How Does Eminent Domain Affect Farm Land

When most people think of eminent domain, they likely think of cities claiming residential or commercial properties to build highways or shopping centers or simply due to urban blight.1 However, eminent domain actions occur in more rural areas, as well, since the government wants to increase the residential, commercial, or industrial opportunities in these areas. Unfortunately, much of the land in rural areas is owned by farmers who depend upon their land for their livelihood. If they lose their land, they lose much more than simply a home or a commercial building. Instead, they lose years of hard work building up their operations that likely cannot be recreated in another location.

The government rarely makes an offer of compensation to a farmer that is even remotely close to the true value the landowner deserves in exchange for the land. Any farm owner facing a condemnation action should be represented by an eminent domain attorney with specific knowledge in the appraisal of farm lands.

Even partial takings can be costly

Farmers tend to own acres and acres of land on which they may have several different fields or crops, pastures, orchards, cattle operations, among many other things that bring in income. When the government wants to claim farm land, often only a portion of the farmer’s land is taken. The government may make a low offer based on the fact that the farmer is still retaining a large part of the land. However, even partial takings2 of farm land can be extremely costly to a landowner for several reasons, including the following:

  • Loss of planting room
  • Destruction of drain tile systems
  • Ruined terracing
  • Separating the land from the farm buildings
  • Separating fields
  • Cutting of crop rows
  • Adding new corners to fields
  • Separating feeding facilities from pastures

These are only some of the ways that a partial condemnation can affect the value of farm land.

Contact an experienced eminent domain attorney to discuss your case today

If you are a farmer or any other type of landowner facing total or partial condemnation, your first call should be to the law office of Sever Storey, LLP. Contact our experienced condemnation attorneys at 888-318-3761 today for help.