U.S. Farm Profits Projected to Fall in 2021

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

The United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) on February 5th released their projection for U.S. farm income in 2021.  Farm income is projected to fall this year primarily because government payments received by farmers are expected to decline to $21.8 billion (46.3%) after increasing $24 billion (104%) in 2020 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  U.S. Net Farm Income and Net Cash Farm Income, 2000 – 2021 Forecast

Net cash farm income (NCFI) is calculated by subtracting cash expenses from gross income.  This figure is expected to grow 23.7% in 2020 but drop by $10.4 billion (7.5%) in 2021.  Net Farm Income (NFI) is considered a broader measure of profitability that includes changes in inventories, depreciation, and gross imputed rental income.  Like NCFI, the U.S. NFI is expected to increase in 2020 and decline 9.7% to $111.4 billion in 2021.  If this happens, it will be the first time since 2016 that NFI has fallen.  However, NCFI and NFI would remain above their respective averages during the 2000 – 2019 period.  A bright spot from the USDA-ERS report is that farm commodity cash receipts are expected to increase by 3.6% in 2021.

Planning

Based on these projections, budgeting is going to be very important for 2021.  Ohio State University Extension has corn, soybean, and wheat budgets available here: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-mgt-tools/farm-budgets.  I encourage you to use your financials and these budgets as a planning tool.  Scheduling an appointment with your lender, accountant, and Extension Educator to discuss options will be time well spent.

CFAP Payments Halted Until Review Conducted by Biden Administration

by David Marrison, OSU Extension

In accordance with the Regulatory Freeze Pending Review memo issued by the White House on January 20, the United States Department of Agriculture has suspended the $2.3 billion of additional assistance to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program put in place during the final days of the Trump Administration.

The Trump administration had previously announced on January 15 providing additional assistance of CFAP expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program.  The expanded eligibility was targeted primarily for contract pork and poultry producers and others previously excluded from the relief payments. Continue reading

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

Upcoming Farm Bill Meetings

Both the Paulding County Extension Office and the Statewide Extension Office will be hosting a series of online Farm Bill Meetings.  Our Paulding County meeting will include information from the local FSA Office with specific county information and updates.  The statewide series will have much of the same information without our local contacts. See the statewide flyer listed here: 2021 ARC.PLC Flyer Statewide

For the local Paulding County meeting, it will be held via ZOOM on Friday, January 29 from 7:30 AM until 8:30 AM during the monthly Paulding County Virtual Coffee Shop. The registration is located at go.osu.edu/pauldingFB21. Registration is required. I will be recording this session and placing it on the Paulding County Extension YouTube Channel.

A few reminders and questions I have received in the office:

  1. With the 2018 Farm Bill participants now have the election to choose programs yearly.  The deadline for signing up for the calendar year 2021 program is March 15. (This now aligns with the crop insurance deadline.)
  2. The opportunity to update the PLC yield on your base acres was only available last year. This is not an option for 2021. This additionally usually required the signature of the landowner and this is not the case for the program elections of PLC, ARC-CO, or ARC-IC in 2021. FSA in Paulding County will be mailing contracts to those producers who elected to sign a 5-year contract.  These will need to be signed and returned.
  3. In the calendar year 2020, one was signing up for both the 2019 and 2020 program by March 15, 2020. This decision for 2021 will be made by March 15, 2021, and is more difficult to predict payment potential. The marketing year doesn’t start until after September 1, 2021, for corn and soybeans. Also, the PLC and ARC-CO programs are based upon base acres on the farm not what the producer is planting. ARC-IC is based upon what the producer is planting.
  4. Due to the prevent plant season and delay of the 2018 Farm Bill, many producers had the opportunity in 2020 to elect program choices of ARC-CO, PLC, and ARC-IC for the 2019 and 2020 crop year. With the heavy number of preventing plant acres in NW Ohio in 2019, many farms elected ARC-IC.  This program may or may not be attractive for the 2021 calendar year (election producers are making currently) based on different scenarios.
  5. Remember payments are made for the following year for the current program year (i.e. – in September 2021, producers will receive payments for the 2020 election choices)
  6. If a producer does not make an election by March 15, the decision will stay the same as the prior-year as long as a contract is signed and approved. Again ARC-IC may not be your best option.
  7. These programs are another form of risk management on the farm.  I recommend that producers are not using this as a guaranteed payment and looking at it as a gift if payment is received.  With our current high prices, I would not necessarily bank on a payment.
  8. If a producer is looking at the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) – Crop Insurance. The only Farm Bill program that will allow you to purchase this type of insurance is electing the PLC program option.

Locally from the Paulding County FSA Office.

  1. The FSA Office is still closed to the public but there are many options for getting paperwork for the Farm Bill or other programs turned in.
  2. The office is in a bit of a transition as director Phil Lautenschlager has taken the director position in Hardin County. Left in the office full time is Kaye Brofford (kaye.brofford@usda.gov)and Neil Beining (neil.beining@usda.gov) and part-time is Kasey Mills (kasey.mills@usda.gov).
  3. If the producer does not initiate a call to the FSA to make Farm Bill changes the program will stay with what was elected in 2020.
  4. Please do not wait until the last minute (March 15 to sign up for the Farm Bill programs).
  5. The phone number for the FSA office is (419)399-3841, choose option 2 for FSA Office.

Quality Loss Assistance Now Available for Eligible Producers Affected by 2018, 2019 Natural Disasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that signup for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program will begin Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Funded by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, this new program provides assistance to producers who suffered eligible crop quality losses due to natural disasters occurring in 2018 and 2019. The deadline to apply for QLA is Friday, March 5, 2021.

Eligible Crops

Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage is available, except for grazed crops and value loss crops, such as honey, maple sap, aquaculture, floriculture, mushrooms, ginseng root, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, and turfgrass sod. Continue reading

USDA Announces CRP General Signup Begins Today and Ends February 12

Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can sign up for the popular program beginning today, Jan. 4, 2021, until Feb. 12, 2021. The competitive program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local region and the nation’s environment and economy. CRP general signup is held annually and is competitive; general signup includes increased opportunities for wildlife habitat enrollment through the State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative. Continue reading

Farmer’s Tax Guide- Tax Guidance for Your Farm Business

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

Do you need a resource to answer those tough farm tax questions? If so, you can access the Farmer’s Tax Guide (IRS Publication 225) online at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p225.pdf  The 2020 Farmer’s Tax Guide explains how federal tax laws apply to farming. This guide can be used as a guide for farmers to figure taxes and complete their farm tax returns.

The explanations and examples in this publication reflect the Internal Revenue Service’s interpretation of tax laws enacted by Congress, Treasury regulations, and court decisions. However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning.

Some of the new topics for the 2020 tax year which are included in this publication are: Tax treatment of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments, Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans and Forgiven Debt, Increased section 179 expense deduction dollar limits, COVID-19 related employment tax credits, and other tax relief, Redesigned Form W-4 for 2020, New Form 1099-NEC, and much more.

Hardcopies of the 2020 Farmer’s Tax Guide are also available at select county OSU Extension offices.

The Rural Tax Education Site has additional resources for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand: https://ruraltax.org/

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!

Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for the 2021 Crop Year

by: Mary Griffith, Chris Zoller, Hallie Williams, OSU Extension Educators

Enrollment for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year opened in October, with the deadline to enroll and make amendments to program elections on March 15, 2021. This signup is for potential payments for the 2021 crop.

If changes are not made by the March 15th deadline, the election defaults to the programs selected for the 2020 crop year with no penalty. While it is optional to make changes to program elections, producers are required to enroll (sign a contract) each year to be eligible to receive payments. So, even if you do not change your program elections, you will still need to make an appointment at the Farm Service Agency to sign off on enrollment for the 2021 crop year by that March 15th deadline. Continue reading

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

Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

By:  Barry Ward, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension

Are you getting the most from your tax return? Farmers and farmland owners who wish to increase their tax knowledge should consider attending this webinar that will address tax issues specific to this industry. Content focuses on important tax issues and will offer insight into new COVID related legislation.

Mark your calendars for December 3rd, 2020 to participate in this live webinar from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The event is a joint offering from OSU Income Tax Schools which are a part of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Purdue University Income Tax Schools.  If you are not able to attend the live webinar, all registered participants will receive a link to view the recorded webinar at a time of their convenience. This link will be available through the tax filing season. Continue reading

2020 Virtual Agricultural Lender Seminar

Join OSU Extension in 2020 Virtual Agricultural Lender Seminar

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
9:00 am—12:00 pm
Registration Is Now Open
Link: http://go.osu.edu/2020AgLenderSeminarReg
Cost $25

Topics and speakers:

  • Grain Prices and Farm Policy – Ben Brown, OSU AEDE
  • Enterprise Budgets and Returns per Acre – Barry Ward, OSU Extension
  • Niche/Small Farm Legal Issues – Peggy Hall, OSU Extension
  • Growing Customer Relationships – Rob Leads, OSU Extension
  • U.S. Ag & Financial Conditions – David Oppedahl, Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago

Feel free to contact OSU Extension Defiance County at 419-782-4771 or walters.269@osu.edu

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

 

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020

By Barry Ward, John Barker and Eric Richer, CCA

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a task is more cost-effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020 reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 377 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2020. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation. Continue reading

OSU Extension Beef Field Specialist Garth Ruff

OSU Extension Educator, Clifton Martin had the opportunity to visit with Garth Ruff about Garth’s recent hiring as the OSU Extension Beef Specialist and current trends in the Beef Industry. During that conversation, they covered trends in Ohio, the role of the OSU Extension Beef Specialist, opportunities for outreach, the status of Beef Quality Assurance, and key opportunities for producers to stay ahead of the curve.

Enjoy that conversation here:

The transcript of this recording may be found in PDF format linked here. Continue reading

Take the OSU Extension Health Survey – Looking for Full and Part Time Farmers

  • Give us 15 minutes to tell us about your health behaviors for sun safety and 7 other areas: sleep, stress, nutrition, physical activity & a few more
  • We will not ask your name, or any other personal identifiers – your information will be aggregated with other farmer responses in Ohio
  • This information will develop future Extension programs and resources for healthy living.
  • There is a $10 gift card incentive for all completed surveys – for 100 Ohio farmers.
  • Go to our survey link directly:  www.go.osu.edu/HealthSurvey2020

For questions, contact:

Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Dee Jepsen, Ag Safety and Health, jepsen.4@osu.edu

Women for the Land Learning Circle – Targeting the Maumee Watershed

Please see attached the information concerning a women’s learning circle opportunity for the Maumee Watershed.  American Farmland Trust is hosting a series of virtual women’s circles starting early October.

Flyer: Maumee Learning Circles 12

Nearly 301 million acres of U.S. land is now farmed or co-farmed by women and at least 87 million additional acres are in the hands of women landowners.

JOIN US online, Virtual Learning Circles, and connect with other women landowners and resource professionals as we discuss incorporating soil health practices on your land.

REGISTER HERE for one circle or all 6!

Brought to you by funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative!
October Soil Health Virtual Learning Circles

  • October 7, 2 pm—3:30 EST | Session 1—Soil Health Overview Learn about the importance of soil, soil health terminology, and general soil health practices.
  • October 21, 2 pm – 3:30 EST | Session 2—Soil Health – Details of healthy vs. unhealthy soil, how to identify issues in your soil, and LIVE! soil health demos.
  • Future Sessions: November 4th, 18th & December 2nd, 16th

Sign-in information will be sent after registration. If you have limited internet access and would prefer to participate in the learning circles via phone please contact Ashley Brucker, AFT Ohio Program Manager, (614) 696-6623

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.