Farmer Advocates wanted!

Do you know of a farmer who would be an excellent candidate with leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for soil health and water quality management as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation? You can nominate them by completing an online form. Select the button for the application.

The Nature Conservancy is looking for farmers who are currently utilizing cover crops on their farms in the Maumee River Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin. We are looking for a diverse group of farmers; large acreage, small acreage, corn and soy, small grains, livestock, new and experienced, willing to reach out and share their knowledge and experiences with other farmers in their area. Selected farmers will be compensated for their time. Select the button for this application.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting farmer-led outreach project and would like to apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation please complete the online application form by selecting the button above.

The application period is open for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin that are interested in sharing their conservation farming practices with other farmers.  Farmer Advocates will be compensated for their time to attend the training and work with other farmers @ $30/hour.  The focus of the project is to promote farmers learning from each other about building soil health and managing water.

To apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation or to nominate a farmer you believe would be an excellent candidate please use the online application and nomination forms on the landing page found at https://sites.google.com/view/farmeradvocate or please contact Stephanie Singer, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org.

The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface recordings available.

Did you miss out on the live presentations for this winter on The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface? Great news! Recordings are available for the entire series of topics.

In this weekly series, farmers, industry, and academic experts weighed in on practical steps to improve soil health and measure impact on crop yield and farm profitability.

Recordings and Slide Sets are available at https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/webinar-recordings/dirt-soil-health-investing-below-surface-0 or on the OSU Agronomic Crops Team YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlh_BdeqniJPI5Ga7icO7mbFzDdpK7fr or by clicking one of the videos below.

Does It Pay to Improve Soil Health on Your Farm?

Panel discussion with farmers Nathan Brown (Highland County), Matt Falb (Wayne County), and Les Seiler (Fulton County).

Continue reading

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

Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2021 Survey

From the desk of Barry Ward

We are once again surveying ag professionals/farmers/landowners across Ohio to generate information for those interested in farmland. You can assist us by completing the online survey (new option this year) or by completing the attached survey and returning by email to: (ward.8@osu.edu). (Paper Survey Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2021 Survey)

We are asking you to please complete the online or attached survey by March 31st, 2021. The Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2020-21 Survey is being conducted by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. (I hope that you’ll excuse any duplicate requests that you may receive.)

The online survey is available at:

OhioCroplandValuesCashRents202021 or https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eXlA7B6jbgSoRGC

  • For those that don’t have information to report on Flexible Cash Leases or Crop Share Leases please skip Parts 2 and 3 before you proceed to submit your survey.
  • All survey data will be anonymous and distributed only in a summary format. (See last year’s summary at the web address below.)

Summary conclusions from the latest survey of agricultural professionals, the “Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rental Rates 2019-20”, are available online at:

https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-publications/cash-rents

I would like to thank the many of you that have taken the time to share your thoughts and information with us in the past and thank you all in advance for your valuable time in providing data for this research! We expect it to benefit you and your clientele. Summary data of this research will be available via our Farm Office website: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/ and the free online OSU Extension newsletter, “Ohio Ag Manager”. Subscribe to receive this electronic newsletter at http://ohioagmanager.osu.edu/

Thank you!

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.

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 selection 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.

Producers have the option to enroll covered commodities in either ARC-County, ARC-Individual, or PLC. Program elections are made on a crop-by-crop basis unless selecting ARC-Individual where all crops under that FSA Farm Number fall under that program. These are the same program options that were available to producers during the 2019 and 2020 crop years. In some cases, producers may want to amend program election to better manage the potential risks facing their farms during the 2021 crop year. 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

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

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

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

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.

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

Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2019-20

by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension

Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of eastern Ohio and parts of southern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rates are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils and drainage capabilities are the two factors that heavily influence land productivity, crop return, and variability of those crop returns.

Other factors impacting land values and cash rents may include buildings and grain storage, field size and shape, field accessibility, market access, local market prices, field perimeter characteristics and potential for wildlife damage, previous tillage system and crops, tolerant/resistant weed populations, population density, USDA Program Yields, and competition for the cropland in a region. Ultimately, the supply and demand for cropland will determine the value or rental rate for each parcel. Continue reading

Facing Farm Financial Stress: Assessing the Bankruptcy Option

by: Peggy Hall, OSU Extension

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.

Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations Available

Evaluating Fertilizer Purchase Decisions: Frequently Asked QuestionsThe authors of the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa include Steve Culman, Anthony Fulford, James Camberato, Kurt Steinke, Laura Lindsey, Greg LaBarge, Harold Watters, Ed Lentz, Ryan Haden, Eric Richer, Bethany Herman, Nicole Hoekstra, Peter Thomison, Rich Minyo, Anne Dorrance, Jeff Rutan, Darryl Warncke, Cassandra Brown

The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa was first published in 1995 and has served as a cornerstone in nutrient management in field crops for Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. As crop production practices in this region changed over the past 25 years, many questioned if these nutrient management guidelines were still relevant today.

In 2014, work began to revise and update the nutrient management recommendations in corn, soybeans, and wheat. Over 300 on-farm trials were conducted across 34 Ohio counties, including trials evaluating crop response to N, P, K, and S. It was a tremendous collective effort with the ultimate goal of providing objective information to farmers to manage nutrients as judiciously and profitably as possible.

The recommendations have been comprehensively revised and updated. A summarized version can be found online: go.osu.edu/fert-recs

There is a menu at the bottom of this webpage that will allow users to view the topics of interest, including an executive summary that provides the highlights. The full version of the recommendations is being finalized at OSU Extension Publishing and a downloadable pdf and printed bulletin will be available soon.

CLEAR30 the first USDA program to offer 30-year Signup

FSA will open signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot is available to farmers and landowners with expiring water-quality practice CRP contracts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions. The program sign-up period is July 6 to Aug. 21, 2020.

The pilot is available in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Eligible producers must have expiring Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers (CLEAR) initiative contracts, including continuous CRP Cropland contracts with water-quality practices or marginal pasturelands CRP contracts devoted to riparian buffers, wildlife habitat buffers or wetland buffers. Continue reading