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

4996789126_59cc466dae_o

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

Texas

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 →

2016 NASS Cash Rent Statistics Released

Kay fence

The 2016 NASS results of their Cash Rent surveys have been released. The results are obtained by a survey of farmers conducted by the United States Department of Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service. Every year, NASS collects cash rent data by state for irrigated cropland, non-irrigated cropland, and pastureland.  In even numbered years, they break this data down by county.  The county-level reports should be out in September.  For now, we have the national and state-by-state results. Nationwide, cash rental rates have dropped in the last year.  Here… Read More →

Extension Fact Sheet: Solar Lease Considerations

Photo by Edwin Remsberg

Many Texas landowners have recently been contacted by solar companies about potentially leasing their farm or ranchland for a solar energy project. I recently published a Fact Sheet outlining just a few considerations that landowners need to be aware of when approached by a solar company.  As always, I highly recommend consulting with an attorney who has experience negotiating solar lease agreements to protect your rights and your land before signing any lease agreement.  To download the fact sheet, click here. Additionally, if you missed the solar leasing… Read More →

Published Materials Tab

grazing lease 2

After a few folks had asked about where to get certain publications of mine, I added a new tab to this blog, titled “Published Materials.”  If you click on that tab, you will be able to find my recorded presentations and major publications all in one place.  Currently, we’ve got the following categories:  Recorded webinars; Handbooks; Fact Sheets; Law Review Articles; Continuing Legal Education Papers; and Forthcoming Publications. Feel free to check out the info under the Published Materials tab, all of which may be downloaded by just… Read More →

Texas Rural Land Value Trends

Kathleen Phillips

Every year, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends Report.  This publication, which comes out each April, looks at land prices across Texas, broken down into 7 regions and then into several sub-regions.  It reports average rates for land sales as well as land rentals.  The publication also looks at how these rates have changed since the prior year, factors driving land prices, such as commodity prices and water availability, and reports on the most commonly planted… Read More →