Welcome to those of you joining from the program I did in Clarendon on Wednesday and those of you who attended the Caprock Crops Conference at the Floyd County Friends Unity Center.
Here are some of the biggest ag law stories in the news this week.
* Article summarizing speeches at American Farm Bureau Convention. I was honored to be included in an article summarizing presentations made at the recent American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in Nashville. The article mentions presentations given by my friend Paul Goeringer and I on the big agricultural law issues of 2017 and Senator Jerry Moran, who gave an excellent presentation on the future of the Farm Bill and struggles facing rural America. [Read article here.]
*Deadline looms to begin emissions reporting for agriculture. We’ve been following this story for a while, which started with a federal court holding that agricultural operations were not exempt from reporting air emissions under CERCLA and EPCRA. [Read prior post here.] After various stays by courts, Monday, January 22 is (at least currently) the date on which a mandate will issue and reporting will be required. This will apply to operations with emissions of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia over 100 pounds in a 24 hour period. The EPA is said to be updating guidance and developing a more efficient reporting system for livestock operations prior to the Monday deadline. Numerous questions remain on how to measure emissions and how reporting will be handled logistically. We’ll keep an eye on what happens Monday and keep you posted.
* Lawyer advises getting milk contracts in writing. There was a great article quoting South Carolina attorney Troy Schneider discussing why having milk purchase contracts in writing is particularly important right now in the dairy industry Given the low milk prices, having written contracts is important to protect your operation, especially if you are looking to expand or make other major changes. I could not agree more, and would go even further to recommend that every contract should be in writing! [Read article here.]
* Arkansas Legislative Council Subcommittee supports proposed April 15 dicamba cutoff. After initially sending the State Plant Board’s recommendation of an April 15 cut-off date for over the top application of dicamba back to the Board for reconsideration, this week the Arkansas Legislative Council Subcommittee voted to support the proposed ban. This proposal will now go before the full Legislative Council and, if approved, on to the governor for signature. [Read article here.]
* Civil suits increasingly common in agriculture. Chris Bennett at Farm Journal recently published an interesting article about the increasing number of civil suits against agricultural producers and operations. It’s a great reminder of the importance of having good insurance and other liability protections. [Read article here.]
Programs Next Week:
I’m going to start highlighting upcoming programs each week on the Weekly Round Up Blog post. To see the complete list of my upcoming programs, click here.
Next week I’ll be busy with programs in Pampa (Monday), Lubbock (Tuesday and Wednesday), and an online program for College Station on Friday. I hope to see you on on the road!