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Ag Law Issues

New Resource for Conservation In Farm Leases

January 24th, 2017 by

A new resource is available for landlord’s looking to incorporate cover crops and other conservation practices into their farm lease.  Iowa Learning Farms, a part of Iowa State University Extension, just published a series of videos and print material that provide information about how landlords can begin conversations with their tenants about conservation practices. Iowa State University Professor and Iowa Learning Farms advisor, Mark Licht,…

Missouri Strictly Construes Private Road Statute

March 19th, 2016 by

Missouri Courts recently addressed issues relating to the increase in size and weight of farm equipment and resulting problems accessing farmland. As equipment gets larger and heavier, existing easements and roads that have been used for decades often become inadequate to allow farmer’s access to fields. In Westrich Farms, LLC v. East Prairie Farm, LLC, a landowner’s tenant could no longer use a county road…

Boundary by Acquiescence Revisited in Iowa, Again

January 17th, 2016 by

Boundary disputes are not uncommon. They often occur when someone purchases land and then learns that a fence or other boundary marker is not quite where it should be according to the survey. These disputes are often settled through a legal doctrine referred to as boundary by acquiescence. The Iowa Court of Appeals recently addressed this doctrine in Nafziger vs. Pender and Smith. The Nafzigers…

Drake Ag Law Center Hosts Conference On Conservation Policy

September 21st, 2015 by

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center is providing an opportunity for individuals and organizations interested in Iowa’s soil and water conservation policy to take part in a two-day conference to be held in Des Moines on November 19th and 20th. The Center, with support from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will host a state-wide conference on soil and water conservation policy. The conference will…

Land Contracts for Farmland: Advantages and Risks

July 3rd, 2015 by

Land contracts for farmland, in which a farm is sold by an owner in exchange for payments over a set period of time, appear to once again be gaining popularity with beginning farmers. Purchasing farmland with an installment contract can be beneficial for farmers with poor or no credit, but it also comes with risks that should be evaluated and for which planning is essential.…

Addressing Conservation In a Farm Lease

June 10th, 2015 by

Whether you’re a farmer or a landowner, addressing conservation and sustainability in a farm lease can be a tricky subject. Tenants and landlords sometimes choose to ignore issues that they believe may create conflicts in the landlord-tenant relationship. This is particularly true with farm leases, which are often between neighbors, family members, and long-time friends. However, both parties do have an interest in ensuring the…

The Sallee Case is Back With No Fault Found In Farm Owners

May 26th, 2015 by

More than two years ago Sallee v. Stewart made headlines when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the state’s “recreational use statute” did not apply to a chaperone who was injured while supervising children playing in a barn. Recreational use statutes provide protection against negligence claims for landowners who open their land to the public. The case received a great deal of attention from farmers, insurance…

Ensuring Your Farm Meets Conservation Compliance

May 7th, 2015 by

June 1 is the deadline to be compliant with conservation requirements in order to be eligible for federal crop insurance premium subsidies and other USDA programs. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) just released a brief resource for checking to ensure your farm meets Conservation Compliance requirements.  You can view the full resource on the NRCS website, and a brief summary is provided below.…

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,…