New bulletins on personal guarantees and operating loans

Farms and financing–that’s a common combination in agriculture.  Because farm operators often use financing arrangements to fund the capital-intensive nature of farming, we created the Financing the Farm law bulletin series.  The series aims to help operators, especially new and beginning farmers, understand the legal workings of farm financing arrangements.

We’ve just added two new bulletins to the Financing the Farm series.  “Personal Guarantees and Agricultural Loans” address the legalities of a personal guarantee–a personal promise made by a third party to pay the loan if the borrower fails to do so.  We explain when lenders might require a personal guarantee for a loan, how a personal guarantee works, and issues and implications for entering into this type of agreement. Continue reading

Ohio Legislative Update: County Fair Funds, Water Quality Bonds, Animal-drawn Vehicles, Regulation, Broadband Services, Eminent Domain, Beginning Farmer Funds, Wind, Solar

Hopefully, Ohio’s planting season will soon be as busy as its legislative season.  There’s a lot of activity down at the capitol these days, with many bills on the move.  Here’s a summary of bills that could impact agriculture and rural communities. Note that the summary doesn’t include the budget bill, which we’ll address in a separate article.

Water quality bonds.  A joint resolution recently offered in the Senate supports amending Ohio’s Constitution to create permanent funds for clean water improvements.  S.J.R. 2, a bipartisan proposal from Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Hts.) would place a ballot issue before voters in November.  The issue proposes amending the Constitution to allow for the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund clean water improvements.  Up to $1 billion over 10 years would be permissible, with no more than $100 million allocated in any fiscal year.  Bond funds would create a permanent source of funding for the H2Ohio program, which is now dependent upon the state budget process.

Continue reading

Farm Office Live Continues!

By:  Barry Ward, David Marrison, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker, and Julie Strawser – Ohio State University Extension

“Farm Office Live” continues 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, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Each Farm Office Live begins with presentations on select ag law and farm management topics from our specialists followed by open discussions and a Q&A session. 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 remaining for this winter are:

  • 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 in March include:

  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
  • Proposed “American Rescue Plan of 2021” – New Stimulus Legislation
  • General Legislative Update
  • Ohio Farm Business Analysis – A Look at Crops
  • Ohio Cash Rental Rates: Outlook and Discussion on Lease Alternatives

To register or view past recordings, visit https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelive

For more information or to submit a topic for discussion, email Julie Strawser at strawser.35@osu.edu or call the Farm Office at 614-292-2433. We look forward to you joining us!

Virtual ANR Programming – Week of March 15

Check out the listing below for upcoming Agriculture and Natural Resources virtual programs. Click the program title to register for individual webinars. A complete listing of  2021 ANR virtual programs may be found at https://agnr.osu.edu/events/calendar.

Monday, March 15
County Outlook Meeting, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
2021 Virtual Ohio Agritourism Ready Conference, 6:30 -8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 16
Small Ruminant Production Webinars, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17
Commercial New Applicator Training Webinar (all day)
Southern Ohio Farm Show, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Organic Winter Webinars, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group Podcast, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 18
Ohio Beef Expo (all day)
The Dirt on Soil Health:  Investing Below the Surface, 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Growing Season Weather Outlook and Changing Patterns, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Midwest Women in Ag Community Education Series, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
GAPs Training Webinar, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
2021 Virtual Ohio Agritourism Ready Conference, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Butler Innovative Farm Forum, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 19
Ohio Beef Expo (all day)

DiCamba Applicator Training

The questions of the week last week were: “Where can I find the DiCamba training and does OSU Extension Offer this training? Is the Dicamba training a part of my recent Pesticide Recertification?”

Answer: Unfortunately, our OSU Extension Offices across the state are no able to teach the DiCamba Trainings. This training is also not a part of the Ohio Department of Agriculture Pesticide Recertification classes primarily taught by OSU Extension Offices across the state. Below are the links to complete the training online.

As the spring season approaches, it’s crucial to remember that training is mandatory for any use of dicamba products. Links to the dicamba manufacturer applicator trainings are available below.

Lady Landlord Program coming March 23

Lady Landlord Program held for all farmland owners and farmers

Lady Landlord Flyer

Do you have questions for what are the best practices for farmland leasing? Would you like to incorporate conservation practices or other items into your lease agreement? Do you know what should be in writing? If you are a farmland owner or farmer and you have these types of questions, consider attending the Lady Landlord program on Tuesday, March 23 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Robert Fulton Agriculture Center, 8770 State Route 108, Wauseon, OH.

Attorney Peggy Hall, OSU Extension Ag Law Specialist, will discuss the legal aspects of farmland leasing, Beth Scheckelhoff, OSU Extension Educator-Putnam County, will discuss landlord-tenant communication, and Melinda Robison, Andres, Oneil & Lowe Insurance Agency, will discuss key insurance aspects of farmland leasing.  Other topics will include understanding the current market’s cost of production (enterprise budgets), incorporating conservation into leases, and farmland liability coverage.  This program is open to all farmland owners and farmers.

Registration cost includes lunch and materials is $20 per landowner or farm family and is due by March 19.  Must be pre-registered to attend. Registration link: www.go.osu.edu/2021FultonLadyLandlord

OSU Extension to Host “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshop

By David Marrison, Peggy Hall, and Jeffrey Lewis

Planning For Future Farm Webinar

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

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

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

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

Additional 2020 Recovery Rebates

“Economic Impact Payments”

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

Farm Office “LIVE” Winter Edition

by: Barry Ward, David Marrison, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker – Ohio State University Extension

“Farm Office Live” returns virtually this winter as an opportunity for you to get the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis, and other related issues from faculty and educators with the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Each Farm Office Live will start off with presentations on select ag law and farm management topics from our experts and then we’ll open it up for questions from attendees on other topics of interest.  Viewers can attend “Farm Office Live” online each month on Wednesday evening or Friday morning or can catch a recording of each program. The full slate of offerings for this winter:

  • January 13th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • January 15th, 10:00 – 11:30 am
  • February 10th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • February 12th 10:00 – 11:30 am
  • March 10th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • March 12th 10:00 – 11:30 am
  • April 7th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • April 9th, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Topics to be addressed this winter include:

  • 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!

The Ag Law Harvest

By: Ellen Essman, Senior Research Associate Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
In case you didn’t notice, we are deep into the election season.  Discussion of Supreme Court vacancies, presidential debates, and local races abound.  Even with all the focus on the election, the rest of the world hasn’t stopped. The same is true for ag law.  This edition of the Harvest includes a discussion of ag-related bills moving through the Ohio General Assembly, federal lawsuits involving herbicides and checkoff programs, and some wiggle room for organic producers who have had a hard time getting certified with all the pandemic-related backups and shutdowns.

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

Recap of this week’s OSU Extension Farm Office Live

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.

Download October 7 slides

 

Farm Office Live Scheduled for October 7, 2020

Join the OSU Extension Farm Office team for discussions on the latest agricultural law and farm management news.  The next session will be held on October 7, 2020, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

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.

Governor Signs Ohio Coronavirus Immunity Bill

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

Last Chance: Act Now to Update PLC Yield

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

Supply chain, U.S. trade policy, COVID-19 to be discussed during Farm Science Review

Farm Science Review will hold live online sessions September 22-24. Photo: Getty Images.

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 fsrinfo@osu.edu.

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

Ask the Expert Sessions to Be Held Live During 2020 Farm Science Review

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.

Click here for a PDF copy of the 2020 FSR Ask the Expert full schedule

Battle for Lake Erie includes debate over manure-based phosphorus concentration

8/31/2020
BY TOM HENRY / THE BLADE

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

CFAP Federal Assistance Available for Nursery (including Greenhouse) and Specialty Crops

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?

For additional details on the CFAP program, and for a list of eligible commodities, please visit farmers.gov/cfap. Continue reading

Ohio Noxious Weed Law

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.