JenREES 2-2-20

Been getting questions on the farm bill. It’s really important that growers make appointments now at your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to complete your ARC/PLC election and enrollment forms. Deadline to enroll is Monday, March 16 for the 2019 crop year. The election can be changed up to March 16. Growers who don’t get enrolled by then will be ineligible to receive ARC or PLC payments for the 2019 crop year.

If you use a decision support tool, I’m not recommending to use the Illinois tool as it takes into consideration the life of the farm bill. This is a two-year decision, thus, the potential payment numbers tend to be skewed and makes ARC-CO look more favorable than what it most likely will be. The Texas A&M tool considers a two-year decision and that’s the tool Randy Pryor and I recommend. On my blog, there’s step-by-step screen shots to help if you wish to use the tool. You can find it and previous blog posts at jenreesources.com. In the right-hand column under “categories” select “farm bill”.

Using the tool to work through farm situations from different counties, PLC keeps beating ARC-Co for corn. There’s a separation between the price it could take to trigger ARC-Co (previously around $3.18 for many counties) vs. PLC ($3.70) for corn. I’ve also played with the historical irrigation percentage (HIP). Everytime I’ve changed the HIP % for corn (0, 25, 50, 75, 100), it doesn’t switch the potential payment decision from PLC to ARC-Co. However, when I look at soybean, it’s tended to favor PLC for a higher irrigated percentage and ARC-Co for farms with little to no irrigation. This does vary by county, so soybean can go either way. If you’re really undecided, check this for yourself. You’re only making this decision for 2 years and there may not be a soybean payment for either election. Ultimately elections are your decision and the tools and info hopefully help as we can’t predict what prices will do.

Pesticide, Dicamba, Chemigation Trainings: I’ve also received questions regarding pesticide, dicamba, and chemigation trainings. If you haven’t received a postcard from NDA to pay the $25 bill within 14-17 days after training, please call the Extension Office in the county where you took the training; they can follow-up with NDA. The postcard will have a link to pay the $25 fee online. For those who don’t like paying online, you can also send a $25 check to NDA and include the postcard. For those who attended my training when I ran out of materials, I now have more so you are welcome to stop at the York Co. Extension Office and get the study guide and weed guide.

If you attend a face-to-face dicamba training through Extension or Ag Industry, please bring your pesticide applicator card as a pesticide applicator number is needed for registration. If you are a new applicator this year, you will write “pending” on the registration form. There is no charge for dicamba training, and the same training can be completed online at: https://pested.unl.edu/dicamba. Watching it at home as a group doesn’t work well because only one applicator number is entered to watch the training; there’s no way to add additional ones. Each person would have to be on his/her own device watching the training. Allow one week for your name to be added to NDA’s dicamba certified applicators on their site at: https://nda.nebraska.gov/pesticide/dicamba.html. Download the excel spreadsheet under ‘dicamba applicator training’ and make sure your name is listed. Then print the spreadsheet and keep it for your records.

For those recertifying for chemigation, you are allowed to watch the modules and take the test at home this year at: https://water.unl.edu/article/agricultural-irrigation/chemigation. This is only for recertifications. Initial certifications can watch the modules from home but still need to take the test at an Extension office. Anyone seeking initial or recertification is also welcome to attend face to face training.

JenREES 1-26-20

Corn Quality Concerns: The two main questions I’ve received: “Are you hearing others mentioning low/variable test weights on corn?” and “Are you hearing of loads being rejected (to ethanol plants) due to mycotoxins?” While I’m unsure how widespread this is, I have been receiving these questions. A reminder to check your grain quality if you haven’t already been hauling or checking it.

Test Weight is a volumetric measurement (weight of corn grain per unit of volume), and as such, doesn’t directly correlate with yield. Standard corn test weight is 56 lbs/bu (1 bushel is 1.24 cubic feet). The size, shape, slipperiness of surface, and density of the kernel impacts test weight. Hybrids can show differences in test weight. Test weight is different than kernel weight, and thus not directly correlated with yield. Test weight gets at how tightly packed the starch is within the kernel. Reducing kernel moisture can allow for increased test weight if the starch loses water allowing for it to be packed more tightly within that kernel. Dry kernels that slide past each other may pack better allowing for increased test weight.

Lower test weights can result with disease, insect, and environmental stresses that impact photosynthesis and the movement of nutrients to the kernel during grain fill. These can include foliar and stalk diseases, drought stress, lack of nutrients, freeze prior to physiological maturity, late planting, and below normal temps during grain fill. Rewetting of kernels in the ear can impact test weight as kernels can swell and not shrink back to the same shape as previously. We know that moisture events happened after physiological maturity causing some sprouting of kernels in some ears prior to harvest. We did have high foliar disease pressure this year and reduced stalk quality. Compromised integrity of the kernel due to insect, disease, and mechanical damage can also impact test weight. I didn’t see the amount of kernel damage as I did in 2018. But there are certain hybrids that are high yielding and widely planted that I tend to see starburst patterns on kernels (due to Fusarium) and shortened husks exposing ear tips to more insect damage/ear molds. There are also hybrids that had a large amount of top dieback, husk tissue that turned brown early, or refuge in a bag plants that died early in fields. All of these may be factors potentially impacting test weight as well. Thinking about photosynthesis, we had reduced solar radiation during grain fill. I can’t help but think that could also impact it but didn’t easily find research that correlates solar radiation to test weight. There’s research correlating solar radiation to yield and kernel weight, though.

Regarding vomitoxin levels, the starburst patterns on kernels, insect damage leading to

ear molds, wet corn not properly dried or cooled in bins can all impact greater Fusarium growth and the potential for vomitoxin to be produced. If vomitoxin (also called DON) is an issue, concentrations can triple in the ethanol process of producing the distiller’s grains. Hogs and poultry are more sensitive than cattle, so the end user may be a factor in addition to the vomitoxin levels. I don’t know the levels being rejected so I can’t speak more to this.

York County Corn Grower Tour: Corn growers and spouses are welcome to join us February 3 for a tour of ag industries in the Lincoln area. We will meet at the York Co. Extension Office at 7 a.m. and will carpool leaving at 7:15. Our first stop will be RealmFive which focuses on wireless connectivity for ag operations. We will then tour Smart Chicken in Waverly which offers retail- and foodservice-packaged organic chickens and antibiotic-free chickens from Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. Lunch at Lazlos is next followed by learning about the UNL hops program and research using corn gluten meal and soybean meal. Possibly another stop on way home. Please RSVP to me at jrees2@unl.edu if you’re interested in attending by Feb. 2nd. Hope to have a good group who can join us! Flyer at jenreesources.com.

2020 York County Corn Grower Tour

York Co. Corn Growers Tour.PNG

JenREES 1-19-20

This week was asked to share on these additional Jan./Feb. meeting opportunities. Also, Please Save Feb. 3 for the York County Corn Growers Tour! I’m working on the tour details-will share next week.

A few times a month, I receive questions about hops or hemp. For those interested in hops, the Nebraska Brewer’s Conference will be Jan. 27-28 at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney. You can learn more details here: www.growbrewnebraska.com.

Merrick Co. Ag Day is Jan. 28 at the Fairgrounds in Central City. Topics include weed control in prevent plant acres, farm bill, pivot wheel track management, understanding the hydrogeology of wells in Central Nebraska, groundwater protection/water quality sampling and testing, and domestic/farm level water treatment equipment. There is no charge and please RSVP for meal to 308-946-3843.

72nd Annual York-Hamilton Cattlemen’s Banquet will be Jan. 28 at the Holthus Convention Center in York beginning with social at 6:30 p.m. and prime rib meal at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be Jay Hendren, a farmer from Ohio.  Hendren uses his experiences in farming to tickle the funny bones of audience members of all walks of life. Hendren has entertained groups across the country from banquets and conventions to comedy clubs. Tickets are $25 per person. Sponsorships are also available that include two banquet tickets and recognition at the banquet for $150.  Cattlemen’s Banquet tickets can be purchased from any of the York-Hamilton County Cattlemen’s Directors including Brian Blase of Hordville; Brock Ekhoff and Terry Ross of Aurora; Jeff Underwood of Exeter; Allen Klute and Mark Klute of Hampton; David McDonald of Phillips, Jeff Meradith, Kim Regier and Josh Chrisman of York; Kim Siebert of Henderson, plus the UNL Extension Offices in York County and Hamilton Counties.

Lambing and Kidding School Jan. 25: The closest location to this area will be in Broken Bow at the Fairgrounds. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Topics include: Keeping ewes healthy through disease control and treatment (Dr. Brian Vander Ley DVM, Great Plains Educational Center); Economical feeding programs for the doe (Dr. Steve Hart, Goat Extension Specialist OK); Economical feeding programs for the ewe (Dr. Ivan Rush, sheep producer, Scottsbluff); Treating chilled newborns, tubing lambs/kids/Q&A session (local veterinarians). The program is followed by a hands-on tour to Beth & Hannah Smith’s Farm 44306 Road 786 Broken Bow. More info and pre-register at: ne.sheep.goat@gmail.com or 308-386-8378.

2020 Sorghum Symposium will be held at the NE College of Technical Ag in Curtis on Jan. 30th. I don’t have details regarding the time, but program highlights include: weather (Al Dutcher); sorghum production and management (Dr. Brent Bean, Agronomist); D.C./Farm Bill Update (Jerad Reimers, Office of Congressman Smith); grain sorghum variety performance in 15” and 30” rows (Strahinja Stepanovic, UNL); sorghum TAPS program panel; how to win an argument without arguing via social media (Nate Blum). The annual meeting will follow the program and several vendors will be present. There’s no charge but please RSVP for meal count to sorghum.board@nebraska.gov or 402-471-4276.

Annie’s Inspired: Feb. 3rd from 6-8 p.m. is the next Annie’s Inspired Workshop for women involved with agriculture. It will be held at the Library in David City. Glennis McClure will cover Farm/Ranch budgets and financials. These workshops include a light supper, plenty of networking time and hands-on learning. Cost is $5 to cover supper. Please RSVP to 402-367-7410 or 402-362-5508 if you’re interested in attending!

JenREES 1-12-20

Great to see and meet so many at the York Ag Expo last week! And, to the 156 of you who attended pesticide training, thank you again for your kindness and grace with the packed room and overflow to the hallway. Sharing this week on February upcoming ag programs and adding the flyers to https://jenreesources.com.

Jan. 28th is the Farmers and Ranchers Cow-Calf College at the US Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with program beginning at 9:55 a.m. Topics include: Forage Sampling, Understanding Annual Cow Costs, Questions to Ask Your Vet before Calving Season, Blockchains: Connecting Consumers with their Food (IMI Global), and Alternative Meats and Alternative Statistics: What the data says. There is no charge and meal is provided. It’s best to pre-register to save time and you can do so at https://go.unl.edu/frcollegereg. You can also RSVP at (402) 759-3712.

Feb. 4 is the Hamilton County Ag Day at the fairgrounds in Aurora (Reg. at 9 a.m. with program beginning at 9:30 a.m.). Attendance at this event qualifies for UBBNRD nitrogen management training. Many have asked about nitrogen research and this event is geared towards providing that. Topics include: In-season nitrogen application, management to reduce nitrate leaching, fertigation equipment & procedures for in-season management, crop nutrients from manure, cover crops and nitrogen management, optimum irrigation application, on-farm research for evaluating N management, land rental considerations for 2020, in addition to updates from Nebraska Corn and USDA. There is no charge.

Feb. 13 is the Nebraska Cover Crop Conference near Mead with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and program from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This year’s focus is on interseeding cover crops into corn/soybean. Loran Steinlage from Iowa will share what he’s doing with 60” row spacings and keeping something growing in his fields 365 days of the year. Noah Seim from Merrick County (30” rows for a few years) and Jay Goertzen from York County (36” rows for 1 year) both have interseeding projects with Nebraska on-farm research and will share their experiences. Additional Topics/Speakers include: Finding the right fit with cover crops (Abbey Wick from NDSU), Selling cover crop seed in Nebraska (Steve Knox with Nebraska Crop Improvement), Accelerating soil health adoption by quantifying economic and environmental outcomes (Brian Brandt, Ohio), Review of cover crop demonstrations in the Central Platte NRD (Dean Krull), Cover crops by helicopter: FAQ (Brent Wulf, Hexagon Helicopters, Inc.), and Soil Health (Aaron Hird, NRCS). There is no charge for this event including meal and it’s a large event. Registration is required by Feb. 7. More info. and register at: https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/enre/nebraska-cover-crop-conference/ or 402-624-8030.

Nebraska On-Farm Research Updates: Believing in the value of on-farm research, these are among my favorite meetings each year! These meetings give you an opportunity to hear from your peers regarding research they’re trying in cooperation with Nebraska Extension. We often wouldn’t have research on topics many of you ask me about if it wasn’t for our on-farm research cooperators, so I’m grateful to them! Dates include: Feb. 18 at Holiday Inn Express in Beatrice, Feb. 19 near Mead at ENREC, Feb. 20 in Norfolk at the Extension Office, Feb. 26 in Kearney at the Extension Office, and Feb. 28 in York at the Holthus Convention Center. The Feb. 28 meeting in York will be unique focusing only on cover crop and soil health research and that meeting also qualifies for UBBNRD nitrogen management training. Each meeting runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.). Meal is included and there’s no cost thanks to our partnerships with Nebraska Corn, Soybean, and Dry Bean Boards and Growers’ Associations. Please pre-register at least 2 days in advance for meal planning purposes to: onfarm@unl.edu or 402-624-8030.


IMG_20200106_084421cow-calf collegeweed science schoolAurora AgDay2020Nebraska Cover Crop Conference2020 On-Farm Research UpdatesBroiler Manure Application Flyer

Cow/Calf College – January 28 — Views from VanDeWalle

Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College – January 28 The annual Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College “Partners in Progress – Beef Seminar” will be held at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center near Clay Center on January 28, 2020 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:30 a.m. The program […]

via Cow/Calf College – January 28 — Views from VanDeWalle

JenREES 1-5-20

Winter programming is upon us and there’s plenty of opportunities to attend meetings somewhere nearly every day! Below is more information regarding some January opportunities from Extension. Also, thank you to those who provided feedback to my end of the year survey! It really is short, so if you haven’t provided feedback, please consider doing so at https://slido.com and enter the code 4EXT. It really helps me as we have to justify the ways that we serve our constituents in our annual reports. Thank you!

Crop Production Clinics (CPC) provide an opportunity for commercial, non-commercial, and private pesticide applicator recertification. CCA credits can also be obtained. Besides the ‘traditional’ track of insect, disease, and weed science information, topics at the York location (Holthus Convention Center) on Jan. 14 also include: farm bill info, financial considerations for 2020, extreme weather impacts on ag, cover crops and forage management, manure and other soil amendments, pivot performance, and sprinkler packages. Registration at: https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc.

Nebraska Crop Management Clinic (NCMC) at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney Jan. 22-23 expands the offerings of the CPC into a 2-day conference with additional outside speakers. Commercial, non-commercial, and private recertification training are options in addition to obtaining up to 14 CCA credits (over 2 days) and chemigation training. Registration at: https://agronomy.unl.edu/ncmc.

Good Farmer, Great Manager: I’m really excited to bring this program to the area! This program isn’t about teaching specific tools like Quicken, Quickbooks, or others. It’s about better understanding the true financial position of the farm. Keeping good records make it possible to track an operation’s true financial position. Inaccurate records can lead to misguided management decisions. Tina Barrett, Executive Director of the Nebraska Farm Business Inc., will teach this class on Jan. 23 (1-5 p.m.) and 24 (8 a.m.-Noon) at the 4-H Building in York. It is required to attend both days, cost is $50, and the class is limited to 25 participants. Topics include understanding what are good tax records, getting good tax records, moving to management records, and financial statements and ratios. You can register at: https://wia.unl.edu/GFGM. You can also hear Tina share more about this class at: https://youtu.be/LaVZRPzG1HM.

Weed Science School will be held at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead, starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 3.45 p.m. on January 29th. “Dr. Bryan Young, professor of weed science at the Purdue University is an invited speaker to present his research experience for dicamba off-target movement in soybean,” said Amit Jhala, extension weed management specialist and program coordinator. Tim Creger, pesticide/fertilizer program manager with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, will be discussing NDA’s experience investigating dicamba complaints the last three years, including what evidence they look for, types of violations, and the regulatory action taken in response to violations. Additional topics include: Overview of Weed Control and Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Nebraska (Amit Jhala); Herbicide Discovery in an Era of Industry Acquisition and Merger (David Simpson, senior product development manager, Corteva); Corn Ear Formation Issues (Jenny Rees); Soybean Response to 2,4-D or Dicamba (Stevan Knezevic); Weed Identification (Ethann Barnes and Parminder Chahal Agronomy research assistant and associate);  Managing Waterhemp (Chris Proctor, weed science extension educator); Nozzles, Nozzles, Nozzles: Selection and How to Use (Bob Klein, Extension western Nebraska crops specialist). There is no cost to attend; register at https://agronomy.unl.edu/weedscienceschool. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units will be available.

JenREES 12-29-19

Often the phrase “there’s always next year” is heard when hard times hit individuals. This speaks to the optimism many have! 2019 has been challenging for many, perhaps also cumulative from previous years. There’s no promise of life being easy on this earth; it’s broken as is everything in it. Challenges, adversity provide potential to build something rich and lasting-things like one’s faith, relationships, and character. As we enter this new year, may we seek to live life with purpose, focus on the important things, and dig deep/come alongside others in the midst of difficulty. Wishing everyone a blessed 2020!

Extension Survey: Being funded by tax payer dollars, Extension employees need to justify the work we do in reports. Whether you only interact with me by reading this column or have asked me horticulture or ag related questions, I’m asking for your feedback. Please go to: slido.com, join with code 4EXT and fill out a quick, anonymous, 7 question survey for me! Thank you!

Winter Programs: Those in agriculture in this part of the State should have received (or will soon receive) a mailing from your local Extension Office that shares our winter program brochure, a pesticide letter, and additional program flyers. Following is what’s happening the week of January 6th.

Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshops: These 3-hour workshops will cover: ag finance and the real estate market; current trends in ag finance across Nebraska; negotiation skills for effectively managing land leases; and more. No charge. Jan. 7, 1:30 p.m., Extension Office in Seward (402-643-2981); Jan. 8, 9 a.m., 4-H Building in York (402-362-5508); and Jan. 15, 1 p.m., Fairgrounds in Clay Center (402-762-3644).

York Ag Expo: Come out to the York Ag Expo at the Holthus Convention Center January 9th and 10th! The Expo features a number of vendors and free ag appreciation lunches both days catered by Kerry’s. On January 9th, I’m providing private pesticide applicator training at 9:30 a.m. and on January 10th, chemigation training is provided at 9:00 a.m. You can find more information at: https://yorkchamber.org/event/ag-expo/. RUP Dicamba training is not offered at the Expo. You can complete that at other face to face trainings or online at: https://pested.unl.edu/dicamba after Jan. 1.

Private Pesticide Training: Training dates/locations are available at: go.unl.edu/2020pat. Cost for face to face training is $40. Options for initial license include attending a face to face training or taking the online course (cost $75) at pested.unl.edu. Options for renewal include: attending a face to face training, taking the online course, or attending a Crop Production Clinic (Beatrice Jan. 10, York Jan. 14, cost $80) or the Nebraska Crop Management Conference in Kearney (Jan. 22-23) agronomy.unl.edu/cpc.

Chemigation Training: To apply chemicals/fertilizer through irrigation systems, chemigation certification is needed. View dates/locations for initial and recertification training at: go.unl.edu/2020chemigation. Those recertifying may also complete the training and test online without testing with Extension: https://water.unl.edu/article/agricultural-irrigation/chemigation. Wait till after Jan. 1, 2020.

Annie’s Inspired Workshops: These provide women involved with agriculture an opportunity to network and learn together while having fun! All workshops have a hands-on component and will be held from 6-8 p.m. beginning with a light meal. Cost is $5 per person per session. Join us for Beef 101 at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Osceola, Jan. 6th! Please RSVP: (402) 367-7410 or (402) 362-5508.

Good Farmer, Great Manager is taught by Tina Barrett, Executive Director of Nebraska Farm Business, Inc. The difference between a good farmer and a great manager often comes down to knowing the true financial position of a farm. This class will be held in York from 1-5 p.m. Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, from 8-Noon at the 4-H Bldg at Fairgrounds in York. The course fee is $50 per participant; limited to 25 people. Learn more and register at: https://wia.unl.edu/GFGM. Tina shares more at: https://youtu.be/LaVZRPzG1HM.

JenREES 12-22-19

Thanks to Randy Pryor, Extension Educator Emeritus, for reviewing this article. Also, appreciate the growers who shared data and Farm Service Agency (FSA) personnel from several counties who answered my questions. Here’s more farm bill information.

PLC Yield: A few weeks ago, I mentioned you can obtain a sheet from your local FSA Office which shows PLC yields and necessary yield in order to increase PLC yield. If you don’t have that sheet, you can use your 156EZ form. Take your PLC yield and divide by 0.81 to get the yield necessary to increase your PLC yield. For example, a PLC corn yield of 190/0.81= 234.57 bu/ac. Your 2013-2017 RMA actual yields would need to show you’ve achieved at least 234.57 bu/ac in order to increase your PLC yield.

Seed Corn Yields: For seed corn yields, if the farm has commercial corn in addition to seed corn in rotation, the commercial corn yield will be applied to the seed corn. If no commercial corn is grown in rotation on the farm, use the Plant Base Yield (PBY) not to exceed 120% of the county irrigated corn yield. For example, in 2013, York County Irrigated Corn Yield was 235.92 bu/ac. Multiply this by 120% = 283.10 bu/ac. Compare this to the PBY for the same year and use the lower of the two numbers.

Historical Irrigated Percentage (HIP) is taken into account for ARC-CO payments. For those of you who are using the Texas A&M decision tool, you will see a box to input HIP. As you look at your 156EZ form, you will see an area for HIP. Counties that had to split out irrigated vs. non-irrigated acres for certain crops in the 2014 Farm Bill will have a HIP listed. Counties that didn’t have to do this will not have one listed. For those with HIP listed, it may or may not be accurate depending on if you incorporated/lost irrigated ground in the past 5 years. For purposes of the Texas A&M tool, you can use your best estimate of irrigated vs. non-irrigated percentage.

ARC-CO Calculation: Regardless if you’d like to try the Texas A&M tool or not, you can also get an idea of the price in which ARC-CO would trigger a 2019 payment by doing a simple calculation. Take your county guaranteed revenue and divide that by the county benchmark yield. For example, for irrigated corn in York County, the 2019 Guaranteed Revenue is $731.07. The 2019 Benchmark Yield (which is an Olympic average yield from 2013-2017) for irrigated corn in York County is 229.75 bu/ac. Taking $731.07/229.75= $3.18. What this means is that based on these numbers, if the York County RMA Yield comes in at 229.75 bu/ac, which is a trend adjusted yield, a payment would not be triggered for ARC-CO for irrigated corn in York County until a $3.18 corn price is achieved. This is in comparison to PLC in which the trigger is $3.70 for the corn price. Many of the counties in which I’ve done this calculation for irrigated corn have around a $3.18 trigger price for ARC-CO currently. That alone tells you a lot regarding decision making. If the trendline yield remains close to current one, it leans towards enrolling in PLC for irrigated corn, but it is a two year decision. You can also try other figures (ex. trying 235 and 220 bu/ac) if you think the trendline yields may be higher or lower than the current estimate to see other potential ARC Co price triggers.

Randy Pryor shared a spreadsheet with me from USDA that had all the yearly yields, trend yields, and revenue guarantees for each county and each crop in Nebraska to date. I’ve placed tables with these numbers on my blog at jenreesources.com for the counties in which I helped growers for the 2014 Farm Bill. You can also ask your FSA Office if they can provide this information for you.

FSA Meetings: If you missed the Farm Bill meetings and would like to better understand the differences between the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, please contact your local FSA Office. Many of them are having small meetings certain days of the week but can’t share which way you should enroll.

Texas A&M Decision Aid: Randy Pryor and I are recommending that if you use a decision aid, that you use the Texas A&M one. For those of you I worked with during the 2014 farm bill, I have your username and password if you no longer do. You can also reset it by calling their help line. I’ve assembled screen shots at https://go.unl.edu/texasam that walk you step by step through inputting data into the tool. If you have questions, please let me know. Hoping this is helpful!

*End News Column. County tables below.


York Co.Seward Co.Adams Co.Butler Co.Clay Co.Custer Co.Dawson Co.Fillmore Co.Franklin Co.Hamilton Co.Harlan Co.Kearney Co.Nuckolls Co.Pierce Co.Polk Co.Thayer Co.Wayne CoWebster Co.

Additional Farm Bill Info: 

Entering data into Texas A&M Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool

*Special thanks to Randy Pryor, Extension Educator Emeritus for reviewing this information.

IMG_20191217_161928

You will need your FSA156EZ form which can be obtained from your local FSA Office. It will show you farm numbers, base acres, PLC yields for each of your farms. For counties that had split irrigated and non-irrigated yields in the 2014 Farm Bill, there will be a Historical Irrigated Percentage (HIP) listed on your 156EZ as well. For counties that had combined irrigated and non-irrigated yields, there will be no HIP (as shown on this form). A HIP would not take into account 2013-2017 production, thus, if you added irrigated acres during that time, you would need to consider that in your HIP percentage. You will need to add a HIP for the Texas A&M Farm Bill Decision Aid. If one isn’t listed on your FSA156EZ or if your HIP has changed the past 5 years, use your best estimate.

The Texas A&M Farm Bill Decision Aid can be found at: www.afpc.tamu.edu/tools/farm/farmbill/2018. You will need to first login using your email and password (If you used the tool for the 2014 Farm Bill decision, it will take the same email and password. I have them for growers I helped with the 2014 Farm Bill). Otherwise, if you can’t remember it, you can request help from the developers (Phone: 979-845-5913 or Email: info@afpc.tamu.edu. Some have said it takes a long time to receive a response). If you’ve never used it, register with an email and password. If you forgot your password and didn’t receive a response, perhaps consider signing up with a new email address. Just be sure to keep the email and password with your farm bill info. for future decision aid tools!

Farm Bill 1

I haven’t found any data that was entered in 2014 to be in this 2018 decision aid thus far. Thus, you will need to click on “new farm” and you will see the above screen appear. Enter your FSA Farm Number, State, County, and one crop for that farm number. Then click ‘save’.

Farm Bill 2

You will then see this screen appear. If you have another crop with base acres on the same farm number, click on “add another crop” and repeat as many times as necessary until all crops with base acres are added for that farm number.

Farm Bill 4

Once all your crops are entered for the farm number, click on “expected payments tool”.

Farm Bill 5

You can now use your 156EZ to enter base acres, PLC Yield, HIP, and expected prices. For simplicity, you can anticipate PLC yield to be same in 2020 as 2019. USDA projects prices in the right-hand column. I would recommend to run the simulation using their prices first (click on “use these”). You can always go back and play with prices. Then click on “recalculate” button. Note: The “advanced settings” can be used to hone in on county yields as we get closer to February and more accurately predict 2019 payments.

Farm Bill 6

The program will show possible payments based on 500 simulations of anticipated outcomes from the data you entered. Be patient and wait for the numbers to appear. It will give you mean potential payments on this view.

Farm Bill 7

In order to better understand payment potential, click on the dollar amounts. For example, I clicked on 2019 PLC $558 and you can see additional information appears. There’s no really good explanation of this information in the tool, so here’s how to better understand it. The mean is the true average of 500 runs. Each percentile shows the maximum potential payment. In this example, there’s a 75% chance of a payment $958 or less and 90% chance of a payment of $2002 or less.

Farm Bill 8

You can then go back to ‘home’ and repeat the steps clicking on “expected payment tool” in order to enter data for other crops under the same farm number. (Note: always be sure to check the crop on the upper part of the screen as for some reason, it seems to default to soybean).

Farm Bill 9

This is showing the output for corn in this simulation with a mean PLC payment of $1744. With current prices, we’re just in a different situation compared to where we were making decisions for the previous farm bill.

You can then repeat these steps for each farm number to get an idea of potential payments for all crops under each farm number. This is a tool to help with your decisions with the best information possible at this time. Hopefully this is helpful for you and please share any comments/questions below.

Additional Farm Bill Info: 

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