are individuals who indicate a willingness to change their practices, and tend to be less constrained by potential barriers while sharing some of the same motivations as those who have already adopted these practices. Engaging these individuals in outreach focused on how to implement practices effectively is likely to result in the necessary increases in adoption over time. However, it will be critical that this outreach comes from those sources that are trusted (e.g., crop consultants, Extension personnel), involves some degree of peer to peer learning, and that the opportunities to learn be as personalized and hands-on as possible.

Ohio Legislature is Set to Reconsider CAUV Bill

Written by:  Chris Hogan, Law Fellow, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The Ohio Legislature is once again considering a bill regarding Ohio’s current agricultural use valuation (CAUV) program. CAUV permits land to be valued at its agricultural value rather than the land’s market or “highest and best use” value. Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) introduced SB 36 on February 7, 2017. The bill would alter the capitalization rate used to calculate agricultural land value and the valuation of land used for conservation practices or programs. The bill has yet to be assigned to a committee.

The content of SB 36 closely mirrors the language of a bill meant to address CAUV from the last legislative session: SB 246. Introduced during the 131st General Assembly, SB 246 failed to pass into law. SB 246 proposed alterations to the CAUV formula which are identical to those proposed by the current bill: SB 36. According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission’s report on SB 246, the bill would have proposed changes that would have led to a “downward effect on the taxable value of CAUV farmland.” The likely effect for Ohio farmers enrolled in CAUV would have been a lower tax bill.

Due to the similarity between the two bills, the potential impacts of SB 36 on the CAUV program will likely be comparable to those of the previous bill. The proposed adjustment of the capitalization rate is likely to reduce the tax bill for farmers enrolled in CAUV. More specifically, the bill proposes several changes to the CAUV formula:

  • States additional factors to include in the rules that prescribe CAUV calculation methods. Currently, the rules must consider the productivity of the soil under normal management practices, the average price patterns of the crops and products produced to determine the income potential to be capitalized and the market value of the land for agricultural use. The proposed legislation adds two new factors: typical cropping and land use patterns and typical production costs.
  • Clarifies that when determining the capitalization rate used in the CAUV formula, the tax commissioner cannot use a method that includes the buildup of equity or appreciation.
  • Requires the tax commissioner to add a tax additur to the overall capitalization rate, and that the sum of the capitalization rate and tax additur “shall represent as nearly as possible the rate of return a prudent investor would expect from an average or typical farm in this state considering only agricultural factors.”
  • Requires the commissioner to annually determine the overall capitalization rate, tax additur, agricultural land capitalization rate and the individual components used in computing those amounts and to publish the amounts with the annual publication of the per-acre agricultural use values for each soil type.

To remove disincentives for landowners who engage in conservation practices yet pay CAUV taxes at the same rate as if the land was in production, the proposed legislation:

  • Requires that the land in conservation practices or devoted to a land retirement or conservation program as of the first day of a tax year be valued at the lowest valued of all soil types listed in the tax commissioner’s annual publication of per-acre agricultural use values for each soil type in the state.
  • Provides for recalculation of the CAUV rate if the land ceases to be used for conservation within three years of its original certification for the reduced rate, and requires the auditor to levy a charge for the difference on the landowner who ceased the conservation practice or participation in the conservation program.

To read SB 36, visit this page. For more information on previous CAUV bills, see our previous blog post.

 

Ag Committees are in Place for Ohio’s New Legislative Session

by Peggy Kirk Hall

Senate President Larry Obhof and Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger have made committee assignments for the new session of Ohio’s 132nd General Assembly.  While there are no major changes to committee structure or leadership, the committees contain many new members, including several legislators serving their first terms as legislators.

Sen. Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) will again chair the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, with newly elected Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction) serving as vice chair and first Senate termer Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) appointed as the ranking minority member.  O’Brien previously served three terms in the House of Representatives, which included a term on its Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

  • Returning from last session’s Agriculture Committee are Senators Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).
  • New to the committee are Senators Bob Hackett (R-London), previous House member Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), Frank Larose (R-Hudson), Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) and Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township).

Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) will again lead the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee with Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) serving as vice  chair for the first time and Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) returning as the ranking minority member.

  • Representatives Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro Township), Michael O’Brien (D-Warren), Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland), Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton), Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) and Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) will return to the committee.
  • New to both the House of Representatives and the committee are Representatives Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township), Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville), Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville), Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) and Dick Stein (R-Norwalk).
  • New to the committee are Representatives Candice Keller (R-Middletown), David Leland (R-Columbus) and Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), along with Former Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina).

Neither committee has a meeting scheduled at this time.  Follow the committees’ work in the new legislative session at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/.