February 14, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.

*USDA unveils two new risk management options for hemp producers.  For producers considering hemp production, there are now three potential risk management tools available.  Nationwide, producers will be able to enroll in the Whole Farm Revenue Protection program or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) program. In 21 states, producers may take part in a multi-peril crop insurance pilot program.  Texas is not one of the states where this is available. Importantly, all growers must have a license to grown hemp and comply with all state and federal regulations in order to obtain crop insurance.  This could potentially lead to issues for Texas producers interested in whole farm revenue protection as sign up deadlines may occur before licenses are issued by TDA.  [Read press release here.]

*Article looks at falling hemp prices and impact on growers.  An article describing a terrible situation facing some Kentucky hemp producers got my attention recently.  It highlights risks with contract clauses allowing purchasers an out from buying the product, falling market prices for hemp grown for CBD production, and potentially “overhyped” financial potential.  [Read article here.]

*Article highlights various lawsuits surrounding Permian Highway Pipeline.  A recent article in the Community Impact Newspaper highlighted a number of the legal challenges surrounding the Permian Highway pipeline.  [Read article here.]

*NM rancher files proposed class action lawsuits against beef packers alleging misleading labeling.  A New Mexico rancher has filed lawsuits against Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions, JBS, and National Beef Packing Company alleging misleading labeling with regard to alleged misleading labeling on beef.  A second lawsuit was filed on behalf of beef consumers allegedly damaged by the misleading labeling.  In particular, the lawsuits challenge the use of a “Produced in the U.S.A.” label on beef that was slaughtered in the United States, but could have been born, raised, and imported from other countries.  Defendants have removed the cases to federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act.  [Read article here.]

*Article outlines concerns with Transfer on Death Deeds. A recent article in the Dallas  News outlined some concerns with the use of Transfer on Death Deeds in Texas.  [Read article here.]  The article did not address the benefits of the TODDs or the fact that using a good estate planning attorney to draft a TODD may avoid many of these potential issues.  For a more in depth discussion of Transfer on Death Deeds, click here for a prior blog post and click here for a podcast I recorded with Garrett Couts discussing both Transfer on Death Deeds and Lady Bird deeds.

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