April 6, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello from sunny Kerrville!  I’ve been on the road this week, speaking at Extension meetings in Leon Springs and Kerrville as well as the Texas Bankers Association Ag and Rural Affairs Conference here at the YO Hotel in Kerrville.  Welcome to the new readers from those events.

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

*China announces proposed tariffs on US products, including agricultural exports.  The biggest ag story of the week has been China’s announcement that it plans to impose a 25% tariff on hundreds of US products in response to the US tariffs on aluminum and steel.  Products on the list include soybeans, pork, beef, corn, sorghum, wine, and more.  [Read articles here and here.]

*Article questions whether pipelines transporting oil for export are for the “public use” for eminent domain analysis.  The Houston Chronicle ran an interesting article asking whether eminent domain should be available to pipeline companies transporting oil not for use by Texans, but for export to other countries.  There has not been a legal challenge to this yet, but it is an interesting issue that certainly could make for an interesting case. [Read article here.]

*Special Master out in Texas v. New Mexico water litigation.  This week, the United States Supreme Court removed the Special Master  Gregory Grimsal, who had been handling Texas v. New Mexico and replaced him with Senior Judge Michael Melloy from the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  The Court offered no comment on the rationale for this change. [Read article here.]

*Arkansas judge orders that six farmers can use Dicamba in-season despite ban.  In an interesting (and procedural confusing) order, an Arkansas judge has ordered that plaintiffs whose lawsuit against the State Plant Board was dismissed can spray Dicamba after the state-wide April 15 deadline.  According to plaintiffs council, Grant Ballard, the court said that because the plaintiffs could not bring suit against the State Plant Board due to sovereign immunity, their due process rights were violated.  Because of this, the court ordered that the named plaintiffs may apply Dicamba after the deadline.  An appeal could still be filed by the State.  [Read article here.]

Programs Next Week

Buckle in, guys!  Next week will be a busy one.  On Tuesday, I’ll be in Claude for a Risk Management program.  On Wednesday, I’ll be presenting online to the Dallas Real Estate Lawyers breakfast meeting and then for a County Extension Agent Training on water law.  Thursday, I’m headed to Brownfield for the Women in Ag Luncheon.  And on Friday afternoon, I’ll make my way back to New Mexico for my family’s annual show lamb sale.  The life of an ag lawyer is never dull!

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