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Covering Contracts and Leases, Biotechnology, Land Use and Environment, Laws and Regulations and Taxation.

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Law and Taxation: A Retrospective of 20 Years

In many respects, the development of law is an evolutionary process, adjusting slowly to the evolving needs and values of society.  Certainty and stability with respect to property rights, regulatory programs and the tax structure provide a solid foundation for…

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Dead Zones & Drinking Water: Updates on Waters of the U.S., Part 2

The preceding article discussed a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act that will be heard by the Supreme Court. This article continues the discussion by reviewing a proposed rule published jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps…

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Dead Zones & Drinking Water: Updates on Waters of the U.S., Part 1

A previous series of articles discussed water quality and environmental issues relevant, or potentially of concern, to agriculture. In a return to the topic, recent developments on matters of water quality will be discussed in two articles. On February 14,…

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The information on this web site does not constitute legal advice. The law is constantly changing, and we make no warranty of the accuracy of information on this site or any site to which we link. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. 

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A Farmdoc Users Guide for Accessing Legislative Information from the Illinois General Assembly Website

This article provides detailed guidance for accessing the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Public Acts, and House/ Senate Bills available from the website of the Illinois General Assembly.

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Accessing Federal Statutes and Regulations from the GPO Website

This article describes how to access federal statutes published in the United States Code (U.S.C.) and federal regulations published in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) using the Government Printing Office Access website.

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Accessing Illinois Statutes

Instructions for accessing Illinois General Assembly’s website for the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

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Charitable Contributions of Commodities

For some farmers, making a charitable contribution in kind, rather than cash can increase the tax benefit of the gift. The tax consequences of the gift differs depending on whether the donor is an active farmer or a landlord.

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Considerations for the Buyers and Sellers of a Business

The purchase or sale of a business has distinct tax considerations that differ depending on the type of business entity. This material lists some considerations for the buyers and sellers of the business.

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Crop Share Lease Form – PDF

The lease form represents a basic model for an agricultural lease. The parties to the lease or their legal counsel may wish to consider modifications to better meet the needs of the particular landowner or tenant. Form is fillable PDF…

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Family Limited Partnerships

A family limited partnership is a very attractive estate-planning tool because it permits a parent to significantly discount the value of gifts to children.? This material discusses the advantages and disadvantages of forming a family limited partnership.

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Farm Owner’s Death: Can Tenant Continue Farming Under the Lease?

This article describes the effect on a farm tenant?s lease when the Illinois farmland owner dies, becomes mentally incompetent, or sells the farm.

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Filing Requirements for Partnerships and LLCs that the Are Taxed as that Partnerships

This material discusses the filing requirement for partnerships and LLCs that are taxed as partnerships. It defines those entities that are excluded from the partnership rules and discusses. how and when to make the election

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Fixed Cash Rent Lease Form – Short Form – PDF

The lease form represents a basic model for an agricultural lease. The parties to the lease or their legal counsel may wish to consider modifications to better meet the needs of the particular landowner or tenant. Form is fillable PDF…

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Genetically Engineered Rice: A Summary of the LL Rice 601 Incident

Reports that genetically engineered rice entered the food supply chain surfaced this summer. The unapproved for export varieties, not surprisingly, engendered significant controversy, resulting in the filing of several lawsuits and disruption of the international rice trade. This article summarizes…

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Grain Contracts, High Prices, Floods and Failure to Deliver

This article addresses important contract law questions that arise when a farmer?s crop is lost to floodwaters or when market prices rise much higher than the forward contract prices established months earlier.

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How to Find an Attorney

This article discusses how to find an attorney in Illinois and a new project, the ?Illinois Family Farm Law Project?, which provides free legal assistance to qualified low-income family farmers. The article also describes how to verify that an Illinois…

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Illinois Drainage Law

A web-based University of Illinois publication describing Agricultural drainage law and federal wetlands policy (December, 1997).

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Illinois Farm Leases: One Variable Cash Rent Option

This article describes a Variable Cash Rent Lease in which the farmland owner and operator negotiate a Base Cash Rent based on expected corn yields and the current price for new-crop corn futures contracts. The Actual Cash Rent will be…

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Illinois Fence Act

A web-based text of the principal Illinois statutes addressing division fences and other fence-related rights and responsibilities. See the DISCLAIMER concerning the use of Illinois’ web-based statutes. Note that this is listed under Illinois Compiled Statutes 765 ILCS 130/ Fence…

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Illinois Grain Insurance Fund: Protecting Farmers if an Elevator Fails

This article describes the protections provided to farmers and lenders by the Illinois Grain Code in the event an Illinois-licensed grain elevator fails.

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Like-Kind Exchange of Conservation Easements

With the increasing interest in preserving open space, conservation easements are becoming more popular. If certain requirements are met, the owner can make a like-kind exchange for additional land. The requirements are listed in this excerpt.

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Livestock Share Lease Form – PDF

The lease form represents a basic model for an agricultural lease. The parties to the lease or their legal counsel may wish to consider modifications to better meet the needs of the particular landowner or tenant. Form is fillable PDF…

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October 31 is “Notice” Deadline for Many Farm Leases

This short article discusses Illinois law regarding the termination of year to year tenancies of farmland, including the notice content, timing, and delivery methods described in the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

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Pasture Lease Form – PDF

The lease form represents a basic model for an agricultural lease. The parties to the lease or their legal counsel may wish to consider modifications to better meet the needs of the particular landowner or tenant. Form is fillable PDF…

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Pesticide Drift

This article (1) examines how Illinois law discourages herbicide drift, and (2) illustrates how damages from suspected herbicide drift might be pursued under Illinois law. The Illinois Pesticide Act (Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 415, Act 60) and principles of civil…

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Self-Rental Rule

The IRS regulation on self-rental provides that when a taxpayer rents property to his or her own business, the rental profit is not treated as passive activity income. This means it can not be used to offset passive activity losses.…

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Should a Farm Lease Be Written and is an Illinois Farm Tentant Protected If the Lease is Oral?

Generally, a farm lease should be in writing for many reasons. However, a farm tenant in possession of Illinois farmland under an oral lease has some protection under the law because such leases are considered to be leases ?from year…

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StarLink – A Case Study of Agricultural Biotechnology Regulation

StarLink is a genetically engineered corn variety approved in the U.S. for feed (but not food) uses and later discovered in human foods. This article will (a) track the pre-StarLink evolution of U.S. biotechnology regulatory policy and the emergence of…

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The Illinois Drainage Code – Accessing and Using the Statute

The Illinois Drainage Code is the principal Illinois statute addressing drainage rights and responsibilities in Illinois. It is available from the Website of the Illinois General Assembly. The citation to the Illinois Drainage Code is 70 ILCS 605.

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The Illinois Landlord’s Lien: Securing Agricultural Rent Payments after August 21, 2002

On August 21, 2002 Illinois Public Act 92-819 became effective. It amends the Illinois Landlord’s Lien Upon Crops statute by eliminating the requirement to file Form UCC1 with the Secretary of State in order to have a priority lien. This…

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THE REVISED ILLINOIS GRAIN CODE: GREATER PROTECTIONTO FARMERS AND LENDERS IF A GRAIN ELEVATOR FAILS

This article describes the protections provided to farmers and lenders by the Illinois Grain Code in the event an Illinois-licensed elevator fails. These protections were changed significantly by Public Act 93-0225, effective July 21, 2003, which amended the Illinois Grain…

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THE REVISED ILLINOIS GRAIN CODE: NEW ASSESSMENTSON FARMERS AND LENDERS

This article discusses the new assessments imposed on both farmers and lenders under Public Act 93-0225, the 2003 amendments to the Illinois Grain Code. These assessments will restore solvency to the Illinois Grain Insurance Fund, which guarantees the payment of…

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Using Groundwater

Illinois follows the doctrine of reasonable use for groundwater withdrawals. This brief article describes that doctrine. It also describes the impact of the Water Use Act of 1983 and the Water Authorities Act on one’s rights to withdraw groundwater, and…

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Using Water From Streams

In Illinois, rules for the use of stream water and ground water differ somewhat. For stream water, Illinois follows the Riparian Doctrine – Reasonable Use Rule: Each person owning land next to a stream is entitled to use all the…

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