Landowners Leaving a Legacy

by: Amanda Douridas

Land is an important investment. One that is often passed down through generations. Farmland needs to be monitored and cared for to maintain the value and sustainability if it is to be enjoyed and profitable for future generations. Following the success of Lady Landowners Leaving a Legacy offered this past summer, Landowners Leaving a Legacy is open to everyone. If you want to learn more about your land, farming and conservation practices and how to successfully pass it on to the next generation, this program is for you!

Farming has changed dramatically over the last several decades. The thought of trying to understand it all can be overwhelming, especially if not actively farming. This series is designed to help landowners understand critical conservation and farm management issues related to owning land. It will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to talk with tenants about farming and conservation practices used on their land. The farm management portion will provide an understanding of passing land on to the next generation and help establish fair rental rates by looking at current farm budgets. We will also visit a local farm to view practices currently implemented and hear from the landowners involved.

The series runs every other Monday, February 25 – May 13 from 6:00-8:30 pm in the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium in Urbana, Ohio. It is $70 for the series. If you are only able to attend a couple of session, it is $15 per session but there is a lot of value in getting to know other participants in the series and talking with them each week. Materials and dinner included. The registration flyer can be found at http://go.osu.edu/agevents. For questions or more information, please contact Amanda Douridas at 937-484-1526 or Douridas.9@osu.edu. Please register by February 19. The detailed agenda is below.

Feb 25- Building Soil Structure

    • Introductions
    • Soil Structure Discussion and Demo
    • Tillage Methods and Compaction
  • Soil Coverage Discussion and Demo

March 11- Implementing Conservation

  • Conservation Activity
  • Aquifer Demonstration
  • Watershed Maps of Participants Farms
  • Explanation of Conservation Practices

March 25- Value of the Land Beyond the Dollar

  • Land Value Diagram
  • Landowner/Tenant Relationship Panel
  • Wildlife Habitat Programs

April 15- Transition and Succession Planning

  • Peggy Hall and Wright Moore Law Firm

April 29- Leasing and Budgets

  • Good Leasing Contracts
  • Hunting Leases
  • Overview of Commodity Budgets

May 13- Farm Visit

Some activities developed by Women, Food and Agriculture Network for its Women Caring for the Land program.

Tips for Speaking with Your Lender

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR

2019 is upon us and you may be meeting soon with your lender to discuss financial needs for the year. We all know agriculture is suffering from poor economic conditions – and the outlook for many sectors of the industry doesn’t look real promising. A variety of factors are forcing lenders to be more critical of loan applications. Let’s review a few things you can do to assist your lender as they review your loan application.

Financial Forms:

A year-end Balance Sheet is very helpful and provides a snapshot of the assets, liabilities, and net worth of your farm. Get in the habit of completing one each year for your lender to keep on file and for your own reference so you can monitor changes over time. You can get a blank balance sheet from your lender or access one here: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-resources.

Cost of Production:

Know your cost of production. What does it cost you to produce 100 pounds of milk? What is your per acre or per ton cost to grow and harvest crops? If you need assistance with determining these, please see: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/ for copies of Ohio State University Extension production budgets and https://farmprofitability.osu.edu/business-summaries for copies of the Ohio Farm Business Summaries.

Goals:

Why are you requesting money from your lender? What is your goal(s)? What are you hoping to accomplish with the money you are requesting? Will you use the money as an operating loan to plant your crops? Are you planning an expansion? Are you wanting to consolidate existing debt? Regardless of the reason, your lender is going to need to know how you plan to repay the loan. A budget and cash flow projections will help everyone understand how the money will be used and how it will be repaid. Research has proven that you are more likely to accomplish your goals if they are written. Be sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timed (SMART). See this Ohio State University Extension fact sheet for information about writing SMART goals: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/node/767.

Tax Returns:

Your lender may request copies of your tax returns. Make sure you categorize income and expenses the same way each year. This allows the lender to compare apples-to-apples when evaluating your historic income and expenses. Also, if you pre-pay expenses or defer income, make sure your lender is aware of this so they can make accrual adjustments.

Communication:

Communication with your lender is critical. Your lender is interested in understanding your farm, knowing how you are progressing, and what your plans are for the short and long-term. Invite your lender to visit the farm for a tour, a ride in the tractor, or to assist with milking!

Business Plan:

Every lender would love to see each client have a written business plan. A business plan is made up of five parts: Executive Summary, Description, Operations, Marketing Plan, and Financial Plan. The University of Minnesota Extension has a template available at the following site: https://agplan.umn.edu/.

Summary: The items discussed in this article are ones you can control. Focus on these areas and make adjustments accordingly to make improvements. Contact your local Extension Educator or the Ohio State University Extension Farm Profitability Program for assistance.

Resources:

The Basics of a Farm Balance Sheet, OSU Extension Fact Sheet ANR-64, available at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-64

Seven Tips for a Strong Marketing Plan, American Bankers Association, available at: https://www.aba.com/Press/Pages/111218AgMktgTips.aspx

Tips for Working with Your Lender, University of Minnesota Extension, available at: https://blog-abm-news.extension.umn.edu/2016/08/tips-for-working-with-your-lender.html

Learn to Talk Like Your Banker, Greg Meyer, OSU Extension, Warren County

(Originally published in Farm and Dairy, January 24, 2019)

 

 

 

Farm Succession Workshop to Be Held in Celina

by: Denny Riethman, Extension Educator

A workshop on farm transition and succession will be held 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. January 30, 2019, at Romer’s Catering at Westlake, 1100 S. Main St., Celina. This event is designed to help families develop a succession plan for their farm business, learn ways to transfer management skills and the farm’s business assets from one generation to the next and learn how to have conversations about the future of one’s farm. Attendees are encouraged to bring members from each generation to the workshop. Featured speakers will include David Marrison, OSU associate professor; extension educator, attorney Robert Moore with Wright & Moore Law Co., Peggy Hall, OSU assistant professor and an attorney in agricultural law; and Denny Riethman, Mercer County OSU Extension educator. Registration is limited to the first 60 people. The cost is $20 per person and $30 per couple. The registration deadline is January 23. Contact the Mercer County OSU Extension Office at 419-586-2179 to register.

Topics covered during the workshop will include:

 • key questions to answer when planning for the future of the family farm business.  

• family communication in the farm-transition process.

• analyzing the family farm business/keeping the business competitive into the future. 

• providing income for multiple generations.

 • developing the next generation of farm managers

• farm succession with multiple offspring and family members: fair versus equal.

• retirement strategies.

• preparing for the unexpected.

• strategies to get farm and family affairs in order.

• analyzing risk in today’s world.

• long-term health-care issues and costs.

• farm business structures and their role in estate and transition planning.

• estate and transfer strategies.

• buy/sell agreements.

• trusts and life insurance.

• tax implications of estate and transition planning.

• information needed by an attorney

 

 

2019 Wayne County Farm Financial Management School

by Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator-Wayne County

Many sectors of the commercial agriculture economy are facing very thin to non-existent profit margins.  In these situations, knowing your financial position and the cost of production of various enterprises is critical to making financial decisions and charting a course for the future.

A 6-evening farm financial management school (FFMS) is scheduled for Wednesday evenings in January and February in Wayne County beginning the evening of January 16 and running consecutively through February 20.  The 2019 FFMS will focus on teaching participants how to develop and use core farm financial documents and statements.

The school will use presentations, class discussion, group work, case farm examples and hands-on activities to teach participants how to assemble and use essential farm financial documents.  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 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, benchmarking, financial standards/ratios, record keeping, and working with Ag lenders.  Each participant will receive a 3-ring binder notebook with materials and handouts from each session.

The 2019 FFMS will meet in the commissioners meeting room located in the upper level of the Wayne County Administration Building in Wooster.  A light meal will be available each evening at 6:30 pm and class instruction will begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 9:30 pm each evening.  The registration cost is $50/person or for up to three people from the same farm business.  Sponsorships provided by Farm Credit Mid-America, Farmers National Bank, Wayne Savings Community Bank and Farmers State Bank are helping to cover some of the program expenses. Pre-registration is requested to the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 or by email to ferencak.2@osu.edu by Friday, January 11.  A program flyer that includes a registration form is available on-line at http://go.osu.edu/2019FFMS.

Farm Bankruptcies are Stabilizing

Sources: Robert Dinterman and Ani L. Katchova, Farm Income Enhancement Program, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics- The Ohio State University

Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings have been fairly stable over the past few quarters and have stabilized to around the same levels as when chapter 12 became a permanent fixture of the bankruptcy code in 2005. The US experienced elevated levels of chapter 12 filings towards the end of 2009 through mid-2012, but aside from the second quarter of 2017 there has not been a quarter with more than 150 chapter 12 bankruptcies filed and that is a good sign for the agricultural sector. In general, the second quarter, which consists of the period between April 1st and June 30th, is the quarter that typically has the highest number of bankruptcies in a year.

While nationally there has been a stabilization of farm bankruptcies, there is still substantial regional variation in farm bankruptcies and some areas are doing better than others across the US. For instance, Wisconsin led the nation in farm bankruptcies over the past year with 47 chapter 12 cases filed between October of 2017 and September of 2018. This has been a recent trend for Wisconsin as they had 41 filed the 12 month period before October 2017 and 36 the 12-month period before that. While Wisconsin has had an upward trend, they have not seen the largest increase in bankruptcies year-over-year as Nebraska, New York, and Minnesota have seen larger gains in the number of farm bankruptcies filed since October 1st of 2017.

Read the full 2018 Farm Bankruptcy Updated Report

Small Farm & New Farm College Programs to be Held

By Tony Nye, Extension Educator

Are you a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage? Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin? Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise but you just aren’t sure of what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or management perspective? Are you looking for someplace to get some basic farm information? If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the Ohio State University New and Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.

The Ohio State University New and Small Farm College is an 8 session short course that will be held one night a week. The 2019 Ohio New and Small Farm College program will be held in three locations across the state including:

Miami Valley CTC, West Building, Room 179, 6800 Hoke Road, Englewood, OH 45315. Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning January 8 and concluding on February 26, 2019. Inclement weather makeup date will be March 5. Contact the Montgomery County Extension Office at 937-224-9654.

Vinton County area at the Community Building, 31935 State Route 93, McArthur, OH 45651. Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning January 15 and concluding March 5, 2019. Inclement weather makeup will be March 12. For more information, contact Vinton County Extension at 740-596-5212.

Adams County area at the North Adams High School, 96 Green Devil Drive, Seaman, OH 45679. Classes will be held on Wednesdays beginning January 16 and concluding March 6, 2019. Inclement weather makeup date will be March 13.  For more information, contact Adams County Extension at 937-544-2339.

All colleges will start each evening at 6:00 PM with a light dinner with the nightly presentations beginning at 6:30 Pm and concluding at 9:00PM.

Topics that will be covered in the Small Farm College course include: Getting Started (goal setting, resource inventory, business planning), Appropriate Land Use -Walking The Farm, Where to Get Assistance, (identifying various agencies, organizations, and groups), Natural Resource Management including soils, ponds, woodlands and wildlife, Legal Issues, Insurance, Business Structure, Finances & Record Keeping, and Marketing Alternatives, Crop and Horticultural Production Options, Animal Production Options,

The cost of the course is $150 per person, $100 for an additional family member. Each participating family will receive a small farm college notebook full of the information presented in each class session plus additional materials. Registrations are now being accepted. For more details about the course and/or a registration form, contact Tony Nye, Small Farm Program Coordinator 937-382-0901 or email at nye.1@osu.edu.

 

Agronomy and Farm Management Podcast

by: Amanda Douridas and Elizabeth Hawkins

Stay on top of what is happening in the field and the farm office as Amanda Douridas and Elizabeth Hawkins interview experts in agronomy and farm management. Hosted by Ohio State University Extension, this podcast takes a bi-monthly dive into specific issues that impact agriculture, such as: weather, land value, policies, commodity outlooks, and more.

This podcast began in May 2018 and has a great library of podcasts to choose from. This winter, we will feature some of the Ask the Expert interviews that occurred during Farm Science Review on Farm Management topics. Catch up on the ones you missed during the show.

Subscribe through iTunes at http://go.osu.edu/iTunesAFM or Stitcher at http://go.osu.edu/StitcherAFM to have the newest episodes added to your playlist. Stay up to date with us on Facebook @AFMPodcast and Twitter @AFM_Podcast.

 

2019 Outlook Meetings to be held Across Ohio

by Amanda Douridas, Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce the 2019 Agricultural Outlook Meetings! In 2019 there will be seven locations in Ohio. Each location will have a presentation on Commodity Prices- Today’s YoYo. Additional topics vary by location and include U.S. Trade Policy: Where is it Headed, Examining the 2019 Ohio Farm Economy, Weather Outlook, Dairy Production Economics Update, Beef and Dairy Outlook, Consumer Trends, and Farm Tax Update.

Join the faculty from Ohio State University Extension and Ohio State Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics 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 outlook meeting are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Date: January 14, 2019 Time: 7:30 am – 10:30 am Speakers: Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Ian Sheldon, Zoe Plakias, Aaron Wilson Location: Emmett Chapel, 318 Tarlton Rd, Circleville, OH 43113 Cost: $10.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension Pickaway County 740-474-7534 By: January 12th More information can be found at: http://pickaway.osu.edu

Date: January 17, 2019 Time: 8:00 am – noon Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, Ian Sheldon, Aaron Wilson Location: Der Dutchman, Plain City, 445 S Jefferson Ave. Cost: $15.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Union County 937-644-8117 By: January 10th More information can be found at: http://union.osu.edu

Date: January 24, 2019 Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, David Marrison 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 28, 2019 Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Speakers: Ian Sheldon, Ben Brown, Aaron Wilson Location: Jewell Community Center Cost: $10.00 (after deadline $20.00) RSVP: OSU Extension, Defiance County 419-782-4771 By: January 22nd More information can be found at: http://defiance.osu.edu

Date: January 30, 2019 Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm Speakers: Ian Sheldon, Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Dianne Shoemaker, David Marrison, Kenneth Burdine 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: February 13, 2019 Time: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, Ian Sheldon Location: Wayside Chapel, 2341 Kerstetter Rd.,  Bucyrus OH 44820 Cost: $15.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Crawford County 419-562-8731 or email hartschuh.11@osu.edu By: February 5th More information can be found at: http://crawford.osu.edu

Date: March 22, 2019 Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, David Marrison, Ian Sheldon Location: Chamber Ag Day / Ag Outlook meeting, Darke County Romers 118 E Main St., Greenville Registration Flyer: http://go.osu.edu/2019darkeagoutlook Cost: $20 RSVP: Darke County Extension office at 937-548-5215 By: March 16th More information can be found at: http://darke.osu.edu

 

Ohio Agricultural Lending Outlook: Fall 2018

Sources: Eric C. Davis, Robert Dinterman, and Ani L. Katchova
Farm Income Enhancement Program
Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
The Ohio State University

Financial stress is a problem afflicting numerous Americans. The Financial Health Institute describes it as a “result of financial and/or economic events that create anxiety, worry, or a sense of scarcity”1. When trying to understand the level of financial stress that farmers are facing, the most tangible window through which to glimpse that condition is loan payments. By understanding whether or not farmers are able to make timely loan payments, one can know if farm income is sufficient to allow debts to be covered, and the most common way of doing this is by examining delinquency data, which is information that lending institutions report concerning the value of loans that are more than 90 days overdue. Read the full article by clicking on this link: Ag Lending Outlook FIE 2018-1mkmj88

Ohio State University Extension On-Farm Energy Demand Monitoring Project

Chris Zoller –Extension Educator, ANR & Eric Romich- Extension Field Specialist, Energy Education

Greater automation on farms has resulted in an increase in energy consumption on many farms. Due to increased electrical usage, many farms are now billed on a commercial rate structure. Unlike residential rates, which are based primarily on total energy usage measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), commercial accounts are also charged for the highest peak demand usage spike over a short time period measured in kilowatts (kW).

Ohio State University Extension secured grant funding to investigate how peak energy demand affects livestock facilities and, in turn, the manner by which farmers can implement energy management strategies, and make investments in equipment to minimize costs and promote long-term sustainability. We have equipment installed on six university and/or private swine and dairy farms across the state. Monitoring equipment installation was finalized earlier this year and we have begun collecting data from each cooperating farm. OSU Extension personnel involved in the project include Eric Romich, Tim Barnes, Rory Lewandowski, Eric Richer, Dale Ricker, and Chris Zoller.

While we are have not collected enough data to make any specific recommendations, we have a few months of data collected that has provided us the opportunity to make sure our monitoring equipment is functioning properly. As data is collected, it is shared with faculty and students in the Ohio State University College of Computer and Electrical Engineering. Students and faculty in the college analyze the data to develop a model that will help us interpret the findings.

Click Here to Access Full Report Which Shows Results

Observations

Many farmers are aware if they are on a demand rate. However, fewer farmers fully understand the details of how their demand charges are calculated including monthly measured demand formulas, power factor correction penalties, and if they are charged a minimum monthly demand based on seasonal spikes. These specific electric rate details greatly influence possible solution strategies.

Based on the preliminary data, there appears to be some motor loads that can be shifted (load shifting) to perform work during times when other critical motor loads are idle, thus reducing demand charges. Ultimately, energy management strategies to reduce demand cost will likely include a mixture of energy conservation, energy efficiency technologies, programmable logic controls and timers to preform load shifting, and possible on-site electric generation.

Summary

Obviously, farmers are interested in ways to reduce energy operational cost. However, before making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy equipment, it is important to understand how you are charged for electricity. Some farms are still on residential electric rate tariffs and their bills are relatively easy to understand. However, because farms are using more electric, many farms are now on commercial electric rate tariffs that are more complex. Taking the time to investigate your rate tariff and analyze your consumption patterns will help you prioritize potential energy savings solutions, providing you the greatest return on your investment.