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Farm Bureau member benefit, succession planning, crop insurance deadline, tariff concerns and more

• Mar 9, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Here is a roundup of recent agriculture-related press releases:


Smart energy choices, savings goals of new Farm Bureau member benefit

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Farm Bureau Energy Program is a valuable new benefit for the organization’s members that will provide education and protection for energy consumers and offers cost savings to eligible participants. As an added bonus, Farm Bureau’s partner, Community Energy Advisors, will award three $500 quarterly prizes to winning Farm Bureau members between now and the end of 2018.

“Making smart choices on energy can be complicated. Our goal with this program is to make it easier for our members, and maybe save them some money,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau.

All Farm Bureau members, whether they live on farms or in cities, can participate. The protection aspects of the program will advise Farm Bureau members on such things as their rights as energy consumers, how to handle energy service solicitors, how to assess contracts, and avoid scams and fraud. Education components keep members on top of changes in the energy marketplace, advise on new regulations and rate changes and provide energy efficiency tips. Members served by for-profit utilities may see an average 10 percent cost savings on electricity or natural gas through a process that requires suppliers to compete for the member’s business. There is no cost to the program. Members can call 800-830-3501 or visit ofbf.org/savings to learn more.

Three members will be randomly selected in each month of June, September and December for $500 awards. No purchase is necessary and winners must be Farm Bureau members at the time of entry and of the drawing. Enter at ofbf.org/savings.

“Members have asked for help with energy issues and costs for many years. We’ve done our homework, found the right partner and created this program to give members some real benefits,” Sharp said.

Ohio Farm Bureau is the state’s largest and most inclusive farm and food organization. Its mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

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AgCredit Hosting Succession Planning Events

FOSTORIA — After deciding you are ready to start succession planning on your farm, what’s next? To help, AgCredit is hosting four farm transition seminars across northwest and north central Ohio. These seminars will help provide guidance and tools to start the conversation about farm transition with your family.

David Marrison and Emily Adams, of OSU Extension, will be discussing how to have productive, positive conversations and meetings about difficult issues. Caleb Douce, of Douce Agency, LLC, will be sharing information about Nationwide’s Land as Your Legacy program. Land as Your Legacy is designed to help ensure a seamless transition of your farm to the next generation.

Advanced reservations are required by March 13.

Seminars will be held on the following dates:

March 20 at All Occasions Catering, 
6989 Waldo Delaware Road, Waldo, OH 43356

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Presentations will begin at 6:45 p.m. with an approximate end time of 9:15 p.m.

RSVP: 419-947-1040 or dwhite@agcredit.net

Dinner will be served.

March 22 at Erie County Fairgrounds, 
3110 Columbus Ave.
, Sandusky, OH 44870

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Presentations will begin at 6:45 p.m. with an approximate end time of 9:15 p.m.

Sponsored by Lorain, Erie and Huron County Farm Bureaus

RSVP: 419-663-4020 or dwhite@agcredit.net

Heavy appetizers will be served.

March 26 at Leipsic Community Center, 120 E. Main St., Leipsic, OH 45856

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Presentations will begin at 6:45 p.m. with an approximate end time of 9:15 p.m.

RSVP 419-523-6677 or dwhite@agcredit.net

Dinner will be served.

March 27 at Masters Building, 
10171 State Hwy 53 N., 
Upper Sandusky, OH 43351

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Presentations will begin at 6:45 p.m. with an approximate end time of 9:15 p.m.

RSVP 419-447-0787 or dwhite@agcredit.net

Dinner will be served.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Presentations will begin at 6:45 p.m. with an approximate end time of 9:15 p.m.

* * *

Crop Insurance Deadline March 15 for Ohio Farmers

COLUMBUS – Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment is reminding Ohio farmers that the deadline to purchase or modify certain insurance coverage for most spring planted crops is March 15.

“Ohio farmers should carefully evaluate their crop insurance needs with an insurance agent,” Froment said. “Crop insurance can be an integral piece of a risk management plan that helps protect farmers in tough years.”

Federally subsidized, multiple-peril crop insurance covers certain weather, pest and revenue related losses. This coverage is dependent on crop establishment and reporting dates determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) that farmers must meet. The dates vary by crop and county and are listed at www.rma.usda.gov.

State-regulated policies such as for damage caused by hail and fire are also available. Many of them have crop establishment and reporting requirements as well.

People can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 or visit www.insurance.ohio.gov to find insurance companies and agents licensed to sell crop insurance.

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USDA Helps Cotton Producers Maintain, Expand Domestic Market

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced at the 66th Annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking action to assist cotton producers through a Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton.

“America’s cotton producers have now faced four years of financial stress, just like the rest of our major commodities, but with a weaker safety net,” Perdue said. “In particular, cotton producers confront high input and infrastructure costs, which leaves them more financially leveraged than most of their colleagues. That economic burden has been felt by the entire cotton market, including the gins, cooperatives, marketers, cottonseed crushers, and the rural communities that depend upon their success.”

The sign-up period for the CGCS program runs from March 12, 2018, to May 11, 2018.

Under the program, which is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), cotton producers may receive a cost share payment, which is based on a producer’s 2016 cotton acres reported to FSA multiplied by 20 percent of the average ginning cost for each production region.

Perdue added, “I hope this will be a needed help as the rural cotton-growing communities stretching from the Southeastern U.S. to the San Joaquin Valley of California prepare to plant. This infusion gives them one last opportunity for assistance until their Farm Bill safety net becomes effective.”

Here the amounts for costs of ginning per acre and CGCS payment rate listed for each region:

• Southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia — $116.05 and $23.21

• Mid-South (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee) — $151.97 and $30.39

• Southwest (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas) — $98.26 and $19.65

• West (Arizona, California, New Mexico) — and $240.10$48.02

CGCS payments are capped at $40,000 per producer. To qualify for the program, cotton producers must meet conservation compliance provisions, be actively engaged in farming and have adjusted gross incomes not exceeding $900,000. FSA will mail letters and pre-filled applications to all eligible cotton producers.

The program was established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.

To learn more about the CGCS program, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/cgcs or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit the USDA’s new website: https://www.farmers.gov.

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ASA, BASF Award Iowa Student with 2018 Soy Scholarship

ST. LOUIS — McKenna Nielsen, of Audubon, Iowa, received the 2018-19 Soy Scholarship award, sponsored by BASF and the American Soybean Association (ASA).

The scholarship is a $5,000 award presented to an exceptional high school senior who excels in both academics and in leadership roles, and plans to pursue a degree in an agriculture-related field at an accredited college or university.

Nielsen has been involved in 4-H on the local, state and national level. She’s also served as an officer in FFA and participated in a Supervised Agriculture Experience project, farming soybeans and corn. Nielsen has taken opportunities to discuss farming with both her state and lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Nielsen is described as exhibiting “exemplary skills in leadership.” She maintains a busy schedule, balancing college credit courses with sports, theater, band, student government and several agriculture groups. Volunteering is one of her passions and over the course of her high school career she’s logged 360 volunteer hours in her local, state and national communities.

Nielsen plans to pursue a double major in agricultural studies related to food resources and medical studies for nursing at Morningside College. She will be a fifth generation farmer on both sides of her family.

“I will be farming in the fields where my great, great grandparents began our family legacy so many years ago,” Nielsen stated in her application essay. “With our aging farming population, as youth we need to start stepping up to the challenge of working with our parents/grandparents to learn how to grow food, care and preserve our family farms and work to increase incomes in farming.”

BASF and ASA presented the ASA Soy Scholarship to Nielsen last week in Anaheim, Calif. during Commodity Classic, ASA’s annual tradeshow and convention.

“ASA is proud to once again team up with BASF to invest in future ag leaders,” said John Heisdorffer, ASA president and a farmer from Keota, Iowa. “We are impressed by McKenna's accomplishments and look forward to seeing her future success.”

* * *

Soybean Growers Say Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Harm Farmers

WASHINGTON — The American Soybean Association (ASA) responded forcefully to tariffs signed into action Thursday by President Donald Trump, saying that the measures could likely lead to retaliation by affected countries and arguing that soybean exports are a prime target given their prominent role in U.S. agricultural trade.

ASA President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer released the following statement this afternoon:

“These tariffs are a disastrous course of action from the White House. They may lead to retaliation by one or more of our valuable trading partners, which in turn will kneecap demand for soybeans in a time when the farm economy is struggling. We have heard directly from the Chinese that U.S. soybeans are prime targets for retaliation. The idea that we’re the only game in town, and these partners have no choice but to purchase from the U.S. is flatly wrong. Our competition in Brazil and Argentina is eager to capitalize on whatever openings these tariffs create for them in markets like China and elsewhere.

“Throughout this process, we’ve met with officials at Commerce, with Treasury, with USTR and with White House staff. It is unfortunate that our input was not taken into account given the announcement today. While we are deeply disappointed and concerned, we reaffirm our commitment to sit down with the president and communicate the importance of trade for soybean farmers. There is absolutely a way to encourage growth in domestic industry without cannibalizing the success of agricultural trade. With these tariffs, the administration has taken the opposite approach, and sacrificed the progress and potential of farmers.”

* * *

RFS Tinkering Would Deal Substantive Blow to Farmers

WASHINGTON — Here is a statement by National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes regarding a new study by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University:

“This economic analysis backs up what corn farmers have been telling the Administration – that manipulating the RIN market mechanism would reduce ethanol blending and impact corn prices. A drop of 25 cents per bushel in corn prices, as CARD economists project from a RIN price cap, would devastate farmers and stagger rural communities.

“This spring farmers will begin planting knowing they face their fifth growing season with corn prices hovering at or below the cost of production. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, we lost 12,000 farms in 2016. This decline must be stopped.

“The CARD analysis clearly shows an artificial cap on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) prices in exchange for an RVP waiver allowing year-round sales of E15 would be a bad deal for rural America and the nation’s consumers.

“Providing regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends helps address concerns about RIN values. Allowing the RIN market to operate freely with year-round sales of E15 would increase the production and consumption of renewable fuels, increase the supply of RINs available for compliance and lower RIN values. Combining RVP parity with a RIN price cap is counterproductive and would lower ethanol blending.

“Last week, corn farmer delegates in the National Association of Corn Growers Corn Congress unanimously passed a resolution urging President Trump to retain the current RIN market mechanism without change. This analysis supports our resolution.”


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