Posts filed under ‘farm management’

Changes in Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) Assessment; Higher Ohio Farmland Property Taxes

Large increases in the Current Ag Use Value (CAUV) of farmland throughout Ohio are a major concern to many landowners and have resulted in higher property taxes (some have seen significant increases) for most farmland owners.
A couple of factors have led to much of this increase in ag use valuation. Higher crop market prices and a lower capitalization rate due to lower interest rates have been the primary drivers behind this increase in the CAUV for Ohio farmland.
The Ohio Department of Taxation annually publishes an explanation of the CAUV valuation method complete with the measures used to calculate CAUV and examples of the calculations for certain soil units for the present year. This year’s document is titled “2010 Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) of Land Tables – Explanation of the Calculation of Values for Various Soil Mapping Units for Tax Year2010” and is available online at:
Further background information on CAUV in Ohio may be found in the OSU Extension Factsheet, “Current Agricultural Use Value Assessment in Ohio” available online at:
Source: Ohio Ag Manager, June 2010, Barry Ward, Leader Production Business Management OSU Extension

June 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm

2010 Agriculture Cash Rent Data for NW Ohio Released

The following was developed and compiled through great research conducted by Barry Ward, Ohio State University Extension , Production Business Management.

Ohio is a diverse state agriculturally and cropland values and cash rents vary tremendously across the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ a fair amount from eastern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. This is due in part to one of any number of factors including land productivity and potential crop return, variability of crop return, field size, field shape, drainage, population, and ultimately the supply and demand of rented cropland in an area.

Ohio cropland values show signs of remaining stable to falling slightly in 2010 while this survey indicates cash rent levels will see little change in 2010. According to the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey bare cropland values are expected to decrease from 0.1% to 3.1% in 2010 depending on the region and land class. Cash rents are expected to range from a decrease of 1.5% to an increase of 3.19% depending on the region and land class.

Ninety-five surveys were completed, analyzed and summarized. Respondents were asked to give responses based on 3 classes of land in their area; “top” producing land, “average” producing land and “poor” producing land.

Tables show the average (Avg) (simple average) of each row, standard deviation (Std) of the data for that measure (measure of variability), average plus one standard deviation (Avg + 1 Std), and average minus one standard deviation (Avg – 1 Std). These latter two numbers reported indicate a range within which about two-thirds of the responses in the data for that measure will fall.

April 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Ohio Sales Tax Exemption for Ohio Farms

The following article was written by David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator, for the March 2010 Ohio Ag Manager Newsletter.

This past month an email question was posed to the Ohio Ag Manager Team about the Ohio Sales & Use Tax Exemption for agricultural producers. The farmer’s question was when he purchased a truck for use as a farm truck, why was he charged Ohio sales tax? This is a great question as there is often confusion on what agricultural purchases are or are not exempt from Ohio Sales Tax. The quick answer to the producer’s question is while the truck will be used exclusively as a farm vehicle it is NOT exempt from Ohio Sales tax. The purpose of this article is to help clarify the Ohio Sales Tax Exemption for Ohio Farmers.

The sales and use tax is Ohio’s second-largest source of revenue. The Ohio sales and use tax dates back to 1934, when the Ohio General Assembly enacted its first tax (at 3%). The state sales and use tax rate has been 5.5 percent since July 1, 2005. Current law gives counties the option of levying a sales tax of up to 1 percent for county general revenue, plus an additional tax of up to 0.5 percent for county general revenue or several specific purposes outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. The Ohio Department of Taxation web site has information about this tax . Click here for a paper written by the Ohio Department of Taxation on the Sales and Use Tax.

Farmers have long enjoyed Ohio Sales tax exemption for many, but not all, items used for production of agricultural commodities.  Below are some of the common questions asked by producers and how they are answered on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s web site.

As a farmer, may I claim exemption on my purchases and how?

“Farmers are entitled to claim exemption on the purchase of items of tangible personal property used directly in the production of a product for sale . This would include, but is not limited to: seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, field tiles, tractors, plows, combines, and specially designed motor vehicles with PTO applicator units that travel from farm to farm to apply chemicals and fertilizers. This would not include: almost all motor vehicles licensed to operate on the highway [passenger cars; pick-up trucks; larger trucks and trailers that are primarily used to haul people, animals, raw materials (seeds, fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides) to the farm and finished goods (corn, wheat, soy beans, cattle, hogs, etc.) from the farm to market], lawn mowers, weed eaters, items used to maintain set-a-side fields, chain saws, all purposes vehicles that are primarily used for recreation, and home garden equipment. To claim exemption, a properly completed exemption certificate must be given to your supplier.”

What are some other Agricultural Related Items exempt from Ohio Sales Tax?

A complete list of items that are exempt from Ohio Sales Tax can be found at: . Some of the exemptions that are applicable to farm businesses include:

  • Magazine subscriptions.
  • Sales of property for use directly in agricultural production.
  • Property used in the preparation of eggs for sale.
  • Sale and installation of agricultural land tile.
  • Sale and construction of portable grain bins to farmers.
  • Building and construction materials sold to construction contractors or persons engaged in the business of horticulture or producing livestock for incorporation into a horticulture or livestock structure.

How will I know if a sale is exempt from tax?

“Sales tax must be charged on all retail sales unless the purchaser provides a properly completed exemption certificate stating the statutory reason for claiming exemption. The vendor must retain the certificate as proof of nontaxable sales. Exemption certificates are prescribed by the Tax Commissioner and can be obtained from a local printer or office supply store. Sample forms are also available on the Ohio Department of Taxation website.”

“Exemption certificates are not needed when the item sold is never taxable, such as prescription drugs and food sold for off-premises consumption. Certificates are not needed when the purchaser is clearly identified on the invoice as an entity that is always exempt, such as the federal government, the State of Ohio, or any local government of this state.”

“The State of Ohio does not issue a sales tax exemption number. A vendor’s license number is NOT a sales tax exemption number. To claim exemption, you must provide a properly completed exemption certificate to your supplier.”

Exemption Certificates
The following forms have been provided by the Ohio Department of Taxation for use by Ohio consumers when making exempt purchases.

Unit Exemption Certificate .  This exemption certificate is used to claim exemption or exception on a single purchase.

Blanket Exemption Certificate .  This certificate is used to make a continuing claim of exemption or exception on purchases from the same vendor or seller.

More information about the Ohio Sales Tax Exemption for Agricultural Producers can be found on the Ohio Department of Taxation web site located at:

Full podcast

March 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

Tips On Establishing Cover Crops

Cover crops offer many benefits for agriculture that include erosion control; reduced compaction and nutrient leaching; increased water infiltration; improved soil biodiversity; weed control and disease suppression; increased carbon sequestration and maximum nutrient recycling; improved air, soil, and water quality; and wildlife enhancement. Every cover crop species has its own niche and attributes for agricultural production.

So, a common question is ‘what should I use for a cover crop?’ The answer is not straightforward, and can depend on an individuals’ preference. Below are just a few options I have compiled following a wheat crop. For a more robust discussion of options I encourage you to read the OSU Factsheet Sustainable Crop Rotations with Cover Crops.

Following wheat, planned crop soybeans:

Option 1: Cereal rye

  • Drill cereal rye at a rate of 1 bushel/acre
  • Note that cereal rye will not winterkill
  • The cereal rye will get very tall (maybe 2-3’)
  • Drill/plant soybeans into the standing cereal rye. Do not kill the rye prior to planting
  • Chemically kill the rye after the soybeans have emerged.
  • Suppliers:, Burtch Seed, Tama  or Mid Wood Cooperative, Bowling Green
  • Be sure to ask for cereal rye (referred to as winter rye) and not annual rye
  • Plant by 1st week  of August

Option 2: Oats

  • Drill oats at 1.5 bu/acre
  • Oats should winterkill
  • Oats can ‘mat’ down so delay planting until 1st week of September
  • Suppliers: several, any common oats will work

Following wheat, planned crop corn:

Option 1: Cowpeas

  • Drill Cowpeas at 40-50 lb/acre
  • Requires early start, wheat harvest and landleveling need to be done quickly
  • Plant in July- preferably mid-July
  • Cowpeas will winterkill
  • Add additional nitrogen to corn starter (watch salt content)
  • Conduct Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test (PSNT) on corn to determine how much nitrogen to sidedress
  • Suppliers:, Burtch Seed, Tama  or Mid Wood Cooperative, Bowling Green; Pricing on Austrian Winter peas at the time of this writing are $0.90-$1.15/lb.

Option 2: Oilseed Radish

  • Ideal is to plant on 30” spacing
  • If planting is not an option, broadcast
  • Plant 1-2 lb/acre or broadcast at a low rate of 3-5 lb/acre in August (standard rec is 8-10 lb/acre)
  • Radish will winterkill
  • Plant corn seed 1-2” off the oilseed radish row (if the radish had been planted)
  • Add additional nitrogen to corn starter (watch salt content)
  • Conduct Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test (PSNT) to determine how much nitrogen to sidedress
  • Suppliers:, Burtch Seed, Tama  or Mid Wood Cooperative, Bowling Green; at time of this article Minowasa Oilseed radishes were $2.14-$2.30/lb.

Full podcast here:

February 24, 2010 at 8:15 am

Farm Property Rights

The following article was published by the OSU Ag Law Program, Peggy Kirk Hall, Director:

With the many recent snow we have received lately, many people have been able to enjoy riding their snowmobiles and four-wheelers. However, in so doing we must be aware of private property owner’s rights and respect those rights. This past week I have received some calls from property owners complaining about people on recreational vehicles trespassing on their property and damaging crops.

One of the main concerns is damage to wheat, which is planted in the fall, then goes into dormancy until the warm weather in the spring. Driving on it during the winter months may cause damage to the crop. Mainly, when snow and ice is compacted on top of the plants it may damage the crown and/or prevent oxygen from reaching the root system causing the plant to die. Estimates of approximately 40% crop loss can be attributed to plant damage and compaction by driving on wheat plants in the winter months. This estimate may increase or decrease depending on the condition of the soil (frozen or wet), and if the snow is compacted into ice.

Although the total acres affected by a single snowmobile driving across a field is very small, it’s still the responsibility of the driver to obtain permission from the property owner in order to prevent violating any trespassing laws.

Ohio law addresses many questions raised about farm security. Is there any recourse against four-wheelers who destroy farm crops? How can a farm owner be compensated for harm caused by trespassers? When addressing acts of harm to farm property, it is important to understand the difference between criminal and civil actions. Criminal laws define our duties to behave a certain way in the community. Civil laws define our private rights. Where someone intentionally destroys or harms property, that person may be breaking a criminal law and also violating the individual rights of the property owner. The person could be subject to legal recourse under both criminal and civil laws.

In addition to fines or imprisonment, criminal charges might include a request for compensation to the victim of the crime. But if the individual is not charged with a crime or compensation is not ordered or is inadequate, the property owner can bring a civil action against the individual. Where the property owner’s harm is not resolved through informal processes such as mediation or arbitration, the civil action would likely result in a court trial.

Reporting Crimes. The local sheriff’s office or police station is the primary law enforcement agency to which a property owner should report a crime. The Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, also has limited law-enforcement authority and may be willing to investigate or file charges when hunters or fishermen trespass or harm farm property.

The criminal trespass provision in Ohio law states that a person may not, without permission, do any of the following:

– Knowingly enter or remain upon the land or premises of another.
– Knowingly enter or remain on land or premises that are lawfully restricted to certain persons, purposes, modes, or hours.
– Recklessly enter or remain on another’s land or premises when notice against unauthorized access has been given by actual communication to the offender, or by posting or fencing the property.
– Negligently fail or refuse to vacate land or premises after being told to do so by the owner.
A person who violates this law is guilty of criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. In addition to fines and imprisonment, the court could order restitution to the property owner for damages caused by the criminal trespass.

Destruction of Crops and Timber
A law specific to farm situations is the law on “destruction of crops.” The law states that a person who, without permission, recklessly cuts, destroys, or injures crops, trees, vines, bushes, shrubs, or saplings growing on the land of another is guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. “Recklessly” means that the offender realized the risk of harm that would be caused by his or her actions and acted with complete disregard of the harmful consequences. A person who violates this law is subject to a maximum imprisonment of 30 days and a maximum fine of $250. The crop and timber destruction law requires payment of damages to the property owner. In this case, the damages are severe, triple the amount of total loss to the property. These are referred to as “treble damages,” which are intended to punish the offender for reckless behavior.

Under Ohio law, a property owner has the right to use reasonable force to defend himself/herself or another person against a trespasser and would not be liable for harm caused to the offender. However, defense of property is not a valid legal justification for injuring or killing a trespasser. A property owner who harms or kills a trespasser who is not threatening a human being could be liable to the trespasser or his/her family.

Full podcast here:

January 28, 2010 at 8:15 am

Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification Available

Two private pesticide applicator recertification sessions are available locally in 2010. A private pesticide applicator is a person who produces an agricultural commodity on property they own or rent or on their employer’s property and uses a restricted use pesticide. A private applicator must be recertified every three years to maintain an active license.

The first session will be held in January.

January 26, 2010

Time: 9:00 am

Location: Jr. Fair Building, 1055 S. Washington St.,Van Wert, OH 45891

Categories: Core, 1 (Grain and Cereal Crops), 2 (Forage Crops), 9 (Non-Crop Land), 10 (Stored Grain), 12 (Seed Treatment)

Contact: Andy Kleinschmidt, Extension Educator,, (419) 238-1214

The second session will be held in February.

February 22, 2010

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Jr. Fair Building, 1055 S. Washington St.,Van Wert, OH 45891

Categories: Core, 1 (Grain and Cereal Crops), 2 (Forage Crops), 9 (Non-Crop Land), 10 (Stored Grain), 12 (Seed Treatment)

Contact: Andy Kleinschmidt, Extension Educator,, (419) 238-1214

These recertification sessions do not provide training if you do not have a license. If you do not have a pesticide license, I encourage you to review the process at or contact me at the Van Wert County Extension Office.

A $20 fee will be collected at the door for participation in the pesticide recertification.

Full podcast here:

December 23, 2009 at 8:15 am

2010 Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets

This article was written by Barry Ward, Production Business Management, OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics:

Budgeting helps guide you through your decision making process as you attempt to commit resources to the most profitable enterprises on the farm. Crops or Livestock? Corn, Soybeans, or Wheat? We can begin to answer these questions with well thought out budgets that include all revenue and costs. Without some form of budgeting and some method to track your enterprises’ progress you’ll have difficulty determining your most profitable enterprise(s) and if you’ve met your goals for the farm.

Budgeting is often described as “penciling it out” before committing resources to a plan. Ohio State University Extension has had a long history of developing “Enterprise Budgets” that can be used as a starting point for producers in their budgeting process.

Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2010 have been completed and posted to the Farm Management Website of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. Updated Enterprise Budgets can be viewed and downloaded from the following website:

Enterprise Budgets updated so far for 2010 include: Corn-Conservation Tillage; Soybeans-No-Till (Roundup Ready); Wheat-Conservation Tillage, (Grain & Straw).

Our enterprise budgets are compiled on downloadable Excel Spreadsheets that contain macros for ease of use. Users can input their own production and price levels to calculate their own numbers. These Enterprise Budgets have a new look with color coded cells that will enable users to plug in numbers to easily calculate bottoms lines for different scenarios. Detailed footnotes are included to help explain methodologies used to obtain the budget numbers. Starting this year we will be updating these Enterprise Budgets periodically during the year is large changes occur in price or costs. Budgets will include a date in the upper right hand corner of the front page indicating when the last update occurred.

November 2, 2009 at 9:05 am

Running a Farm: Measures to Assist the Farm CEO

One of the unique things about agriculture is that most ag producers are also their own chief executive officer and chief financial officer.  As agriculture becomes more and more complex, farm and ranch managers need to understand and communicate in the financial world.  The Center for Farm Financial Management has created a new online workshop series to help ag producers (and anyone who works with them) understand and use common financial statements and measures.  Our new website, Interpreting Financial Statements and Measures (IFSaM), is intended to teach producers the basics of interpreting the 4 major financial statements and the 21 financial measures recommended by the Farm Financial Standards Council.

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IFSaM is a series of online videos that producers can work through at their own pace.  Each session provides benchmarks, based on actual farms, that producers can use to evaluate their own financial position and their financial performance.  Case farm examples are used to bring the data to life.  There are also optional “test your knowledge” quizzes at the end of each session.  In total, there is over 2 ½ hours of information.  Best of all, it’s free.

This series was created with funding from the North Central Risk Management Education Center.  IFSaM is located at

October 26, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Regulation of Farm Pesticide Applications, Change May be Coming

The following is written by Peggy Hall, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program:

Producers who apply pesticides in, on, or near water will want to keep an eye on the U.S. EPA’s development of a permitting program for aquatic pesticide applications.   The program is not an EPA initiative, but results from a court case that challenged an EPA regulation exempting certain pesticide applications from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements.  The court decision nullified the EPA’s pesticide exemption regulation for aquatic pesticide applications.  The issue has been a hard one to keep up with; below is a summary of the events leading to the permitting program and its current status.

The Clean Water Act Permit Program. The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) creates a structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into waters and establishing surface water quality standards.  Under the CWA, those who “discharge” a “pollutant” from a “point source” into “navigable waters of the United States” must first obtain permission to do so via the EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, or the discharge will be unlawful.  The law contains a list of exceptions for discharges that do not require an NPDES permit.  The CWA’s nearly forty year history has been fraught with legal battles to clarify terms such as “pollutant,” “discharge,” “point source” and “waters of the United States,” as is the case with aquatic applications of pesticides.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the federal law governing the registration, labeling, and use of pesticides in the U.S.   From 1977 until recently, the EPA required that a pesticide registered under FIFRA contain a notice on its label stating that the pesticide could not be “discharged into lakes, streams, ponds, or public waters unless in accordance with an NPDES permit.”  The EPA modified this position with its pesticide exemption rule.

The EPA’s Pesticide Exemption Rule. In November of 2006, the EPA finalized a regulation that created an exception from the CWA’s NPDES permitting program for pesticides applied in compliance with FIFRA in two circumstances:  1) pesticides applied directly onto water to control pests such as mosquito larvae or aquatic weeds, and 2) pesticide applications over or near water where the pesticide could be deposited on or in the water, such as aerial applications over a forest canopy where water is present.  In its rule, the EPA took the position that FIFRA pesticides are not “pollutants,” except for residual pesticides or excess applications that remain in the water after the application has accomplished its purpose.  Even in the case of residual or excess pesticides, however, the EPA maintained that an NPDES permit is not required because the pesticide application resulting in the residual or excess was not a regulated “discharge from a point source” under the CWA.

The Legal Challenge to EPA’s Rule.  For different reasons, neither environmental nor industry organizations approved of the EPA’s pesticide exemption rule and brought legal challenges that were joined together in the case of National Cotton Council of America v. EPA. The eventual decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined that the EPA’s pesticide exemption rule was not a reasonable interpretation of the Clean Water Act.  The court concluded that certain applications of aquatic pesticides could constitute “point source discharges” of “pollutants” and thus must be regulated by the NPDES permit program.

The court based its decision on the CWA definition of “pollutant,” which includes the terms “chemical waste” and “biological materials,” and determined that excess or residual pesticides applied in, near or above waters are “chemical wastes” and that biological pesticides such as artificial concentrations of viruses, bacteria, fungi, or plant materials are “biological materials.”  The court clarified that an intentional application of a chemical pesticide to water for a particular useful purpose which leaves no excess portions after performing its purpose is not “chemical waste” and does not require an NPDES permit. According to the court, two scenarios of excess or residual pesticides could lead to a permit requirement: (1) where chemical pesticides are applied to land or air, and excess pesticides or pesticide residue is subsequently deposited into waters; and (2) where pesticide residue remains after a direct application of chemical pesticides to waters.  The court also declined to follow EPA’s reasoning that excess or residual pesticide applications are not “point source” discharges.  Because the EPA incorrectly interpreted the Clean Water Act, the court vacated the pesticide exemption rule. Parties to the National Cotton lawsuit requested a rehearing on the case, but the court denied the request. The National Cotton decision is posted here.

EPA’s Request for a “Stay.” The EPA asked the court for a “stay,” or a delay of the effective date of its decision.  EPA argued that states and the EPA would need time to develop a permitting program for all of the pesticide applications in the U.S. that will now require an NPDES permit due to the court’s decision.   The court agreed, and has stayed its decision until April 9, 2011.  The EPA’s pesticide exemption rule thus remains in effect until April 9, 2011, or until the NPDES permit program for pesticides is in place.

EPA’s Permit Program Development. EPA has announced that:  “EPA plans, before the ruling takes effect (April 9, 2011), to issue a final general NPDES permit for covered pesticide applications, to assist authorized states to develop their NPDES permits, and to provide outreach and education to the regulated community. EPA will work closely with state water permitting programs, the regulated community and environmental organizations in developing a general permit that is protective of the environment and public health.  NPDES permits will be required for pesticides applied directly to water to control pests and/or applied to control pests that are present in or over, including near waters. Irrigation return flows and agricultural runoff will not require NPDES permits as they are specifically exempted from the CWA.”

Impacts on Aquatic Pesticide Applications.  For now, operators using FIFRA registered pesticides in, on or near waters are exempt from the NPDES permitting requirement.  The EPA has stated its intent to issue a “general” NPDES permit for aquatic pesticides before the April 9, 2011 deadline.  A general NPDES permit covers a group in the same geographic area with the same type of pollutant discharge.  The general permit applies similar permitting conditions to all dischargers covered under the permit.  Once the EPA or a state has developed the general permit for aquatic pesticides, a person who will make aquatic pesticide applications must submit a Notice of Intent to the EPA or the State in order to be covered by the general permit.  However, the EPA or State may still require an applicator to submit an individual permit application and receive an individual NPDES permit, rather than the general permit, if it determines that coverage under the general permit is inappropriate for the situation.

A challenge for the EPA in developing the permitting program will be discerning between applications that do and do not create excess chemical waste, residual chemical waste, or biological matter.  Chemical pesticide applications leaving no excess or residual waste will not require NPDES permits, according to the court, but applications resulting in residuals or excess chemicals will require a permit, as will applications involving “biological pesticides” or “biological wastes.”

Keeping Track of EPA’s Progress.  To follow future developments in the aquatic pesticides NPDES permitting program, check the EPA’s NPDES – Agriculture web page at

Another Issue: “Waters” covered by the Clean Water Act. A concurrent development that will likely impact all NPDES permits is a proposal before Congress to amend the Clean Water Act to clarify which waters are “waters of the United States” and thus are subject to the CWA.   Senate Bill 787 attempts to clarify the government’s jurisdiction over “waters,” and many claim will greatly expand federal authority under the CWA.  Search for S. 787 here.

October 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm 1 comment

Ohio Line Fence Law and Upcoming Affidavit Deadline

Many landowners and farmers about the upcoming September 30 deadline for filing an “Affidavit of Preexisting Line Fence.” Below are a few resources that should help you with these questions:

Thanks to Peggy Kirk Hall, Director of Agricultural & Resource Law Program at OSU, for compiling these great resources!

September 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

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