Be Sure to Know Your GMOs

There has been a lot of news lately on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but what exactly are GMOs? The USDA defines genetic modification as the “production of heritable improvements in plants or animals for specific uses.” In short, genetic engineering transfers specific traits, or genes, from one organism into another. How extensive are GMOs in farming? Soybeans provide a good … Read More

What To Do With a Neighbor’s Tree

The neighbor’s tree branches come across the property line. The suckers from their poplars are coming through the lawn. Their leaves seem to fall in your yard, but not theirs. What is a landowner to do? Idaho adopted the common law of England when it became a state. The common law is that part of English law derived from judicial … Read More

Coming up: The Transport Rule

Almost all food that we buy in the grocery store is transported either by truck or rail. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will soon require that vehicles and transportation equipment be suitable and cleanable to assure the safe transport of food. This new transport rule applies to shippers, receivers, loaders and carriers who transport food in the United States … Read More

Pink Diesel: For Farm Use Only

We have come a long ways from the days when our grandfathers used horsedrawn plows and wagons. We still rely on horsepower to get our farming done, but it is the motorized horses that plow the ground, harvest the wheat, and bale the alfalfa. Most of our tractors, combines, and swathers are powered by diesel engines. Under the law unlicensed … Read More

Parsing Out a Bundle of Sticks

Owning real property is like owning a bundle of sticks. Each stick represents an individual right. One or more sticks may be given away or transferred to another. For example, a stick may be given to the County for a roadway. Another stick may be given to the power company for electric transmission lines. A neighbor may have an easement … Read More

Know What’s Required Under a Farm Lease

A leasehold is an estate in real property. The law recognizes a leasehold as a right to the use and occupancy of real property for an agreed length of time. Typically a leasehold is created by signing a written lease agreement. The lease agreement will usually include terms such as a legal description of the property being leased, the amount … Read More

The Curse and Blessing of Wildlife

We are blessed in Idaho with an abundance of wildlife. Herds of deer and elk are often found wintering at lower elevations. Moose wander down from the mountains into the valleys looking for food. Ducks and geese land in grain fields looking for an easy meal. Bears, lions, coyotoes and wolves are always looking for an easy meal. All of … Read More

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Many in Eastern Idaho have a small herd of cows on pasture ground. However, special rules apply in Idaho to concentrated animal feeding operations, or “CAFOs.” A CAFO is defined in Idaho as a lot or facility where beef cattle, or dairy cattle, are confined and fed for forty-five (45) or more days during any twelve month period in an … Read More

Food Safety’s the Law

  Federal authorities have recommended that the owner of Peanut Corporation of America spend the rest of his life behind bars. The owner, Stewart Parnell, was found guilty of 71 criminal counts after his company distributed salmonella contaminated peanut butter that killed nine people and sickened some 900 others. Parnell is slated to be sentenced in September in federal court. … Read More

The Final Clean Water Rule: Irrigation Ditches

The Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have published a final rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. Waters that are covered by the Clean Water Act are subject to regulation by the EPA. So what about the ditchs carrying water on your farm? Are they covered by the … Read More