February 23, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello!  I’ve spent most of the week in my office dealing with the aftermath of a computer crash and realization that I did not have a good back-up system.  Lessons learned the hard way!  Today, I’m making my way back home to New Mexico to speak at the Southern Quay and Central Curry Soil and Water Conservation District Banquet.  Welcome to those of you joining from that event.

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

New lawsuit filed over records from Texas v. New Mexico Supreme Court case.  A New Mexico resident filed an open records request from the New Mexico Attorney General’s office seeking billing records for attorneys involved in the Texas v. New Mexico litigation that recently included a US Supreme Court oral argument.  The AG’s office provided records that the requester says are “heavily redacted.”  She filed suit against AG Hector Balderas and his records custodian claiming that the redactions violated the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.  [Read article here.]

*Senator says agreement on 199A “fix” is close.  Senator Grassley of Iowa told reporters this week that Congress is close to reaching an agreement with regard to modifying the 199A deduction that was passed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed last December.  As written currently, farmers receive greater tax deductions if selling to a cooperative than if selling to a grain elevator.  Grassley says he expects Congress to pass a deal that will basically re-instate the law as it was prior to the December tax reform bill.  [Read article here.]

*AR judge dismisses Monsanto lawsuit against State Plant Board.  Citing sovereign immunity, an Arkansas judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Monsanto against the Arkansas State Plant Board, the agency that handles pesticide regulations in the state.  Monsanto filed suit seeking to overturn the Plant Board’s cutoff date of April 15 for the application of dicamba products over the top of Monsanto’s Xtend cotton and soybean seeds.  [Read article here.]

*ADM reports settlement with Syngenta over MIR-162 corn.  Archer Daniels Midland Co. has announced a settlement in its lawsuit against Syngenta regarding the sale of genetically modified corn seeds containing the MIR-162 trait.  As you recall from numerous prior blog posts such as this one, the seeds were approved for sale in the US but not in China, causing China to reject the 2014 US corn shipments.  ADM, a grain handling company, sued Syngenta for losses.  The ADM settlement details are confidential.  Last year, Syngenta announced that they had reached a tentative settlement in cases filed by corn farmers across the country.  A lawsuit filed by Cargill against Syngenta is set for trial in September. [Read article here.]

*Texas Agricultural Law CLE set in Lubbock for May 24-25.  If you’re an attorney in Texas (or an attorney interested in ag law from anywhere!), you need to be at this continuing legal education course in Lubbock.  It’s full of practical information, relevant issues, and the best people around.  Plus, the food is always outstanding.  For more info, you can click here.

 

Presentations Next Week

Next week will be a busy one.

On Monday, I’ll be in Cat Spring for our Ranchers Leasing Workshop.  We still have a few seats, so if you are interested, click here for more info.

On Tuesday, I will be in Waco speaking at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Master Marketer course.

Wednesday will bring me back to the Panhandle and I’ll be in Amarillo to present at the 4th Biennial Water Conservation Symposium.  Click here for more information.

As always, you can see all of my upcoming presentations here.

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