News

Replant or Crop Loss Claim? Casualties of Iowa’s Wet Spring

Posted on: May 28th, 2024 by

It seems in one way or another we can call every year “challenging” for Iowa growers, but the spring of 2024 has presented specific moisture and severe weather challenges for planting and protecting young crops. Back in March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Drought Monitor classified most of the state in stages of moderate to […]

Right-to-Repair: Equipment is Only Yours Until it Breaks Down

Posted on: April 24th, 2024 by

It’s spring planting season, and every farmer is eager to get into the field as soon as conditions allow. No one wants to watch their neighbors planting acre after acre while they’re stuck in the machine shed with broken equipment. With the increased technological sophistication of farm equipment, however, repairs are no longer as simple […]

Get an Early Start On Future Equipment Needs by Planning Strategic Farm Equipment Purchases

Posted on: March 27th, 2024 by

There’s no need to check your calendar upon reading this to make sure it’s flipped to the right month—it is still just March! While it is more common for financial advisors to check in with their farming clients about potential advantages of new farm equipment purchases and leases in the later months of the year, […]

Landlord’s Liens: Cheap, Easy, but Time-Critical Insurance 

Posted on: February 9th, 2024 by

Iowa, being an agricultural state, has many ag-specific laws on the books, from increased protections for farmers facing foreclosure to laws barring restrictions on agricultural experiences like farm-to-table dining. One important but underused protection for ag industry participants is Iowa’s array of agricultural liens. Today we’ll discuss one of those liens: the landlord’s lien. What’s […]

Swine Market Losses Demand Prudent Planning—Now

Posted on: January 31st, 2024 by

Back in October, we brought you the story of a hog-integrator client who had been suffering tremendous losses since early 2023, their 200,000+ swine business hemorrhaging as much as $1 million per month. It would be nice to be able to say this was an isolated incident or even an isolated year … unfortunately, it […]

Farm Balance Sheets

Posted on: December 20th, 2023 by

At Ag & Business Legal Strategies, we want our clients to be honest with themselves and have a solid business plan. Our attorneys and financial strategist will help you create and execute that business plan, and, if necessary, assist you with the legal, tax, and practical aspects of debt restructuring or bankruptcy. Don’t wait for […]

County Crop Insurance: Farm-to-Bank Translation

Posted on: November 21st, 2023 by

If you’re an Iowa corn farmer who carries crop insurance, chances are fair you’ll be submitting a claim for at least revenue losses for this year’s production under one or more policies. Even if your crop came through the late-summer extreme drought that enveloped northeastern-eastern Iowa from late August through October with little to no […]

Protecting Your Pork Assets: Time to Reorganize, or Get Out?

Posted on: October 26th, 2023 by

If you’re a swine integrator or producer, chances are high that 2023 has not been kind to you. More integrators are filing for bankruptcy protection or seriously considering it, which puts the producers who grow pigs for them at risk—and, in turn, their employees. Even if you haven’t faced the potential of bankruptcy or debt […]

MCAs Are Not an Advancement of Your Business’s Best Interest

Posted on: September 25th, 2023 by

Let’s run a hypothetical: You own a small business in town. Finances are tight, particularly this month. You’ve made two sizable bulk product deliveries for which your customers haven’t paid, your roof started leaking again after that big storm this weekend, and the mortgage payment on your storefront is almost due. There’s no way you’re […]

The Limits of FDIC Insurance and Iowa’s Grain Indemnity Fund

Posted on: August 28th, 2023 by ,

Where’s Your Wealth Stored and How Safe Is It? Banks and grain elevators are the pillars of many rural communities. It can seem like they’ve always been there and will always be there. Some grain farmers might have more money in grain at the elevator than they do in the bank. Regardless, the failure of […]

Reminder: It’s Time for Iowa Farmers to Send Farm Lease Termination Notices

Posted on: August 1st, 2023 by ,

Harvest is fast approaching, but before breaking out the combine, review your farm leases so you can decide whether to terminate them before it’s too late. Under Iowa Code § 562.6, a farm lease continues beyond the agreed term for the following crop year on the same terms and conditions as the original lease unless either […]

Personal Guaranties: Know What You’re Signing

Posted on: July 26th, 2023 by

Most of us have had to ask a more financially secure family member to co-sign a loan so we could buy a car, farm tractor, or enter into a lease. If you’ve ever been the co-signer, you know that even though you trust your child or family member to pay it off, there’s always that […]

USDA OKs Choice for Farmers to Keep Inflation Reduction Act Relief—or Not

Posted on: July 13th, 2023 by

In the months since we visited the scenarios of Robert and Charles—two fictional farmers who received farm debt relief under Section 22006 of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—the Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced two major changes in how recipients can choose to deal with their new windfall. Last year FSA repaid more than […]

Defending against preference repayment demands

Posted on: June 16th, 2023 by

Taking a break from the morning’s work, you stop by the mailbox only to find an unfamiliar envelope from some law firm. The letter inside is notification that the XYZ Grain Elevator has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, and as part of this, you might have to turn over to the court a good […]

From Debt to Deliverance: Wade

Posted on: May 16th, 2023 by

Note: This is the final installment of a three-part blog series about ABLS clients and their debt resolution stories. In March and April, we shared the debt restructuring stories of retired and active Iowa farmers Jerry and Deb, and Paul and Linda, respectively. In this blog, meet a third Iowa farmer: Wade. Wade had his […]

From Debt to Deliverance: Paul and Linda

Posted on: April 24th, 2023 by

Note: This is the second of a three-part blog series about ABLS clients and their debt resolution stories. In March we shared the story of retired Iowa farmers Jerry and Deb and the debt restructuring plan we developed for them. In this blog meet another Iowa farm couple, Paul and Linda. An average crop in […]

From Debt to Deliverance: Jerry and Deb

Posted on: March 23rd, 2023 by

Poor crops. A barn fire. Disabling injuries. New bank managers who don’t know you and are less cooperative than the ones they replaced. Our clients have experienced devastating events like these, and more. Events that threatened to leave them destitute. In this month’s blog, and in April and May, we’ll share stories of three farm […]

Selling a farm: capital idea or capital gains tax?

Posted on: March 2nd, 2023 by

Note: This is the second of a two-part blog series on buying or selling a farm Why do you want to sell your farm? Why do you want to buy a farm? In January, we wrote that before you put your farm on the market or negotiate a farm purchase, you should ask yourself those […]

Unintended Consequences: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’s Farm Debt Relief Causes Farmers Massive Tax Headaches

Posted on: February 17th, 2023 by

For a deeper analysis into this topic, see a version of this article written for tax professionals and other interested parties here. On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. Section 22006 of the IRA provided $3.1 billion for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide relief […]

Unintended Consequences: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’s Farm Debt Relief Causes Farmers Massive Tax Headaches (Deep Dive)

Posted on: February 17th, 2023 by

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. Section 22006 of the IRA provided $3.1 billion for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide relief for distressed borrowers under certain Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct and guaranteed loans. On October 18, 2022, USDA provided nearly $800 million […]