2016 Land Values Summary Released


In addition to the Cash Rent Report that we discussed last week, the USDA also published its yearly Land Values Summary earlier this month.  This survey looks at land prices and values nationwide.  To view the full report, click here. Farm Real Estate Value First up is the farm real estate value, which looks at the value of all land and buildings on farms.  A farm is defined as “any establishment from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were sold or would normally be sold during the… Read More →

2016 NASS Cash Rent Statistics Released

Kay fence

The 2016 NASS results of their Cash Rent surveys have been released. The results are obtained by a survey of farmers conducted by the United States Department of Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service. Every year, NASS collects cash rent data by state for irrigated cropland, non-irrigated cropland, and pastureland.  In even numbered years, they break this data down by county.  The county-level reports should be out in September.  For now, we have the national and state-by-state results. Nationwide, cash rental rates have dropped in the last year.  Here… Read More →

Extension Fact Sheet: Solar Lease Considerations

Photo by Edwin Remsberg

Many Texas landowners have recently been contacted by solar companies about potentially leasing their farm or ranchland for a solar energy project. I recently published a Fact Sheet outlining just a few considerations that landowners need to be aware of when approached by a solar company.  As always, I highly recommend consulting with an attorney who has experience negotiating solar lease agreements to protect your rights and your land before signing any lease agreement.  To download the fact sheet, click here. Additionally, if you missed the solar leasing… Read More →

Published Materials Tab

grazing lease 2

After a few folks had asked about where to get certain publications of mine, I added a new tab to this blog, titled “Published Materials.”  If you click on that tab, you will be able to find my recorded presentations and major publications all in one place.  Currently, we’ve got the following categories:  Recorded webinars; Handbooks; Fact Sheets; Law Review Articles; Continuing Legal Education Papers; and Forthcoming Publications. Feel free to check out the info under the Published Materials tab, all of which may be downloaded by just… Read More →

Texas Rural Land Value Trends

Kathleen Phillips

Every year, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends Report.  This publication, which comes out each April, looks at land prices across Texas, broken down into 7 regions and then into several sub-regions.  It reports average rates for land sales as well as land rentals.  The publication also looks at how these rates have changed since the prior year, factors driving land prices, such as commodity prices and water availability, and reports on the most commonly planted… Read More →

August 5, 2016 Weekly Round Up


I kicked off this week bright and early on Monday morning in College Station where I coordinated the Landowner Issues Session at the TAMU Beef Cattle Short Course.  It is a great event and we had a huge turn out and great audience questions for our session.  In addition to welcoming those of you joining the blog from BCSC, I also want to give a huge thanks to my co-presenters, Luke Ellis and James Decker, who did absolutely outstanding presentations! Yesterday, I presented a webinar for the TAMU… Read More →

Iowa Lease Case Offers Important Lessons


A recent decision by the Iowa Court of Appeals offers some important lessons when thinking about farm estate planning and farm leases.  The court’s opinion in Hope K. Farms, LLC v. Gumm, No. 14-1371 (Iowa Ct. App. June 29, 2016), may be found here. Background This case involves Iowa farmland that was owned by Mr. Gumm’s mother.  During her life, Mr. Gumm had a lease agreement with her that allowed him to farm the land.  Upon her death, ownership of the land passed to the Gumm Family Trust.  The… Read More →

July 29, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Texas A&M Agrilife photo by Robert Burns

I’m not sure how it can possibly be the end of July already, but here we are!  Hope everyone had a great week.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. * Edwards Aquifer Authority To Pay $4.5 Million Settlement to Braggs.  After 10 years of litigation, the Medina County pecan farmers at the center of one of the biggest water law cases in Texas will be paid by the Edwards Aquifer Authority for a taking of their private property.  As you have read about… Read More →

First American Agricultural Law Association Teleforum This Thursday!


What do you have planned for your lunch hour on Thursday?  Stale sandwich?  Taking a nap?  A jog on the treadmill? For those of you interested in agricultural law, environmental law, water, law, or all of the above, we are excited to announce the Inaugural American Agricultural Law Association Teleforum will be held this Thursday, July 28 at 12:00 CST. The Teleconference is free for everyone to join and listen to attorneys who were actually involved in the Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes case talk about the case, the… Read More →

Workers’ Compensation and Agriculture


I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman outlining workers’ compensation laws and agriculture.  This is a complex area of law, and the rules differ by state, but it is extremely important for farmers and ranchers and employees to be aware of the law in their state. To read the article, click here. (Note:  You may remember from a prior Weekly Round Up that the New Mexico Supreme Court recently held that the agricultural laborer exclusion to the NM Workers’ Compensation law was unconstitutional.  This article was written prior… Read More →