Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Agricultural Law

Drought those legal problems By John W. Damisch Agricultural Law, September 2012 An overview of some of the issues affecting farmers and the ag industry that Illinois lawyers should be prepared to address.
Lessons from the drought of 1988 By Jerry W. Quick Agricultural Law, September 2012 The author shares the legal questions he received relating to grain contracting, grain production, and the grain industry which arose during the epic drought of 1988.
Tax and legal issues associated with the 2012 drought By Roger A. McEowen Agricultural Law, September 2012 The drought in significant parts of the country during the summer of 2012 has raised a number of tax and law-related questions for farmers and ranchers.
Certain Illinois counties now eligible for cost-share to meet emergency water needs Agricultural Law, August 2012 An informative press release from the USDA's Farm Service Agency.
Estimating crop insurance recovery 2012 By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, August 2012 Although the true extent of this year's crop losses are not fully known in many areas at this point, it would be helpful for most farmers to have an idea of where they stand with the crop insurance they purchased.
Federal Crop Insurance Act preempts security interests in crop insurance By Erika Eckley Agricultural Law, August 2012 The case of In re Duckworth involved several issues that arose during the administration of a farmer’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy surrounding the security interest of multiple lenders.
Transfer on Death Instrument Act applications in agricultural law By James R. Grebe and Michael P. Roush Agricultural Law, June 2012 The TODI may be a useful alternative to wills, trusts, and other estate planning options, and should be considered when discussing estate planning with your farmer-clients for the transfer of their homestead to the next generation. 
ICE Futures U.S. launches five new grain and oilseed futures products By Ann Hagerty Agricultural Law, May 2012 Intercontinental Exchange Inc. began offering futures and options in U.S. Corn, Wheat, Soybean, Soybean Meal and Soybean Oil on May 14th and 15th respectively.
IDOT long-range state transportation plan By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, May 2012 On April 30, 2012, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced plans to update its Long-Range State Transportation Plan (Plan), all as required by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration.
Biofuel tax breaks—To be or not to be? By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, April 2012 The Senate Finance Committee subcommittee has been debating how (or perhaps whether) to extend the now expired and/or expiring alternative fuel federal tax incentives.
Federal court looks at antibiotic use in the livestock industry By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, April 2012 A summary of Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. FDA, in which the Court ultimately found that 21 U.S.C. §360b(e) (1) “unambiguously commands the Secretary to withdraw approval of any new animal drug that he finds not shown to be safe, provided that the sponsor of the animal drug has notice and an opportunity for a hearing.
Agricultural fun facts By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, March 2012 How about a few facts about agriculture that you can use to stump your friends at the coffee shop?
A new way of leasing—A looming need for Illinois land owners? By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, March 2012 A list of resources to consider when beginning a land use case.
2012 payroll update By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, January 2012 Many of our farmer and agribusiness clients don’t often understand the various tax and financial issues which necessarily arise as a result of having retained employees (or perhaps “independent contractors,” in many instances).
For what it’s worth—Odds and ends By Paul A. Meints Agricultural Law, January 2012 Recent tax and estate law updates of interest to agricultural law practitioners.
Estate and gift tax changes for 2012 By Mike Drone Agricultural Law, December 2011 Tax changes that will take effect in the next year.
Expiration of biotech crop patents—Issues for growers By Roger A. McEowen Agricultural Law, December 2011 The patent expiration of the first generation of Roundup Ready soybean trait in 2014 will be the first time that a major biotech trait will become potentially subject to competition with generic traits.
Expiration of biotech crop patents—Issues for growers By Roger A. McEowen Intellectual Property, December 2011 The patent expiration of the first generation of Roundup Ready soybean trait in 2014 will be the first time that a major biotech trait will become potentially subject to competition with generic traits.
Average adjusted gross income 2009 - 2012 By David Hoff Agricultural Law, November 2011 A refresher on the Adjusted Gross Income issue as applicable for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012.
Federal agency backs off—Operators of farm vehicles not subject to CDL requirements By Roger A. McEowen and Erin Herbold-Swalwell Agricultural Law, November 2011 On May 31, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Notice seeking public comment on three issues relating to the applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to operators of farm vehicles. Many farm operators and agricultural groups interpreted the Notice as an attempt to require Commercial Driver’s Licenses for operators of ag equipment.  
Apparently, “head-in-the-sand” is not a valid defense By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, October 2011 The recent case of U.S. v. Buchman gives practitioners guidance on what not to do to prove your case.
Painting a solution to Illinois’ trespassing problems By Michael Massie Agricultural Law, October 2011 Governor Quinn recently signed legislation amending the Purple Paint Law, allowing landowners to mark trees or posts with purple paint to signify "no trespassing" instead of the traditional posted sign.
Ask the Ag Law Expert—Or at least get a bunch of opinions! Agricultural Law, September 2011 The Ag Law discussion group, or list serve, serves as an open forum for Section members to post questions and seek responses. Get more details and sign up here.
Rising farmland values: Causes and cautions By Lewis F. Matuszewich Agricultural Law, September 2011 The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, on November 15, 2011, will hold a one-day Conference on the factors contributing to the large increase in agricultural land values and cash rental rates in the Midwest.
Country roads: Who owns them? By Robert F. Russell Agricultural Law, August 2011 After searching the records at the courthouse and at the county superintendent’s office, the sellers’ attorney should be able to determine whether the road or roads in question were established by statute or by a dedication that conforms with the Illinois Plat Act.
Rising farmland values: Causes and concerns By Lewis F. Matuszewich Agricultural Law, August 2011 The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will hold, on November 15, 2011, an all-day Conference to explore the factors contributing to a large increase in agriculture land prices and agricultural cash rental rates in the Midwest.
Legal guide and Web site help small farm producers through maze of legal obligations By Nicholas R. Johnson Agricultural Law, June 2011 A new Legal Guide for Illinois Direct Farm Businesses identifies and explains the legal issues associated with selling foods directly to consumers at locations such as farmers' markets and roadside stands.
Roaming the prairie—Random thoughts on recent agricultural topics of interest By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, June 2011 Legal updates of interest to agricultural law practitioners.
Federalism and animal welfare: Court upholds California animal welfare rules By Nicholas R. Johnson and A. Bryan Endres Animal Law, April 2011 A look at the repercussions of National Meat Association v. Brown.
IDOT answers your questions: Farmers and the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Agricultural Law, February 2011 The following article, reprinted here from the Illinois Department of Transportation Web site, answers questions regarding how the FMCSR and the IMCSR apply to farmers and those who work for them.