Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.


Pandemic-Induced Supply Chain Issues Still Prevalent

The past 14 months have been extremely tough on all of us. What started as “Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve,” stretched into over a year of unprecedented government lockdowns and restrictions. Thankfully, we have watched the marvels of modern science develop, implement, and roll out a vaccine faster than ever before. Here in mid-May, we are seeing much of the United States open back up or at least being scheduled to open with restrictions lifted. As full of uncertainty as 2020 was, we were fortunate enough to begin the season with fully stocked pipelines of products. In many [...]

By |May 17, 2021|

Deciphering Types of Income

Introduction It’s that time of year again…tax time. Many farmers have already filed March 1, others will file by May 17 (the normal filing date of April 15 was recently pushed back by the Internal Revenue Service). Whether you’ve already filed, reviewing your return or have yet to receive all your tax documents, there are often many questions as to which income items are taxable and how they are taxed. This blog post is going to review some unique income items for 2020, different types of income and how they are taxed. We will start by discussing three of [...]

By |April 20, 2021|

Retirement Plans for Farm Operators

While 2020 was a challenging year in many ways, farm incomes were relatively strong in parts of the Midwest. These income levels often give rise to a search for a tax deferred retirement plan. There are several options available, however, the retirement plan space can be very complex. The following is a synopsis of some of the more common retirement plan options followed by a table that outlines the characteristics of each type of plan. Individual Retirement Account - IRA IRAs are the least complex and most versatile.  The deduction is limited to the lesser of wages plus net [...]

By |March 15, 2021|

Get Covered with Available Farm Programs in 2021

Illinois soybean and wheat farmers have plenty of programs at their disposal to protect and grow 2021 crop production. The best approach is to understand what programs are available, take note of any registration or application deadlines and double-check for updates to last year’s programs. That was the advice of a trio of farm program officials speaking during the 2021 Double-Crop Farmers Forum sponsored by ISA, the Illinois Wheat Association and several other partners. Brian Frieden, Illinois state director with the Risk Management Agency; Wendy Mueller, Illinois compliance chief program officer for the Farm Service Agency (FSA); and Ray [...]

By |February 5, 2021|

What You Need to Know About Hiring Workers: Tax Deposits and Reporting

Introduction So far in this blog series we’ve discussed setting your business up for payroll, calculating a paycheck, the difference between pre- and post-tax deductions, and how to calculate withholdings. In this blog post, we will discuss the frequency of payroll tax deposits, calculating payroll tax deposits, and payroll tax reporting. When to Deposit Payroll Taxes The frequency of depositing payroll taxes is dependent on what kind of labor you have and the amount of your annual tax liability. Table 1 summarizes how often tax deposits have to be made. Annual agriculture deposits are made with Form 943 (discussed [...]

By |February 1, 2021|

What You Need to Know About Hiring Workers: Calculating Withholdings

Introduction So far in our payroll series, we have discussed how to prepare your business for payroll, how to calculate a paycheck, what the differences between pre- and post-tax deductions are and unemployment taxes. In this blog post, we are going to discuss how to calculate withholdings from an employee’s paycheck. There are three main taxes to withhold: FICA, Federal and State. FICA Tax FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) Tax is comprised of two parts: Social Security and Medicare. The total FICA tax is 15.3% (12.4% to Social Security and 2.9% to Medicare).  All taxpayers must pay the tax [...]

By |February 1, 2021|

Boots on the Ground: Validation of Benchmarking Process through an Integrated On-Farm Partnership

This article was originally published on the Cool Bean website by Dr. Shawn Conley and team. Team: Dr. Shawn P. Conley (Principal Co-Investigator) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI Dr. Patricio Grassini (Principal Co-Investigator) University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE OH Laura Lindsey Ml Maninderpal Singh IA Scott Nelson ND Hans Kandel MN Seth Naeve NE Keith Glewen In A Bean Pod: The improved management treatment netted soybean producers an average of 5 bu/ac yield increase and $51/ac additional profit Growers should consider improving their soybean management by fine tuning planting date, maturity group, seeding rate, and foliar fungicide and insecticide [...]

By |January 15, 2021|

What You Need to Know About Hiring Workers: Calculating a Paycheck

In an earlier blog post, we discussed how to set your business up for payroll. Once your business is setup for payroll, the next step is to figure and write the employee’s paycheck. This blog post will cover pay period options and how to calculate paychecks. Pay Periods and Gross Wages The business will have to decide the frequency of which employees will be paid; Table 1 outlines some of the options, definitions, and number of pay periods per year. Table 1: Summary of Pay Periods Once the business has determined the pay period, they need to determine how [...]

By |January 15, 2021|
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