February 16, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello from Weatherford, Texas!  Last night, I spoke at an Extension meeting in Denton County and today I’ll be speaking at the Country Land Stewardship Conference here in Weatherford.  Welcome to those of you joining us from these events.

Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.

*Budget bill allows seed cotton to be a covered commodity under Farm Bill.   On February 9, Congress passed a budget that made seed cotton a covered commodity for the 2018 crop year under the current Farm Bill’s Title I provisions.  The legislation also does away with generic base acres, and instead allows landowners to reallocate those acres based on planting history.  Once the provisions are in place, involved parties will have 90 days to make several decisions relating to seed cotton’s inclusion in the Farm Bill. The National Milk Producers Federation reports that the bill will also help improve the MPP program for dairies.  The bill does not, however, address the 199A issue dealing with sales to co-ops that came about after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in December.  [Read articles here and here.]

*Another lawsuit over WOTUS.  You may remember from last week’s post that several states filed suit in New York against the EPA’s 2-year delay of the implementation of the 2015 WOTUS Rule.  Now, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Texas Farm Bureau, and several other industry groups, has filed suit in a Texas federal court seeking a nationwide stay on the 2015 Rule.  [Read article here.]

* Protecting the family farm in the event of a divorce.  Perhaps this is not the most appropriate post given that it is Valentine’s Day week, but it is an important topic nevertheless.  The article discusses concerns and considerations to protect the family farm in the event of a divorce.  Of course, family law differs in each state, but there are some important general considerations to keep in mind.  The article quotes two friends of mine, Cari Rincker and Kristine Tidgren.  [Read article here.]

Presentations Next Week

Next week, I’ll be making my way back to my home state of New Mexico to speak at the Southwest Quay County and Curry County Soil and Water Conservation District Banquet in Grady, New Mexico.  For a list of all my upcoming presentations, click here.

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