Know Your State’s Landowner Liability Statutes

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman discussing the importance of landowners being aware of the various landowner liability statutes that exist in their state. All 50 states have at least one (most states have multiple) statute that offers limited liability to landowners in the event someone is injured on their property, so long as certain requirements are met.  The National Agricultural Law Center has a collection of various statutes for each state in their Reading Room.  For those of you in Texas, I published a legal… Read More →

October 14, 2016 Weekly Round Up

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Happy Friday!  We’re almost halfway through October…not sure where the time goes.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Deadline coming soon for Pasture, Range, and Forage insurance.  November 15 is the deadline to sign up for Pasture, Range and Forage (“PRF” also commonly called “rainfall”) insurance.  This insurance is essentially a way for farmers and ranchers to insure a certain amount of rainfall and to recover an indemnity payment if actual rainfall in their area fall below that amount.  Land eligible is… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Should we be worried about estate taxes?

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Question:  This one actually came from conversations with my own family, during which several family members raised concerns about having to pay federal estate taxes after the older generation of the family passed away and the farm was left to the younger generation.  Realizing how many misconceptions there are about the current status of the federal estate tax, I thought a blog post offering some basic information might be helpful. Answer:  For the vast majority of farm and ranch families (estimated at 98%), the federal estate tax will… Read More →

Texas A&M Law School Quiz Bowl Champions

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I want to take a moment and give a huge shout out to the Texas A&M University Law School team on winning the 2016 American Agricultural Law Association Quiz Bowl.  Team members are Stephanie Bradley Fryer, Tave Doty, and James Nichols. When I taught the first agricultural law course at the TAMU law school in 2014, I was really impressed with the quality of students.  That has certainly continued over the years.  Very proud of this group and encourage all of you looking for good new associates for… Read More →

October 7, 2016 Weekly Round Up

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Happy October!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Supreme Court to consider landmark groundwater dispute between Mississippi and Tennessee.  A groundwater dispute in which Mississippi claims that Tennessee is over-pumping an aquifer that lays beneath both states will be considered by the United States Supreme Court.  [Read article here.] *Lots to think about before entering into a solar lease agreement.  The Texas Observer published an article this week discussing a number of considerations that landowners need to keep in mind when approached… Read More →

A Lesson from the Lyrics: Estate/Transition Planning Resources

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A couple of weeks ago, my friend and Stamford, Texas-based attorney James Decker shared a music video on Twitter.  His Twitter feed is semi-famous for sharing excellent info, so I gave “S Lazy H” by Corb Lund a listen.  And I was just blown away by the truthfulness of this song and the lessons that could be taken from the lyrics.  It is essentially a song about what happens when a farm/ranch transition from one generation to the next goes wrong. Click here to listen to “S Lazy… Read More →

Court Certifies 9 Classes in Syngenta Litigation

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Class action status has been granted to corn farmers who filed suit against Syngenta after China rejected 2013 corn shipments containing Viptera and Duracade corn, a Syngenta product approved for use in the US but not for export to China.  The first step in the case was for the court to determine whether the farmers could proceed as a class action.  Judge Lungstrum says they can.  [View order here.] Background You may recall that in 2014, corn farmers and various agribusinesses from across the United States filed suit against Syngenta, alleging… Read More →

September 30, 2016 Weekly Round Up

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Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this last week of September. * Judge Certifies Nationwide Class of Producer Plaintiffs in Syngenta Corn Case.  I am working on a more detailed blog post about this decision and what it means for corn farmers across the US, but for now, to view a copy of the court’s order, click here. *  Federal Court of Appeals Vacates Guidance Requiring Fertilizer Companies to Comply with Hazardous Chemical Regulations.  Last year, OSHA issued a “guidance” that required fertilizer… Read More →

2016 Cash County Rent Report Available

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The USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service recently published its County Cash Rent data for 2016. As we mentioned in this prior blog post, NASS publishes a yearly report showing cash rent values by state.  In even-numbered years, NASS breaks down the statistics further, providing cash rental information by region and then by county for each state in the US.  To view the database with all 2016 regional and county data, click here.  You will then need to scroll down to Texas to locate your specific county. Regionally in Texas,… Read More →

The UAS (“Drone”) Rules Are Here

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The long-awaited Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) rules for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) are here and in effect.  The rules are codified at 14 CFR part 107. History You may recall that back in February 2015, the FAA released its proposed rules, which apply to all UAS weighing between .55 pounds and 55 pounds used for commercial purposes.  [Read prior blog post here.]  After collecting and considering public comment, the FAA issued its final rules on June 21, 2016, which became effective August 29, 2016.  Prior… Read More →