We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of KAWG E-News.
Ag Leases: What Producers and Landowners Should Know – Termination of Oral Leases
Contributed by Forrest Buhler, Staff Attorney for the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services (KAMS)
It is estimated that 40% of Kansas farm leases are oral. Under the Kansas statute of frauds at K.S.A. 33-101 lease agreements that cannot be performed within one year must be in writing to be enforceable. Thus, an oral lease for one year is enforceable in court, but a multi-year lease must be in writing.
If a farm or pasture lease is oral, then certain Kansas statutes are automatically part of the lease. For example, an oral farm or pasture lease for one year runs from March 1 to March 1, and must be terminated in accordance with K.S.A. 58-2506. The termination rules in the statute also have special provisions for fall-seeded grain crops, i.e. wheat.
Termination of Oral Leases. Kansas law requires a written notice to terminate oral farm and pastureland leases as follows: 1) the written notice to terminate must be given in writing at least 30 days prior to March 1st; and 2) the notice must fix March 1st as the termination date. Without proper notice the lease may continue for another year.
Special Rules for Fall Seeded Grain Crops. Notice of termination after land planted to wheat. If written notice of termination is given after land has been planted to a fall seeded grain crop on cropland prepared in conformance with normal practices in the area, then termination of the lease, as to that land, will be the last day of harvesting such crop or August 1, whichever comes first.
Notice after land prepared for but not planted to wheat. If written notice of termination is given after the 30th day prior to March 1st and prior to planting a fall seeded grain crop on land which has been prepared in conformance with normal practices in the area in any year in which a fall seeded grain crop has or will be harvested, then the lease as to that part of the land devoted to a fall seeded grain crop shall terminate the succeeding year on the last day of harvesting such crop or August 1, whichever comes first.
For examples of how these rules apply and more information on agricultural leases in general you can read the K-State Research and Extension publication “Kansas Agricultural Lease Law” at http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/c668.pdf.
Other Resources. This information is meant for educational purposes only. Specific questions about your situation should be directed to an attorney. More information about ag leases can be found at the AgManager.Info website of the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics: http://www.agmanager.info/farmmgt/land/lease/default.asp You may also contact Forrest Buhler, Staff Attorney for the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services (KAMS) at 800-321-3276. KAMS is a grant program administered by K-State Research and Extension. For more information about the KAMS program you can go online to: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/kams/.
Effect of the recent winter storm on the Kansas wheat and alfalfa crops
From K-State Agronomy
The week of January 10 – 16 brought to the Kansas wheat crop some much needed moisture, which was accompanied by a considerable amount of ice — especially in the southwest portion of the state. Precipitation totals ranged from about 0.25 inch in far northwest Kansas, to just over 3 inches throughout the southern two tiers of counties (Fig. 1). The majority of the state received more than 0.5 inches of precipitation. (Read more.)
NAWG, Farm Groups Stress Trade Importance To New Trump Administration
In a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Friday, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and a coalition of 15 other producer organizations noted the contribution of agriculture and agriculture-related industries, predominant trade markets, and expressed intent and willingness to identify new global opportunities together- to impact the rural economy in the most positive way.
The signatory groups highlighted the economic value of the American agricultural contribution to the GDP encouraging the Administration to especially consider the rural economy and it’s potential for growth through improved trade stating that, “Agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $835 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2014, a 4.8 percent share. Our industry employs millions of hard working Americans. In 2014, 17.3 million full and part-time jobs were related to agriculture – about 9.3 percent of total U.S. employment. Food manufacturing accounts for 14 percent of all employees – the largest single sector.”
As 50% of wheat production is exported, NAWG President Gordon Stoner, reinforces that, “nearly half of America’s bountiful wheat harvest is exported each year. Effective, fair trade agreements are critical to America’s wheat farmers.
The National Association of Wheat Growers supports the sustainability of trade and is committed to working with the Administration to ensure that our trade agreements are favorable to American agriculture and to U.S. wheat producers. (Read more.)
Applications for Herb Clutter Memorial Scholarship now accepted
High school seniors pursuing careers in agriculture are encouraged to apply for the 2017 Herb Clutter Memorial Scholarship. The Herb Clutter Memorial Scholarship was established in 2009 to honor Herb Clutter’s influential role in organizing leadership groups on behalf of Kansas wheat producers and is administered by the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers.
The scholarship fund will award one $500 scholarship per year, to a college or university-bound incoming freshman from Kansas, pursuing a career in the field of agriculture. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must plan to be a full-time student at any two or four year, Kansas college or university. Recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, leadership qualities and career objectives focused around the field of agriculture. Recipients will receive the scholarship to be applied toward tuition for the student’s college or university education. The scholarship is non-renewable. (Read more.)
NAWG Weekly Update
President Trump Names Ag Secretary Nominee
On Thursday, January 19, 2017, President-Elect Donald Trump announced his choice to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Agriculture is a top industry in the state of Georgia, and Governor brings with him a significant pedigree that will enable him to be an effective voice for farmers in the incoming Administration.
“I applaud President-elect Trump for selecting an Agriculture Secretary nominee that’s a former governor and has extensive experience in agriculture,” said NAWG President Gordon Stoner. “He grew up on a row crop farm, has had great success in agribusiness, and his been a champion for farmers in developing public policy. With USDA as one of the largest federal departments, covering mission areas ranging from farm programs to nutrition assistance to rural development, the announcement of Governor Perdue is welcome news to America’s wheat farmers.”
In the coming weeks, the Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to hold a confirmation hearing before full Senate consideration. NAWG looks forward to discussing with Governor Perdue the difficult economic conditions in wheat country, as well as to engage other USDA nominees as they are put forth.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published late yesterday (January 18, 2017) four documents related to the pre-market regulatory oversight of a variety of agricultural tools, including genetically engineered plants and plants and animals derived from certain newer precision breeding techniques, such as genome editing.
NAWG applauds the Administration for its comprehensive review of the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and taking the leadership that will maintain its role to preserve a thorough review and oversight structure aimed at protecting the health and the environment of the United States. We look forward to reviewing in detail regulatory proposals published today by USDA and FDA as part of the Administration’s Coordinated Framework review effort.
NAWG, along with others in the food value chain, is actively engaging in discussions with the U.S. government in support of public policies that encourage scientific advancements to improve biology-based agricultural products. We will continue these conversations with the new Administration and Congress in the future.”
NAWG Comments on Proposed Revocation of Clorpyrifos Tolerances
NAWG joined with several agriculture organizations in sending comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the continued use of Chlorpyrifos. EPA is under a court order to make a decision on revoking Chlorpyrifos tolerances by March 31, 2017. The Pesticide Action Network and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition to revoke all Chlorpyrifos tolerances and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit set an original deadline of October 31, 2015 for EPA to respond. EPA’s deadline has been extended to the 2017 date, but the court has indicated that no further delays will be granted. In comments submitted, NAWG requested that EPA convene a Science Advisory Panel to review a study conducted by Columbia University that has been questioned several times, and neither the EPA nor the public has been granted access to the data supporting the study results. The letter also requests scientific review of drinking water assessments on potential exposure to Chlorpyrifos. Chlorprifos is used by wheat growers and it is important that EPA conduct a thorough, science-based, and transparent review of crop protection tools under the registration review process. Sharing data and information is an important part of the review process and NAWG is concerned that transparency in the science, data and information as not been achieved. Growers need continued access to a variety of crop protection tools and modes of action and EPA must have a process for reviewing pesticides that is transparent and science based.
NAWG Supports Legislation to Expand Trade with China
On Friday, January 13, 2017, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) reintroduced the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 525), which would ease the financing restrictions that currently inhibit agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba. This is similar legislation to what was introduced during the last Congress. Ahead of the bill’s introduction, NAWG joined as part of a broad coalition of organizations in sending a letter to the transition team for the incoming Administration discussing the importance of expanding trade with Cuba and urging the President-elect to not reverse progress that has been made in normalizing relations.
Additionally, NAWG was a part of a separate letter to Members of Congress specifically discussing the economic impact to U.S. agriculture resulting from the restrictions against the financing of sales of agricultural products to Cuba. Additionally, the letter described the economic conditions facing American agriculture resulting from depressed commodity prices, and the fact that Cuba as a customer could offer economic opportunity for U.S. farmers.
Looking ahead, NAWG is hopeful that this legislation will receive due consideration and move through the legislative process.
Market Analysis: WAS IT A CORRECTION IN AN UPTRENDING MARKET?
Larry Glenn, market analyst for Frontier Ag, Oakley and Leffler Commodities, Augusta, provides market analysis for KAWG members. E-mail Larry at email@example.com.
Since the first part of December 2016, the wheat price has staged a rally and gained 58 cents. A new five month high established on Tuesday of this week. Sellers took back control after Tuesday’s rally. The question after Friday’s trading; will the wheat price rebound?
The short covering by funds accounted for a portion of the recent buying. A report on Friday indicated that managed funds liquidated half of the holdings of short positions in the Chicago wheat contracts during the last 20 days of trading.
Export demand seems quiet but if you add up the bushels, this year’s wheat export business is running 30% ahead of last year’s pace. While this seems bullish, wheat export expected to be strong and are on pace to meet the USDA’s projections. The weekly export sales report of 235,000 was on the light side of expectations. Mexico, Japan and Nigeria each purchased around 50,000 metric tons. U. S. Wheat sales reported on Friday listed South Korea for 100,000 metric tons and Taiwan for 83,000 metric tons. These two sales almost equaled the wheat sales for last week.
Egypt issued an overnight wheat tender on Thursday. Romania, Russia and Ukraine made offers with Ukraine having the lowest price. World wheat export trade increased after the first of the year.
Our southern plains caught a winter storm which included, rain, sleet and snow. In many areas, one inch of moisture recorded. This is a large amount for this time of the year and will benefit the wheat plant as it comes out of dormancy this spring.
For wheat producers, it is tempting to start your hedging program but I believe it is early. The end of March can be a pricing opportunity using seasonal price tendency. In addition, freeze scares can occur when the wheat plant comes out of dormancy. Be prepared to take action.
Source: Kansas Association of Wheat Growers