Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

Farm Management

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|

PCM Financial Analysis of Tillage Operations for Soybean Production

We’re excited to introduce ILSoyAdvisor readers to Precision Conservation Management (PCM). PCM is a farmer service program in Illinois and Kentucky that helps farmers scale use of conservation practices like reduced tillage, nutrient management and cover crops in a way that focuses on impact to farm income. PCM was launched by the IL Corn Growers Association in 2015 and has grown rapidly, now serving around 350 farmers and representing over 300,000 acres of farmland in Illinois. Following the exciting announcement that the Illinois Soybean Association is joining IL Corn Growers as joint partners in PCM, this seems like a [...]

By |January 8, 2021|

What You Need to Know About Hiring Workers: How to Start Your Business on Payroll

As farm families across the Midwest get busier each year, the need for part-time, hired help becomes prevalent.  However, it’s not as easy as simply writing them a check every week.  We need to ensure the proper steps are completed before beginning to pay an employee as well as continued compliance and reporting once the employee relationship is established. This article discusses the necessary steps to set your business up for payroll. Employee or Contract Labor? The first step is to determine if you are hiring an employee or if you are hiring contract labor. There are three general [...]

By |January 5, 2021|

Building a Successful Soybean Budget

Farming in the modern era is a skill that must balance biology and agronomy with cost and markets. Thus, it’s important to understand what the top influencing factors are for raising high-yielding soybeans. Once you know the factors, you can balance them with the current market. Like any budget, it’s important to separate cost into fixed and variable. Fixed costs: Seed, crop insurance, herbicides, fertilizers, land payments Variable costs: Storage, trucking, labor, fuel, parts Fixed to Variable: Seed Replant: Understand service policy and try to get 100% replant to move this into the fixed cost category. Overseeding: It’s important [...]

By |December 30, 2020|

What Should My Adjusted Gross Income Be?

Each year taxpayers have the opportunity to work with their tax preparer to craft a year-end tax plan that provides a desired tax liability. Taxpayers may use current tax legislation to lower or raise taxable income by claiming more or less taxable income during the current tax year. While working through tax planning decisions, taxpayers may wonder “What should my adjusted gross income be?” This article discusses adjusted gross income and identifiable signals which answer that question. What is Adjusted Gross Income? Individual income tax returns have changed a bit over the past several years; not only in how [...]

By |December 20, 2020|

End of Year Deadlines at the FSA Office

For most, the 2020 harvest has come to an end and now it’s time to quickly complete all the year-end tasks. It’s important to remember that between now and the end of the year there are very few open days of business for the county FSA offices, so be proactive and address any needs sooner rather than later. I recently had the opportunity to visit with FSA State Executive Director William Graff. During our conversation, I learned about upcoming FSA deadlines and the importance of updating FSA farm records. We both agreed that with the holiday season upon us [...]

By |December 11, 2020|
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