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What would the PHBT do?

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#1 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 11:59 AM

As you may recall SWMBO and I bought 76 acres back in the summer with the intent of building a house on it.  22 acres of the 76 is tillable and was leased to a farmer.  Soybeans are planted.  As a part of our real-estate agreement, the seller was to terminate their handshake lease with the farmer, although they would be allowed to harvest their 2018 crop. A couple reasons for that, one is we're going to build a house in the one field.  And two is we have a relationship with someone else we know and trust that will lease the property at a higher rate, and take better care of it going forward than the visible evidence shows it has been to date.  

 

Now for the non-county people in here, the soybean harvest typically starts in late September around here and runs into November.  The ones on our property have been ready for harvest since the 1st week of October give or take a few days. 

 

Around then, we got a call from the current lesse telling us he was going to plant winter wheat after he harvested the beans.  He had only found out we bought the property from the sellers' brother, and had to look us up in the phonebook as the seller never told him.  I explained in no uncertain terms that his lease was terminated, and I wouldn't be signing one with anyone until spring when we got things figured out with the house. He whined about he had already purchased seed and fertilizer and I explained that it wasn't my problem.   

 

Fast forward, or slow forward as the case may be.  And his crops are still in my fields.  It has been a wet fall, but in the meantime, 96%+ of the soybean crop in Indiana has been harvested according to the USDA. We've had some wind storms and an ice storm that took out power for 59 hours.  The crop is literally rotting in the field at this point.  The storm damage has a large portion of the stalks laying on the ground, the wet weather is rotting the beans in their pods, and the deer, well you could say they are soy fed.

 

 

In the meantime, I'm literally at a standstill on the housing project.  We can't put in our driveway, cause it is going to go through the field.  I can't get my septic sites surveyed, cause the Health Dept won't do it on a field with crops in it.  So I can't get my percolation test for the septic.  I can't finalize siting the house and its plans without shooting grades, on and on and on. 

 

 

I've been in touch with the guy repeatedly.  He keeps blowing me off, next week, next week.  He knows he's holding me up.  The latest is that he doesn't even plan to attempt to harvest until theirs a hard freeze.  Of course, a hard freeze puts a stop to any dirt work or septic surveys I might have wanted to do this fall.  I'm sure he knows this as he works for one of the excavation companies around here that do that type of work.  

 

Page 3 reveal maybe.  The farmer we're going to be working with, in the future, was in his last fields on Thanksgiving day to finish up.  Those happen to be my Mother-In-Laws fields.  He had a combine running for 12 hours or so that day to get done before his crop degraded farther.  That's about a 1/4 mile from me and similar terrain, so I know with 100% certainty, my fields have been harvestable repeatedly in the last few months.  Add in the USDA stopped tracking crop harvest progress at 96% the week of 11/26 because they consider it complete, or lost at that point in Indiana. 

 

 

 

So what would the PHBT do?  I'm at the end of my rope here.  I'm about to lose any possibility of construction until spring.  It's not the end of the world, but it will have schedule impacts come spring.  

 

I'm considering contracting my driveway to be built.  Without a hard gravel driveway, I will not have access this winter or until it dries out in the spring.  The farm driveway, grass surface has been fine until the growing season stopped.  After that, it's just wearing out, which is understandable.  My 4x4 F-150 gets in and out, but I'm doing damage and I can see the day coming where I only my tractor gets in.  SWMBO's Traverse can't do it now.  I can keep the driveway disruption to probably an acre or less of the crop if I shorten it from the final destination.  

 

I figure for sure once I hit 1/1/19 and it's frozen, I'm headed in with my tractor and bush hog and clearing the house site so I can get elevations, finish plans etc. 

 

 

 

Am I an asshole?  Should I be doing something different?

 


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#2 ER Pemberton

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:05 PM

I don't think you're being an asshole.  This is an arrangement that was made prior to you being there and as the owner you do what you need to do.  You gave the guy the option of harvesting and he's not doing it.  If he doesn't want to harvest, then his crop is gone and you're moving on with your own plans that do not include him.  That may sound cold but the guy is already stalling and making things harder for you.  Feck that.  As for his winter wheat, he needs to find another place to plant it.  There's a new sheriff in town.  You.  :lol:


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#3 Sidney Porter

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:13 PM

So the guy is throwing away a seasons worth of soybean just to screw you?

Was there anything in your purchase agreement that obligates you to honor the prior agreement?

I would think a lawyer could argue that the 2018 crop is abandoned after December 31. Especially since the state stopped tracking end of Nov. But that is attorney money
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#4 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:20 PM

Do you have a written contract with this guy?  Are these actually your beans?



#5 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:38 PM

Do you have a written contract with this guy?  Are these actually your beans?

 

 

No written contract. The seller said they were on a handshake.  Seller gave me half a year's revenue from the lease as a credit at closing. 

 

 

It could possibly be reasoned they are my beans.  But as Sidney said, that's lawyer territory. And that's $.  Good or bad here, this isn't so much about $ as it is principal, being neighborly, keeping peace in the greater neighborhood, etc. 

 

 

County soybean yield was 56 bushels/acre in 2016, the last year I can quickly find data on.  2018 high price on beans is $10.77.

 

22 acres*56 bushels/acre*$10.77 = $13,268.64  Not chump change.  But when you figure in the huge amount of loss at this point, his costs to rent the ground, seed, machine time, labor, etc.  He's probably screwing himself out of a few hundred $ if he doesn't harvest. 


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#6 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:40 PM

I wonder if he's hoping to make a crop insurance claim?



#7 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:41 PM

So the guy is throwing away a seasons worth of soybean just to screw you?

Was there anything in your purchase agreement that obligates you to honor the prior agreement?

I would think a lawyer could argue that the 2018 crop is abandoned after December 31. Especially since the state stopped tracking end of Nov. But that is attorney money

 

Basically. That's what it seems like.  He's mad he didn't get to do what he wanted. 

 

We have a statement in the purchase agreement that reads: "Sellers to notify farmer of termination of the lease, and the farmer's property access is to cease after the 2018 crops are harvested by the farmer."


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#8 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:45 PM

How much would it cost to have it harvested and dumped in front of his driveway? :devil:



#9 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:47 PM

I wonder if he's hoping to make a crop insurance claim?

 

That is certainly a possibility. However, crop insurance usually requires you to make an attempt to harvest to document condition and yield (or lack thereof) before you can get a payout.  

 

I've spoken with the local USDA office as I'm pursuing some grant $ for invasives control (see previous about property conditions).  They have told me they can't comment on my situation.  I get that, I'm sure they see these disputes all of the time and just have to stay out of it.    

 

But I'm sure if he tries to claim insurance they would ask hard(er) questions...


Edited by SnowMan, 07 December 2018 - 12:47 PM.

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#10 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:49 PM

How much would it cost to have it harvested and dumped in front of his driveway? :devil:

 

Hmmm.  Now, this is getting somewhere... I might have to make a couple calls.  

 

 

 

It would be REALLY funny as he lives right at the front of a "rural" development of probably 20 houses on 5 acre lots or so, and his farming operation is down the road.  I guess his neighbors wouldn't be a fan of a few tons of beans blocking their private road. 


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#11 3rd party JKor

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:02 PM

I would assume if it goes to court the crop would be considered abandoned, but he has nothing to lose if he's not going to harvest it anyway.  I have a hard time believing the guy is giving up $10k just because he's a pissy bitch but then again I'm always amazed how petty people can be.

 

Why would he be waiting for a hard freeze?


Edited by JKor, 07 December 2018 - 01:03 PM.

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#12 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:11 PM

I would assume if it goes to court the crop would be considered abandoned, but he has nothing to lose if he's not going to harvest it anyway.  I have a hard time believing the guy is giving up $10k just because he's a pissy bitch but then again I'm always amazed how petty people can be.

 

Why would he be waiting for a hard freeze?

 

 

For the ground to firm up from the freeze.  It's muddy, and it's rolling terrain.  He risks tearing up the ground or damaging equipment if he goes in now, and that's been his reason for delaying to date.  But I've seen harvests around me, the damage they are causing is well within "normal" levels and completely acceptable to me. 

 

 

He's probably only giving up a grand or so?  He leased the ground for $2860, his seed, spray and machine time cost is probably nearly double that.  So he's into this for $8500 ish. In a perfect harvest, he was looking at grossing 13.3k?  


Edited by SnowMan, 07 December 2018 - 01:18 PM.

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#13 3rd party JKor

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:21 PM

I assume he can write it off as a tax loss.  I don't know.  Still $13k.


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#14 deejaydan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:35 PM

I think you are overestimating the Soybean price.  It's $9 today, so he's giving up $10k if he doesn't harvest.  Maybe getting the beans harvested isn't worth the time and equipment rental. 

 

I'd just wait until the end of the year, just to give him "time".   Without a written contract, you could probably go ahead and do what you want now.

 

Or, give him a deadline to get his crop harvested.


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#15 Vagus

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:51 PM

I'd dig a pit in the middle of the field. I'd order a bunch of cat's cradle on amazon with his place as the shipping address. I'd by a plow and take over the contract for the nearest stretch of paved road to his house, making sure to gouge the shit out of it every-time it rains. I'd inform the post office that he's moving. I'd capture a wild animal and send him the video. I'd wrap a rubber band tight around a growing squash and make a video time-course of the distal atrophy. I'd tie some peanuts onto the soy bean plants. I'd park my truck at the end of his driveway and text him from his brother's house that his uncle would like to say a few words. I'd be just on the edge of his little world day and night gagging on 15 pounds of partially cooked ham. Just... choking on it. Always. 


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#16 Sidney Porter

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:53 PM

Seems reasonable
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#17 SnowMan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:56 PM

I'd dig a pit in the middle of the field. I'd order a bunch of cat's cradle on amazon with his place as the shipping address. I'd by a plow and take over the contract for the nearest stretch of paved road to his house, making sure to gouge the shit out of it every-time it rains. I'd inform the post office that he's moving. I'd capture a wild animal and send him the video. I'd wrap a rubber band tight around a growing squash and make a video time-course of the distal atrophy. I'd tie some peanuts onto the soy bean plants. I'd park my truck at the end of his driveway and text him from his brother's house that his uncle would like to say a few words. I'd be just on the edge of his little world day and night gagging on 15 pounds of partially cooked ham. Just... choking on it. Always. 

 

 

What is your hourly rate?  When are you available to travel to Indiana?


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#18 Sidney Porter

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:58 PM

When are you available to travel to Indiana?

he is already there, he wrote that hiding in your closet
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#19 Julius H Gardetto

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 02:02 PM

Dang, lots of variables. More beans standing nationwide now than in recent memory, but it sounds like he’s dragging feet.

Should have had your buddy harvest and truck to him.
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#20 Kellermeister

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 02:03 PM

He is waiting for you to make a wrong move. I would delay your plans and not disturb the field until mid-winter.
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