April 20, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Well it’s been another busy couple of weeks around here.  Last week, I spoke in Claude at an Extension Risk Management Program and in Brownfield at the Women in Ag Event.  Both were great events and I appreciate the opportunity to attend!  I also presented online to a group of County Extension Agents from South Texas and to the Dallas Area Real Estate Lawyers group, both of which had excellent questions and thoughts during the presentations.  Then, yesterday, I was in Archer City for our Ranchers Leasing Workshop.  Attendance was excellent with over 70 participants!  To those of you joining from these programs, welcome.

Here are some ag law stories in the news:

* Farm Bill passes vote in House Ag Committee.  On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee passed their Farm Bill on a party-line vote of 26-20.  Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway told reporters he hopes to have a vote on the House floor in early  May and is hopeful to get a bill done by September 30.  [Read article here.]  To read the text and other fact sheets detailing the current version of the 2018 Farm Bill. click here.

* China imposes anti-dumping deposits on US grain sorghum; ships carrying sorghum re-routed.  As you may recall, China is conducting an anti-dumping investigation with regard to grain sorghum from the United States.  This week, China announced that it will require grain handlers to put up a deposit of 178.6% the value of shipments.  Reuters reports that upon this announcement, several ships carrying sorghum from the US to China have changed course.  [Read article here.]  Additionally, Farm Press ran an article last week discussing potential trade war impacts on agriculture, featuring Texas A&M’s own Dr. Mark Welch.  [Read article here.]

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo by Steve Byrns

Upcoming deadlines for several property tax filings.  Last year, I wrote a popular blog post about filing deadlines for a number of issues related to property taxes.  Because it’s that time of year again, I wanted to re-share that post.  For persons filing applications for open space valuation for the first time, or persons applying to change from open space valuation to wildlife management valuation, the application deadline is May 1.  Additionally, if a landowner purchased property within the last year, even if it was in ag use, open space, or wildlife management valuation before the purchase, the new owner needs to complete an application to change ownership by May 1.  [Read post here.]

*Dicamba drama continues in Arkansas.  Legal battles continue in Arkansas over whether certain farmers are exempt from the State Plant Board’s rule prohibiting over-the-top dicamba application from April 15-October 31.  While the ban is in effect throughout the state, two judges had issued orders that would have exempted certain farmers from complying with the ban.  Those orders have now been challenged in court, and the Arkansas Supreme Court has stayed an order that would have allowed 6 farmers to spray despite the deadline.  [Read article here.]

Presentations Next Week

On Tuesday, I’ll be in Canadian to speak at the Hemphill County Beef Conference and on Tuesday I’ll be presenting online to an Extension meting in Cameron County and to the Bennett Trust Land Stewardship Conference in Waco.  To see all of my upcoming programs, click here.

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