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Author: Ed Cox

Missouri’s Right to Farm Law Held Constitutional

April 18th, 2015 by

In 2011, Missouri adopted a “right to farm” law (Missouri Revised Statute 537.296), which precludes recovery of non-economic damages caused by a nuisance that emanates from property used primarily for agriculture. This law effectively means that neighboring landowners are limited to recover the reduction in the fair market value for their property and any expenses for medical conditions resulting from the nuisance. Neighbors may not…

Sentencing On Criminal Food Safety and Bribery Charges

April 15th, 2015 by

The federal government has in recent years demonstrated an increased propensity for bringing criminal charges against farmers and food producers who violate food safety regulations. Cantelope farmers in Colorado received probation after introducing adulterated fruit and most recently, Quality Egg LLC, the company owner, and a top executive were sentenced in federal court in Sioux City, Iowa. The owner of Quality Egg LLC, Jack DeCoster,…

Farm Lease Termination in Missouri

April 12th, 2015 by

Like many states, Missouri law provides different rules in terminating a lease of agricultural land.  Farming operations require planning several months or more in advance. Recognizing this fact, state laws often require greater notice before a landlord cannot terminate the farm tenancy. The notice requirements in Missouri will, however, depend on the specific characteristics of the lease arrangement. Year to Year or At Will Tenancies…

Landlords’ Right to Enter and Ownership of Crop Residue In Iowa Reviewed

April 11th, 2015 by

Farm leases are a special creature with several unique requirements that don’t apply to other leases. This is particularly true in Iowa.  A farm lease is a contract, but it is also a conveyance of a real property interest that transfer rights of possession and use. The extent of these rights, however, depends on the terms of the lease contract and on state law. In…

Extension of ARC and PLC Election Deadlines

March 27th, 2015 by

The USDA announced today that farmers will have one more week to elect Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. April 7, 2015 will also be the final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, said, “This is an important decision for producers because these programs help…

USDA Proposes New Rules On “Actively Engaged In Farming”

March 26th, 2015 by

In order to be eligible to receive payments under many USDA farm programs, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, a person must qualify as “actively engaged in farming.” Under current regulations actively engaged in farming means a contribution of land, capital, or equipment as well as labor or active personal management. The 2014 Farm Bill requires the…

Missouri Case Fails to Expand a Written Easement Through Adverse Possession

March 25th, 2015 by

Easements allowing access for farm equipment are common in Missouri and Iowa. However, as farm equipment and machinery become larger, the dimensions of existing easements may no longer be adequate to provide access. This often creates disagreements between landowners and easement holders that wind up in court. The result from the court varies depending on how the easement was established, and, if written, on the…

The Value of a Written Hunting Lease

March 13th, 2015 by

Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri contain some of the most prized whitetail deer hunting ground in the country. Whether you’re letting a neighbor, farm tenant, or a non-resident use your land for hunting, a written lease is crucial for protecting your rights on the property, ensuring quality deer management, and protecting yourself from liability and lawsuits. This article discusses some of the basic provisions of…

Legal Issues with Mentoring Beginning Farmers

March 8th, 2015 by

I recently had the opportunity to give a presentation on the legal issues involved in mentoring new farmers or using “internships” on your farm. Such arrangements have become particularly prevalent for small retail farms – those selling vegetables, meat, or value added goods directly to consumers through farmers markets, food coops, or community supported agriculture (CSA). The below powerpoint was developed for the Women, Food…

FAA Releases New Proposed Drone Rules

February 19th, 2015 by

As commercial uses for drones has grown, including those for agriculture, anticipation for new rules from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governing the use of drones has also increased. This week the FAA released proposed rules that, once implemented, will allow businesses to use drones for commercial purposes. FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, said, “We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules. We want…