In older days, a man’s word was as good as gold. Unfortunately, times have changed and the necessity of having contracts in writing is critical. Not only does a written contract aid in enforcing the terms of the agreement if one party fails to uphold their end of the agreement, but a written agreement is necessary so as to clearly spell out the rights and responsibilities of the parties.
Farm contracts can cover a wide area of the law, ranging from land rental agreements, grain contracts, installment sale contracts for land, buying and selling livestock…just to name a few.
Anytime a farmer engages in business that relies upon the actions of another party, a written contract should be created. Without a written contract, if a dispute arises, the case usually will erode into a “he said she said” setting putting a judge in the difficult position of trying to decide what the parties actually agreed to.
In Indiana, enforceable farm leases can be of an oral nature. In fact, most farm leases in Indiana probably are oral agreements. Not only does Indiana have very specific rules and dates about the termination of these oral agreements, but problems arise by the very nature of the agreement being oral. Worse, an oral farm lease in Indiana is only year to year. That means a farmer putting fertilizer and/or lime on a farm may only be able to recoup 1 year’s worth of such fertilizer and/or lime under an oral agreement. So, having a well-structured written farm lease agreement is important.
John Schwarz, as a farmer and attorney, knows the ins and outs of farm contracts. Before entering into any contract, or a business relationship that should require a contract, call John.