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

 

 

CFAP Payments Halted Until Review Conducted by Biden Administration

by David Marrison, OSU Extension

In accordance with the Regulatory Freeze Pending Review memo issued by the White House on January 20, the United States Department of Agriculture has suspended the $2.3 billion of additional assistance to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program put in place during the final days of the Trump Administration.

The Trump administration had previously announced on January 15 providing additional assistance of CFAP expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program.  The expanded eligibility was targeted primarily for contract pork and poultry producers and others previously excluded from the relief payments.

It should be noted that Farm Service Agency offices will continue to accept applications during the evaluation period although no payments will be made while the program is reviewed. The supplemental CFAP payments (January 15 additional assistance) were to build upon the $23.6 billion in assistance provided in Round 1 and 2 of CFAP. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will still continue to accept new or modified CFAP applications from eligible producers January 19 through February 26, 2021.

In a notice on the Farm Service Agency website the Biden administration stated “In the coming days, USDA and the Biden Administration intend to take additional steps to bring relief and support to all parts of food and agriculture during the coronavirus pandemic, including by ensuring producers have access to the capital, risk management tools, disaster assistance, and other federal resources.”

Farm Office Team Note: It is not irregular for a new Presidential Administration to freeze rule making at the start of their administration as the transition occurs from one administration to the next.  Our team will be monitoring the situation and will provide updates.  Make sure to register for the next Farm Office Live webinars on February 10 & 12 at which time updates will be given on this issue and many more.  Register at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive

Sources:

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – Additional Assistance.  Access at: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.  Access at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/regulatory-freeze-pending-review/

USDA Offers Additional Assistance for Certain Producers Through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/01/15/usda-offers-additional-assistance-certain-producers-through

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 – Highlights of Tax Issues Impacting Farm Businesses

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

Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021 on Monday, December 21, 2020 which was signed by the President on December 27th. The CAA funds the government through September 30, 2021, implements COVID-19 relief provisions, and extends a number of expiring tax provisions. The $2.3 trillion bill provides $900 billion in COVID-19 relief. This article highlights key provisions for farm related issues from several Acts within the CAA’s 5,593 pages.

Additional 2020 Recovery Rebates

“Economic Impact Payments”

The Act provides for “additional 2020 recovery rebates for individuals.” The additional recovery rebate credit is $600 for “eligible individuals” or $1,200 for “eligible individuals” filing a joint return. “Eligible individuals” are entitled to a $600 credit for each “qualifying child”. (Generally includes dependent children under the age of 17.) Phaseouts apply for higher income taxpayers.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans – Covered Expenses Now Deductible

Previously, the IRS and Treasury indicated that the expenses covered by PPP loans that were forgiven (or would be forgiven) would not be deductible. This new legislation now allows for these expenses to be deducted. This provision overrides IRS Notice 2020-32 and Rev. Rul. 2020-27. The CARES Act indicated that the loan proceeds from PPP loans are not to be included as taxable income. This tax treatment would apply to original PPP loans, as well as any subsequent loans made possible by the Act.

Paycheck Protection Program – Other New Guidelines

Qualified self-employed farmers who did not have employees and had less than $100,000 of net income in 2019 were not originally eligible for the maximum forgivable PPP loan. The new legislation now allows for the PPP loan forgiveness based on gross income rather than net income. Farmers are now able to receive a PPP loan of up to $20,833 (reduced by any loan already received) based on gross receipts of at least $100,000.

The legislation amends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to extend the covered period from December 31, 2020, through March 31, 2021. An allocation of $284 billion is included to provide first and second PPP loans to small businesses. Details of the expanded program will not be known until SBA releases required guidance.

The PPP allows borrowers to spend proceeds on payroll costs and non-payroll costs of business mortgage interest, business rent payments, and business utility payments. This new legislation expands the allowable use of PPP loan proceeds.

The legislation allows borrowers to choose a covered period anywhere between an eight-week and 24-week covered period for purposes of loan forgiveness. The covered period must begin on the date the proceeds are disbursed.

The legislation provides a simplified forgiveness procedure for PPP loans up to $150,000. The new procedure provides that such loans “shall be forgiven” if the borrower signs a certification that shall not be more than one page in length and shall require minimal supporting information.

The legislation repeals the provision in the CARES Act requiring the SBA to reduce a borrower’s PPP forgiveness by the amount of an EIDL advance.

PPP Second Draw Loans

The new legislation establishes a PPP Second Draw Loan program that generally applies to businesses with 300 or fewer employees if the business had gross receipts during any quarter in 2020 that were reduced by at least 25 percent from the gross receipts of the business during the same quarter in 2019.

To be eligible for a second draw loan, the borrower must have received a PPP loan in 2020 and used all of the proceeds of that loan for permitted purposes.

The Act allows borrowers who have not yet received forgiveness to request an increase in their loan amount if they returned all or part of a PPP loan or did not take the full amount of a PPP loan to which they were entitled. This provision allows borrowers who received loans before more favorable regulations were enacted to take advantage of those new provisions.

Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

The legislation extends and expands the employee retention credit, allowing employers to remain eligible up until July 1, 2021. Previously, employers who received a PPP loan were ineligible to claim the ERC. The new legislation retroactively allows employers who receive PPP loans to claim the ERC and to treat payroll costs paid during the loan-covered period as qualified wages to the extent the wages are not paid for with forgiven PPP loan proceeds.

For the period from January 1, 2021 and prior to July 1, 2021 the ERC percentage increases from 50 percent of qualified wages to 70 percent. Employers can count qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee per quarter (instead of for all quarters) in calculating the credit. Employers qualify for the credit if their gross receipts for a calendar quarter are less than 80 percent of the gross receipts of the corresponding calendar quarter in calendar year 2019.

Economic Injury Disaster Assistance (EIDL) Loans and Advances

The Act allows Economic Injury Disaster Assistance (EIDL) Advances provided as emergency grants under the CARES Act to be excluded from gross income while the corresponding expenses would remain deductible. Additionally, loan forgiveness granted to an EIDL loan recipient under discretionary powers provided by the CARES Act does not result in gross income or a denial of deductions for allocable expenses.

New Net Operating Loss (NOL) Options

The new legislation provides farmers new net operating loss options not otherwise available in the wake of the CARES Act. Farmers have the option to temporarily carry back Net Operating Losses 2 or 5 years with some caveats.

Extension of Credits for Paid Sick and Family Leave

The Act extends the tax credits made available to employers by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through March 31, 2021 (They were set to expire on December 31, 2020). This includes the sick and family leave credits for self-employed individuals. The new legislation does not provide additional credits for employees but allows for a larger window to utilize them if the employer chooses.

Emergency EIDL Grants

The Act appropriates an additional $20 billion for emergency EIDL grants. The Act extends the covered period for this program through December 31, 2021, and extends the period to approve the applications from three days to 21 days.

Temporary Allowance of 100% Deduction for Business Meals

The new legislation allows for a 100 percent deduction for business meals where food or beverages is provided by a restaurant, for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.

Charitable Contributions Deduction by Non-Itemizers

For tax years beginning in 2021, the Act extends and increases the above-the-line deduction for cash contributions by non-itemizers to $300 for individuals and $600 for married filers.

Extension of Deferred Employee Portion of Payroll Taxes

The Act delays the repayment requirement for the employee portion of the payroll taxes that were deferred in response to the President’s August 8 Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster.  Instead of requiring full repayment of these deferred taxes by April 30, 2021, the new legislation delays this deadline to December 31, 2021.

References:

Tidgren, Kristine A. “What COVID Relief Provisions are in the Spending Bill?” Ag Docket Perspective on Agricultural Law & Taxation, Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, December 23, 2020

Neiffer, Paul “Deeper Dive into PPP” Agribusiness Blog Farm CPA Today, CliftonLarsenAllen Wealth Advisors, December 22, 2020

H.R. 133 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr133/BILLS-116hr133enr.pdf December 27, 2020

Ernst & Young LLP, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extends many credits and other COVID-19 relief, Tax News Update, December 23, 2020

 

 Applications Being Accepted for FSA Quality Loss Adjustment Program

by: Mary Griffith, Extension Educator, ANR & Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting applications this week for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program.  QLA will assist producers whose eligible crops suffered quality losses due to qualifying drought, excessive moisture, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, or tornadoes occurring in calendar years 2018 and/or 2019.  Applications are being accepted until March 5, 2021.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for payments, producers must:

  • Be entitled to an ownership share and be at-risk in the agricultural production and marketing of crops on the farm; and either
  • Have an average federal tax adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2018 and 2019; or
  • Derive at least 75 percent of their AGI from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities;
  • Have control of the acreage on which the crop was grown at the time of the disaster;
  • Comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions;
  • Not have a controlled substance violation; and
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien.

Eligible Crops

Crops that can be covered by federal crop insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) are generally considered eligible for this program.   To be eligible for the program, a crop must have:

  • Suffered a quality loss due to a qualifying disaster event and
  • Had a five percent-or-greater quality discount due to the qualifying disaster event.

Eligible crops may have been sold, fed on-farm to livestock, or may be in storage at the time of application.

Ineligible Crops

Crops that were destroyed before harvest are not eligible for QLA. Crops that experienced loss after harvest, due to deterioration in storage or that could have been mitigated, are not eligible for QLA. Finally, crops whose losses have already been compensated by Federal crop insurance, NAP or the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity – Plus (Whip+) program are not eligible.

The following crops are also ineligible:

  • Grazed crops
  • Honey
  • Maple sap
  • Aquaculture
  • Floriculture
  • Mushrooms, ginseng root
  • Ornamental nursery
  • Sea grass and sea oats
  • Christmas trees, and
  • Turfgrass sod.

Applying for the QLA Program

To apply, participants must file one application (FSA898) that includes all eligible crops that suffered a quality loss. Losses sustained in more than one crop year require a separate application for each crop year. When applying, producers must provide verifiable documentation to support claims of quality loss or nutrient loss, in the case of forage crops.

FSA calculates QLA payments using formulas for the type of crop (forage or non-forage) and the loss documentation submitted. Payments are based on the producer’s own individual loss or based on the county’s average loss.

For crops that have been sold, grading must have been completed within 30 days of harvest, and for forage crops, a laboratory analysis must have been completed within 30 days of harvest.

Some acceptable forms of documentation include:

  • Sales receipts from buyers
  • Settlement sheets
  • Truck or warehouse scale tickets
  • Written sales contracts
  • Similar records that represent actual and specific quality loss information
  • Forage tests for nutritional values

All producers receiving QLA payments are required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for the next two available crop years at the 60% coverage level or higher. If eligible, QLA participants may meet the insurance purchase requirement by purchasing Whole-Farm Revenue Protection coverage offered through USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Where to Apply

If you are interested in applying for the QLA Program, please call your local Farm Service Agency office.  USDA Service Centers are open for business, but no walk-in appointments are allowed, so remember to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

FSA set up a call center in order to simplify how serving customers across the nation. This call center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the QLA application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. Additional information about the program is available here: https://www.farmers.gov/quality-loss.

 

 

 

Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for the 2021 Crop Year

by: Mary Griffith, Chris Zoller, Hallie Williams, OSU Extension Educators

Enrollment for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year opened in October, with the deadline to enroll and make amendments to program elections on March 15, 2021. This signup is for potential payments for the 2021 crop.

If changes are not made by the March 15th deadline, the election defaults to the programs selected for the 2020 crop year with no penalty. While it is optional to make changes to program elections, producers are required to enroll (sign a contract) each year to be eligible to receive payments. So, even if you do not change your program elections, you will still need to make an appointment at the Farm Service Agency to sign off on enrollment for the 2021 crop year by that March 15th deadline.

Producers have the option to enroll covered commodities in either ARC-County, ARC-Individual, or PLC. Program elections are made on a crop-by-crop basis unless selecting ARC-Individual where all crops under that FSA Farm Number fall under that program. These are the same program options that were available to producers during the 2019 and 2020 crop years. In some cases producers may want to amend program election to better manage the potential risks facing their farms during the 2021 crop year.

As you consider amending your program choices, here are some important reminders:

  • PLC payments are triggered by low prices. PLC is a disaster price program and pays when the marketing year average price is below a reference price. The marketing year average price (MYAP) is an average price calculated using cash prices across the nation over the course of a year. The 2021 marketing year for wheat is May, 2021 – June, 2022 and for corn and soybeans is August, 2021 – September, 2022. This means that the MYAP for 2021 for wheat will not be known until June, 2022 and the MYAP for corn and soybeans will not be known until September, 2022. PLC payments will only be triggered for a covered commodity if the MYAP published at the end of the marketing year are below the reference price. The reference price for corn is $3.70, for soybeans is $8.40, and for wheat is $5.50.
  • ARC-County payments are triggered by low county revenues. Revenues are calculated using the market year average price times the county average yield. When producers enrolled for 2019 and 2020, they were enrolling after the 2019 crop had been harvested. Yields for 2019 were known at the time of the enrollment deadline for that year. For the 2021 crop year, producers will be enrolling before the crop is planted.
  • Producers have less information about both price and yields for the 2021 enrollment period, compared to the last enrollment period. When producers enrolled for 2019 and 2020, we were more than halfway through the marketing year for each crop, so there was much more information on price expectation. For the 2021 crop year, producers will be enrolling before the marketing year begins.
  • The maximum ARC-IC payment is triggered in cases where an FSA Farm has 100% Prevent Plant acres. At the time of enrollment for the 2019 crop year, producers knew if they had FSA Farms that fit this description and were able to use that information to decide if ARC-IC was a good fit for a FSA Farm. For the 2021 crop year, producers will need to decide by March 15th if ARC-IC is still the right choice for those farms without knowledge of how many acres they will have in Prevent Plant. While some FSA Farms triggered large payments for ARC-IC in 2019, producers may want to re-assess this program election for the 2021 crop year if they do not expect to put those farms in 100% Prevent Plant in 2021.

For most producers, the number one consideration driving program election is the markets. What are markets going to do? We will not know the MYA price for corn or soybeans until September of 2022, and a lot could change in that time.

OSU Extension and the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE) are offering several webinars between now and the March 15th enrollment deadline for producers to get up to date market outlook information. For information about AEDE’s 2021 Winter Outlook Meetings, visit https://aede.osu.edu/research/agricultural-policy-and-outlook-conferences/county-meetings.

Additionally, OSU Extension will be offering two webinars this winter focused specifically on the ARC/PLC decision, reviewing decision-tool calculators available to evaluate options, and current market outlook. The dates for these webinars are January 13th from 1:00-3:00 pm and February 25th from 9 -11 am. Both programs are free to attend, but registration is required. Register online at: http://go.osu.edu/arcplc2021.

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.

Dairy Risk Management Series Offers a Range of Important Information to Producers

By Ben Brown, Dianne Shoemaker and Chris Zoller

Offered in three sessions during November, OSU Extension, in partnership with the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, delivered a dairy risk management webinar series covering three important topics: milk pricing and producer price differentials, outlooks for domestic and international milk product markets, and dairy risk management tools. Slides and recordings for all presentations can be found at https://farmoffice.osu.edu/events/archived-videos.

Session one was presented by Mark Stephenson from the University of Wisconsin discussing milk pricing and producer price differentials. Due to COVID-19 disrupting supply chains and a change in the 2018 Farm Bill using the average of Class III and Class IV milk prices instead of the higher of the two to set Class I milk prices, Ohio dairy producers experienced several months of historically large negative producer price differentials. According to Dr. Stevenson, these negative PPDs could continue for a couple more months and producers need to be aware of these when making business planning decisions. Dr. Stephenson’s presentation can be found at https://studio.youtube.com/video/fpGfd5c0pi4/edit.

Session two highlighted domestic and international markets. William Loux from the U.S. Dairy Export Council started off the session with a presentation on dairy supply and demand outside the United States. International demand for US dairy products is up in 2020 driven primarily by China and the Middle East/ North Africa Region. Southeast Asia also saw large year over year increases in dairy product imports. Loux pointed out there are a couple things to watch for in the next couple of months: COVID-19 resurgence, Brexit and the ability to trade with England, and the subsidization of dairy exports by India. He concluded by saying it is a good sign that the US continues to export dairy products in strong numbers even with US dairy prices above world dairy prices. His session can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJsHMSkcHVc

Also in session two, Mike McCully from the McCully Group provided price expectations for US dairy markets over the next 12 months. Key points from his presentation included product specific outlooks with cheese prices being strong on solid demand, butter prices being extremely weak on burdensome supplies and milk prices being relatively stable. He continued that the outlook is mixed, with dairy markets having a bearish tone heading into the first quarter of 2021 on growing milk supplies and concerns over demand, but the second half of 2021 being more bullish given an expected reduction in milk supply growth and possible demand improvements. Mike’s full presentation can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAy6Xy-Nb7s&t=119s

Session three focused on risk management tools for dairy producers. OSU Extension Educator Chris Zoller provided an overview of USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage program, which is authorized through the Farm Bill every year. Producers wishing to sign up for DMC need to contact their FSA office prior to December 11 to enroll for 2021. Chris’ presentation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR_4SukNX2I&t=24s

Dr. Kenny Burdine, Associate Extension Professor, University of Kentucky, also presented during session three.  Dr. Burdine discussed Livestock Gross Margin Insurance- Dairy and gave a brief overview of using futures and options in milk price protection. Dr. Burdine suggested USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage Program as the first level of protection for smaller producers, with Livestock Gross Margin Insurance- Dairy being the second level of protection. Kenny’s presentation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdjEijnDCMw

Session three concluded with a presentation by OSU Extension Educator Jason Hartschuh on Dairy Revenue Protection Insurance offered through the Risk Management Agency. Jason reviewed six decisions for dairy producers to consider and provided examples of how to use the program. Additional information about this topic can be found at dairy@osu.edu under Dairy Revenue Protection. Jason’s presentation from the webinar series can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B38TVJkrlQU

For any additional questions or thoughts for future risk management webinars please reach out to Ben Brown at brown.6888@osu.edu, Dianne Shoemaker at shoemaker.3@osu.edu, Chris Zoller at zoller.1@osu.edu or your local OSU Extension Office.

Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for the 2021 Crop Year

By Ben Brown, The Ohio State University

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill. Producers must enroll  in ARC/PLC for the 2021 crop year through their local Farm Service Agency office. Producers can amend the program elections they made for the 2019 and 2020 crop years for the 2021 crop year. The signup period for the 2021 crop year is open now, and the deadline to enroll and make amendments to program elections is March 15, 2021.

If changes are not made by March 15, 2021 deadline, the election defaults to the programs selected for the 2020 crop year with no penalty. Producers will have the opportunity to amend program elections again for the 2022 and 2023 crop years.

Producers again have the option to enroll covered commodities in either ARC-County, ARC-Individual, or PLC. Program elections are made on a crop-by-crop basis unless selecting ARC-Individual where all crops under that FSA Farm Number fall under that program. ARC program payments are made when crop revenue falls below a guaranteed level, while PLC payments are made when a crops specific effective price is lower than its reference price. These are the same program options that were available to producers during the 2019 and 2020 crop years. In some cases, producers may want to amend program election to better manage the potential risks facing their farms during the 2021 crop year.

On December 1, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST program directors from the Ohio Farm Service Agency and Ohio State University Extension will host a free informational webinar about ARC/PLC enrollment and election for the 2021 crop year. During this free 1-hour webinar, state leaders will cover program design, economic considerations and frequently asked questions. To make sure your question is addressed during the webinar, please send to Ben Brown at brown.6888@osu.edu or 660-492-7574 prior to December 1, 2020.

To register, visit: go.osu.edu/arc_plc

 

USDA Releases Projections of Farm Prices to 2030

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

The Unites States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) released their 10 year projection for farm commodity prices.  The projections offer a mixed outlook based on expected increases in demand, exports, and market conditions this year.  See Figure 1 for the USDA-ERS price projections for several U.S. farm commodities.  These projections are not inflation adjusted.

The projections are based on an assumed long-term global outlook that includes a recovery in income growth—beginning in 2021—from the declines that have occurred in most economies during 2020. The outlook for the U.S. economy, and for many important U.S. agricultural markets and competitors, however, remains uncertain.

Figure 1.  Projected changes in U.S. farm commodities, 2020-2030

Crops

Wheat and cotton are projected by USDA-ERS to show the strongest gains. Wheat prices are projected to rise as domestic and export demand begins to outpace domestic production.  In addition to the potential to capitalize on projected price gains, you may want to consider incorporating wheat into your rotation for soil health, disease management, and other reasons.   Modest changes in prices for U.S. corn and soybeans from current levels reflect the relatively steady demand for these products during 2020, together with the moderating influences of productivity gains and continued export competition.  If the corn and soybean price projections are true, should you continue to grow these crops?

Livestock

Farm prices of hogs, broilers, and eggs are projected higher by 2030, as economic recovery restores growth in domestic and export demand. U.S. beef cattle prices are expected to rise during the early years of the 10-year projection period, before declining somewhat as the multi-year cattle cycle and a longer-term trend of sluggish demand growth turn prices downward.  For those in the beef business, the overall projected negative price change should be of concern.  What can you do now to plan for a downward price trend?

Planning

This USDA-ERS release is a prediction of future prices based on two things: (1) information known today and (2) anticipated changes over time.  What will you do with this information?  How will this and other information impact how you chart the course of your business?  The weather is a topic all farmers want to discuss but cannot control.  Planning, however, is something all farmers can control.  Use the available information to help make educated decisions about the future of your farm.  Read and review information, meet with your lender, accountant, and Extension Educator.

Ohio State University Extension crop budgets are developed annually and are available at https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-mgt-tools/farm-budgets.  These Excel-based budgets include a column for users to input their own information to evaluate scenarios.

The FINPACK computerized program is used by Ohio State University Extension to help farmers evaluate business changes.  Depending upon the commodities you produce, now may be the time to re-evaluate your business model.  If this is you, the FINPACK program can be of great benefit.  Additional information is available here:  https://farmprofitability.osu.edu/.

Source

United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Economic recovery, competition shape projections of U.S. farm prices to 2030. November 6, 2020.  Available at: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/chart-gallery/gallery/chart-detail/?chartId=99758