Archive for the ‘Farm Management’ Category


Webinar Recorded: Returns to Drainage: Calculating a Payback Period

Does farm drainage pay?  A webinar was broadcast live and recorded on April 9, 2013 on the subject: Returns to Drainage: Calculating a Payback Period. Bruce Clevenger and Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educators from NW Ohio taught crop yield responses to agricultural drainage and engaged participants in a discussion on calculating a realistic payback period. Investing in farm drainage has benefits to both farmland owners and growers. The webinar is 1hour 30 minutes long and can be viewed 24/7 at your convenience. To view the webinar click here.


OSU Extension’s Farm “Outlook” for 2013 is Posted Here

By Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

Farmers and agribusiness need to keep tuned into markets, production economics and farm policy. Trends can change due to measurable factors or seemingly unpredictable forces. Farmers, agribusinesses and others in the agricultural industry had the opportunity to learn more about the current farm outlook at an Ohio State University Extension 2013 Farm Outlook Program in Defiance County on February 21, 2013.

Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and OSU Extension made presentations that brought forth the latest outlook on the grain markets, land rent, and production inputs.

You can watch and listen to two of the ‘live’ presentations from that evening linked below. Featured speakers included:

Barry Ward, OSU Extension Agriculture Economist, on the production economics of farmland values, and outlook for input costs such as seed, fertilizer and chemicals.

Matt Roberts, OSU Extension Agriculture Economist, on grain market outlook for 2013.

The files linked above may take a minute or two to load, but should play flawlessly on most any high speed connection once loaded.


2012 County Corn and Soybean Yields Released

The USDA, National Ag Statistics Service has released the 2012 Ohio corn and soybean yields per acre. These yields are used for some crop insurance triggers and helpful in tracking weather impacts. Data for all counties in Ohio can be found at:

2012 County Yields – NASS, OH Field Office































Van Wert










2013 Farm Outlook Meeting – Defiance County

From: Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

DEFIANCE, Ohio – Farmers, agribusinesses and others in the industry located in northwest Ohio have the opportunity to learn more about the outlook for grain markets, tax law, and farm production economics at an Ohio State University Extension 2013 Farm Outlook Program.

The program hosted by Ohio State University Extension features presentations from Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. The program will be held on February 21 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Jewell Community Center, 7900 Independence Road, Defiance, Ohio. Pre-registration is $15 per person.

The program will feature the following speakers: Matt Roberts, OSU Extension agricultural economist, who will discuss the Grain Market Outlook: Old Crop and the 2013 Futures Market; Barry Ward, OSU Extension agricultural economist, who will discuss farm production economics of farmland values and input costs such as seed, chemical and fertilizer markets; Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension educator, Changes to the Tax Laws: Strategies for Farm Businesses.

The 2013 Farm Outlook Program meeting in Defiance County is open to the public and will provide insightful information for farming in 2013. OSU Extension Crop and Livestock Enterprise Budgets are also available at:

Pre-registration deadline for the 2013 Farm Outlook Program is February 18. Pre-registration is $15 per person or at the door $30 per person. For more information, contact Bruce Clevenger at (419) 782-4771 or log on to


Ohio Farm Custom Rates Data

by Bruce Clevenger

Farmers are asked from time to time to perform field operations and other farming practices for neighbors and fellow farmers. How much to charge or pay? is a fair question for either person in these situations. Ohio State University Extension offices receives many calls throughout the year from people looking for guidance. Fortunately, biannually, OSU Extension’s Leader for Agricultural Production Economics, Barry Ward, summarizes survey data to help identify an average and a reasonable range for Ohio Custom Farm Rates on numerous farming practices. 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.
The Ohio Farm Custom Rates can be view on-line at the OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics website. The data is a starting point from which farmers and neighbors can determine an agreeable dollar amount to share farm equipment resources.


Depreciation on Farm Drainage Tile

by Bruce Clevenger

Farm subsurface drainage is considered essential for many Midwest farmers. A new factsheet is available from Ohio State University Extension titled Depreciation of Farm Drainage Tile to help landowners, farmers and contractors answer questions about tax base depreciation.  The information includes eligibility criteria and calculation methods.


2011 Ohio County Level Crop Yields Available

The National Agricultural Statistics Service has release the 2011 Ohio county crop yield estimates. The data can be viewed at:

Additional data available are livestock inventories for cattle, dairy cows, milk sold, hogs and sheep.


Computerized Farm Recordkeeping with Quicken

by Wm. Bruce Clevenger, Defiance County

Pencil and paper is still the way most farmers keep records. As farm size, income or debt increases, many farmers and lenders look for computer programs that allow fast data entry, have internal checks for accuracy and allow summarizing of data. Most farmers begin their search by asking “Is there a simple computer program that will keep my records like the farm account books?”

Ohio State University Extension and other land grant colleges have recognized the computer software Quicken® as a computerized farm recordkeeping system.  Users can record transactions of both the farm and family and categorize them based on farm enterprises income and expenses as well as family living expenses.  Its popularity is due to the ease of data entry and to its low price of $60 to $100. This single-entry system is essentially an electronic checkbook. It allows users to track loans, write checks,   reconcile the checkbook with the bank statement and quickly create reports for the farm business, family, and tax purposes.

OSU Extension is offering a Computerized Farm Recordkeeping Workshop with Quicken® that will focus on setting up accounts, categorizing income and expenses, hands-on data entry, running tax reports, and preparing farm production reports.  Workshop will utilize a computer laboratory with Quicken® software installed to be used by participants during the workshop.

Workshops will be held:

January 30 & February 6 at OSU Extension Van Wert Co. (1:00pm—3:30pm)

January 31 & February 7 at OSU Extension Defiance Co. (6:30pm—9:00pm)

February 3 & February 10 at OSU Extension Hancock Co. (9:30am—12 noon)

Pre-Registration $35.00 per farm business (2 people) is required and includes two-sessions and a workshop training manual.  Please RSVP by January 18th. Space is limited.

For more information on the meeting, contact your OSU Extension office or OSU Extension Defiance County at (800) 745-4771,, or log on to


2012 Farm Outlook Meeting Recorded

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

Farmers and agribusiness need to keep tuned into markets, production economics and farm policy. Trends can change due to measurable factors or seemingly unpredictable forces. Farmers, agribusinesses and others in the agricultural industry had the opportunity to learn more about the current farm outlook at an Ohio State University Extension 2012 Farm Outlook Program in Defiance County on December 20.

Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and OSU Extension made presentations that brought forth the latest outlook on the grain markets, land rent, production inputs and farm policy.

View and listen to the presentations from December 20th


Ohio FSA Announces July 15 Deadline Extension To Report Prevented Planting

by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County

COLUMBUS, OHIO — June 3, 2011 — Due to Ohio’s weather creating delays in planting, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the date to timely report prevented planting to July 15, 2011, to coincide with the crop reporting deadline.

“Ohio’s weather has created delays in planting, which may result in difficulty of timely reporting prevented acreage,” said Steve Maurer, state executive director. “With the extension, producers will be able to file form CCC-576, Notice of Loss for prevented planting of corn and soybeans at the same time as filing annual acreage reports which are also due by July 15th.”

Producers are reminded to file an FSA-578, Report of Acreage, certification for the farm by June 30 for small grains and by July 15 for all other crops.

Prevented planting acreage, or acreage that could not be planted because of wet field conditions or other natural disaster, should be reported to FSA by July 15th. This includes crops covered by crop insurance or the Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP) and crops without insurance coverage.  Producers should contact their local FSA office or crop insurance agent to verify final planting dates for all crops since they vary among counties and crop types. Read the rest of this entry »


Decison Resources for Late Planting

by Greg La Barge,  Fulton County

Not surprisingly the NASS-Crop Progress Report showed minimal progress in planting for Ohio in the past week. Ohio was at 11% planted on corn with the US at 79% planted and Iowa 98%, Illinois 90% and Indiana 49%. The full report can be found at

Decisions will be many and require a big picture view of your operation over the next 2-3 weeks. A website I would encourage you to look at often in this time period is on our Agronomic Crops Team Website. A page is entitled Decision Resources and Tools for 2011 Late Planting with a direct link of is in place to house a variety of information based on question we are getting across the state. We will be updating the site with current agronomic production and crop insurance information you can use to make an informed decision that is best for your farm.

One thing I have noted is this is one of the most complicated issues we have ever faced. There are many nuances to decisions such as prevented planting that will be made and information will be the key. The highlighted website will be updated frequently and have a wealth of information.


Background on Prevented Planting

Adapted from an FarmDocDaily Article by Dr Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County

Wet weather this spring again raises questions about prevented planting provisions in crop insurance. This document describes prevented and late planting provisions that apply to the COMBO product and its Revenue Protection (RP), Revenue Protection with Exclusion, and Yield Protection plans. Prevented planting payments do not exist for Group Risk Plan (GRP) and Group Risk Income Plan (GRIP). When considering prevented planting for a specific farm, a crop insurance agent should be contacted. Also, as further describe below, a farmer is not eligible for enterprise unit premium discounts if no planting occurs.

Final Planting Date

A key date relative to prevented planting is the final planting date. In Ohio, the final planting date for corn is June 5 for all other counties. For soybeans, the final planting date is June 20

Farmers can take prevented planting payments once the final planting date has been reached if planting has been delayed because of insurable causes. However, reaching the final planting date does not mean a crop cannot be planted. A crop can be planted; however, there will be a lower guarantee. Details on these provisions are provided below in the “Planting after the final planting date” section.

Prevented Planting Payments

Unless a higher prevented planting option has been selected at crop insurance signup, prevented planting payments equal 60 percent times the coverage level times the projected price times the Actual Production History (APH) yield. As an example, take a corn RP policy with an 80 percent coverage level having a 150 bushel APH yield. The 2011 base price is $6.01 per bushel. The prevented planting payment equals $432 per acre (60 percent x 80 percent coverage level x $6.01 base price x 150 bushel APH yield). Higher options allow the 60 percent payment factor to be replaced with either 65 or 70 percent for additional premium costs.

There is a difference in prevented planting payments under RP in 2011 compared to revenue insurance with guarantee increases in 2010 (i.e., CRC and RA with the harvest price option). In 2010, the higher of the projected or harvest price was used in calculating prevented planting payments. In 2011, only the projected price is used in calculating prevented planting payments.

If a prevented planting payment is taken, a farmer cannot plant another crop during the late planting period consisting of 25 days following the final planting date. After 25 days, another insured crop can be planted, usually resulting in a reduction in prevented planting payment to 35 percent of the original payment. In double-crop situations, obtaining the entire prevented planting payment while planting soybeans may be possible. Read the rest of this entry »


Important Crop Insurance Dates

by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County

Crop insurance has some hard dates that affect eligibility that producers should have in mind going into this new season. Planting date s for eligibility for replant provisions are one area that cam into question for 2010 with the early planting season. For 2011 the dates of April 6 will not be a problem for corn but the date of April 21  for soybeans should be in the back of your mind.  2011 is starting off cool and we may want to maintain our replant eligibility for this year.


March 1 Prospective Planting Report Ohio and US

posted by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County from Ohio Agricultural Statistics

Based on a March 1 prospective plantings survey, Ohio farmers intend to increase the amount of corn, winter wheat and hay acreage in 2011 while decreasing the soybean, oats, and tobacco acreage.

Ohio corn producers intend to plant 3.70 million acres this spring, up from 3.45 million acres last year.

Ohio soybean acreage is forecast at 4.40 million acres for 2011, down 200,000 acres from last year.

Winter wheat acreage for 2011 is estimated at 890,000 acres, up 110,000 acres from the previous year. The State’s oat acreage decreased 5,000 acres from last year to 60,000 acres.
Ohio hay producers expect to harvest a total of 1.17 million acres, up 5 percent from the previous year. This includes alfalfa, grain, and all other types of hay. Burley tobacco acreage is forecast at 1,800 acres in 2011, down 700 acres from 2010.

U.S. corn growers intend to plant 92.2 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2011, up 5 percent from last year and 7 percent higher than in 2009. If realized, this will be the second highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944, behind only the 93.5 million acres planted in 2007. Acreage increases of 250,000 or more are expected in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota. The largest decrease is expected in Texas,
down 150,000 acres.

U.S. soybean planted area for 2011 is estimated at 76.6 million acres, down 1 percent from last year. If realized, the United States planted area will be the third largest on record. Compared with last year, planted acreage declines of 100,000 acres or more are expected in Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Ohio. If realized, the planted area in New York and North Dakota will be the largest on record.

U.S. all wheat planted area is estimated at 58.0 million acres, up 8 percent from last year. The 2011 winter wheat planted area, at 41.2 million acres, is 10 percent above last year and up 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.4 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 8.2 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.7 million are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2011 is estimated at 14.4 million acres, up 5 percent from 2010. Of this total, about 13.6 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2011 is estimated at 2.37 million acres, down 8 percent from 2010.