2016 Cash County Rent Report Available


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


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 →

September 16, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Photo by Kay Ledbetter

We hope everyone is enjoying some fall weather and football on tv!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. Appellate Court Reverses Decision, Finds EPA Violated Privacy of Farmers and Ranchers.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth has reversed a trial court decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation against the EPA for releasing farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information to environmental groups.  This case began when the EPA released… Read More →

Texas Eminent Domain Database Up and Running


The Texas Comptroller’s Office announced last week that its eminent domain database is now up and running.  To view the database, click here. The database, mandated by 2015 Senate Bill 1218 required the Comptroller of Public Accounts to create a comprehensive, publicly-accessible online database to provide information on all entities that have been granted eminent domain authority.  The database will be updated annually.  Currently, there are over 5,000 entities included in the online database as having been granted eminent domain authority in Texas. Users may conduct searches by… Read More →

September 9, 2016 Weekly Round Up

harvest milo

Happy Friday!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * Bird cannons causing trouble for neighbors.  One of the more common nuisance claims involving agricultural operations are those involving propane cannons used to keep birds away from fruits like grapes and blueberries.  Oftentimes, neighbors complain about the sound from these cannons, which can fire off every few seconds for hours a day.  Right to Farm statutes are an important line of defense for farmers facing this type of complaint, if the state’s… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Texas Agritourism Act


Since I wrote a blog post several months ago outlining the newly enacted Texas Agritourism Act, I have gotten a flurry of questions from folks across the state related to the Act’s protection and application.  I thought I would take the time to answer a few of these questions today. Where can I find more information about the Agritourism Act? To read a prior blog post I wrote discussing the basics of the Agritourism Act, click here.  To read a more in depth legal discussion of landowner liability statues (including the… Read More →

September 2, 2016 Weekly Round Up

braun cows

How is it already September?  Not that I’m complaining about the cool, rainy weather we’ve been seeing this week here in the Panhandle!  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Railroad Commission Failed to Track Oilfield Waste Injections Into Groundwater Zones.  In the first of several clips involving the Texas RRC we will see today, the Texas Tribune published an article claiming that even though the RRC agreed to track injections into zones that could hold drinking water sources… Read More →

Ranching in Oil and Gas Country: Rangeland Challenges

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Blair Fannin

I recently gave a webinar presentation as part of the Natural Resource Webinar Series put on by the TAMU Ecosystem and Science Management Unit.  Thanks so much to Megan Clayton and Pete Flores for inviting me to join. Although we were recently unable to fully cover oil and gas issues in a four hour live seminar, I was tasked with trying to condense useful information into an hour!  The first half of the webinar focuses on surface owner issues, such as how to determine mineral ownership, the dominant… Read More →

August 26, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Kay fence

Sorry for the lack of Round Up Posts recently–it seems I’ve been on the road and just hadn’t gotten a chance to get one put together.  I’ve had a bit of time in my office this week, so here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Grimes County passes regulation to prevent high speed rail.  The County Commissioners Court in Grimes County recently passed a regulation prohibiting high speed rails from crossing county roads without proof of eminent domain authority being given to… Read More →

2016 Land Values Summary Released


In addition to the Cash Rent Report that we discussed last week, the USDA also published its yearly Land Values Summary earlier this month.  This survey looks at land prices and values nationwide.  To view the full report, click here. Farm Real Estate Value First up is the farm real estate value, which looks at the value of all land and buildings on farms.  A farm is defined as “any establishment from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were sold or would normally be sold during the… Read More →