Ag Outlook 2016

Crop Insurance Updates, Senate Bill 1 and the Internet of AgricultureAgOutlook

Wondering what the future holds for agriculture?
Here are a few things to keep an eye out for in 2016.

  1. Crop insurance trends – Jason Williamson of Williamson Insurance in Convoy, Ohio notes a new trend in crop insurance is whole farm revenue protection. In order to qualify for this protection, you must have 3 commodities; show a 5 year average income, a projected income for the current year and each commodity must be 11% or more of your revenue to qualify for 85% coverage. Livestock is able to be covered with this product. Important to note is if one crop does well and another doesn’t, you might not have a claim because it’s based on an average of the revenue for the entire farm. For more information about whole farm revenue protection or any of the other crop insurance products Williamson offers, visit their website
  2. Senate Bill 1 – As of February 2016, Senate Bill 1 took effect, which put into place new regulations and restrictions in regard to surface manure and fertilizer application. According to Matt Lane, Pollution Abatement Administrator with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, larger farmers are required to comply now, medium farms have until July 2016 and small farms until July 2017 to provide time to build storage space if needed. Minor violations can cost up to $2,000 per day and major violations up to $10,000 per day. The bill was created to focus on application of products on frozen ground specifically and includes:
    a. Ensuring runoff doesn’t go into the western basin,
    b. Nothing is applied to the ground with more than 1/2 inch precipitation. (This doesn’t apply if it’s applied below ground or worked in within 24 hours or if it’s a growing crop.)
  3. Internet of Agriculture – According to Dr. Scott Shearer of Ohio State University the use of data and analytics to manage precision farming will continue to grow. Monsanto recently purchased Precision Planting, which provides the software for all GPS systems on new equipment. All that information they gather from individual equipment now goes into The Cloud and they’re able to use that data to determine what types of seed will be needed and project sales. Case IH and AGCO have agreements to share information and John Deere is now buying Precision parts with Monsanto, effectively locking up high speed planting. They can now map the location of every seed planted and even track skips, double planting, etc… Shearer predicts we’ll eventually see fully autonomous equipment which will strip the need for seats, air conditioning, interior lighting, etc… and that the mechanical/technical life of tractors will be reduced to 6 or 7 years.

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