Happy Friday! I apologize for being silent the past couple of weeks. Things have been crazy here between work and the ice/snow storm that knocked my power out for about three days. I am back in the saddle now and will be rolling on getting back to my weekly blogging.
Here are some of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.
* EPA approves Dicamba formulations through 2025 with additional restrictions. After the registration for three over-the-top dicamba products was revoked last Spring by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the EPA has issued a new registration for two of these products, Xtendimax and Engenia, through 2025. The registration for Tavuim was extended through 2025 as well. New restrictions included with the registration include nationwide cutoff dates (June 20 for soybeans and July 30 for cotton), a ph-buffering agent, and an increased buffer requirement. The EPA has also limited the ability of states to issue a 24(c) label to add additional restrictions to the federal label for these products. [Read article here.] Lawsuits will almost certainly be filed challenging the registration.
*House Ag Committee Chair defeated in re-election campaign. Collin Peterson, the long-time Democratic Congressman from Minnesota was defeated by Republican Michelle Fischbach. This will result in new leadership for the House Agriculture Committee. [Read article here.]
*Special Master issues report in Mississippi v. Tennessee. For those interested in water law, this is an interesting interstate water law case before the US Supreme Court. I just received a copy of this report today and have not had time to do a deep dive, but wanted to share for those of you who are interested. Mississippi essentially argues that Tennessee has “stolen” groundwater. The case was referred to a Special Master who found that the appropriate remedy in this case is equitable apportionment–which Mississippi expressly did not seek. The Special Master recommends the case be dismissed with leave to amend to add the equitable apportionment claim. [Read report here.]
*Duke University Study finds grain production decline as groundwater depletes in the High Plains. A study from Duke University recently looked at the impact on grain production across the High Plains in light of declining groundwater resources. Not surprisingly, the predictions are a continued decrease in grain production. [Read article here.]
* Owning Your Piece of Texas news. I am excited to share some news about our Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know program. First, we recently were named a Project of Excellence from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center. [Read article here.] We are very honored by this recognition. Second, our Owning Your Piece of Texas handbook has gotten a facelift! The content is the same, but our ag communications folks helped to really upgrade the layout and aesthetics of the handbook. To get download a free PDF of the handbook, click here. If you want to order a hard copy, contact my assistant, Lacrecia at Lacrecia.Garza@ag.tamu.edu. Lastly, we are working now on editing the video for our online Owning Your Piece of Texas course, which we hope to have available by the first of the year. Stay tuned for more information on that!
Next week, I am excited to be participating in the American Agricultural Law Association Conference in Kansas City. I hope to come back with lots of great ideas for new blogs after hearing from many of the best in the industry.
Also, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be making appearances as a guest lecturer in a couple of classes. I’ll be talking ag leases at West Texas A&M University for an undergraduate ag law class and I’ll be covering the Clean Water Act with Jesse Richardson for his water law class at the West Virginia University College of Law.
Finally, if you are in the Belton or El Campo areas, I’m coming your way! I will be speaking at an estate and succession planning event hosted by the Texas Corn Producers on November 23 in El Campo and November 24 in Robstown.
Don’t forget our Online Ranchers Agricultural Leasing Workshop is available on demand! Click here for more info.