APPEAL FROM THE ORDER ENTERED JULY 15, 1986, OF THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF WARREN COUNTY, CIVIL NO. A.D. 025 - 1986
Marcia M. Ziki, Warren, for appellant.
H. Robert Hampson, Warren, for appellees.
Cirillo, President Judge, and Montemuro and Tamilia, JJ.
[ 364 Pa. Super. Page 162]
This is an appeal from a judgment on the pleadings granting appellees the right to harvest hay on land that they had leased to appellant. We affirm.
The issue presented on appeal is whether the doctrine of emblements entitled appellant to harvest hay on land that he leased from the appellees.
The record indicates that appellant Allen Swanson leased 26 acres of farmland from appellees Clarence and Barbara Carlson. Appellant used the farmland to grow hay for use in his dairy farm. The lease arrangement began in 1972, with year-to-year terms. Appellant planted a type of hybrid hay known as "birds-foot trefoil." This hybrid hay was used as fodder for cattle.
Appellant sought damages that allegedly stemmed from appellees' refusal to permit him to harvest hay during 1985. Appellant's lease was terminated as of May 1985. The trial court opinion informs us that appellant admitted to being in arrears on his 1985 rental payments. Appellant argues that he is entitled to the harvested hay for 1985 based on the doctrine of emblements. This appeal followed the trial court's rejection of that argument.
The Pennsylvania case law in this area is both sparse and old. Emblements are crops which are produced annually,
[ 364 Pa. Super. Page 163]
not spontaneously, but by labor and industry. Reiff v. Reiff, 64 Pa. 134, 137 (1870). Emblements are also referred to as fructus industriales, id., or "way-going crops." The classification of crops as emblements impacts on the right of a tenant to those emblements after the termination of his tenancy.
Under certain circumstances, the doctrine of emblements entitles a tenant to crops planted during his lease, but not ready for harvest until the termination of his tenancy. W. Burby, Real Property 18 (1965) (citing Edghill v. Mankey, 79 Neb. 347, 112 N.W. 570 (1907)). The "doctrine is premised on the policy of avoiding waste of land and the equity that a tenant should be entitled to the crops or their value since it was his labor that produced them." Gallager v. ...