OSU Extension
OSU Extension
Farmers in Ohio and across the Midwest might have reason to be optimistic this year. Prices for soybeans, corn and wheat have risen in 2020, and total net cash income from farms in the United States is expected to be up this year by 4.5 percent - partly because of an increase in government payments to farmers.

Ben Brown, OSU’s assistant professor of agricultural risk management indicates these payments will make up 32 percent of this year’s net cash income from all U.S. farms – more than twice the portion those payments typically account for.

Traditionally, government assistance to farmers makes up about 14 percent of the annual net cash income from farms in the US. Net farm cash income is a measure of profit generated from all U.S. farms by adding all sales of agricultural commodities and farming related activities, plus direct government payments and subtracting cash expenses.

Until recent years, government assistance to farmers came almost exclusively through the Farm Bill, which is legislation passed by Congress every five years. However, in recent years, aid given to farmers through the Farm Bill has been supplemented with additional government payments.

Besides receiving aid through Farm Bill programs this year, farmers have been compensated for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the drop in international demand for certain commodities. The decline in demand resulted from tariff increases on those commodities, including on American soybeans sold overseas.

Government payments to farmers is one of many policy issues that will be discussed at the virtual Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Nov. 9-13. The conference will be a series of two-hour online webinars Nov. 9, 10, 12 and 13 that will be hosted by The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics in CFAES.

Each day will focus on a different topic. Nov. 9 will be on agriculture finance, Nov. 10, agricultural and environmental policy; Nov. 12, agricultural trade and the health of the U.S. economy; and Nov. 13, grain, livestock and consumer demand projections.

Agricultural economists from CFAES will speak along with other experts from Washington D.C., leading land grant institutions, and the Federal Reserve System. The webinars begin at noon and include a daily panel discussion that starts at 1 p.m. and invites people in the audience to ask questions.

Speakers at the conference will offer their recap of 2020 and outlooks for 2021 at the national, regional and local levels. To register and for more information about the conference, visit http://go.osu.edu/aedeoutlook.

For more information please visit the Extension office at 1206 East Second St. in Ottawa. You may also contact us by phone at 419-523-6294, email at scheckelhoff.11@osu.edu, or find us on Facebook by searching for OSU Extension Putnam County.