Showing posts with the label Prevent Plant

Prevented Plant Impacts on 2019 Illinois Grain Farms Incomes

link to farmdoc Daily article

In 2019, spring weather was very wet, and many farmers in Illinois had prevented plant (PP) acres. Compared to 2018 incomes, 2019 incomes declined more for those farms that had a larger proportion of their acres in PP. While some have suggested that PP payments may overcompensate farmers, the income results presented in a new paper from the University of Illinois do not support the contention. Todd Gleason has this discussion with ag economist Gary Schnitkey.

Farms Included in Study

Table 1 shows 2018 and 2019 incomes on Illinois grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM). To be included in Table 1, a farm had to meet the following criteria:
  • Receive the majority of their incomes from grain operations,
  • Have over 500 acres, and
  • Have records that were certified useable by Illinois FBFM staff in both 2018 and 2019.
A total of 1,483 farms meet these criteria, with results for all farms given in Panel A.
For all farms, tillable acres averaged 1,525 per acre, with a range of 500 acres to over 13,000 acres. Net farm income averaged $184,460 in 2018, declining by 51% to $89,866 in 2019 (see Panel A of Table 1)

Income Declines as Percent Prevented Plant Acres Increases

In Panel A, the 1,483 farms are divided into five categories based on the proportion of PP acres. In 2019, 73% of the farms had no PP acres. Even given the wetness of 2019, most Illinois grain farms planted all acres in 2019. Still, of the farms in this sample, a sizable proportion (26%) has some PP. Of those farms that had PP, 15% had less than 10% of their acres in PP. Percentage of farms then declines as the proportion of PP acres increased: 8% had between 11 and 30% of acres in PP, 2% had between 31% to 50%, and 4% had over 50%.
Incomes declines became more negative as the proportion of acres of PP increased, as shown in the last column in Panel A of Table 1. With no PP, the average income change was –45% from 2018 to 2019. The income change was
  • –53% when PP when less than 10%,
  • 97% when 11% to 30% of acres were PP,
  • –103% when 31% to 50% of acres were PP, and
  • –112% when over 50% acres were PP.
On average, net incomes in 2019 were negative when over 31% of acres where PP: -$3,832 per farm when PP was between 31% to 50%, and -$12,638 when PP was over 50% of tillable acres.
Incomes in Table 1 include all sources of revenue, including that from additional government payments offered in 2019 to counter incomes lost due to trade difficulties. Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments are included in revenue (farmdocDaily, July 30, 2019). Also included is the 10% increase in PP payments.

Income Declines by Region in Illinois

Northern Illinois had more delayed planting than other areas of Illinois. Only 43% of the farms located in northern Illinois got all their acres planted, compared to 81% for central Illinois and 60% for southern Illinois. Over 10% of northern Illinois farms had over 30% of their acreage in PP (6% in 315 To 50% and 4% in over 50% categories) Income declines were larger in northern Illinois than in other parts of Illinois. The average income change in northern Illinois was –76%, compared to –45% for central Illinois and 53% for southern Illinois.


The above results do not present an analysis of whether taking PP or planting was the correct decision. To conduct that PP/plant comparison, one would have to link up farms with the same growing conditions who made different PP/plant decisions and then see corresponding results. In this article, we compare incomes with different levels of PP. Given the reluctance of Illinois farmers to take PP, we assumed that most farmers who took PP had no alternative but to take PP. 
There has been some thought that PP payments may provide more than adequate compensation (see Brasher, ). In 2019, for example, the Risk Management Agency lowered the standard PP payment factor on corn from 60% of the guarantee to 55% (see Risk Management Agency,–2019 ). As incomes decline with more PP, income results in this article do not support the contention that PP provides overcompensation. Of course, results could vary by across years.

Tidbits from the ILLINOIS Fam Tax School

Farmers generally try to get their taxes in order before the end of the year. This season they may need to consider MFP and Prevented Plantings payments and how to best make charitable contributions.

The tax implications of the MFP payments are that the money is taxable in the year it is received. One-half of the MFP payment has already been or will be delivered shortly. It is expected 25% will be delivered in a second check in November. And if needed the third check, another 25% of the total, is likely to come in January. The first two checks are taxable in 2019, and the final portion would be taxable in 2020.

Another payment farmers may not be used to dealing with involves the Prevented Planting portion of crop insurance says Bob Rhea, “Those payments are either taxable when received, or under certain circumstances, could be delayed until 2020 the year after the disaster occurred. So, they should visit with their tax professional as they determine, especially as we near year end, whether those should be taken as 2019 income or used under the election to be treated as 2020 income.”

Rhea presented during this fall’s ILLINOIS Farm Tax School Seminars. He reminded the tax preparers in attendance that farmers also have a unique way to make charitable contributions, “IRS has prescribed some specific steps to validate a contribution with grain. One of those is that the grain must be delivered to the charity. The charity must be the owner of the grain in inventory, and the producer should notify the charity that he has provide x-number of bushels in their name at a certain location. The charity then, from that point, takes the risk and makes the sale and handles the cash proceeds from there.”

In simple terms the producer delivers grain in the name of the charity to the grain elevator, notifies the charity, and the charity then makes the sale.

Prevent Plant Soybean Acres in the United States

Rain from Missouri to Ohio has kept farmers from planting part of this year’s soybean crop, but nobody knows for sure - yet - just how many acres have been idled.

USDA has a term for land farmers planned to, but failed to sow because of the weather. It is “prevent plant”. This year rain has prevented farmers throughout the Midwest from planting some acres of soybeans. USDA has one figure already, but it is surveying farmers in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas to see if it needs to be updated. The figure is not for prevent plant, but rather for planted acreage. This year that is expected to be a record high 85.1 million acres. But there has been a lot of rain and the number will probably change. Gary Schnitkey wanted to know if history could act as a guide to how many acres might eventually not be planted to soybean.

Quote Summary - Just to give you a feel, from 1996 through 2014 on average there were 759 thousand prevented plant acres for soybeans in the U.S. There were four years when this number topped a million acres. The highest was 2013 at 1.69 million acres

The other three years in which prevent plant exceeded one million acres for soybean include 2001, 2010, and 2011.

Quote Summary - The common thing in all those years was either North Dakota, South Dakota, or Minnesota or some combination of the three having a large number of prevent plant soybean acres. Following those three it was Minnesota. The rank order is South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and then Missouri. These are typically the states you look at for large numbers of soybean acres going to prevent plant.

The Dakota’s and Minnesota are not the problem this year. It leaves, mostly, Missouri. And, historically, the highest number of soybean prevent plant acres in this one state is only 200,000.

Quote Summary - We are looking at something larger than that. The largest we’ve ever seen in the United States for a single is 450 thousand. So if we see something over half-a-million acres in Missouri, which we could well see, that would be record setting and a million would be way out there.

USDA will update the soybean acreage figures for Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas August 12th along with the release of the Crop Production report and the monthly supply and demand tables.