Welcome to December! To those of you joining us for the first time from the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.
* EPA delays emissions reporting until January 22. As we reported two weeks ago, the deadline for agricultural operations to report emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide if over 100 pounds in a 24 hour period had been November 15. On the eve of that deadline, the EPA announced it would not require reporting until the Court issues a mandate on its decision requiring these reports. [Read prior post here.] On November 22, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued a stay of mandate, meaning that reporting requirements are not in effect, until January 22. [Read Order here.]
* More Dicamba limitations set by states and private industry for 2018. North Dakota has announced state-level restrictions on the application of XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan, including limiting application to the earlier of June 30 or first bloom, prohibiting application if field temps are over 85 degrees, and requiring notice be given to ND Department of Ag prior to application. [Read article here.] In Missouri, in addition to limitations imposed by the state, MFA Incorporated, a farm supply and marketing co-op, has announced it will follow additional restrictions with regard to sales and application of dicamba. They will impose a cut-off date based on plant maturity if that occurs before the state-mandated cut-off dates of June 1 for certain counties and July 15 statewide. Additionally, MFA will not sell or apply any older formulation of straight dicamba products such as Banvel, Clarity, or Detonate. [Read article here.] For more background on the dicamba issues going on around the country, click here.
*Younger generation expresses different attitudes towards ag and farm succession. Ron Smith with Southwest Farm Press recently published an article looking at the attitudes of Generation Z (18-22 year olds) regarding a variety of ag topics. Particularly interesting is that 71% of parents of Generation Z expect at least one of their children will take over the farm, but only 54% of Generation Z respondents plan to do so. Additionally, results show that purchasing ideas differ, brand loyalty matters less (except for seed and tractors), Generation Z has more positive views of the government, and are more in favor of ag technology. [Read article here.]
*Oregon trial court holds Right to Farm Act does not offer blanket immunity to proposed marijuana farm. When an Oregon family planned to build a marijuana farm, nearby vineyard owners became concerned and filed suit. The vineyard owners claim that marijuana odors would damage wine grapes and sought an injunction prohibiting the farm from growing marijuana plants. The marijuana growers filed a motion to dimiss, arguing in part that the lawsuit was prohibited by the Oregon Right to Farm Act. The judge, however, sided with the plaintiffs and refused to dismiss the lawsuit because the Right to Farm Act does not apply to lawsuits alleging “damage to commercial agricultural products.” The court reasoned that the plaintiffs’ grapes would fall within the definition of a commercial agricultural product. So, while the Right to Farm Act did not offer blanket immunity allowing dismissal early in the process, it can still be raised as an affirmative defense as litigation continues. [Read article here.]