OSU Extension will host a virtual three-part “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” workshop on February 15, 22, and March 1, 2021, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. This workshop will challenge farm families to actively plan for the future of the farm business. This workshop is designed to help farm families learn strategies and tools to successfully create succession and estate plan that helps you transfer your farm’s ownership, management, and assets to the next generation. Learn how to have crucial conversations about the future of your farm. Continue reading
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 to higher-income taxpayers. Continue reading
“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:
- 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!
Changes to Ohio Drainage Law considered in Senate—The Ohio Senate’s Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee continues to hold hearings on HB 340, a bill that would revise drainage laws. The bill was passed in the house on June 9, 2020. The 157-page bill would amend the current drainage law by making changes to the process for proposing, approving, and implementing new drainage improvements, whether the petition is filed with the board of the Soil and Water Conservation District, the board of county commissioners, or with multiple counties to construct a joint county drainage improvement. The bill would further apply the single county maintenance procedures and procedures for calculating assessments for maintenance to multi-county ditches and soil and water conservation districts. You can find the current language of the bill, along with a helpful analysis of the bill, here.
Purple paint to warn trespassers? Elsewhere in the state Senate, SB 290 seems to be moving again after a lengthy stall, as it was recently on the agenda for a meeting of the Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee. If passed, SB 290 would allow landowners to use purple paint marks to warn intruders that they are trespassing. The purple paint marks can be placed on trees or posts on the around the property. Each paint mark would have to measure at least three feet and be located between three and five feet from the base of the tree or post. Furthermore, each painted mark must be “readily visible,” and the space between two marks cannot be more than 25 yards. You can see the text, along with other information about the bill here.
Environmental groups look to “Enlist” more judges to reevaluate decisions. In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided it would not overturn the EPA registration for the herbicide Enlist Duo, which is meant to kill weeds in corn, soybean, and cotton fields, and is made up of 2,4-D choline salt and glyphosate. Although the court upheld registration of the herbicide, it remanded the case so that EPA could consider how Enlist affects monarch butterflies. The court found that EPA failed to do this even though it was required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). On September 15, 2020, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other groups involved in the lawsuit filed a petition to rehear the case “en banc,” meaning that the case would be heard by a group of nine judges instead of just three. If accepted, the rehearing would involve claims that the EPA did not follow the Endangered Species Act when it made the decision to register Enlist Duo. Continue reading
The video recap of October 7, 2020, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
The October 7th session included updates on the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2), 2020 crop enterprise budgets, farm custom rates, COVID immunity legislation, and other emerging legal and economic issues.
Farm Office Live will be back for a review of the latest on round two of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), 2020 crop enterprise budgets, new custom rates, and Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents survey summary, Ohio’s COVID-19 immunity legislation, and other current issues in farm management.
Join our experts for quick presentations and Q & A. Go to https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive to register or view past webinars and PowerPoint slides.
By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
It took five months of negotiation, but the Ohio General Assembly has enacted a controversial bill that grants immunity from civil liability for coronavirus injuries, deaths, or losses. Governor DeWine signed House Bill 606 on September 14, stating that it strikes a balance between reopening the economy and keeping Ohioans safe. The bill will be effective in 90 days.
The bill’s statement of findings and declaration of intent illustrate why it faced disagreement within the General Assembly. After stating its findings that business owners are unsure of the tort liability they may face when reopening after COVID-19, that businesses need certainty because recommendations on how to avoid COVID-19 change frequently, that individuals who decide to go out in public places should bear responsibility for taking steps to avoid exposure to COVID-19, that nothing in existing Ohio law established duties on business and premise owners to prevent exposure to airborne germs and viruses, and that the legislature has not delegated authority to Ohio’s Executive Branch to create new legal duties for business and premises owners, the General Assembly made a clear declaration of intent in the bill: “Orders and recommendations from the Executive Branch, from counties and local municipalities, from boards of health and other agencies, and from any federal government agency do not create any new legal duties for purposes of tort liability” and “are presumed to be irrelevant to the issue of the existence of a duty or breach of a duty….and inadmissible at trial to establish proof of a duty or breach of a duty in tort actions.” Continue reading
Landowners or producers with a Power of Attorney for their landowner have until September 30, 2020, to update their Price Loss Coverage (PLC) yield, also referred to as farm yield, information on file with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). PLC yields exist for each FSA farm number and commodity. This one-time opportunity to update yield information for covered commodities was a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill. The updated yields will be used to calculate payments under the PLC program for 2020 through 2023 crop years if market prices trigger payments. PLC yields have also been used before in disaster relief programs. There is no guarantee that farmers will have this opportunity again under future farm bills. If a farm chooses to not update its yield info the existing yields for the farm will be used. Not all updated yields will produce a higher yield. In the case where the new calculated yield for a farm and commodity is lower than the existing yield, FSA will take the higher of the two. Producers who are currently enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) should also consider updating their yields as the option to change program election exists within the current farm bill in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Yields will be updated by submitting FSA form CCC-867 for each farm number and covered commodity. Each completed form will need to include one signature of a farm owner. If the reported yield in any year is less than 75 percent of the 2013-2017 average county yield, the yield will be substituted with 75 percent of the county average yield. For more information please contact your local FSA office.
The FSA form CCC-867 can be found here
LONDON, Ohio—The U.S. trade policy, labor and immigration issues, agricultural commodity markets, and the food supply chain will be among the topics addressed at a panel discussion during the 59th annual Farm Science Review Sept. 22–24 at fsr.osu.edu.
The previously titled Tobin Talk, now The Talk on Friday Avenue, “Value Chains in Food and Agriculture,” on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. at fsr.osu.edu, will feature comments from a panel of agricultural economists from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
The Talk on Friday Avenue is among a series of presentations at Farm Science Review to address topics relevant to the agricultural industry, from controlling weeds and managing beef cattle to reducing safety hazards on the farm and growing plants indoors in water, without soil.
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Farm Science Review will be exclusively virtual, so you can find out about the latest in farm technology and techniques from the convenience of your home. The show, which is sponsored by CFAES, is free. Sign up at fsr.osu.edu.
If you require an accommodation, such as live captioning or interpretation, to participate in this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Talk on Friday Avenue is an annual panel discussion given by agricultural economists in CFAES. This year it will focus on supply chains in food and agriculture, many of which were tested earlier this year when the nation’s major meat processors closed down temporarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which left many employees ill with COVID-19. Continue reading
By David Marrison, Jeff Workman & Chris Bruynis
For the first time in its nearly 60 year history, Ohio State’s Farm Science Review scheduled for September 22 -24 will not be held in-person. Instead, a virtual show will be held and the Review will come to you on your laptop or smartphone this year, and for free. You can watch live-streamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research to pique your curiosity.
Virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to fsr.osu.edu and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.
Among the live-streamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes. If you miss any, you can check back after the talks to watch the recordings.
The 20 minute “Ask the Expert” presentations at Farm Science Review are one segment of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine comprehensive Extension Education efforts during the three days of the Farm Science Review. Our experts will share science-based recommendations and solutions to the issues people are facing regarding weather impacts, tariffs, veterinarian medicine, and low commodity prices.
Topics for talks at FSR this year include the risks of transmitting COVID-19 to your animals, the prospects of U.S. agricultural exports abroad, increasing profits from small grains by planting double crops, climate trends, managing cash flow on the farm, farm stress, and rental rates on agricultural land.
To access all prerecorded and live-streamed talks at Farm Science Review, sign up on or after Sept. 8 at fsr.osu.edu.
A major agronomic debate is being played out in Columbus now, which has potentially large ramifications for western Lake Erie and goes beyond simply looking at the staggering volumes of liquid and solid excrement produced by northwest Ohio cows, hogs, and chickens.
It focuses on the minutia of agricultural science, right down to the parts per million of phosphorus applied to soil in the form of manure.
One of the many groups raising questions is the Lake Erie Foundation, a consortium of Lake Erie-area business and environmental interests. That group and others, including Lake Erie Waterkeeper, want manure-based phosphorus applications dialed down to roughly the same concentration as commercially made, synthetic fertilizers, which is about 40 to 50 parts per million. Manure has for years been applied on northwest Ohio crop farms at much higher concentrations, usually 150 ppm. Some critics, though, claim the application rate has, in reality, gotten as high as 200 ppm to 250 ppm.
From information gathered in a public records request, the foundation believes the state of Ohio has rejected a recommendation from an independent consultant, McKinsey & Co., to promote 50 ppm as a limit for manure, even though Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture director, showed support for that in 2019. The firm was paid $1.5 million to provide advice to the DeWine administration for its H2Ohio program, which aims to improve water quality statewide through better farming techniques, more and improved wetlands, better pipelines, and other measures. Continue reading
The USDA recently opened the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to nursery crops (including greenhouse) and cut flower producers – and added numerous additional specialty crops to the list of eligible commodities.
What is CFAP? This federal assistance program is geared to help producers that have faced 5% or greater price declines, lost product due to changing supply chain issues, or have faced additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. Want more info on CFAP?
Its that time of year when some of our ugly weeds begin to make their presence known by rising above crop canopies, appearing along the side of the road, etc. I typically receive many questions about noxious weed identification, control, legal issues, and more. Below is the first page of the OSU Law Bulletin on Noxious weeds. Click here to download the complete bulletin.
Farming has always been an unpredictable way to make a living, and that unpredictability can lead to financial stress. Whether caused by down markets, weather impacts, rising input costs, high land values, poor decision making, medical issues, or a host of other unforeseen circumstances, serious financial stress can be a reality a farmer must face.
Filing bankruptcy can be one way to address farm financial stress. But because of its consequences, bankruptcy is not a decision to take lightly and might not be the best option. Our newest resources target farmers who are dealing with financial challenges and considering bankruptcy. Facing Farm Financial Stress: An Overview of the Bankruptcy Option offers a seven-part series of law bulletins and infographics focused on bankruptcy issues for farmers. The series covers:
- Assessing the bankruptcy option. Steps to take and considerations to make when dealing with financial stress, including alternatives to bankruptcy and farmer to farmer advice from families that have been through the bankruptcy process.
- An overview of bankruptcy law. We explain and visualize the legal process, people, institutions, and legal terms involved in bankruptcy with a focus on Chapter 12, the law reserved for qualifying farmers and fishermen.
- Thriving after a farm bankruptcy. Ideas for setting a course to attain farm financial stability and reestablish relationships after filing bankruptcy, including farmer to farmer advice from those who’ve survived the bankruptcy.
Our team of authors, which included me along with OSU’s David Marrison, Hannah Scott, and Chris Zoller–created the resources with support from the USDA’s National Agriculture Library and in partnership with the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC). The series is available on our Farm Office site here or on NALC’s site here.
Written by Peggy Kirk Hall and Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, June 24, 2020
Many farmers have utilized the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to obtain federal funds to help with payroll and certain non-payroll expenses in the wake of COVID-19. As we’ve discussed on our Farm Office Live webinars here, Congress revised the PPP with the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act earlier this month. As a result of the new legislation, the Small Business Administration released a series of Interim Final Rules (IFRs) and a new forgiveness application. The IFRs, available here, clarify certain points contained in the bill and provide revisions to previous IFRs. All of these changes affect how farmers can use the funds and how much of the funds can be forgiven from loan repayment requirements. Continue reading
State Climatology Field Specialist, Aaron Wilson, and Ben Brown, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Agricultural Risk Management, both with The Ohio State University will give summer weather and grain market update after the release of the 2020 Acreage and Grain Stocks Reports from the United States Department of Agriculture. Due to the Coronavirus, economic conditions for corn changed rapidly after the Prospective Plantings Report with likely changes in acreage for the Eastern Corn-Belt. Weather, as always, during July and August will play a major factor in final yields and production in 2020.
One of the questions I have received this week is I can’t join the OSU Farm Office Live, where do I get these recordings. Great News — You can view these recordings and also download the presenter slides at farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive.
I have also included the webinars from April 6 to June 11 below. Go to the link above to review today’s session. Continue reading
There was a great deal of action last Friday in the case that vacated the registrations of XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan dicamba-based products. Despite a barrage of court filings on Friday, however, nothing has changed the current legal status of the dicamba products in Ohio, and Ohio growers may use existing stocks of the products now. Still, they must end-use by June 30th, 2020.
Here’s a rundown of the orders that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the case last Friday:
The court denied the emergency motion that the petitioners (National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, and Pesticide Action Network North America) filed on June 13th. That motion asked the court to enforce its previous mandate to vacate the registrations, to prevent any further use of the products, and to hold the EPA in contempt for issuing the Cancellation Order the agency had made that allowed continued use of existing stocks of the products. The court did not provide its reasoning for denying the motion. Continue reading
OSU Extension is pleased to be offering the “Farm Office Live” session on Thursday morning, June 11 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. Farmers, educators, and ag industry professionals are invited to log-on for the latest updates on the issues that impact our farm economy.
The session will begin with the Farm Office Team answering questions asked over the two weeks. Topics to be highlighted include:
- Updates on the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program
- Prevent Plant Update
- Business & Industry CARES Act Program
- EIDL Update
- CFAP- update on beef classifications and commodity contract eligibility
- Dicamba Court Decision Update
- Other legal and economic issues
Plenty of time has been allotted for questions and answers from attendees. Each office session is limited to 500 people and if you miss the on-line office hours, the session recording can be accessed at https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelivethe following day. Participants can pre-register or join in on Thursday morning at