To view a web version of this email please click here.

January 27, 2020

In this issue:



   Farmer Looking at Flood   

March 15 Deadline: What Michigan Farmers Need to Know About Crop Insurance

Allison M. Collins and Co-Author Matt Thelen

In life, and in business, it’s smart to expect the unexpected. Insurance is a tool that helps mitigate risks from unexpected events. Few Michigan farmers could have expected the cool, wet spring that we experienced in 2019. Nonetheless, those who took steps to guard against that risk, no matter how unlikely it may have seemed in advance, weathered the storm (literally and figuratively). Many of those who did not, suffered significant losses...



   Farmers Meeting Over Contract   

Farm Land Contracts:

Get it in Writing

Stephen W. Smith

The case has been made in previous articles (The Case for Putting It in Writing and Farming Land Leases: Get it in Writing) for putting all agricultural contracts, including land leases, in writing, rather than relying on the time-honored “handshake agreement.” This article discusses farm land contracts, and some important things to consider about putting them in writing...




Considerations for Solar Land Use Agreements

Scott A. Storey

While every solar land use agreement can be unique, there are some considerations that are common to many of the agreements.

1. Window of Opportunity

Two factors seem to be driving much of the recent solar farm development. First, Michigan has strong Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that require utilities to increase energy production from renewable sources – to as much as 40% by 2025.

A second factor driving recent development of solar power projects is...

   Litigation Attorney Scott Storey

Scott A. Storey





USDA Disaster Declarations and Loans for Michigan Counties

In November 2019, the USDA formally approved 43 Michigan counties as “primary” natural disaster areas, due to losses caused by excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, and abnormally cold temperatures that occurred from March 1 and continued through fall harvest. According to a letter from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, the disaster assistance will consist of FSA emergency loans. “Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.” 

In other recent news, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Michigan as a result of the freeze from Jan. 1 through April 30, 2019. To read more about the eligible counties, visit these articles from Michigan Farm News: and




Succession Planning Covered at Michigan Pork Conference

February 20, 2020

Foster Swift business & tax attorney Michael C. Zahrt will be presenting on “Succession Planning for the Family Farm” at the 2020 Michigan Pork Conference at the Lansing Center on Thursday, February 20. The presentation will cover the four phases of farm succession planning including setting your family’s goals and coordinating your succession plan with your estate plan.

Zahrt practices from the firm’s Grand Rapids office in the areas of agri-business planning, business succession & estate planning and tax law. Registration is available online.






Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

IRS Circular 230 Notice: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

Copyright © 2020 Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC.

Unsubscribe | Update my subscription preferences
Connect with us