February 16, 2024 Weekly Round Up

There has been no shortage of agricultural law news in the last two weeks!  Here are some of the biggest stories from around the country.

*Court revokes over-the-top dicamba registration; EPA issues existing stocks order.  In a situation similar to what cotton and soybean growers faced in 2020, a federal court has revoked the FIFRA registration for three dicamba products, XtendiMax, Enginia, and Tavium.  [Read Order here.]  On Wednesday, the EPA issued an existing stocks order which will allow “existing stocks” that were in the United States and were “packaged, labeled, and released for shipment” prior to February 6, 2024 to be used during at least a portion of the 2024 growing season. A product has been “released for shipment” when the producer has “packaged and labeled it in the manner in which it will be distributed or sold, or has stored it in an area where finished products are ordinarily held for shipment.”  Cutoff dates differ by crop and by state. [Read Order here.]

*Supreme Court of Nevada issues decision regarding interplay between groundwater and surface water.  The Nevada Supreme Court recently ruled in Sullivan v. Lincoln County Water District LLC, a case involving whether groundwater can be pumped from the Coyote Springs Valley to supply a 250,000 person housing development.  The court found that the State Engineer did have the legal authority to combine multiple basins into one “super basin” and to consider both groundwater rights and surface water rights in the permitting process. [Read Opinion here.] My friend, Jesse Richardson, wrote a great summary on this case and its potential implications for the National Agricultural Law Center.  [Read article here.]

*Is your farm business ready for your death?  This was a question asked by Ohio State University’s David L. Marrison in a great article he wrote about farm/ranch succession planning.  He includes a line from Shawshank Redemption (one of my favorite movies of all time), a personal story about his own family’s succession experience, and offers really practical considerations.  [Read here.]

*Can hemp growers also grow cannabis?  Joel Cape tackles this question in a really interesting blog post.  He says that news reports have indicated that USDA has threatened to revoke hemp production licenses of farmers who have also obtained State licenses to grow cannabis in states where doing so is legal.  It appears that because cannabis is a controlled substance illegal under federal law, the USDA takes the position that hemp license holders are prohibited from growing it. [Read blog post here.]

*Liability insurance for your farm is an absolute yes.  Another great article from Ohio State University, this time authored by Robert Moore.  He explains that while there are a lot of legal questions where the answer is, “it depends,” the question of whether you should have farm and ranch liability insurance, the answer is always yes!  He walks through a number of considerations to keep in mind while selecting liability insurance.  Then, he turns to business entities and offers suggestions to analyze whether the use of an entity might be beneficial as well.  [Read article here.]

Upcoming Programs 

I’ll be on the road again next week!  On Tuesday, I’ll be speaking at our Owning Your Piece of Texas program in Tyler.  For more info, click here. On Wednesday, I’ll be doing a program for the Greater Metro West Association of Realtors.  On Friday, I’ll be doing a free virtual estate planning program hosted by Tarrant County Extension.  To register, click here.

To see a complete list of my upcoming presentations for 2024, click here.

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