May 26, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Hello from lovely Lubbock, Texas!  I’m here for the always fantastic Texas State Bar Agricultural Law CLE for attorneys.  A huge thanks to course directors, Trace Blair and David Waggoner, for all of their hard work to make this such a great conference.  As always, I’ve enjoyed great presentations, visited with old friends, and even drummed up some new topics for the blog and guests for upcoming podcasts.  Stay tuned for that! Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Federal court finds FAA… Read More →

Legal Issues Surrounding Prescribed Burning

I recently wrote an article that was published in Progressive Cattleman discussing liability considerations for landowners when using prescribed burns. The article discusses different legal approaches that states take to potential liability if damage results from a prescribed burn and discusses the need for landowners considering burns to carefully review and understand their states’ statutory provisions related to prescribed burning.  (To view the statutory provision related to prescribed burn liability in Texas, click here.) To read the article, click here.

Texas Supreme Court Holds RRC Does Not Have Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Contamination Claims

The Texas Supreme Court issued an important ruling a couple of weeks ago in Forest Oil Corp. v. El Rucio Land and Cattle Company.  [Read full opinion here.]  This case addresses important issues regarding a landowner’s right to sue an oil and gas company for contamination on his or her property and offers a good reminder that parties agreeing to arbitration need to carefully consider and understand what rights they give up in making that agreement. Background James McAllen owns the McAllen Ranch, consisting of over 27,000 acres.  The… Read More →

May 12, 2017 Weekly Round Up

AgriLife Logo

We’ve made it to Friday yet again!  Here are some of the legal issues in the news this week. * EPA seeks input from governors on revisions to WOTUS rule.  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sent a letter this week to the 50 state governors seeking input from them on the re-write of the WOTUS rule.  He noted the value and importance of local input when writing the new rule.  [Read article here.] * Federal judge dismisses legal challenge to North Carolina lawsuit over Property Protection Act.  A federal… Read More →

Panhandle District Awards Banquet

I was very humbled yesterday to be part of groups that won at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Panhandle District Banquet. Our Ranchers Leasing Workshop Team, made up of Austin Voyles, Fred Hall, Kim Garcia, Shannon Ferrell, Paul Goeringer, Rusty Rumley, and myself) won the Team Teaching Award for our programs last year.  As part of a grant from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center, we put on 5 leasing workshops in 3 states and wrote the Ranchers’ Agricultural Leasing Handbook.  After the success of these programs, we… Read More →

Syngenta Corn Litigation Update

There has been quite a bit of action recently in the litigation involving the Syngenta Viptera and Duracade corn.  Here is a quick update on where things stand at this point. Factual Background In 2010, Syngenta released these seed varieties, which were approved in the United States, but not in China.  In 2013, US corn shipments arrived in China and were rejected due to the presence of the MIR-162 trait found in Viptera and Duracade.  Shortly thereafter, US corn prices fell.  Farmers who did not plant the seeds have… Read More →

May 5, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Happy Cinco de Mayo to you all!  I hope everyone is having a great week.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. * Company cancels request for registration of Kaput feral hog pesticide in Texas.  Scimetrics, the company seeking registration in Texas for warfarin-based poison, Kaput, for use on feral hogs has withdrawn their request.  The company stated that due to pending and threatened lawsuits, they could not risk the “disruption of our business” at this time by seeking to proceed with this product… Read More →

DC Circuit Court: Farms Must Report Air Emissions, Exemption Unlawful

In April, a major decision came out of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the Waterkeeper Alliance v. Environmental Protection Agency case.  [Read the opinion here.]  Frankly, I’ve had to brush up on my federal environmental law in order to write this blog post, so forgive my delay in getting this up. Background Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”), both federal environmental laws passed in the 1980’s, parties must notify the… Read More →

April 28, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It’s an uncommon occurrence for me, but this week I’ve not been on the road!  I did make a presentation via internet technology to a great group of East Texas producers at the Select Beef Producers Meeting on Wednesday.  To those of you joining from that group, welcome! Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * President Trump Issues Executive Order “Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America.”  On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order creating the “Interagency Task Force and Agriculture… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast

I am very excited to announce my newest project, a podcast discussing agricultural law titled, “Ag Law in the Field.” What the heck is a podcast?  Well, it’s sort of like a radio show that you can listen to on your phone or computer, rather than on the radio.  Each week, I will interview a guest about an agricultural law topic.  We’ll cover it all…in just our first few episodes we are talking “Waters of the United States,” advice for folks considering law school, family, and divorce law… Read More →