August 14, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It has been a busy few weeks for me. I want to welcome those of you joining from the Beef Cattle Short Course presentation last week.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.

*CFAP program expanded, deadline extended.  The USDA announced this week that there have been additional commodities added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.  Most notably, all sheep will now qualify for payment, while previously it was only lambs under 2 years of age.  For sheep producers, the payments will be $24/head for any sheep over the age of 2 sold between January 15-April 15 and $7/head for the producer’s highest inventory of sheep between April 16-May 15. The deadline to enroll in CFAP has been extended to September 11, 2020.  [Click here for more information.]

*Right to Farm case seeks US Supreme Court review.  Plaintiffs in Himsel v. Himsel have filed a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.  [Read Petition here and article here.]  This case involved nuisance claims filed by neighbors against a large-scale swine farm. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the farm, finding the Indiana Right to Farm Act served as a defense to these claims.  The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.  [See blog post here.]  The Indiana Supreme Court refused to review the case.  At issue is the constitutionality of the Indiana Right to Farm Act.

*Texas Monthly article discusses challenges for Texas hemp farmers.  Texas Monthly recently published an article looking at the struggle facing many Texas hemp farmers.  [Read article here.]  The drastic decline in price over the last year (from $4/percent CBD to $.77/percent CBD), the lack of infrastructure in Texas, and lack of crop insurance availability have all proven difficult for those seeking to begin producing.

*”Open Fields” article causes stir among rural landowners.  Chris Bennett with Farm Journal published an article on the open fields doctrine that garnered a lot of attention from rural landowners around the country.  [Read article here.]  I do think there is some question about whether law enforcement can place recording devices on private property as discussed in the article.  Also, keep in mind, state constitutions may impose additional limitations on what actions the government can take.  Here is an article looking at how this situation might shake out in Indiana from my friend Brianna Schroeder.  I’m going to do some researching to see how Texas law might look at this type of situation.

*Ag Law Today appearance to talk fence law.  I was recently a guest on my friend, Cari Rincker’s, show called Ag Law Today. She invited me to chat with her about fence law, which is one of my favorite topics. [View episode here.]

Upcoming Programs 

Next week, I will be speaking along with my friend, Stephanie Fryer, on estate planning in the 2020 Preserving Family Heritage Legal Seminar.  The webinar is hosted by Washington County Extension and Brazos County Extension, but it is open to anyone who would like to attend.  The cost to attend is $20/person and you can click here for more info or to register.

Our Online Ranchers Leasing Workshop course is always available.  This three-hour class focuses on grazing, hunting, and livestock leases and can be taken at your own pace.  For more information, click here.

To see my complete list of upcoming programs, click here.

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