Author Archives: tiffany.dowell

Case Addressing Open Space Valuation of Property with Cattle Grazing & Quarry Activity

A recent case from the Ft. Worth Court of Appeals, Hood County Appraisal District v. Mandy Ann Management Ltd., discusses whether property used for grazing cattle on which a quarry is present qualifies for open space tax valuation. Background Mandy Ann Management Ltd. (“Mandy”) owns 679 acres in Hood County.  The property was purchased by Mandy’s owner, Michael Arnold, in 2006 and he transferred the ownership to Mandy in 2016.  The property is shaped like an upside down L.    Mandy’s property is surrounded to the north and west by… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast: Episodes 81-90

If you are interested in agricultural law, you need to be listening to the Ag Law in the Field Podcast.  Every episode I interview an ag lawyer or other expert on an important agricultural law topic.  I’ve been fortunate to have some of the very best in the business join me! The podcast is absolutely free to listen to, and you can do so on your computer or phone.  Don’t let the technology scare you–I promise it is really easy to listen to these episodes   Below, if you… Read More →

November 20, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy Thanksgiving to you all next week.  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.  As you will see, there has been lots going on! *Appellate court affirms liability for compensatory and punitive damages in NC hog farm nuisance cases; Smithfield announces settlement.  Major developments happened at the end of this week in the nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina filed against Smithfield subsidiary, Murphy Brown.  First, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued… Read More →

Case Offers Reminder of Statute of Fraud Requirements for Property Description

A recent opinion in Dayston, LLC v. Brooke, offers a good reminder of the importance of clear, precise descriptions when drafting contracts and a good overview of the requirements of the Statute of Frauds.  [Read opinion here.] Background  In October 2017, Dayston, LLC (the seller) and Brooke (the buyer) entered into an agreement for the purchase of land.  The parties executed a Farm and Ranch contract (Contract) and Brooke paid the required earnest money. The Contract described the property as follows:  “The land situated in the County of Erath,… Read More →

EPA Approves Dicamba Pesticides Through 2025; Additional Restrictions Imposed

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has announced its decision to approve three dicamba-based herbicides for over the top use of cotton and soybeans for 2021-2025.  This approval applies to Bayer’s XtendiMax, BASF’s Engenia, and Syngenta’s Tavium.  Note that Corteva’s FeXapan was not included in this registration application, meaning that at least at this point, it remains unapproved for use until a registration has been issued. Background In 2015, Bayer released new dicamba-resistant soybean and cotton seeds, called Xtend. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted conditional, two-year… Read More →

November 6, 2020 Weekly Round Up

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… Read More →

October 23, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Solar sheep?  NPR recently ran an article looking at the potential use of sheep in conjunction with solar farms.  In the Northeast, there have been farmers who contract with solar farms to graze their sheep under the panels.  Not all companies will consider this, but it might be an option to discuss if you are looking at signing a solar lease or have animals and are seeking grazing land. … 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 →

October 9, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  I’m here to get you caught up on some of the major agricultural law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *SCOTUS hears oral argument in Texas v. NM water law case in Pecos River dispute. Texas v. New Mexico was on the docket to kick off the United States Supreme Court term this week.  This case, involving a dispute over the Pecos River between Texas and New Mexico, is the first time the Justices will rule on a decision made by a… Read More →

2020 USDA Land Values Summary Report

In August, the USDA released its Land Values Summary Report for 2020. [View Report here.] The report indicates that nationwide, land values were stable, showing no change from the 2019 report.  For “farm real estate value,” which takes into account the value of all land and buildings on farms, the average value was $3,160.  For cropland, the average value was $4,100/acre.  For pastureland, the average value was $1,400/acre. The report also looks at various regional measurements. Farm real estate average value is the highest in the Corn Belt… Read More →