The Press-Dispatch

June 24, 2020

The Press-Dispatch

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A-6 Local Wednesday, June 24, 2020 The Press-Dispatch PAWS WEEK PAWS WEEK Pet of the BLUE "A true friend reach- es out for your hands and touches your heart! " This week, PAWS is fea- turing a handsome young fellow named Blue, who has a great deal of Austra- lian Shepherd heritage, and is quite intelligent and energetic. Aussies are ex- ceptional herding dogs and easily trained. Blue loves people, gets along with cats, has beau- tiful white fur with blue merle highlights, a cute bobbed tail that adds to his unique character, is leash trained and can be adopted by calling 812- 354-9894. Social Security Matters By Russell Gloor Down on the Farm By Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension Educator Will claiming early hurt survivor benefits? Why wheat and double crop soybeans? Dear Rusty: I applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SS - DI) benefits and was de- nied. So, because I turn 62 this month, I plan to file for my early SS re- tirement benefits. Since I've not worked a lot due to health issues I won't get much and I realize my benefit will be re- duced by about 30 per- cent from my full retire- ment age amount, but we need the extra in- come to help with my medical bills. My husband is 57 and still works. Social Security will be our only retirement so he will be working for as long as he can. My question is, how will my early retirement affect any spousal benefits I might quali- fy for in the future? Or my widow's benefits if he should die before I do? Signed: Worried Spouse. Dear Worried: Claiming your own SS benefit at age 62 will cause your spousal benefit to be less when your spouse benefit starts (when your hus- band claims). That's because your spousal benefit will be in the form of a "spousal boost" which will be add- ed to the reduced SS benefit you will get by filing at age 62. The amount of your spousal boost will depend upon how old you are when your hus- band claims (which is when your spousal benefit kicks in). If you've reached your full retirement age (FR A) of 66 years and 8 months, your spousal boost will be the difference between 1) your SS retirement ben- efit amount at your FR A (regardless of when you claimed) and 2) half (50 percent) of the benefit your husband is entitled to at his FR A (regardless of when he claims). At your FR A you get the full amount of the spousal boost; but tak- en before your FR A the spousal boost will be actuarially reduced according to the number of months prior to FR A it is taken. Since the spousal boost is added to the benefit you are already receiving, you claiming your reduced benefits at age 62 means your spousal benefit will also be reduced. But your spousal benefit (while your husband is living) is entirely different from your survivor benefit if your husband dies before you. As your husband's widow, provid- ed you have reached your FR A you will get 100 percent of the amount he was receiving (or entitled to receive) at his death, instead of your smaller benefit from claiming at age 62. In oth- er words, that you claimed your own benefit at 62 doesn't affect your survi- vor benefit. But if the survivor benefit is claimed before you reach your full retirement age it will be reduced due to claiming it early (the reduction is about 4.75 percent for each year ear- ly). Note that you do not have to claim the survivor benefit immediately; you may wait to claim until it reaches max- imum at your FR A. One final point: Statistically, about 2/3rds of all initial SSDI disability ap- plications are denied. If you believe strongly that you've been unfairly de- nied, you can appeal that denial, even if you go ahead and claim your own SS benefit at age 62. To appeal the SSDI denial you should submit form SSA-561 – Request for Reconsidera- tion, which you can find at this link: BREWER NAMED TO CLEMSON UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT'S LIST Amanda P. Brewer, of Huntingburg, has been named to the President's List at Clemson University. Brewer, whose major is Biological Sciences, made the President's List for the Spring 2020 semester. To be named to the President's List, a student must achieve a 4.0 (all As) grade-point av- erage. LOCAL STUDENTS NAMED TO CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY DEAN'S LIST Julia Patterson, of Otwell, and Stephen Bruce, of Oak- land City, were named to Ce- darville University's spring Dean's Honor List. This rec- ognition required students to maintain a 3.75 GPA for the semester, while taking a minimum of 12 credit hours. Student Spotlight Area Reunion SHOULTZ REUNION The Shoultz Family re- union will be Sunday, June 28 at Hornady Park in Pe- tersburg. The large shelter house, near the lake, has been reserved. Meat con- sisting of fried chicken and ham will be provided. Every- one is asked to bring a cov- ered dish and dessert. Meal will begin at noon. You are also asked to bring an item or two for the fun auction. WES perfect attendance Four Winslow Elementary School students achieved perfect attendance for the first three se- mesters. They were, clockwise from upper left, Haiden Cook, in Kim Russell's kindergarten class, Stihl Nalley, in Jackie Henson's second grade class, and Abigail Tyring and Isabell Tyring in Renee An- derson's third grade class. Planting soybeans after wheat is one option for local farmers, and that option has nuanc- es that affects its use in Southern Indiana. As one heads south in these United States, the growing season be- comes longer, and more crops can be grown in a single season. How- ever, as one goes south out of glaciated soil and towards weathered red clays, the productive ca- pacity of the soil decreases, resulting in lower yields. In the middle of the country, productivity remains high, but the growing season allows for re- planting into soil in the same growing season. We live here, where wheat can be harvested, and soybeans planted, the same day. Combines and planters rolled this past week, completing this operation with considerable speed. The practice of planting soybeans af- ter wheat has decreased in this area over time and does come with some hardships. The number one consideration in a rotation that involves double-crop soybeans is whether the wheat is worth the hassle. For a good wheat crop, timely planting, timely fungi - cide, timely nitrogen application, and timely harvest are all required to avoid considerable loss of yield or grain quality. Wherein this is all completed well, the profit margin for soft red winter wheat in this area is still just above costs in a good year. At least, this perception ex- ists for many former wheat growers. The Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide con- sistently gives wheat and double-crop soybeans the edge in profitability over a single crop year. Of the two crops, wheat has a competi- tive contribution margin, or revenue minus the variable costs, with the soybeans to follow. The sheer number of trips over the field and timing of the work required relative to work needed in other, single crop fields does create a barrier to continuing this practice. Perhaps the greatest reason for re- duction in wheat acres in the last two decades has been the straw market. Wheat and double crop soybeans, at one time, provided three crops for the farmer. Wheat to the mill, straw to the barn, and beans to the elevator provid- ed a secondary cash use for wheat in a region where significant numbers of livestock needed the straw for bed- ding while excess might be hauled to St. Wendel for shipping elsewhere. To- day, livestock using straw for bedding has shrank to, technically and scien- tifically speaking, a smidgen of its for- mer number. Meanwhile, recognition of the amount of extra nutrients re- moved with straw harvest incentives leaving straw in the field, reducing the fertility expense of the rotation. The work required to bale small squares of straw and lack of baling equipment for small squares has also compound- ed the difficulty in having a straw mar- ket. All this considered, the lack of need for straw has been a major driv- er for abandoning rotational wheat in the field. Soybeans planted after wheat do tend to germinate more quickly due to the higher temperatures at plant- ing. They do have a shorter growing season, with smaller plants than early beans that can be more susceptible to drought conditions due to a shallow- er root system. In wetter years, dou- ble crop soybeans can have similar fi- nal yields to early planted fields, a fac- tor from which southwestern Indiana has benefited in a few recent years. Double-crop soybeans do have one interesting nuance in the farm- ing world. The National Agricultural Statistics Service compiles surveys of the Crop and Weather Report each week that tracks planting progress. While early soybeans were planted in a timely fashion in this area of the state, that report does not differen- tiate early and late soybean plant- ing. While northern areas of the state may see southern numbers and assume difficulties in planting, unplanted acres have been mainly waiting for wheat harvest. For more information on these or other items, contact Hans at hschmitz@purdue. edu or 812-838 -1331. 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