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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Learn About Farm Financing at Farm Science Review

July 24, 2007

LONDON, Ohio -- The lure of rising commodity prices in the face of increasing biofuels production, coupled with high fuel and fertilizer prices, is creating on-farm financial management challenges for many Ohio growers. Ohio State University Extension economic and farm management specialists will be on hand during this year's Farm Science Review to help visitors make the most economically sound decisions.

Among topics to be covered include enterprise budgets and decision-making tools to determine the most profitable field crop under a farmer's specific situation, and an economic-based nitrogen rate calculator to help farmers determine their fertilizer expenses.

"With the large swings in commodity prices due to biofuels demand, farmers are having a tough time deciding which crop, corn or soybeans, would be most profitable for them to grow," said Barry Ward, an OSU Extension ag economist with the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. "We'll be at Farm Science Review to help them sort that out."

Farm Science Review will be held from Sept. 18-20 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. OSU Extension economic specialists and financial management exhibits will be located in the Firebaugh Building on Friday Avenue throughout the duration of the event.

Ward said that farmers will have a decision-making tool at their disposal that will produce various crop production scenarios with certain inputs, such as nitrogen or other fertilizer costs, market price and yield potential.

"The purpose of the economic tool is to help farmers determine which crop will give them a better return," said Ward.

Another economic tool that will be available to visitors at Farm Science Review is a nitrogen rate calculator. The tool, developed by Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center soil fertility specialist Robert Mullen, provides the user more flexibility in rate decisions by providing a range of rates based on such inputs as the price of corn and nitrogen.

"The nitrogen rate calculator is designed to give producers the levels of nitrogen they can apply to their corn that maximizes their fertilizer returns, as well as their yields," said Ward.

Other farm financial management topics that will be discussed at Farm Science Review include:

• Farm wages and benefits survey, designed to provide producers comparative data on workers' salaries.

• The latest Ohio cropland values and cash rents survey.

• Agricultural law issues

• Farm transition planning -- the ins and outs of passing the farm on to the next generation.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 18-19 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20. For more information, log on to

Candace Pollock
Barry Ward