Monthly Archives: August 2022

2022 USDA Land Values Summary

As  happens every August, the USDA released its Land Values Summary Report for 2022. [View Report here.] Not surprisingly, the report indicates increasing values nationwide over the past year.   For “farm real estate value,” which takes into account the value of all land and buildings on farms, the US average value was $3,800, a 12% increase from last year.  For cropland, the nationwide average value increased 14% to $5,050/acre.  For pastureland, the nationwide average value was $1,650/acre, up 11.5% from last year. The report also looks at various… Read More →

Should I Sell Carbon Credits? A Decision Guide for Ranchers

I was honored to be invited to be part of a team put together by the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management tasked with providing information to ranchers about carbon contracts.  As part of our work, we drafted a white paper to help explain what carbon is, how it can be stored in the soil, how this market for selling carbon credits has arisen, who are the parties involved in the contracts, and what production, legal, and economic risks should be considered.  To view our paper, click here…. Read More →

August 19, 2022 Weekly Round Up

We’re back again with summaries of some of the ag law stories in the news over the past two weeks. *EPA Report Finds Numerous Risks Related to Dicamba.  The EPA released a draft ecological risk assessment on Wednesday finding that dicamba potentially adversely affects birds, mammals, bees, freshwater fish, aquatic vascular plants, and (of primary concern) non-target terrestrial plants.  The report stated the EPA found no evidence that the new restrictions implemented in 2020 have helped reduce the number of drift complaints. The report indicated that the EPA… Read More →

Debt Relief for Certain Farmers and Ranchers

Dr. Bart Fischer and I recently co-authored an article for Southern Ag Today looking at the current legal status of Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan of 2021.  This provision required the USDA to make payments to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers  “up to 120% of outstanding indebtedness” of eligible producers for both direct and guaranteed loans administered by USDA agencies.  Numerous lawsuits were filed around the country. To find out more about the current status of Section 1005, click here to read our article.

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Law Prohibiting Processing & Manufacturing of Smokable Hemp in Texas

The Texas Supreme Court recently found that the Texas Constitution does not protect a person’s right to process and manufacture smokable hemp in Texas.  [Read Opinion here.] Background The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act and defined it as an agricultural product. The bill allowed each state to determine whether hemp would be allowed and how it would be regulated within its own borders. States electing to create a hemp-regulation plan were required to submit it to the USDA for approval.  The Texas… Read More →

August 5, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy August!  We’re back with another Ag Law Weekly Round Up. Earlier this week, I was able to travel to California with my kids and my aunt to accept the Distinguished Extension Program Award (less than 10 years) from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.  I am so honored to have received this award, and my children were quite excited to swim in the Pacific Ocean and visit Disneyland. With that, here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *US… Read More →

Case Offers Important Reminder that Real Estate Contracts Must Be in Writing

A recent Ft. Worth Court of Appeals case, In the Estate of Terry Lynn Banta, Deceased, offers an important reminder of why it is critical to have any contracts regarding the purchase of real estate in writing.  [Read Opinion here.] Statute of Frauds This case revolves around the “statute of frauds.” Generally speaking, a verbal contract is enforceable under Texas law.  There are certain types of contracts, however, that are required to be in writing to be legally enforceable pursuant to the statute of frauds.  One such contract for which… Read More →