Sean Minahan

About Sean Minahan

Sean Minahan is a partner of Lamson, Dugan and Murray and a member of the Litigation Department. Prior to joining Lamson, Dugan and Murray, Mr. Minahan independently contracted with the Iowa State Public Defender’s Office in handling juvenile and adult cases for indigent clients.

Latest News

20 Aug, 2018

Evolving Ag Landscape: Legal Implications of Aging Farmland Owners

By |2018-08-20T13:07:43+00:00August 20th, 2018|Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law, Succession and Estate Planning|

My father has recently taken to saying "75 is the new 65", which is his way of trying to convince my mother he can still do things he did when he was 65.  My mother rolls her eyes, mutters "Yeah, sure" and proceeds to gather up a heating pad and the ibuprofen.When it comes to farmland owners across the Midwest, my father is not alone in this statement.  The results [...]

13 Aug, 2018

Lightening the Load: New Legislation to Alleviate Regulatory Burdens on Livestock Transportation

By |2018-08-13T16:21:34+00:00August 13th, 2018|Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

                                    The following article was authored by Jessica Weborg, Attorney, at Lamson, Dugan & Murray LLP. On May 23, 2018, the United States Senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse introduced the “Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act” (S.2938) (“the Act”) into the United States Senate.  A copy of the bill can be viewed by [...]

21 Jun, 2018

Heirs or Errors to the Throne? The Importance of Thoughtful Business Entrance Planning

By |2018-07-03T14:51:57+00:00June 21st, 2018|Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law, Uncategorized|

The following was authored by attorney, Shannon G. McCoy, Lamson, Dugan & Murray, LLP and written for submission in the National Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) newsletter.    Succession planning frustration One Month before Your Planned Retirement, 2038: Owner:            Alright Steve, Mike, and Kelsey, the day has finally come, it is time to sell my 100% ownership interest in Family Business, LLC, and each of you gets to purchase an [...]

21 Jun, 2018

Heirs or Errors to the Throne? The Importance of Thoughtful Business Entrance Planning

By |2018-06-21T12:00:30+00:00June 21st, 2018|Farm Management|

The following was authored by attorney, Shannon G. McCoy, Lamson, Dugan & Murray, LLP and written for submission in the National Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) newsletter.    Succession Plan Frustration One Month before Your Planned Retirement, 2038: Owner:            Alright Steve, Mike, and Kelsey, the day has finally come, it is time to sell my 100% ownership interest in Family Business, LLC, and each of you gets to [...]

7 Feb, 2018

Is Equal Always Fair? The Importance of Thoughtful Business Succession Planning

By |2018-07-03T14:57:00+00:00February 7th, 2018|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Originally submitted by Dan Waters, Attorney & Sean Minahan, Attorneys  Lamson, Dugan and Murray, LLP; Proud members of C2C in the LICA Contractor.  The issues and discussions addressed in the following apply equally to family farm succession planning as they do for succession planning of family owned contracting companies.   Christmas Dinner, 2042: Steve: Mike, pass the sweet potatoes. . . . Mike, I said pass the sweet potatoes! Mike:  [...]

13 Nov, 2017

Turning Friends into Foes: Legal Fallout from Monsanto’s Dicamba

By |2018-04-23T18:22:19+00:00November 13th, 2017|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Monsanto's dicamba has turned friendly neighbors into legal foes due to crops damaged by dicamba's inability to stay where it is supposed to be.   With the soybean harvest basically complete, we are seeing more and more claims filed and litigation initiated.  Farmers are calculating the effect that dicamba applied by a neighbor may have had on their fields. States like Arkansas, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Tennessee and Indiana are [...]

20 Jun, 2017

Don’t Get Caught Holding the Bag: Hold the State Liable When General Contractor Fails to Pay on a Public Project.

By |2018-04-23T18:22:19+00:00June 20th, 2017|Bond Claims, Breach of Contract, Construction Claims, Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Law, Government Contracting, Lien Rights, Midwest Agricultural Law, Nebraska Construction, Payment Bond|

Holding the Bag According to a quick Google search the term "holding the bag" comes from the mid eighteenth century  and means be left with the onus of what was originally another's responsibility.  Nobody wants to be left holding the bag.  But that is the situation our client (subcontractor) found themselves in when upon completion of a public project the general contractor went out of business before paying [...]

15 Sep, 2016

Not So Fast: RMA Continues to Scrutinize New Producer Crop Status

By |2018-04-23T18:22:19+00:00September 15th, 2016|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

If you have received a Notice of Overpayment and Removal of New Producer Status from your crop insurance company, you are not alone.  In 2012 the Risk Management Agency started auditing crop insurance applications wherein the insured had requested "New Producer" status.  The effects of the audit have come to fruition in the last few years. The notices generally demand immediate payment of any indemnity paid pursuant to the benefits [...]

8 Aug, 2016

Pulled from the Swamp: EPA Wetland Determination Now Judicially Reviewable

By |2018-04-23T18:22:19+00:00August 8th, 2016|Construction Activity, Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Law, EPA, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Landowners and developers bogged in an EPA wetland determination were recently thrown a life line when the United States Supreme Court determined The Army Corps of Engineer's (Corps) "jurisdictional determinations" (JD) regarding wetland designations are reviewable by the court.  United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. Inc. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) landowners and developers who do not have the proper permits can face severe criminal and [...]

2 Aug, 2016

Pulled from the Swamp: EPA Wetland Determination Now Judicially Reviewable

By |2018-04-23T18:22:19+00:00August 2nd, 2016|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

Landowners and developers bogged in an EPA wetland determination were recently thrown a life line when the United States Supreme Court determined The Army Corps of Engineer's (Corps) "jurisdictional determinations" (JD) regarding wetland designations are reviewable by the court.  United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. Inc. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) landowners and developers who do not have the proper permits can face severe criminal and [...]

17 May, 2016

North Dakota Farmer’s 4 Year Sentence for Insurance Fraud Upheld

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00May 17th, 2016|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Such is the life of a farmer.   Even in times of a good crop, the potential insurance claim may be more valuable than the crop itself.  That may have been the case for Aaron Johnson of Norwood, North Dakota, who in 2014 received a 4 year sentence for receiving crop insurance payments on a potato crop he purposely damaged. According to court records, Johnson had his hired man spray [...]

23 Dec, 2015

Insuring Additional Acres? The Number of Acres Added May Affect Your Coverage

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00December 23rd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Added Land: Insurance Options Ahead   Farm land does not change hands very often but when it does the acquiring operator should keep in mind the rules which may affect the operator's crop insurance benefits covering the newly added land. Failing to understand and abide by the Risk Management Association's (RMA) rules can cost an operator the maximum guaranteed yields and dramatically reduce the indemnity available under the [...]

11 Dec, 2015

Foregoing Work Comp Coverage? Remember to Provide Notice.

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00December 11th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Work Comp Claim Form   Early in my career I had a Nebraska case come across my desk which involved a farm hand falling and striking his head while working on a farm truck.  The farmer had not obtained a workers' compensation policy to cover such accidents because most farms and ranches are not required to provide workers' compensation in Nebraska.  Unfortunately, the farmer had failed to have [...]

13 Nov, 2015

Crop Insurance Claim Denied? Steps to Take Before Weathering the Arbitration Storm

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00November 13th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Crop Insurance, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  Every year, certain portions of the Midwest get pounded by bad weather causing bad yields or outright crop loss.  This year, several states encountered above average rainfall preventing several million acres from being planted.  At one point this summer, Missouri alone had approximately 4 million acres of un-planted corn and soybean acres.   During times of devastating weather, many producers rely on their crop insurance policies to mitigate crop [...]

22 Oct, 2015

Apply for Your Commercial Drone Use Exemption Now

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00October 22nd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As previously explained the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working on a rule to allow commercial use of unmanned aircraft (i.e. drones) without going through the same rules for manned aircraft.  However, until the rule is finalized farmers and ranchers can apply for an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA). The exemption process is not necessarily easy.  However, the FAA website provides [...]

13 Oct, 2015

The 6th Circuit Puts the Brakes on EPA Enforcing New Definition of Waters of the US

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00October 13th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set to begin enforcing the new definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) on August 28, 2015.  However, several states filed suits in various jurisdictions alleging the EPA lacked the authority to expand its jurisdiction pursuant to the new definition.  Now the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has put the brakes on the EPA's plan to enforce WOTUS [...]

30 Jul, 2015

Crop Insurance Deadline: Missouri AG Tries to Buy Time for Flooded Farmers

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00July 30th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Too wet to plant   Earlier this month, Chuck Koster, Attorney General for Missouri, filed a lawsuit against Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to extend the deadline for filing  planted acreage reports.  The USDA requires most farmers in Missouri to report their planted acres by July 15 in order to secure coverage under the farmers' crop insurance policies.  The USDA allows farmers a 5 day grace period [...]

17 Jul, 2015

Syngenta Lawsuit Update: Fed. Ct. Sends Cases Back to State Court

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00July 17th, 2015|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Syngenta cases u-turned back to state court On May 5th, 2015, United States District Judge, John Lungstrum sent two lawsuits against Syngenta back to the state courts in which they were originally filed.  The decision appears to be a major strategic victory for plaintiffs looking to keep their claims in state court and a potential blueprint for others who may want to file a claim in state court. [...]

9 Jul, 2015

Actively Engaged In Farming: The New Definition

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00July 9th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  As farm operations continue to grow and become more complex, multiple owners or members of a farming entity may consider themselves "farm managers" even though they never set a foot in the field.   Characterizing oneself as a "farm manager" may entitle the individual to benefits under certain government programs. However, to obtain benefits from such programs an individual has to be considered actively engaged in farming, which means [...]

25 Jun, 2015

Getting Permission: FAA Proposes New Regulations to Legalize Drone Scouting

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00June 25th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

When deciding whether to let your spouse know you are going out for a beer with friends rather than straight home for dinner, you may have heard the phrase "it is better to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission."  If you haven't heard that phrase, then I guess we do not have the same type of friends.  Recently, I have noted the truism is being entertained by those [...]

24 Mar, 2015

Des Moines Divides the House: Files suit against rural drainage districts

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00March 24th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As previously reported in A House Divided, Des Moines claims its water supply has been polluted by excessive nitrogen from farm runoff drained through the rural tiling systems.  Des Moines' threat to sue neighboring rural drainage districts for failing to prevent the pollution of Des Moines water supply is no longer idle. On March 16, 2015 Des Moines filed suit against the board of supervisors of Sac County, Calhoun County [...]

6 Mar, 2015

A House Divided: Urban Iowa Threatening to Sue Rural Iowa for Farm Runoff

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00March 6th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

  Dividing the House "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  Abraham Lincoln quoted this indisputable truth in reference to the issue of slavery.  Although unlikely to lead to civil war, the debate between urban water use and rural land use is an ever increasing concern. The issue has come to head in Iowa and may be fought in court.  The city of Des Moines plans to file [...]

12 Feb, 2015

Court Finds Manure Not So Refreshing and May Be Subject to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00February 12th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights|

According to the Seinfeld character George Costanza; "If you consider the other choices "manure" is actually pretty refreshing."   Seinfeld - My Boyfriend - YouTube.  Well, a Washington Federal Court disagrees; meaning dairy and other livestock operations may have to re-analyze their manure management practices.  In Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) v. Cow Palace, LLC, et al, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled [...]

19 Dec, 2014

Viptera Approved: China Ends Import Ban On 3 GMOs

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00December 19th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

China finally opens up to Viptera On December 17, 2014 China finally ended its import ban on Syngenta's Viptera corn and two varieties of GMO soybeans produced by DuPont Pioneer and Bayer Crop Sciences. The announcement is cause for great relief to the seed companies and U.S. grain exporters considering U.S. grain trading with China was shut down for all intents and purposes during the ban.  Secretary of [...]

19 Nov, 2014

8th Circuit Intercepts Syngenta’s Attempt to Pass Viptera Problem to Bunge

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00November 19th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As a follow up to Syngenta Under Pile of Lawsuits, the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recently broke up Syngenta Seeds, Inc.'s attempt to pass the Viptera problem to Bunge North America, Inc. In 2013 Syngenta tried to get ahead of the problems caused by China's ban of Viptera corn by suing Bunge for refusing to accept corn which contained the Viptera trait. Knowing Bunge would not accept [...]

14 Nov, 2014

Syngenta Under Pile of Lawsuits for Alleged Losses Caused by China’s Ban of Viptera Corn

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00November 14th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The lawsuits against Syngenta for alleged losses due to China's ban of Viptera corn are starting to pile up.  Nine such lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in October with more expected as producers jump on the pile started by Cargill in September. In 2011 Syngenta launched the Agrisure Viptera trait to producers after being deregulated by the United States Department of [...]

3 Nov, 2014

Majority Rules – Iowa District Court finds minority shareholder not oppressed

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00November 3rd, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

In 2013 the Iowa Supreme Court evaluated “fairness” among minority and majority shareholders of a family farming corporation in the context of disagreements between second-generation cousin shareholders.  The case is Baur v. Baur Farms, Inc.  In Baur Farms, one of the cousins, who was not involved in operating the farm and received all of his stock by way of inheritance or gift, decided he wanted to be bought out.  The [...]

8 Oct, 2014

White Flag Waved: EPA drops suit against Lois Alt

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00October 8th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has decided not to appeal the Northern District of West Virginia's ruling in favor of poultry farmer, Lois Alt.  The court ruled the Clean Water Act ("CWA") did not regulate storm water runoff from the non-production areas of a farmyard.  A great outcome for Lois Alt which may impact concentrated animal feeding operations ("CAFOs") across the country. In 2012 the EPA handed Lois Alt an [...]

19 Aug, 2014

Water is for Fighting Over: Nebraska Farmers Sue for Water Diverted to Kansas

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00August 19th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

Many have heard the quote attributed to Mark Twain over a 100 years ago: "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."  Those words are as true today as they were a century ago. Four South Central Nebraska farmers have decided to take their fight over water to court.  The farmers allege they lost yields because the State diverted water away from the farmers' irrigation supply  to comply with [...]

11 Aug, 2014

Missouri Passes “Right-to-Farm” Constitutional Amendment 1

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00August 11th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights|

On August 6, Missouri narrowly passed the "Right-to-Farm" amendment by 2,500 votes. Section 35 Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution will soon read: That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri's economy.  To protect this vital section of Missouri's economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to [...]

4 Aug, 2014

Beginning Farmer Incentive Programs Part III: Federal Programs

By |2018-04-23T18:22:20+00:00August 4th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Tax|

The United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") has created several incentive programs for landowners and beginning farmers to help move land ownership and farming operations from today's farmer to tomorrow's. Beginning Farmer or Rancher Land Contract Guarantee The USDA Beginning Farmer or Rancher Land Contract Guarantee Program encourages shifting land to beginning farmers through installment land contracts. This program is administered by the Farm Service Agency ("FSA") and offers two types of guarantees. [...]

30 Jul, 2014

Beginning Farmer Incentive Programs Part II: Nebraska

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00July 30th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Tax|

Like their Iowa counterparts, landowners and beginner farmers in Nebraska can take advantage of tax credits and loan programs implemented to assist the next generation of farmers. Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit  The Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act provides an incentive for a farmer who is retiring or who wants to cut back on his or her operation to rent to a beginning farmer. A qualified beginning farmer or rancher [...]

23 Jul, 2014

Beginning Farmer Incentive Programs Pt. I: Iowa

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00July 23rd, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Tax|

According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, the average age of today's farmer has increased to 58 years of age.  Concerns are increasing over who will step up as the next farming generation considering dramatic increases in land prices and the high cost of equipment and inputs make it difficult for new farmers to get a foothold. Recognizing the problem, state and federal governments have introduced incentives to [...]

25 Jun, 2014

Mother May I? Always Get Permission When Deciding Whether or Not to Replant

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00June 25th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Crop Insurance, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Approaching Storm Every spring and early summer, heavy rains, hail, and tornadoes force Midwest farmers into a game of "Crop Insurance Mother May I" regarding whether they will replant damaged crops.  For crop insurance purposes, permission is almost always necessary when deciding whether to destroy and replant the damaged crop or destroy the damaged crop and plant a new crop. When facing a replant decision remember the following: "When a crop is damaged and it [...]

4 Jun, 2014

Nebraska Supreme Court finds Farmers Not Liable for Car Accident Caused by Tall Corn

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00June 4th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights|

On October 6, 2007 Thomas Latzel and Daniel Vanekelenburg were involved in a car accident with Patrick Gaughen at the intersection of County Road T and Count Road 17.  Three years later, Thomas Latzel would die from the injuries he incurred in the accident.  Thomas' wife, Amanda Latzel, brought a lawsuit against Ronald and Doug Bartek alleging they negligently planted corn too close to the intersection causing the accident. It [...]

4 Jun, 2014

Follow-Up On Australian Genetically Modified Crop Contamination Lawsuit

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00June 4th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Midwest Agricultural Law, Organic and All Natural|

The landmark case has been decided in favor of genetically modified ("GM")crop production.  As described in It Was Bound to Happen, Steve Marsh sued his neighbor, Michael Baxter, for alleging his organic fields were decertified because of contamination from Baxter's Roundup Ready canola. canola field Marsh never grew canola, and the scientific evidence presented at trial proved "none of the Marshes crops or sheep...could acquire any genetic traits of Roundup [...]

19 May, 2014

Hot Water Topics II: Farmers Join In Suit v. Corps of Engineers for Missouri River Flooding

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00May 19th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights, Water Law|

Over 200 Landowners, farmers and small-business owners have joined the lawsuit Ideker Farms, Inc. et al v. United States of America alleging they incurred property damage as a result of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' management of the Missouri River from 2006 to 2013. Reuters May 5, 2014. The lawsuit alleges the Army Corps of Engineers changed their priorities from flood management to environmental management; resulting in increased frequency and severity of flooding [...]

30 Mar, 2014

Hot Water Topics Pt. I: EPA Proposes New Definition of “Waters of The United States”

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00March 30th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

On March 24, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new definition of "waters of the United States" as applied in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The definition of "waters of the United States" currently means: (a) All waters which are currently used, were used in the   past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce,   including all waters which are subject to the ebb [...]

26 Mar, 2014

State Senator Proposes One Board To Rule All Water Issues In Nebraska

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00March 26th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

On January 21, 2014, Nebraska State Senator Bill Avery, introduced a bill (LB1005), which would create a board to govern the use of surface and groundwater.  Currently, surface water is controlled by the State's Department of Natural Resources while groundwater is regulated by 23 Natural Resource Districts (NRDs). Recognizing a direct connection between surface water and ground water, Avery believes one board would provide a consistent regulation over the state's [...]

12 Mar, 2014

Crop Insurance Agents: No Rebates Allowed

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00March 12th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Incentives work.  Trust me, I use incentives all the time to get my three year old to sit still, eat his dinner, and stop asking me "why?"  So why don't you ever see crop insurance agents incentivizing clients with bargains on premiums? Incentives on crop insurance rates, no matter how small, are not allowed.  In the crop insurance world such incentives are called "rebates" and offering rebates is illegal under the Federal [...]

3 Mar, 2014

EPA Proposing New Pesticide Safety Measures

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00March 3rd, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to implement new safety measures for handling and applying pesticides on the nation's farm ground.  The proposed changes come on the heels of an "Agricultural Health Study" of pesticide impacts on human health overseen by the EPA, USDA, National Institute of Health and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The proposed changes would include making pesticide protection training for applicators an [...]

21 Feb, 2014

It Was Bound to Happen: Farmer Sues Neighbor for GMO Contamination

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00February 21st, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Organic and All Natural|

Everybody saw it coming.  Sooner or later an organic farmer was going to sue a neighbor for genetic contamination of an organic crop.  It has happened in Western Australia when Steve Marsh sued his neighbor, Michael Baxter, for allegedly contaminating Marsh's organic fields.  RT.com  The case will be monitored as groundbreaking for future cases worldwide. Marsh alleges that wind blew Baxter's Roundup Ready canola onto Marsh's farm resulting in a loss of organic [...]

12 Feb, 2014

OSHA Backing Off Grain Bin Inspections

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00February 12th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The fear of OSHA inspecting the storage facilities of small farming operations seems to have been quelled. In 2011 OSHA issued a memo which led some inspectors to believe they were authorized to inspect grain storage facilities on private farms.  The memo led to the inspection of a private grain storage facility in Atkinson, Nebraska resulting in approximately $132,000 in fines. In December, 2013, U.S. Senator Mike Johanns  (R-Neb.) drafted a [...]

9 Oct, 2013

Iowa DNR and EPA Come Together on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Regulations

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00October 9th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Fall Into Line! A year ago the EPA threatened to pull Iowa's police power over Iowa's Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) due to perceived shortcomings of Iowa's inspection and permitting process. On September 11, 2013 Iowa DNR (IDNR) and the EPA came to an agreement on actions the IDNR would take to bring their inspection and permitting process in line with EPA's requirements. Iowa agreed to the following: - [...]

13 Sep, 2013

CRP Payments Likely Subject to Self Employment Tax

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00September 13th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law, Tax|

The following was posted by Dan Waters on the Midwest Business Law Journal on August 15, 2013.    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a USDA land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency.  In exchange for annual “rent” payments from the FSA, farmers enrolled in a CRP agree to remove select parcels of land from agricultural production and plant species in order to improve environmental health and quality. [...]

6 Sep, 2013

Guest Blogger Irv McQuarrie: Discussion on Investments and Agriculture.

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00September 6th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As a member of the Nebraska Agribusiness Club, I have had the great pleasure to meet Irv McQuarrie who runs the website http://www.investtuneretire.com/.  We discussed investment opportunities and strategies.  I asked him specifically about investment opportunities for agriculture and if he would provide his response in this blog.   Where should farmers be putting their money? Most of us are of two minds when it comes to investing. Our left brain (that’s the rational side) [...]

30 Aug, 2013

RMA Removes “Normal Weather Condition” Requirement for Prevented Planting Eligibility…

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00August 30th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Prairie Pothole Region MapUS Geographic Survey ...for acres found in the Prairie Pothole National Priority Area, which extends to regions of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Beginning in 2014, acres planted in the Prairie Pothole region will be eligible for prevented planting payments if those acres were planted in at least one out of the last four years.  The acres are eligible even if one or more of those four years was [...]

20 Aug, 2013

Florida’s Constitutional Ban on Gestation Crates = $505,000 Award for Hog Producer

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00August 20th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

A July decision by the Florida appellate court awarding a Florida hog producer over $500,000 for damages that occurred as a result of the State's 2003 ban on gestation crates may cause legislatures to take a second look before enacting legislation to rid the pork industry of those very crates.  In 2010, Stephen Basford filed an "inverse condemnation" lawsuit against the State of Florida, claiming he was forced to shut down his hog operation [...]

2 Aug, 2013

Property Rights Along Waterway: What Nebraska Land Owners and Float Trippers Need to Know.

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00August 2nd, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights, Water Law|

Float trips on the Dismal River, Platte River, and Niobrara in Nebraska, the Gasconade, Little Piney and Big Piney in Missouri and the North Platte in Wyoming make up some of my fondest memories.  On every one of those float trips, without fail, nature calls on somebody in the group and a decision has to be made as to where can we stop, and how long can we stick around? This issue came to a [...]

5 Jul, 2013

Wet Weather Problems Pt. III: Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone and Iowa’s Response

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00July 5th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is a big problem and the problem may the biggest on record this year as a result of the wet spring.   As can be expected, heavier-than-normal rains lead to heavier-than-normal fertilizer runoff from fields, yards, golf courses, etc, into Midwestern rivers, which eventually ends up in the Gulf of Mexico.  Algae feasts on the nitrogen from the fertilizer creating large algae blooms which die off and are decomposed by bacteria.  The bacteria use oxygen [...]