PATRICK E. HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit Judge:
The transformation of the Cantrelle Reach of the Mississippi River from agriculture to industry has presented three issues for our decision including the age-old legal problem of how to measure damages for the destruction of crops. Appealing from a judgment in this land condemnation case the landowners and lessees argue that the trial court erred in its valuation of the crop in place, in denying them a hearing before dispossessing and in certain rulings upon matters of valuation of the land and evidence.
In May 1978 the government filed a complaint under 40 U.S.C. § 258a for the taking, part in fee and part in perpetual easement, of 131.68 acres of land out of a 586-acre tract in St. James Parish near the Mississippi River. As required by 40 U.S.C. § 258a, the government deposited estimated compensation for the land. The government sought to use the land for the construction and operation of Strategic Petroleum Reserve facilities. On the same day that the complaint was filed, the district judge without a hearing granted the United States possession of the land. On July 30, 1979, the government filed a complaint to take an additional 4.52 acres for the same purposes from the same tract. The government deposited estimated compensation and on the following day was granted possession of the land. The cases were consolidated for trial.
Approximately 134 acres of the condemned land were under a crop lease for sugar cane. The lessees were planting and harvesting in a four-year rotation, so that at any given time one fourth of the land was in plant cane, one fourth in first year stubble, one fourth in second year stubble, and one fourth fallow.
Sugar cane has an unusual growing cycle, as described by the Louisiana Court of Appeals:
Michigan Wisconsin Pipe Line Co. v. Walet, 225 So.2d 76, 80 (La.Ct.App.1969).
At trial, the government's expert witness testified that the lessees were entitled to the revenue they would have received from the 1978 crop, minus their 1978 harvesting costs, plus two thirds of the costs of planting the acreage.
The district court adopted the government expert's approach. It reasoned that "compensating the defendants as if they had lost three years of sugar cane crops would impermissibly compensate them for loss of future profits" because the government had already paid the market value of the land. Accordingly, it entered a judgment ordering compensation of $672,658.00
Louisiana law here governs what is a property interest compensable under the Fifth Amendment. United States v. 145.30 Acres of Land, Etc., 385 F.Supp. 699, 700-701 (W.D.La.1974), aff'd without opinion, 524 F.2d 1231 (1975). Growing crops are property under Louisiana law. Humble Pipe Line Co. v. Wm. T. Burton Industries, Inc., 253 La. 166, 217 So.2d 188, 191 (1968). State law, however, does not control the measure of damages. That is a matter of federal law. Georgia Power Co. v. Sanders, 617 F.2d 1112, 1119 (5th Cir.1980). Under federal law, the "guiding principle of just compensation ... is that the owner `must be made whole but is not entitled to more.'" United States v. 564.54 Acres of Land, Etc., 441 U.S. 506, 516, 99 S.Ct. 1854, 1860, 60 L.Ed.2d 435 (1979) (quoting Olson v. United States, 292 U.S. 246, 255, 54 S.Ct. 704, 708, 78 L.Ed. 1236 (1934)). "Just" encompasses the public who pay for the taking as well as the individual property owner. Id. 441 U.S. at 512, 99 S.Ct. at 1858. Despite the open-ended definition of just compensation its inquiry is recompense for economic loss. The objective is to not displace the owner's economic position. That is, the government must, and need do no more than, put the owner in "... as good a position pecuniarily as if his property had not been taken." Olson v. United States, 292 U.S. 246, 255, 54 S.Ct. 704, 708, 78 L.Ed. 1236 (1934).
We believe that the district court used the correct formula for measuring damages for loss of the three-year sugar cane crop. The landowners received the difference in the market value of their tract of land before and after the taking. That sum included compensation for lost opportunities to earn profits from the land after the taking. Adding compensation for the loss of net profits after the date of the taking would thus have resulted in double compensation.
Some federal courts have awarded as damages for the destruction of an immature crop its market value at maturity minus costs of further cultivation, harvesting, and marketing. United States v. 576.734 Acres of Land, Etc., 143 F.2d 408, 409-410 (3d Cir.1944); United States v. 729.773 Acres of Land, Etc., 531 F.Supp. 967, 974-975 (D.Haw.1982) (adopting harvest value minus projected cultivation, harvesting and marketing costs as formula for measuring damages for loss of sugar cane crops). In Daily v. United States, 90 F.Supp. 699, 701 (Ct.Cl.1950), the Court of Claims held:
In none of these cases, however, did the court expressly decide the question that confronts us here — whether net profits ought to be awarded for a crop that matures after the year of the taking. In Daily, for example, the court's concern was measuring damages for the destruction of a banana squash crop in July that would have been harvested that fall. Id.
In sum, we believe the district court properly awarded as damages the profits that would have been earned in the year of the taking plus the costs that had been incurred toward subsequent years.
Right to a Hearing
The landowners and the lessees maintain that both the Congress and the Constitution secured their "right" to a hearing before they were dispossessed of their land. We disagree. The Fifth Amendment does not afford them such a right. "The question on which issue is joined is whether the government may exercise its eminent domain power consistently with the Fifth Amendment by physically seizing property without any prior notice, hearing, or compensation. The answer to this question is yes." Stringer v. United States, 471 F.2d 381, 383 (5th Cir.), cert. den., 412 U.S. 943, 93 S.Ct. 2775, 37 L.Ed.2d 404 (1973).
The landowners and the lessees also rely on the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6201-6422. This legislation provided the authority for the taking here, but not a right to a hearing. Section 6239(g) provides:
We need not decide whether § 6239(g) is hortatory, as urged by the government, or mandatory, as urged by the landowners and lessees. In any event, it does not furnish a right to a prior due process hearing.
Nor does the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4601-4655, afford the landowners and the lessees a right to a hearing. The guidelines spelled out in § 4651 for acquisition of real property are only that. Section 4602(a) states that "[t]he provisions of section 4651 of this title create no rights or liabilities and shall not affect the validity of any property acquisitions by purchase or condemnation." Section 4602(b) adds, "Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating in any condemnation proceedings brought under the power of eminent domain, any element of value or damage not in existence immediately prior to [the effective date of the Act]." See United States v. 320.0 Acres of Land, Etc., 605 F.2d 762, 822 n. 134 (5th Cir.1979); United States v. 410.69 Acres of Land, Etc., 608 F.2d 1073, 1074 n. 1 (5th Cir.1979).
Valuation of the Land
The landowners also contend that the district court took several impermissible steps in valuing the land. First, they claim that one of the two comparable sales that the district court relied upon was not actually a sale but a mortgage. The government did attempt to introduce a mortgage document as evidence of the sale. The document was excluded on the landowners' objection, however, and the government's witness went on to testify that the sale of the property in question had in fact occurred, although it was accomplished by means of a stock transfer.
Second, the landowners contend that the district court should have made a 10% rather than a 2% upward adjustment in the per acre prices derived from comparable
These challenges to the district court's calculation of damages raise issues of fact, not issues of law. The government's expert appraiser made no adjustment for the leases and only a 30% adjustment for CAPLINE. He testified that the just compensation for the taking of the land was $600,587.50, whereas the trial judge found that it was $672,658.00. "The weighing of the evidence in a condemnation proceeding is within the sole purview of the fact-finder, and it is not for this court to reweigh the evidence." United States v. 6,162.78 Acres, Etc., 680 F.2d 396, 398 (5th Cir.1982). Neither the subsidiary findings of the district court nor its determination of just compensation for the land were clearly erroneous.
Third, the landowners object to the district court's $432 downward adjustment to the per acre price of one of the two comparable sales, claiming that this adjustment lacked supporting proof because the government's expert witness did not testify about it. It appeared in his written appraisal, however, and the written appraisal was admitted into evidence.
The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.