Category Archives: Extension Publications

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 →

Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide

Eminent domain is one of the most controversial issues facing Texas landowners.  The key to protecting one’s property is to understand a landowner’s rights, to be familiar with the condemnation process, and to know what steps to take when facing a taking of private property. In order to help educate landowners, I am thrilled to announce my latest handbook, Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide, is now available.  It is my hope that this handbook will help educate and empower landowners to make the best decisions they can… Read More →

Hard Copies of Handbooks Now Available!

Over the last few years, I have written several handbooks related to agricultural law. Each of these books are available to download for free on the “Published Materials” page of this blog. I’ve had several requests from folks who (like me!) prefer hard copies rather than reading on the computer screen.  We are happy to announce that we now have hard copies of each of these handbooks for sale.  The Owning Your Piece of Texas book is $30 and the Ranchers Leasing Handbook and Petroleum Production on Ag… Read More →

It’s Here! Owning Your Piece of Texas Ag Law Handbook Is Available

It was a year in the making, but we are thrilled to release our newest handbook Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Should Know.  This publication was made possible by funding through the Southern Risk Management Education Center.  The handbook offers Texas landowners and ag producers an overview of key agricultural laws that may impact their operation including water law, fence law, landowner liability, eminent domain, special use tax valuation, and more. To download a free copy of the handbook, click here. Also, we are hosting… Read More →

Negotiating a Fair Cash Lease Rate in Texas

One of the most common questions I am asked is how much a person should charge (if a landowner) or pay (if a tenant) for an agricultural lease.  To help folks answer this question, I have put together a fact sheet listing several free resources available to Texas landowners that may help in this process.  From who to talk to at the coffee shop, to the United States Department of Agriculture surveys, to a Texas Land Value Trend report, to Agricultural Economics Department budgets, this fact sheet will… Read More →

Basics of Texas Water Law

I get a lot of questions about water law in Texas.  To help folks at least get a good starting point and lay of the land, I authored a fact sheet that outlines the basics of Texas water law.  To download a copy, click here.

Pipeline Easement Negotiation Checklist and Podcast

If you’ve ever gotten notice that a pipeline company is planning on coming across your property and you found yourself facing the task of negotiating an easement, you know how intimidating that can be.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that you, as a landowner, do have rights!  You can and should take time to really negotiate with the company to ensure you are receiving adequate compensation and have included terms in the agreement to protect your property. In the last couple of months, I’ve… Read More →

Fact Sheet: Estimating Potential Capital Gains Tax Liability

Capital gains tax liability can be a major issue for agricultural landowners that who are looking to sell property.  Determining the value on which taxes may be figured can be difficult, particularly when the land was inherited decades ago and the basis may not be known.  With this in mind, Dr. Terry Griffin, Assistant Professor of Ag Economics at Kansas State Univeristy and I put together a fact sheet to help landowners with this issue. Capital gains taxes are paid on the increase in value over time of certain… Read More →

Five Strands: A Landowner’s Guide to Fence Law in Texas

Is a landowner liable of his cattle get out and are hit on the road?  Can I make my neighbor chip in and and pay for repairs to our shared boundary fence?  What do I do when someone else’s cattle are on my land?  What can I do about my neighbor’s tree limbs hanging over the fence and onto my property? These are the types of questions that Jim Bradbury, Kyle Weldon, and I set out to answer in our most recent publication, “Five Strands: A Landowner’s Guide… Read More →

Extension Fact Sheet: Solar Lease Considerations

Many Texas landowners have recently been contacted by solar companies about potentially leasing their farm or ranchland for a solar energy project. I recently published a Fact Sheet outlining just a few considerations that landowners need to be aware of when approached by a solar company.  As always, I highly recommend consulting with an attorney who has experience negotiating solar lease agreements to protect your rights and your land before signing any lease agreement.  To download the fact sheet, click here. Additionally, if you missed the solar leasing… Read More →