Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program Announces 2015 Conferences to Help Small Farm Owners

By: Tony Nye, Extension Educator, Clinton County

The agricultural landscape of today is very different than it was 20 – 25 years ago. Farms today are getting fewer in number and the ones that are left are growing in acreage. However, the Small Farm Program at Ohio State University Extension continues to see a huge interest in small farm production.

The “Small Farmer” is a term used for individuals who are practicing agriculture on a small amount of acreage, usually with less than 100 acres.  These farmers are many times new to agriculture and are looking to begin a different lifestyle.

Two conferences will be held in March 2015, which will be sponsored by OSU Extension’s Small Farm Program.  These conferences are designed for small farm owners who want to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them or expand their operations, or those new to agriculture who are looking for ways to utilize acreage.  Land owners can attend workshops and presentations on these issues and more during the two conferences: “Opening Doors to Success” and “Living Your Small Farm Dream”.

The two conferences, combined with a trade show, are set up to help participants learn tips, techniques and methods for diversifying their opportunities into successful new enterprises and markets as a way to improve economic growth and development on their farms.

Through the conferences, we try to give participants a smorgasbord of ideas that may interest them and opportunities to learn in-depth about an issue, gain resources, and study how to finance a new venture. Although similar in content, the two conferences are not set up to contain the same sessions nor are they located in the same location.

The “Opening Doors to Success” Conference and Trade Show will be held March 13-14, 2015 at the Wilmington College Campus Boyd Cultural Arts Center, 1870 Quaker Way, Wilmington, Ohio. This conference will kick off Friday afternoon with a few hands-on workshops focusing on pastures and fence, new specialty crop production techniques looking at hoop house management, irrigation and grafting, and finally a workshop on woodlands management.  On Saturday, the conference will feature 25-plus sessions from Ohio State and industry experts as well as a trade show for small farmers that will offer information that can benefit a variety of growers.

The “Living Your Small Farm Dream”, Conference and Trade Show will be held March 28, 2015 at the Shisler Conference Center on the Ohio State University Campus in Wooster, Ohio. Participants at this conference will be able to choose from more than 25 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts as well as question producer speakers on issues related to small farms.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The overall goal of these events and the mission of the OSU Small Farms Program is to provide a greater understanding of production practices, economics of land-use choices, assessment of personal and natural resources, marketing alternatives, and the identification of sources of assistance.

You are encouraged to attend both conferences as they will not cover all the same speakers or topics.  We try to keep the two conferences different so we can reach more producers and help them with their operation needs.

Some of the topics (Subject to Change) we plan to cover at the two conferences are:

  • Maple syrup
  • Goat production
  • Poultry production
  • Forages and hay
  • Livestock production
  • Direct marketing
  • Organics
  • Starting a business
  • Aquaculture
  • Legal issues for small farms
  • Soil basics
  • Brambles
  • High tunnels
  • Beekeeping
  • Vegetable and fruit production
  • Financing/loans
  • Tax issues

For more information about these two conferences, please visit http://agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs or contact Tony Nye at (937) 382-0901 or nye.1@osu.edu.

Indicated ARC-CO and PLC Payment for 2014 Crop Year Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat by State: January 2014

Click Here to Read Complete Article with Figures

by: Carl Zulauf and Sanghyo Kim, Professor and PhD student, Ohio State University, and Gary Schnitkey, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This article provides payment indicators for ARC-CO and PLC based on the January 12, 2015 WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) mid-price estimate and NASS’s (National Agricultural Statistical Service) crop production annual reports for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The term, payment indicator, is used because the estimates use state yield not the county yield used by ARC-CO or farm payment yield used by PLC.  Thus, the indicators are not estimates of payments an individual FSA farm will receive.  Nevertheless, they should help frame perspectives and questions regarding crop program choices.  Previous estimates exist for the U.S. and are available at the farmdocdaily articles of August 13, September 18, October 14, and December 18, 2014.

Calculation of Estimated Payment Indicators: ARC-CO makes a payment if county revenue is below 86% of the county’s benchmark revenue.  Benchmark revenue is obtained by multiplying 5-year Olympic moving averages (removes high and low values) of county yield and U.S. crop year price.  ARC-CO payments are capped at 10% of the benchmark revenue.  PLC makes payments when U.S. crop year average price is less than the crop’s reference price.  Congress specified the reference price in the 2014 farm bill.

Both programs use yield per planted, not harvested acre.  Yield per planted acre is calculated as production divided by acres planted to the crop, expect for corn.  For corn, acres harvested for silage are subtracted from planted acres.  Note that information is not available for all states to make yield per planted acre calculations.

The estimated per acre payment use the mid-price estimate, which is obtained by averaging the low and high end of the price range projected in the January 2015 WASDE.  The mid-price estimates are $3.65, $10.20, and $6.10 for corn, soybeans, and wheat, respectively.  Estimated per acre payments are adjusted for the program parameter that ARC-CO and PLC payments are made on 85%, not 100%, of program base acres (ARC-IC pays on 65% of base acres).

State per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year Corn:  Indicated ARC-CO payments per acre vary from $0 to $97 (Washington) (see Figure 1).  No ARC-CO payment is indicated for 8 of the 41 states for which information exist, including the top 10 corn production states of Kansas and Missouri.  The range of ARC-CO indicated payments underscores the significance of yield in determining payments by ARC.  For example, Illinois has an indicated payment of $6 per acre while neighboring Iowa has an indicated ARC-CO payment of $74 per acre.  Their ARC benchmark yields are close, 161 for Illinois and 165 for Iowa, but their yield per planted acre for the 2014 corn crop is 177 for Iowa vs. 199 for Illinois.

PLC payments are made for each state because the U.S. corn crop year price, currently projected at $3.65 for corn, is less than the corn reference price, $3.70.  PLC payments exceed ARC-CO payments for 10 of the 41 states for which information exist.  Compared with ARC-CO, the range in indicated PLC payments is much narrower, ranging from $3 for South Carolina to $8 for Washington.  The reason is that an average of yields (for 2008-2012) is used to calculate PLC payments.  In contrast, current, or 2014 crop year yields, are used when calculating ARC-CO payments.  Yields vary much more for a single year than when averaged over multiple years.

State per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year Soybeans:  ARC-CO payments are indicated for 7 of the 31 states for which information is available, including the top 10 producing states of Minnesota and Nebraska.  New York has the highest indicated payment of $20 per acre.  The states with an indicated payment had 2014 yields that were relatively low compared with their benchmark yields.  While the 2014 soybean crop year price is less than the soybean benchmark price, the 2014 soybean price is not low enough relative to its price benchmark to trigger widespread payments.  No PLC payment is indicated since the projected 2014 mid-price estimate of $10.20 is higher than the soybean reference price of $8.40.

State per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year Wheat:  ARC-CO payments are indicated for 12 of the 42 states for which information is available, including the top 10 producing states of Kansas, Texas, and Washington.  Washington has the highest indicated payment, $37 per acre.  The states with an indicated payment had 2014 yields that were relatively low compared with their benchmark yields.  While the 2014 wheat crop year price is less than the wheat benchmark price, the 2014 wheat price is not low enough relative to its price benchmark to trigger widespread payments.  No PLC payment is indicated since the projected 2014 mid-price estimate of $6.10 is higher than the wheat reference price of $5.50.

Summary Observations

►  For corn, ARC-CO is currently projected to make a higher payment than PLC for most, but not all, states.  Exceptions exist because 2014 yield is high enough to offset the lower 2014 price compared with the ARC benchmark price.

►  ARC-CO is currently indicated to make payments for soybeans and wheat in some states, with a key factor being how the state’s 2014 yield compares with its ARC benchmark yield.

►  The indicated payment estimates clearly underscore that ARC is a revenue, not a price, program.  Yield, not just price, is a key determinant of ARC payments.

►  PLC’s single focus is price.  Yield can offset or enhance the degree of risk resulting from price.    Low price does not necessary mean low revenue, just as high price does not necessarily mean high revenue.  Revenue is a broader measure of financial wellness than price.  Understanding the distinction between price and revenue is important to making an informed decision between ARC and PLC.  The focus of ARC is multiple years of shallow revenue risk with a benchmark of the previous 5 years, as modified by the use of a reference price floor; whereas PLC’s focus is the risk of multiple years of prices notably below a benchmark known as the reference price.

►  IMPORTANT CAVEAT:  Considerable uncertainty exists regarding actual 2014 crop year payments, if any, by ARC and PLC.  The reasons are that county yields are largely not available yet and that considerable uncertainty remains over the 2014 crop year average price.  For a more extensive discussion of the latter topic, see the January 8, 2015 farmdoc article, “2014 Crop Program Decision:  March WASDE Price Uncertainty,” by Carl Zulauf and Andrea Hershey.

 

 

 

2015 Ohio Vineyard Custom Rate Survey Being Conducted

by David Marrison, OSU Extension

OSU Extension is asking for your assistance in securing up-to-date information about the fee to perform tasks in Ohio vineyards.  Many vineyards across Ohio hire machinery operations and other vineyard related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many vineyards do not own equipment for every possible job they may encounter and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. To date, no survey has been conducted to analyze custom rates for vineyard work in Ohio. We are asking for your assistance in responding to this inaugural Ohio Vineyard Custom Rate Survey.

Please respond even if you only have a few rates to report.  Please report for what you have paid to hire work or what you charge if you perform custom work. Custom Rates should include all ownership costs of implement & tractor (if needed), operator labor, fuel and lube.  All data will be reported as averages/range in the final report. Thank you for your participation in this survey.  More information can be received by calling OSU Extension-Ashtabula County at 440-576-9008 or by emailing marrison.2@osu.edu

Click here to access the Ohio Vineyard Custom Survey- 2015

Ohio State University Extension announce two Corn Colleges set for late January 2015

by Tony Nye, OSU Extension Educator

These high impact programs are designed for producers wanting to be on the “Cutting Edge” of corn production for their operations.

 

Topics will include:

Agronomic Practices that Optimize Profitability in Corn Production-Perception vs. Reality – Dr Peter Thomison, OSU Extension, Corn production

Nitrogen Timing and Needs During Corn Development – Dr. Steve Culman OSU Extension, Soil Fertility

Influence of N Source on Timing of Application – Dr. Steve Culman OSU Extension, Soil Fertility

Fungicide Effects on Disease, Ear Rot and Yield in Field Corn – Dr. Pierce Paul, OSU Extension, Plant Pathology

Real Field Experiences with Variable Rate Nitrogen Applications – Tim Norris, Ag-Info Tech

The Central Ohio Corn College will be held Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Agricultural Services Building, 1025 Harcourt Road, Mt. Vernon, OH from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Deadline for registration is January 19, 2015.  Please send registration for the Central Ohio Corn College to OSU Extension Knox County, PO Box 1268, Mount Vernon, OH  43050. Make checks payable to OSU Extension.  For more information contact John Barker (barker.41@osu.edu / 740-397-0401).

2015 Knox corn college flyer

The Southwest Ohio Corn College will be held Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Clinton County Extension Community Room from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Deadline for registration is January 21, 2015. Please send registration for the Southwest Ohio Corn College to OSU Extension Clinton County, 111 S. Nelson Avenue, Suite 2, Wilmington, OH  45177. Make checks payable to OSU Extension.  For more information contact Tony Nye (nye.1@osu.edu / 937-382-0901).

2015 Clinton corn college flyer

Cost is $50 per person for the Corn College. Cost will include handouts, bulletins, refreshments, and lunch.  CCA Credits will be available that day.

 

ARC-CO and PLC Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year: December 2014 WASDE U.S. Yield and Price

Click here for PDF Version of article (with Tables & Figures)

by: Carl Zulauf, Professor, Ohio State University, and Gary Schnitkey, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This article provides payment indicators for ARC-CO and PLC based on the December 10, 2014 WASDE U.S. yield and U.S. price projections for barley, corn, oats, long grain rice, medium (and short) grain rice, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat.  Previous estimates were made using the August, September, and October WASDEs (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates).  Peanuts is added in this article.  The term, payment indicator, is used because the estimates use U.S. yield not the county yield used by ARC-CO or farm payment yield used by PLC.  Thus, the indicators are not estimates of payments an individual FSA farm will receive.  Nevertheless, they should help frame perspectives and questions regarding crop program choices.

Calculation of Estimated Payment Indicators: ARC-CO makes a payment if county revenue is below 86% of the county’s benchmark revenue.  Benchmark revenue is obtained by multiplying 5-year Olympic moving averages (removes high and low values) of county yield and U.S. crop year price.  ARC-CO payments are capped at 10% of the benchmark revenue.  PLC makes payments when U.S. crop year average price is less than the crop’s reference price.  Congress specified the reference price in the 2014 farm bill.

This article adds payment indicators for peanuts.  Peanuts are not reported in WASDE.  The U.S. yield estimate for peanuts is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s November Crop Production report.  Estimates for 2014 crop year low, mid, and high prices are obtained using the average of the prices reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service for the first 4 months of the peanut crop year, which begins August 1; the crop year average price reported for peanuts, and regression analysis.  The period of analysis is the 2004 – 2013 crop years.  The regression equation is used to estimate a projected 2014 crop year price.  The low and high price is minus and plus one standard error of the regression equation.  Explanatory power of the regression equation is 83%.

Last, the estimated per acre payment are adjusted for the program parameter that ARC-CO and PLC payments are made on 85%, not 100%, of program base acres (ARC-IC pays on 65% of base acres).  Please note, this adjustment is new to the December estimates and was not made in the August, September, and October estimates.

U.S. per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year – December WASDE Mid-Price:  Table 1 contains the December 2014 WASDE price projections for the 2014 crop year.  The mid-price projections indicate payments by ARC-CO for corn, sorghum, and wheat and by PLC for corn, long grain rice, and sorghum (see Figure 1). PLC payment is also indicated for peanuts, which has the highest indicated payment at $125 per acre.  The next two highest are PLC for long rice at $76 per acre and ARC-CO for corn at $67 per acre.  In general, payment indicators have changed relatively little since the September estimates.  Remember, actual payments depend upon county yield for ARC-CO and FSA payment yield for PLC.

U.S. per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year – December WASDE Low Price:  In addition to the payments indicated at the December WASDE mid-price, payments are indicated for barley (both programs) and soybeans (ARC-CO) at the WASDE low price projections (see Figure 2).  Also, ARC-CO is estimated to make payments for peanuts.  They only crops with no payment indicated are oats and medium / short grain rice.

At a $3.20 crop year price (low price estimate), payment for corn from ARC-CO and PLC are reasonably close.  They equal if price is $3.10.  Similar payments using U.S. yield means relative payments by ARC-CO and PLC will depend importantly on the relationship between the yields that affect payment:  farm program yield for PLC and actual and benchmark county yield for ARC-CO.  Moreover, as crop year price increases above (decreases below) $3.10 for corn, the higher paying program for 2014 will tend toward ARC-CO (PLC), especially as price moves further from $3.10.

Note, payment per acre by ACR-CO for corn is $67 per acre for both the WASDE low price and mid-price.  The reason is that, even though price is lower, ARC-CO’s payment is capped at 10% of ARC benchmark revenue.  In contrast, PLC has a much higher cap, which is determined by the difference between the reference price and loan rate.  Again, remember, actual payments depend upon county yield for ARC-CO and FSA farm payment yield for PLC, and payment is made on only 85% of base acres (65% for ARC-IC).

U.S. per acre Payment Indicator for 2014 Crop Year – December WASDE High Price:  Payments are indicated for only 4 crop-program combinations:  corn – ARC-CO; long grain rice, peanuts, and sorghum – PLC (see Figure 3).  Because payment is indicated at the WASDE high price, likelihood of payment for these crop-program combinations is higher.  However, payment is not 100% certain as U.S. crop year price can end up higher and, for ARC-CO, high county yields can offset low prices.

Potential Total 2014 Crop Year Payments:  In policy it is important to think at both the micro (individual farm or acre) level and macro (national) level.  However, given the uncertainty surrounding 2014 crop year price (and to some degree yield) and the critical unknown issue of which program farms will choose, we think it is too early to provide estimates of total farm program payments.  However, simple sensitivity assessments suggest total payments could exceed or be less than the $4 billion plus in direct payments that farmers gave up in the 2014 farm bill.  Based on current information, corn is likely to account for the bulk of payments due to its large program base acres and a 2014 mid-price estimate that is 36% below the Olympic average price for the 2009-2013 crop years.

Summary Observations

►  Whether or not ARC-CO or PLC is likely to make a payment for the 2014 crop year varies by crop.

►  As of December 10, 2014, the crops most likely to receive a payment by either ARC-CO or PLC are corn, peanuts, long grain rice, and sorghum.

►  Lower prices increase the probability and size of payments; however, because of the 10% cap on ARC-CO’s payment, lower prices will increase payments by ARC-CO for corn only slightly.

►  Sizeable differences in estimated indicator payments at the low and high WASDE price projections needs to be underscored.  The current range on U.S. crop year price projections bracket both high payments and no payments.  Simply put, it is too early in the 2014 crop year to talk with much certainty about the size of payments.  It is reasonable to say that 2014 crop year payments may occur, that they may be large if the right combination of price and yield materializes, that they will likely vary by crop, and that they will likely vary by program for a given crop.

►  Sizeable differences in estimated indicator payments at low and high WASDE prices mean that yield will be an important factor impacting 2014 payments.  County yield is a factor in determining 2014 payments by ARC-CO while payment yield is a factor in determining 2014 payments by PLC.

►  Comparison of payments under the current low, mid, and high prices in the December 2014 WASDE illustrate two of the important tradeoffs that need to be considered when choosing between ARC-CO and PLC.  PLC pays if price is below the reference price.  ARC-CO pays on price and yield declines relative to a benchmark revenue that can occur from any level of revenue.  Thus, for PLC to pay more than ARC-CO, U.S. crop year price must be below the reference price.  Moreover, U.S. crop year price will have to be below the reference price for more than one year and likely more than two years because of the high revenues of the last 5 years, which means that the ARC benchmark revenue starts from a relatively high level.  The second tradeoff is that the cap on payments is smaller for ARC-CO than for PLC.  Thus, potential payment by PLC is higher, although actual payment may be smaller because crop year average price is not below or only slightly below the reference price.  Preferences among these two tradeoffs are important considerations in determining which program to choose.

This publication is also available at http://ohioagmanager.osu.edu.

 

 

Table 1. Crop Year Price Estimates in December 2014 WASDE

Unit

Low

Mid

High

Barley

price/bushel

$4.85

$5.15

$5.45

Corn

price/bushel

$3.20

$3.50

$3.80

Oats

price/bushel

$3.05

$3.25

$3.45

Long grain rice

price/100 pounds

$12.00

$12.50

$13.00

Short/Medium grain rice

price/100 pounds

$18.50

$19.00

$19.50

Sorghum

price/bushel

$3.20

$3.50

$3.80

Soybeans

price/bushel

$9.00

$10.00

$11.00

Wheat

price/bushel

$5.80

$6.00

$6.20

Peanuts (estimated – see text)

$ / pound

$0.1985

$0.2201

$0.2417