Author Archives: tiffany.dowell

TX Attorney General Opinion: Groundwater Conservation District Cannot Limit Definition of Agriculture

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, recently issued an opinion regarding the ability of a Texas Groundwater Conservation District to limit the definition of “agricultural crop” under its rules. [Read full opinion here.]  Although not binding on a court, this opinion could potentially impact GCDs and producers around the state. Background Senator Bob Hall, Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture requested an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on an interesting legal question.  Specifically, Senator Hall wanted to know how the Attorney General thought a court… Read More →

TX Supreme Court Addresses Duty of Executive Rights Holder

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an opinion addressing the duty owed by an executive right holder to non-participating mineral owners.  This is an important issue for both mineral owners and executive right holders to understand and be aware of when considering lease offers. Factual Background Dora Jo Carter owned 1,082 acres in Frio County.  She and her two children also, collectively, owned 50% of the mineral estate. The other 50% mineral interest was owned by the Hindeses. In 2002,  Mrs. Carter sold the surface estate to Texas… Read More →

April 19, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy Easter!  Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. *EPA Publishes “Interpretive Statement” on Applicability of Clean Water Act to Groundwater as Conduit.  You may recall from this prior blog post the legal issue surrounding groundwater as a conduit.  Basically, the question has arisen about whether the discharge of a point source pollutant into groundwater that is connected to a Water of the United States is withing the scope of the Clean Water Act.  The Environmental Protection Agency issued an… Read More →

Free Agricultural Law Workshops Set Across Texas

We’re excited to announce a new educational program for Texas landowners and ag producers, “Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know”.  These programs will offer information to landowners on a variety of topics like water law, landowner liability, eminent domain, fence law, easements, special use tax valuation, and more!   Each program will last from 9am-3pm and will include lunch sponsored by Ag Workers Insurance. Presenters will include Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Extension Ag Law Specialist, who will be joined by a local attorney… Read More →

April 5, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy April!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, with programs in Ft. Worth at the TSCRA Convention, Ranch Management University in College Station, online for a class at Mississippi State University, and the Lower Plains Crops Conference in Snyder.  Welcome to those of you joining from each of these programs. We’re glad you’re here! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Texas Senate passes eminent domain reform bill. Yesterday, the Texas Senate passed SB 421, sponsored… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast – Episodes 41-50

If you haven’t listened to our award-winning Ag Law in the Field Podcast yet, you are missing out!  Don’t let technology scare you–I promise it’s not hard to listen in.  You can listen on your smart phone’s podcast app or on iTunes, or you can listen on your computer.  Below, if you simply click on the title for each episode, that will take you directly to that episode page.  All you have to do is just click the black triangle (the “play” button) and you’ll be off and… Read More →

Common Agricultural Lease Payment Structures

For agricultural lease agreements, there are normally three types of arrangements utilized: cash leases, crop share leases, and flex/hybrid leases.  There is no right or wrong option to select here so long as the parties can agree on the structure and the details that go along with that selection and understand the potential implications.  It is advisable to visit with an accountant and an attorney before making this type of decision as it can impact a landowner with regard to who will receive government program payments, what self… Read More →

March 22, 2019 Weekly Round Up

We’ve reached the end of another week.  Happy Friday!  Welcome to those of you that are new readers and subscribers to the Texas Agriculture Law Blog. A quick reminder about our upcoming Ranchers Leasing Workshop events in Nacogdoches, Burnet, and Perryton.  These are great programs for anyone involved in an agricultural lease–grazing, haying, farming, hunting, livestock–as either a tenant or a landowner.  Registration is easy and can be done by clicking here or by calling Valerie at (979)845-2604.  For more information and to see our complete list of… Read More →

CA Animal Welfare Act Could Impact Farm Practices Nationwide

This article was published in Progressive Cattleman’s April issue. In a difficult time for agriculture, when producers are already facing low commodity prices and trade uncertainty, many livestock producers may also have to be concerned about the potential impact of something else in the coming years: California voters. In November 2018, California voters passed Proposition 12 with 59% of the vote.  This ballot initiative prohibits California businesses from knowingly selling veal, pork, shell eggs, or liquid eggs, that were produced by animals “confined in a cruel manner.”  The… Read More →

Does the Aesthetic Impact of Wind Turbines Constitute a Nuisance?

Wind turbines are a common sight across Texas.  In fact, Texas is the largest wind producing state in America.  In 2017, the number of megawatts produced by Texas wind farms surpassed the number of megawatts of energy produced by Texas coal plants.  However, not everyone is a fan of wind farms or the look of the wind turbines dotting the skyline across the Lone Star State.  This has led to an interesting question:  Can claimed negative aesthetic impact of a wind project by a neighboring landowner constitute a… Read More →