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

Tax Webinar for Farmers and Farmland Owners

by Barry Ward, OSU Extension, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools

Are you getting the most from your tax return? Farmers and farmland owners that wish to increase their tax knowledge should consider this webinar that will address tax issues important to them. Mark your calendars for January 29th, 2018 to participate in this 2 hour webinar from 10 am to noon.

The webinar, which focuses on tax issues specific to farmers and farmland owners will offer insight into topics such as new and proposed tax legislation as well as buying and selling farmland.

OSU Income Tax Schools which are a part of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will offer this webinar on January 29th from 10-noon.

The two-hour program, which will be presented in a live webinar format, is targeted towards farmers and farmland owners who file their own farm taxes or simply wish to arm themselves with more tax information that will help them to better plan for tax filing.

Topics to be discussed during the webinar include:

  • New and Proposed Tax Legislation
  • Ag Income and Expenses
  • Net Operating Losses
  • Buying and Selling Farmland
  • Rental Property
  • Demolition of Structures

The cost for the webinar is $35. To register for this live webinar, go to https://farmoffice.osu.edu/osu-income-tax-schools

Registration will be open on December 15th.

The OSU Income Tax School Program is a part of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Retreat Empowers Women to be Better Farm Managers

by: Amanda Douridas & Emily Adams, OSU Extension Educators

Female farmers, whether farming on their own or in a partnership, realize the importance of the business side of farming. Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

Annie spent her lifetime learning to be an involved farm business partner with her husband. Annie’s life experiences inspired her daughter, a university Extension agent, to create a program for women living and working in the complex, dynamic agriculture business environment. Annie’s Project fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women.

Two weekend retreats are being offered in Ohio this winter. Women will receive training in five areas of agricultural risk management: financial, marketing, production, legal, and human resources. Most importantly women are able to network and develop relationships with other women in agriculture.

Past participants have had this to say about the program:

“I changed my mind about how to approach communication with my in-laws as business partners.”

“I have gained tools to help improve management of our farm and insight on how to communicate the resources to other members of the farm.”

“I appreciated getting to meet others with a shared interest.”

“I encourage any woman to attend one of these great programs!”

The firs retreat will be held Dec 1-3 at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center, 14755 Cadiz Road, Lore City, OH 43755. The participant fee is $105 per person, which includes all materials and meals. Lodging is $99 per room per night with up to four people per room. Registration deadline is November 17. For questions about this program, please contact Emily Adams at adams.661@osu.edu or 740-622-2265.

The second retreat will be Feb 2-4 at Western Buckeye Christian Camp, 5455 Roeth Rd, Houston, OH 45333. The cost is $95 per person and includes all lodging, materials and meals. Please bring bedding and towels. The registration deadline is January 19. For questions about this retreat, please contact Amanda Douridas at Douridas.9@osu.edu or 937-484-1526.

Registration for both workshops can be found at: https://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/.


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.

Workshop Designed to Teach Women Landowners Negotiation Skills

by Tracy Turner

COSHOCTON, Ohio – Women landowners and tenants can learn the art of negotiation, drawing up lease contracts and other facets of land-lease agreements during a workshop offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The Ladies on the Land workshop is Oct. 20 from noon to 4:30 p.m. and will be held simultaneously in two locations: at the Frontier Power Community Room, 770 South 2nd St. in Coshocton; and at the Putnam County Extension Office, 1206 East 2nd St., in Ottawa.

The event is targeted toward female landowners and renters, said Emily Adams, an Ohio State University Extension educator and co-organizer of the event. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES. The goal of the workshop, she said, is to provide women landowners with the confidence, skills and resources necessary to successfully interact with tenants and also help both tenants and landowners develop and negotiate land-lease arrangements.

“Some women will find themselves in a situation where they haven’t been the primary landowners, but with the death of their parents or husband or other life experiences, they now are,” Adams said. “This will help them learn how to talk to tenants about what goes into a lease, how to feel confident in their abilities as a manger of their properties and to give them the tools they need to have those tough conversations.

“They may not have had the prior experience in negotiating tenant or land-lease agreements, so this workshop can help them understand the leasing process and what expectations they should have of their tenants from a land stewardship and economic standpoint.”

Statewide, some 31,413 women are reported as principal operators of farms. Combined, those farms cover some 3.8 million acres and contribute $230 million in economic impact, according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture.

The workshop will focus on:

  • The risks of leasing
  • Verbal leases versus written leases
  • The nuts and bolts of a lease
  • Communications with your tenant
  • The negotiation process and negotiation skills
  • Factors that affect the rental rate

Registration is $20 and includes lunch and any handouts. Information is available at u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/or by calling Adams at 740-622-2265 or Beth Scheckelhoff at 419-592-0806. The registration deadline is Oct. 13.

Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2016-17

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

Ohio cropland values and cash rental rates are projected to decrease in 2017. According to the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey, bare cropland values in western Ohio are expected to decrease from 4.4 to 8.2 percent in 2017 depending on the region and land class. Cash rents are expected to decline from 1.4 percent to 4.2 percent depending on the region and land class.

Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rent

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

Other factors impacting land values and cash rents are field size and shape, population density, ease of access, market access, local market prices, potential for wildlife damage, field perimeter characteristics, and competition for rented cropland in a region. This fact sheet summarizes data collected for western Ohio cropland values and cash rents.

2017 Study Results 

The Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents study was conducted from February through April in 2017. The opinion-based study surveyed professionals with a knowledge of Ohio’s cropland values and rental rates. Professionals surveyed were farm managers, rural appraisers, agricultural lenders, OSU Extension educators, farmers, landowners, and Farm Service Agency personnel.

The study results are based on 120 surveys returned, analyzed and summarized. Respondents were asked to group their estimates based on three land quality classes: average, top, and poor. Within each land-quality class, respondents were asked to estimate average corn and soybean yields for a five-year period based on typical farming practices. Survey respondents were also asked to estimate current bare cropland values and cash rents negotiated in the current or recent year for each land-quality class. Survey results are summarized for western Ohio with regional summaries (subsets of western Ohio) for northwest Ohio and southwest Ohio.

Factors Affecting Cash Rental Rates

Ultimately, supply and demand of cropland for rent determines the cash rental rate for each parcel. The expected return from producing crops on a farm parcel and the variability of that return are the primary drivers in determining the rental rates. Many of the following factors contribute to the expected crop return and the variability of that return. Secondary factors may exist and could affect potential rental rates. These secondary factors are also listed.

Expected Crop Return

Rent will vary based on expected crop return. The higher the expected return, the higher the rent will tend to be.

Variability of Crop Return

Land that exhibits highly variable returns may have rents discounted for this factor. For example, land that is poorly drained may exhibit variability of returns due to late plantings during wet springs.

Factors Affecting Expected Crop Return and Variability of Crop Return:

Land (Soil) Quality: Higher quality soils translate into higher rents.

Fertility Levels: Higher fertility levels often result in higher cash rents.

Drainage/Irrigation Capabilities: Better surface and sub-surface drainage of a farm often results in better yields and higher potential cash rent. Likewise, irrigation equipment tied to the land will allow for higher yields, profits and rents.

Size of Farm/Fields: Large farms/fields typically command higher average cash rent per acre due to the efficiencies gained by operators.

Shape of Fields: Square fields with fewer “point rows” will generally translate into higher cash rents as operators gain efficiencies from farming fields that are square.

Previous Tillage Systems or Crops: Previous crops and tillage systems that allow for an easy transition for new operators may enhance the cash rent value.

Field Border Characteristics: Fields surrounded by tree-lined fencerows, woodlots or other borders affecting crop growth at the field edge will negatively impact yield and therefore should be considered in rental negotiations.

Wildlife Damage Potential: Fields adjacent to significant wildlife cover including woodlots, tree lined fencerows, creeks, streams, and such may limit production potential to border rows and should be considered in rental negotiations.

Secondary Factors Affecting Rental Rates:

Buildings and Grain Storage Availability: Access to machinery and grain storage may enhance the value of the cropland rental rate.

Location of Farm (Including Road Access): Proximity to prospective operators may determine how much operators are willing to bid for cash rents. Good road access will generally enhance cash rent amounts.

USDA Farm Program Measurables: Farms that participate in the USDA Farm Program and have higher “program yields” may command higher cash rents than non-program farms.

Services Provided by Operator: Operators that provide services such as clearing fence rows, snow removal and other services may be valued by the landowner. This may even be a partial substitute for cash rent compensation.

Conditions of Lease: Conditions placed on the lease by the landowner may result in fewer prospective operators and a lower average cash rent.

Payment Dates: Leases that require part or all of the rent to be paid early in the year (up-front) may result in lower rental rates due to higher borrowing or opportunity costs for the operator.

Reputation of Landowner/Operator: Reputations of the parties may play a part in the cash rental negotiations. A landowner with a reputation of being difficult to work with may see cash rents negatively affected by this reputation. Farmers with a similar negative reputation may have to pay higher rents.

Special Contracts: Farms with special contract commitments may restrict the operator from changing crops based on market conditions. This may negatively impact cash rents. There may also be contracts that positively affect cash rents such as high value crop contracts or contracts for receiving livestock manure.


To access the complete summary go to:



Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets Project Low to Negative Returns Again for 2017

by: Barry Ward- Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be slightly lower to slightly higher in 2017 depending on the crop and the profit picture remains poor, much the same as in 2016. Variable costs for corn for 2017 are projected to be $328 to $407 per acre depending on land productivity. Lower fertilizer costs are offset by somewhat higher fuel, chemical and interest costs.

Variable costs for 2017 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $194 to $210 per acre. Some minor changes in soybean weed control assumptions led to higher herbicide costs. This higher cost together with higher fuel and interest expense more than offset lower fertilizer and seed costs.

Wheat variable expenses for 2017 are projected to range from $161 to $192 per acre, down slightly from 2016. Lower fertilizer prices are the primary drivers of lower variable costs in 2017 offsetting slightly higher herbicide costs.

With continued low crop prices expected for 2017, returns will likely be low to negative for many producers. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $183 to $342 per acre for corn and $212 to $384 per acre for soybeans. (This is assuming fall cash prices of $3.65 per bushel for corn and $9.40 per bushel for soybeans.) Projected returns above variable costs for wheat range from $112 to $205 per acre (assuming $4.20 per bushel summer cash price).

Returns to land for Ohio corn (Gross Revenue minus all costs except land cost) are projected to range from -$40 to $107 per acre in 2017 depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for Ohio soybeans are expected to range from $39 to $202 per acre depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for wheat (not including straw or double-crop returns) are projected to range from -$62 to $25 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line corn production in Ohio are estimated to be $786 per acre. This includes all variable costs as well as fixed machinery, labor, management and land costs. Fixed machinery costs of $130 per acre include depreciation, interest, insurance and housing. A land charge of $187 per acre is based on data from the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey Summary. Labor and management costs combined are calculated at $76 per acre. Returns Above Total Costs for trend line corn production are negative at -$157 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line soybean production in Ohio are estimated to be $566 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs – $108 per acre, land charge – $187 per acre, labor and management costs combined – $55 per acre.) Returns Above Total Costs for trend line soybean production are also negative at -$66 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line wheat production in Ohio are estimated to be $540 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs – $126 per acre, land charge – $187 per acre, labor and management costs combined – $38 per acre.) Returns Above Total Costs for trend line wheat production are also negative at -$205 per acre.

These projections are based on OSU Extension Ohio Crop Enterprise Budgets. Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2017 have been completed and posted to the OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Farm Management Tools website:








Western Ohio 2017 Agriculture Outlook Meeting

by Sam Custer, Extension Educator

What does 2017 look like for Western Ohio farmers and agricultural businesses?

Learn what to expect this year during an agricultural outlook meeting February 3 at noon presented by agriculture economists and swine specialist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The presentation is part of the 2017 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series offered by The Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the college. The meeting is being hosted by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educators from Auglaize, Darke, Miami, Mecer and Shelby Counties.

The meeting is partially sponsored by Farm Credit Mid America Merchants Bank of Indiana, Minster Bank, Second National Bank, The Andersons and Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net.

The meeting will feature presentations on matters the agricultural community should expect in 2017, including policy changes, key issues and market behavior with respect to farm, food and energy resources, and the environment, said Sam Custer, OSU Extension, Darke County Educator.

“Participants can listen and learn from Ohio State faculty as they discuss the opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector as well as interpret the impact of recent policy decisions,” Custer said.

Speakers for the outlook meeting are:

Dale Richer, State Swine Specialist, OSU Extension

Carl Zulauf, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University

Barry Ward, Asst. Professor, OSU Extension, Production Business Management

David Marrison, Assoc. Professor, OSU Extension

What we’ll cover:

  • Ohio Swine Production Update
  • Speculation on President Trump’s Policy Agenda
  • Examining Land Values, Cash Rents, Input Costs & Potential Crop Profitability in 2017
  • What Are Grain Markets Telling Us?
  • Farm & Estate Tax Laws – Planning for an Uncertain Future

“These presentations will provide excellent information and insights that will benefit farmers and agricultural leaders as they make plans for 2017 and beyond,” Custer said.

The meeting will be held at the Romer’s Party Room, 118 East Main Street, Greenville, Ohio.

Registration for the meeting is $20 (includes lunch) by January 27.  A registration flyer can be downloaded at http://go.osu.edu/2017darkeagoutlook.

For more information about the meeting, contact Custer at custer.2@osu.edu or 937.548.5215.


For more detailed information, visit the Darke County OSU Extension web site at www.darke.osu.edu, the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page.

Ag Outlook and Policy Meeting to be held on February 2 in Wooster, Ohio

So what’s ahead for farmers and Ag businesses in 2017?  OSU Extension invites producers to attend the Ag Outlook and Policy meeting on Thursday, February 2, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Fisher Auditorium OARDC located at 1680 Madison Avenue in Wooster, Ohio. A wide variety of experts will be on hand to share their agricultural outlook for 2017.

The following presentations will be made during the program:

Speculation on President Trump’s Policy Agenda and What Are Grain Markets Telling Us?- By: Carl Zulauf, Ag Policy Specialist and Professor Emeritus from The Ohio State University will provide “

Dairy Economic Update- By: Dianne Shoemaker: OSU Extension Dairy Production Economics Field Specialist

Beef Cattle Outlook- By: John Grimes: Extension Beef Program Specialist

Ten Legal Trends That Could Change Agriculture- Peggy Hall: OSU Extension Ag Law and Resources Program

Crop Budget and Cropland Rental Update- Rory Lewandowski: Extension Educator Wayne County

Farm & Estate Tax Laws – Planning for an Uncertain Future- David Marrison: Extension Educator Ashtabula County

This program is being sponsored by OSU Extension, Farmers National Bank, and Farm Credit.  The registration cost is $15 per person with the deadline of January 26, 2017. Make checks payable to OSU Extension. Please send checks and registration to: OSU Extension- Wayne County, 428 W. Liberty Street – Suite 12, Wooster, Ohio 44691.  More information can be obtained by calling the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or email Rory Lewandowski at Lewandowski.11@osu.edu

Farm Financial Management School to be held in Wayne County

Wayne County Extension is hosting a 6-evening farm financial management school on Thursday evenings in January and February.   The school will begin the evening of January 12 and run six consecutive Thursday evenings through February16.  This year’s school is going to focus on helping participants to answer 3 basic financial questions:

  • Where am I (the farm) financially?
  • Where do I (the farm) want to be financially?
  • How do I (the farm) get there?

The school will be structured to include presentations, discussion, and hands-on activities.  Participants will learn how to put together and use financial documents to measure their current farm financial situation, track expenses and cash flow, make decisions to help improve or maintain the financial situation, and work more effectively with Ag lenders.  Topics that will be covered over the 6 week school include: mission statements, balance sheets, cost of production, family living expense, farm income statements, farm cash flow statements, enterprise budgets, bench marking, financial standards/ratios, record keeping, budgeting,  working with ag lenders,  marketing, and crop insurance.  Each participant will receive a 3-ring binder notebook with materials and handouts from each session.

The school will be held in the commissioners meeting room located in the upper level of the county administration building.  A light meal will be available each evening at 6:45 pm and class instruction will begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 9:30 pm each evening.  The registration cost is $50/person.  Sponsorships provided by Farm Credit Mid-America, Farmers National Bank and Wayne Savings Community Bank are helping to cover presenter costs, mileage and materials.

Pre-registration is requested to the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 by Friday, January 6 or by email to Lisa Parker, Wayne County Extension office assistant at: parker.1269@osu.edu.   A farm financial management school flyer with a registration form is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/agwayne.