Drought and Income Tax Deferral of Crop Insurance and/or Disaster Payments

Roger McEowen, Center for Ag Law and Taxation, has written an article addressing issues that may arise from deferral of crop insurance and/or disaster payments as a result of the 2012 drought. “The Internal Revenue Code allows deferability of crop insurance proceeds if certain requirements are satisfied.” The article, available on the CALT website, focuses on deferability and payment trigger under current policy, including examples. For more information, read the full article,  The 2012 Drought and Income Tax Deferral of Crop Insurance and/ or Disaster Payments .

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM)

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Call before you dig…

Melissa O’Rourke, retired ISU Extension Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist

As pointed out on the Iowa One Call website www.iowaonecall.com , Iowa law requires farmers to notify Iowa One Call at least 48 hours prior to all excavation. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are excluded, so additional time must be allowed under those circumstances.

Excavation does not include what might be termed “normal” farming operations such as plowing, cultivation, planting and harvesting. However, other farm operations may be considered as excavations which trigger the Iowa One Call requirement.

Excavations in the farm setting include chisel plowing, sub-soiling or ripping more than 15 inches in depth, drain tile excavation and installation, terracing or digging. Excavation also includes driving a post in a new location other than repairing a fence in its existing location.

There are all sorts of buried pipelines, telecommunications cables, and other types of buried facilities that may exist on farm property.

If a farmer fails to notify Iowa One Call, that farmer may face civil penalties and be held liable for damages caused to these buried facilities.

It is advantageous for Iowa farmers to comply with the Iowa One Call system because such compliance provides a liability exemption for farmland owners.

An owner of farmland used in farm operations (see Iowa Code section 352.2) who complies with Iowa One Call will not be held responsible for damages to underground facilities if the damage occurred on the farmland in the normal course of farm operation. Of course, the exemption does not apply if the landowner intentionally damages the underground facility or “acts with wanton disregard or recklessness” in causing damage to an underground facility such as pipeline or buried cables.

And farmers should not make any assumptions about the depth of a buried cable, pipeline or other facilities.

It is easy to plan ahead and make the toll-free call to Iowa One Call to notify of the intended excavation.  Underground facilities will be marked with paint and/or colored flags to approximate the location of the buried facilities. Iowa law allows for an 18-inch tolerance zone on each side of the marking, so excavation should be avoided within the tolerance zone.

If excavation is needed in the vicinity of the markings, additional guidance is available through Iowa One Call regarding how to safely accomplish the operations without causing damage or encountering hazards.

More information is available at www.iowaonecall.com. The phone call is toll-free by either dialing 811, or calling 1-800-292-8989.

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM)

An agricultural economics and business web site.

Client Corner: Where can I get help on estate planning?

Contributed by Kelvin Leibold, ISU Extension Farm Management Field Specialist

I was looking for some help with estate planning. Does Extension have any materials to help me figure out what to do?

Estate planning involves a lot more than just making out a will. It involves retirement planning, tax planning, asset distribution and often business planning. If you are looking for some general information on the topic you can download two articles from the ISU Publication web site at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/store/ListItems.aspx?Keyword=estate.

You can find more in-depth information at the Center for Ag Law and Taxation at http://www.calt.iastate.edu/, search for “estate” in the upper right hand search box.

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