The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) at Iowa State University, created by the Iowa Board of Regents in 2006, provides timely, critically objective information to producers, professionals and agribusinesses concerning the application of important developments in agricultural law and taxation (federal and state legal opinions of relevance, as well as critical legislative developments), and is a primary source of professional educational training in agricultural law and taxation. CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.
Current and Upcoming Events
2013 Summer Seminars - Registration is Now Available
- Traverse City, Michigan - June 13-14, 2013
- Santa Fe, New Mexico - June 27-28, 2013
Ag Law and Taxation Items of Interest
Kansas Supreme Court Deals With Trespassing Cow Case - With A Twist
May 17, 2013 - The Kansas Supreme Court has decided a case involving an attempt by the plaintiff to put strays cows back in their pasture and the application of the privilege necessity doctrine. The case will continue back at the trial court and liability will be analyzed under the reasonable care standard. Read our summary of the case here.
Developments from the Iowa General Assembly
May 17, 2013 - We have again updated our article that tracks Iowa legislation that could impact ag producers, rural landowners and agribusinesses. One big development is that the legislature has unanimously approved legislation that essentially abrogates (without saying so) the Iowa Supreme Court opinion on recreational use decided this past February. That means that the longstanding Iowa recreational use statutory immunity has been put back in place and the legislation clarifies several areas of uncertainy resulting from the Court's opinion. You can read our updated article here.
Two New Iowa Court of Appeals Opinions
May 16, 2013 - Recent opinions of the Iowa Court of Appeals deal with the construction of an insurance policy for flood damage and "boiler-plate" language in a contract involving the delegation of duty for tort liability. Read our summaries of the cases:
Court Says Farmer Illegally Copied Monsanto's Technology
May 13, 2013 - The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto's patent on soybean seed by planting commercial seed he bought from an elevator. Monsanto's patent had not been exhausted upon the initial sale of seed. You can read our article about the Court's decision here.
Trusts, S Corporations, The Material Participation Test and the Medicare Passive Income Surtax
May 1, 2013 - The IRS continues to reassert its judicially-rejected position on how trusts can satisfy the material participation test under the passive loss rules. In a recent Tech. Adv. Memo., the IRS said a trustee of a trust that owned S corporation stock and in which the trustee was also the S corporation president, couldn't count his time spent running the business as president. If that's the case, good luck in ever getting a trust to be found to be a material participant in an S corporation. You can read our updated article here.
Useful IRS Information Released on Several Items, Including How To Handle USDA Discrimination Settlement Payments, and the Maximum Vehicle Values For 2013 To Determine Value of Personal Use of Employer-Provided Vehicles
April 29, 2013 - The IRS has provided guidance on how to report USDA discrimination settlement payments received as part of the Keepseagle litigation. You can find the guidance here. The IRS has also released the 2013 automobile and truck maximum FMVs for the cents-per-mile valuation and fleet-average annual lease value fringe benefit valuation method. You can access the IRS Notice here. In addition, the IRS has provided guidance (and a safe harbor) on how to determine when construction begins on "qualified facility" for purposes of the renewable electricity production tax credit under I.R.C. Sec. 45(d). The Notice is accessible here.
Iowa Court Opinions Deal With Claim of Constructive Trust, A Do-It-Yourself Lease Situation (And All Of The Problems That Creates) And Whether An Informal Business Relationship Created A Partnership
April 26, 2013 - The Iowa Court of Appeals has decided three cases involving agricultural interests. The decisions point out how important ag lawyers can be in avoiding legal controversies. Read our summaries:
Rule of Capture Applies to Stored Gas Under Land Not Adjacent to Storage Field
April 26, 2013 - The Kansas Supreme Court has decided a case involving title to natural gas that migrates from its storage field. Read our summary of the court's opinion here.
Contract Sale of Farmland From Trust Violated Trust's Terms, But Challenging Heir Not Disinherited Under "No-Contest" Clause
April 15, 2013 - In a recent Kansas Supreme Court case, a sale of farmland from the decedent's trust to a son via a six-year contract was deemed to be in violation of the trust's terms, but another son was held not to lose his ineritance for challenging the sale.
Iowa Court Opinions Deal With Nuisance, Contracts and Tort Liability
April 15, 2013 - The Iowa Court of Appeals has decided a nuisance case involving surface water drainage, and the Iowa Supreme Court has decided two cases involving a signed written confirmations of grain contracts and premises liability.