Cotton Contracting Considerations

cotton jennifer

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Recently, the Texas Farm Bureau published an article written by Dr. John Robinson, the cotton marketing specialist here at Texas A&M and myself titled Cotton Contracting Considerations in its Texas Agriculture Magazine. The article discusses the historic use of forward contracts in selling agricultural commodities, the advantages and disadvantages of using these commodity sales contracts, and historical patters regarding contracting and marketing pools.  Dr. Robinson also discusses the 2010 cotton crop, for which prices rose to historic highs… Read More →

Don’t Wait to Plan Your Estate

Amarillo Presentation

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Back in December, I gave a presentation on estate planning at the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show Commodity Symposium. The High Plains Journal recently wrote an article outlining the presentation and the advice that I provided to participants.  Importantly, I discussed the false premise that many people believe–if one spouse dies without a will, all assets are transferred to the surviving spouse–and explained the problems that could be caused by intestate distribution of assets.  Additionally, I… Read More →

February 7, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Capitol

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* It has been a chilly week across most of Texas!  I hope everyone is staying safe and warm.  Here are a few of the major ag law stories making news this week. * Congress Passed the Farm Bill.  This was the big news of the week out of Washington, DC.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law on Friday.  A few articles discussing the bill’s passage may be read here and here  and here. … Read More →

Livestock Wells in Western States

cowtree

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* I recently drafted an article for the Progressive Cattleman Magazine discussing the basic laws surrounding livestock wells in Western states. Many states provide some form of exemption from the permitting process for people seeking to drill livestock wells.  Thirteen states provide specific exemptions for livestock wells:  Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.  The specific laws vary by state and can be quite different with regard… Read More →

January 31, 2014 Weekly Round Up

dairy2

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I had the chance to head up to take a little road trip to speak at the Northeast Texas Cattlemen’s Conference in Winnsboro.  Even though it was a cold, early morning, there was a really great turn out for the conference.  I enjoyed the chance to visit with these producers about ag leases and appreciated their insightful questions.  Welcome to anyone reading this blog from the Conference! It was a busy week in ag law–here are… Read More →

Breaking News: Supreme Court Allows Texas to Proceed with Lawsuit Against New Mexico

supreme court

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* On Monday, the United States Supreme Court granted Texas’ Motion for Leave to File a Complaint with the Court, thereby permitting Texas to proceed with its lawsuit against New Mexico and Colorado over waters of the Rio Grande.  Texas filed its motion seeking leave to file a complaint in January 2013, alleging that New Mexico was violating the 1938 Rio Grande Compact between the states.  [Read prior blog discussing dispute here.] The Court’s ruling allows New Mexico to file a Motion to… Read More →

A Shooting Range Controversy in North Carolina

shooting

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* A North Carolina judge will soon decide whether a shooting range is considered “agri-tourism” under state law.  The impact of this decision will determine whether the shooting range is subject to local zoning laws, but could have further impact on what activities are classified as “agri-tourism” under the law. Background Under a series of state statutes, North Carolina allows for “agri-tourism” to occur on farms and ranches throughout the state without obtaining county zoning approval.  The statute, however, did not list… Read More →

January 24, 2014 Weekly Round Up

hawaii

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* It has been a bit of a whirlwind week around here!  On Tuesday evening I was in Glen Rose speaking about water law at the 15th Annual Central Texas Beef Cattle Seminar.  Thursday found me in Vernon speaking at the Master Marketer program on agricultural leases.  Both programs had great turn outs, great questions from the participants, and great food (always a plus!)  Welcome to the new readers from those events. Here are a few stories… Read More →

Horse Slaughter Update

Capitol

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* A flurry of activity occurred last Friday with regard to the horse slaughter debate both in a Santa Fe, New Mexico courthouse and in Washington, DC. First, in Washington, Congress passed an omnibus appropriations bill that provided no funding for USDA inspectors to inspect plants that would slaughter horses.  President Obama signed the bill into law on Friday evening.  Without these required inspections, plants are unable to commence slaughter operations. [Read article here.] This was the same approach taken from 2006-2011… Read More →

January 17, 2014 Weekly Round Up

AgriLife Logo

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* It has been a busy week for agricultural law-related stories.  Here are a few of the headlines making news this week. *  Texas Supreme Court Orders TransCanada Response to Appeal.   The Texas Supreme Court has ordered TransCanada to respond for a petition for review filed by Texas landowner Julia Trigg Crawford.  Trigg Crawford has appealed the trial court decision (affirmed by the appellate court) challenging the ability of TransCanada to use the power of eminent domain to take a portion of… Read More →