Happy Friday! The last couple of weeks I made trips to Tulia and Miami for county extension programs, so welcome to those of you joining the blog. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.
*KUT writes interesting article on wind right severances. Mose Buchele wrote an interesting article on a new issue of Texas landowners selling property but reserving wind rights. This is a new phenomenon, which raises interesting legal and practical questions. [Read article here.]
*TCEQ will not appoint watermaster for San Saba at this time. This is older news, but in November, the TCEQ decided it would not appoint a watermaster, at least at this time. The commissioners agreed that discussion about issues on the San Saba needed to continue and that the issue was “better addressed through other mechanisms.” [View article here.]
*Plaintiffs withdraw Colorado River lawsuit. In a case seeking recognition of rights for the Colorado River, Plaintiffs have withdrawn their lawsuit. They did this facing pressure and threatened sanctions from the State of Colorado. The Plaintiffs’ attorney stated that “situations change, and what is best for the rights of nature movement is not to get involved in a lengthy sanctions battle, but to move forward with seeking environmental justice.” [Read article here.]
*More dicamba in the news. There seems to be enough dicamba news each week for me to give this its own round-up post. Monsanto is offering a cash-back rebate to producers who purchase XtendiMax next year. [Read article here.] This week, Minnesota set a June 20 cutoff date for applying dicamba over the top of growing crops. Additionally, applications may not be made if temperatures are over 85 degrees. [Read article here.] As expected, Missouri imposed the same restrictions on FeXapan and Xtendimax as it did on Engenia, including a June 1 cut-off date for 10 counties and July 15 statewide. [Read article here.] Additionally, the Texas Row Crop News Letter did a great job outlining some of the new EPA label restrictions, which are applicable nationwide. Particularly, note that everyone applying dicamba must complete an auxin-specific training, which means that a person may not make an application under someone else’s license. [Read article here.] Finally, drama continues in Arkansas when a subcommittee of the Legislative Council recommended that the proposed Plant Board rule imposing an April 15 cut-off date should be delayed. The full Legislative Council will make a decision on this today. [Read article here.]
* MO Supreme Court says growing marijuana not protected by Right to Farm Constitutional Amendment. As we’ve previously discussed, a criminal defendant in Missouri made an interesting argument in defense of his possession of marijuana charges. He claimed that the Missouri Right to Farm Constitutional Amendment, which protects “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices” made his conviction unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, the Court held that marijuana cultivation is not a protected farming practice. “The amendment expressly recognizes farming and ranching practices are subject to local government regulation, it would be absurd to conclude Missouri voters intended to implicitly nullify or curtail state and federal regulatory authority over the illegal drug trade.” [Read Opinion here.]