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Property Law

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…