Search Results for: pesticide drift liability

Pesticide Drift Liability (Part 3): Practical Advice for Farmers & Ranchers Using Pesticides

Today we will conclude our three part series on pesticide drift liability.  In case you missed them, Part 1 focused on potential legal claims that could be made against a landowner and Part 2 looked at whether a landowner could be liable for the acts of an independent contractor.  This post will wrap things up with some practical advice for those landowners who spray pesticides as part of their farming or ranching practices. Use common sense when spraying. Using simple common sense can avoid numerous issues when it… Read More →

Pesticide Drift Liability (Part 2): Landowner Liability for Independent Contractor

In Part 1 of this series, we focused on potential legal claims that could be brought against a landowner if spray drift occurred.  An important related question exists for any farmer or rancher who uses independent contractors, like an aerial applicator for example, to apply the pesticides.  Can the landowner be liable for the acts of his independent contractor?  This is a critical question that has not yet been answered by the Texas Supreme Court.   What is an independent contractor? The starting place for any discussion of… Read More →

Pesticide Drift Liability (Part 1): Potential Legal Theories

This time of year, questions pop up regarding the potential liability when pesticides drift onto another’s property.  For the next couple of weeks, we will look at various issues regarding spray drift liability.  This series will focus only on civil claims brought between landowners, but it is important to note  the Texas Department of Agriculture enforces rules regarding spraying and can bring administrative action against persons who fail to comply with these regulations.  Producers should always ensure they follow the label instructions and TDA regulations when spraying any pesticide…. Read More →

50-State Survey: Liability for Pesticide Drift

Landowners who apply or contract for the application of pesticide may have concern over their potential liability should pesticide drift occur and cause damage to neighboring crops. Generally, lawsuits related to drift sound in negligence. However, there are two additional potential claims that may arise in these cases of which landowners should be aware.  Hannes Zetzsche, a third-year law student at the University of Nebraska, and I recently co-authored an article on liability for pesticide drift.  In particular, the article looks at two important questions and offers the… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Analyzes Herbicide Drift Case

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion in Helena Chemical Co. v. Cox, a case pitting cotton farmers against an aerial herbicide applicator. [Read opinion here.] Background Plaintiffs grow cotton in Mitchell County, Texas.  They allege that defendant, Helena Chemical Company (“Helena”), supervised aerial application of Sendero, a herbicide primarily used to kill mesquite trees, on the Spade Ranch.  Plaintiffs claim that the Sendero sprayed on the Spade Ranch over several days in 2015 and 2016 drifted and damaged their cotton crops.  They blame this drift for… Read More →

Reviewing Your Liability Insurance Policy

This article was first published in the  Progressive Cattle Magazine.   One of the first steps anyone owning or leasing land should take is securing adequate liability insurance. Liability insurance offers critical protection in the event someone is injured on the insured’s property. Liability insurance offers two key benefits to the insured. First, it provides coverage up to the policy limits that will be paid out in the event a covered claim occurs. Second, it provides a defense to the landowner in the event a covered claim is… Read More →

What’s the Deal with Dicamba and 2,4D Drift in the News? (Part II)

If you missed Part I of this series, click here. Whether you intend to plant Enlist Duo or XtendFlex cotton or soybeans or not, the issue of physical drift is important to all of us involved in agriculture.  For producers who do elect to utilize these crop systems, it is critical to ensure that applications are made with the utmost care to avoid any drift or inadvertent application issues.  For neighboring landowners who are not planting the new seeds, understanding their rights is also important. For Both producers… Read More →

What’s the Deal with Dicamba and 2,4D Drift in the News? (Part I)

You’ve probably seen a lot of talk about Dicamba and 2,4-D in the news lately, particularly if you’re involved in agriculture.  I’ve gotten some questions recently about what’s going on with these herbicides and why this is such a major issue now.  This two-part series will provide an overview of the need for new herbicide options, the new cotton and soybean traits that have been developed, some concerns and drift issues that have arisen, and what producers can do to protect themselves. The Need for New Herbicide Options… Read More →

Past Presentations

If anyone would like a copy of the Power Point slides that I used at the following presentations, just contact me and I will be happy to provide those to you! 2024 Central Texas Farm Credit Meeting – July 16, 2024 – Coleman, TX – Ag Law Hot Topics National Association of County Ag Agents Meeting – July 15, 2024 – Dallas, TX – Questions from Tiffany’s Desk Menard County Extension Program – June 27, 2024 – Fence law – Virtual Program Terrell County Extension Program – June… Read More →

2023 Ag Law Year in Review – Texas

Last week, we discussed what a busy year it had been nationally for agricultural law.  To learn more, read here or listen here. This week, we are shifting our focus closer to home and looking at the biggest agricultural law issues in Texas this year. Ownership of Produced Water  The question of who owns produced water in Texas is extremely important and will have major implications for landowners and oil and gas operators across the state.  At issue is ownership of “produced water,” the water that comes out… Read More →