Latest News

25 Oct, 2021

Does It Come Furnished: Are Center Pivots Fixtures or Real Property?

2021-10-25T14:13:55-05:00October 25th, 2021|Agriculture, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  Central pivot irrigation systems are vitally important in Nebraska.  Not only is Nebraska the most irrigated state in the U.S., it is also the largest producer/user of center pivot systems in the world.[1] For Nebraska farmers and legal practitioners alike, it may be important to understand how center pivot systems are classified when either buying, selling, or assessing, for taxation purposes, farmland that utilizes a center pivot irrigation system. [...]

6 Jul, 2021

Iowa Supreme Court Values Closely Held Farm Corps

2021-07-06T11:05:19-05:00July 6th, 2021|Farm Management, Latest News, Midwest Agricultural Law|

A recent case issued by the Iowa Supreme Court addressed the “fair value” of stock in a closely held farm corporation buyout. In Guge v. Kassel Enterprises, No. 19-2151 (Iowa Sup. Ct June 18, 2021), the Court provided clarity for determining what factors Iowa courts consider in calculating the “fair value” of a corporation in lieu of a dissolution proceeding. In Guge, three siblings owned all of the shares of [...]

26 May, 2021

Murphy’s Law: 5 Reasons to Insist on Written Custom Farming Contract

2021-05-26T14:56:08-05:00May 26th, 2021|Contract, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  VS.      Custom farming agreements seem pretty straightforward and simple.  Landowner asks Custom Operator to till the field, apply the inputs, plant and harvest the crop or cut and bale the hay.  Custom Operator sets a price.  Landowner and Custom Operator shake hands.  Deal is done, right?  Yes, if everything goes right.  No, if the parties run into Murphy's Law of "if anything can go wrong, it will".  [...]

22 Mar, 2021

Vacating Crop Insurance Arbitration Ruling: Is it 3 Months or 1 Year?

2021-04-06T14:02:59-05:00March 22nd, 2021|Arbitration, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Which is it? Admittedly I keep going back to the well.  Maybe it is because the rules and procedure for arbitrating a crop insurance claim are too complicated.  Or maybe it is a dead horse and I need to get past feeling the Nebraska Supreme Court improperly ruled against my client in an arbitration claim in 2017. In that case, Karo v. NAU, an arbitrator ruled against the [...]

25 Nov, 2020

Enigma Wrapped in a Riddle: Federal Arbitration Act Interplay with Crop Insurance Disputes

2020-11-25T16:28:32-06:00November 25th, 2020|Arbitration, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Around this time last year, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals found that an arbitrator did not exceed his authority when a dispute over the interpretation of a crop insurance policy provision arose after the arbitration proceedings.  Balvin v. Rain and Haill, LLC. Why is this important? It is important because in 2015, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation ("FCIC") issued Final Agency Determination ("FAD") 230* which stated the following: A [...]

30 Oct, 2020

Overturning a Crop Insurance Arbitration: The Struggle is Real

2020-11-03T14:49:14-06:00October 30th, 2020|Arbitration, Crop Damage Claims, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Ask anybody who has attempted to overturn an arbitrator's award in a crop insurance arbitration; the struggle is real even when the arbitrator is dead wrong. Crop insurance arbitration is held to the standards of the Federal Arbitration Act (the "Act").  The Act strictly prohibits overturning an arbitration award unless "the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so imperfectly executed them that a mutual final, and definite award upon the subject [...]

30 Sep, 2020

Protecting Your Crop Hail Claim: Dangers of the Roadside Adjustment

2020-09-30T14:26:05-05:00September 30th, 2020|Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Hail damage to corn field near Hastings, Nebraska Every year farmers face multiple weather events that can instantly undo the hard work of planting and maintaining a crop.  Widespread drought and flooding can wipe out entire crops across a large area.  On the other hand, hail and wind storm damage may be extremely variable.  Notwithstanding the recent derecho event, a hail or wind storm might affect one farmer [...]

26 Mar, 2020

Why Your COVID-19 Planning Should Include Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Finances

2020-03-27T13:28:50-05:00March 26th, 2020|Best Practices, COVID Estate Planning, COVID-19, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  At LDM, we share all the concerns of every family and business as our country faces this unprecedented time in our lives. We echo the reassurance of health care experts that we can all get through this together. We add to that our commitment to continue addressing the legal concerns of existing and new clients as steadfastly as always. In the realm of legal matters, there is an important [...]

25 Feb, 2020

Production Contracts for Livestock, Swine, and Poultry—Required Disclosures

2020-02-26T11:19:31-06:00February 25th, 2020|Breach of Contract, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The U.S.D.A Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) continues to catch producers being off guard and assessing civil penalties in excess of $1,500—per contract—or other civil actions for marketing and production contracts which do not meet minimum federal requirements.  If your contract does not meet the minimum standards it should be cancelled and replaced with a new compliant contract, which includes the appropriate required disclosures. GIPSA requires generous considerations [...]

15 Nov, 2019

Refresher On Nebraska Ag Liens Pt. 6: The Fertilizer & Chemical Lien

2019-11-19T11:18:25-06:00November 15th, 2019|Best Practices, Farm Management, Getting Paid, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Sounds good.....But I'm still going to have file that lien A lien for those who supply or apply fertilizer or agricultural chemicals for the production of crops. Over the past couple years, we have had to assist several crop input suppliers and appliers who have relied on their customer's promise to pay their bill after harvest, only for the customer to run into a financial problem and not [...]

25 Jun, 2019

Nebraska Tax Sale Law and Recent Revisions: The Effect of Wisner v. Vandelay

2019-06-26T12:34:49-05:00June 25th, 2019|Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law, Tax|

A surprising Nebraska Supreme Court opinion has spurred legislative changes to Nebraska's tax sale laws.  Partner Katie French has summarized Nebraska's tax certificate law, the shocking case of Wisner v. Vandelay, and the legislature's necessary but little-too-late response. TAX CERTIFICATE LAW: In the case of delinquent real estate taxes, the county treasurer may sell real property for taxes. The treasurer provides the purchaser a tax certificate that represents a transfer [...]

15 May, 2019

Refresher on Nebraska Ag Liens Pt. 3: Keeping The Thresher’s Lien Clear

2019-05-29T10:59:12-05:00May 15th, 2019|Farm Management, Lien Rights, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  -     A lien for the owner or operator of any threshing machine or combine against the grain or seed harvested or processed.  Neb. Rev. Stat. Sec. 52-501. A combine with a plugged feeder house is extremely frustrating and basically useless until the plug is removed. Similarly, liens that are plugged with filing or notice problems are frustrating and potentially unenforceable.  Even a straightforward thresher's lien can contain [...]

8 Apr, 2019

REFRESHER ON NEBRASKA AG LIENS, PT 2: The Artisan Lien and possession as 9/10ths the law.

2019-04-08T15:06:59-05:00April 8th, 2019|Farm Management, Lien Rights, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Good work. Now make sure to hold onto the tractor until you get paid - A lien for the  person who makes, alters, repairs, or enhances the value of machinery, farm tools or implements, or shoes horses or mules. Why the lien is called an Artisan's Lien is beyond me.  I don't remember anybody who would be covered by this lien calling themselves an artisan.  Maybe I need [...]

20 Aug, 2018

Evolving Ag Landscape: Legal Implications of Aging Farmland Owners

2018-08-20T13:07:43-05:00August 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

2018-08-13T16:21:34-05:00August 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

2018-06-21T12:00:30-05:00June 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

2018-07-03T14:57:00-05:00February 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

2018-04-23T18:22:19-05:00November 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 [...]

15 Sep, 2016

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

2019-03-12T09:24:08-05:00September 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 [...]

17 May, 2016

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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00May 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00December 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.

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00December 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00October 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 [...]

30 Jul, 2015

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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00July 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00July 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00July 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00June 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 [...]

12 Feb, 2015

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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00February 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00December 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 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 [...]

19 Aug, 2014

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

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00August 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 [...]

4 Aug, 2014

Beginning Farmer Incentive Programs Part III: Federal Programs

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00August 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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00July 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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00July 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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00June 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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00June 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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00June 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 [...]

12 Mar, 2014

Crop Insurance Agents: No Rebates Allowed

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00March 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 [...]

21 Feb, 2014

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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00February 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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00February 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 [...]

30 Aug, 2013

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

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00August 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 [...]

13 Jun, 2013

Wet Weather Problems Pt II: Crop Insurance and Your Options

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00June 13th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Insurance, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  To plant or not to plant?  It is a question several farmers are facing this year in those areas of the Midwest where the rain hasn't let up and the rivers have overtopped their banks.  In some areas, the decision has been made for them.  In those areas where the fields are beginning to dry out, farmers are well advised to speak with their crop insurance agent to determine how their decision may [...]

7 Jun, 2013

Wet Weather Problems Pt. 1: Manure Application and Iowa Law

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00June 7th, 2013|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

This spring it rains 3 days for every 1 day it doesn't rain in Iowa.  At least it seems.   While the headlines concentrate on the delayed planting and replanting caused by flooded fields, livestock producers are scrambling to find ways to drain holding ponds filling up with rainwater.    Livestock operators can relieve pressure on the holdings ponds by applying the manure onto the neighboring fields.  Manure application is an important aspect of any operation's manure management plan and [...]

18 May, 2013

Supreme Court Ruling Protects Monsanto’s Patent For Round Up Ready Seed

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00May 18th, 2013|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Old US Supreme Court Chamber in Capital Bldg   The U.S. Supreme Court ruled an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto's patent when he planted soybeans containing Monsanto's patented Round-Up ready genetics without paying Monsanto for the seed.  The Court emphasized the ruling was limited to seeds, but the decision may affect self-replicating technology outside the ag world.   Indiana farmer, Vernon Bowman, purchased Round-Up Ready soybeans from Monsanto for his first crop of the season.  However, starting in 1999, [...]

10 Dec, 2012

Written Livestock Production Contracts: Revisiting the Benefits Over the Handshake Deal.

2018-04-23T18:22:22-05:00December 10th, 2012|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  Hopefully they are saying "Hello" and not "It's a Deal". Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a blog discussing important checklists for producers entering livestock production contracts, which you can revisit here.  This issue came to mind again when I learned of a recent lawsuit over a handshake deal between a livestock owner and contract grower.  The owner claimed $85,000 in damages when several of the owner's cattle became sick or died because the contract [...]

30 Nov, 2012

The Wrongful Death Lawsuit: 5 Points Every Rancher or Farmer Should Know

2018-04-23T18:22:22-05:00November 30th, 2012|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Emergency medical helicopter taking off in rural field Every farmer and rancher knows their business is dangerous, and even with the utmost care, accidents happen.  When the accident is fatal a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit may not only affect the bottom line but can also bring emotional and social turmoil that a farming or ranching operation is not prepared for.  Fatal accidents can happen anytime, but here in Nebraska and Iowa, these [...]

8 Nov, 2012

GIPSA Enforcement: Failure to Pay When Due Violations are Low Hanging Fruit

2018-04-23T18:22:22-05:00November 8th, 2012|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Cattle Chute In the past two months, there seems to be an uptick in violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) for failing to pay, when due,      the full amount for livestock.  In fact, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has issued ten press releases regarding such violations in that time period. Arguably, the violation for failing to pay, when [...]

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