Category Archives: Uncategorized

Live Programs Scheduled This Fall

In September, we will be hitting the road to host our final live Ranchers Leasing Workshop, Where’s the Beef Program, and Owning Your Piece of Texas Programs for 2023.  Each of these are award-winning programs that focus on offering practical information to rural landowners and agricultural producers.  We hope you’ll join us! Ranchers Leasing Workshop Our final Ranchers Leasing Workshop for 2023 will be in Decatur on September 13.  This half-day program is focused particularly on grazing and hunting leases.  Topics include why leasing land (as a landowner… Read More →

Transferring the Over-65 or Disabled Property Tax Exemption

Dr. Blake Bennett and I co-authored a fact sheet on an important, but not widely known, concept related to property taxes. Most people are familiar with the over-65 exemption and the disabled exemption for property taxes, which allows for an additional $10,000 homestead exemption for school district taxes.  Additionally, the over-65 exemption and the disabled exemption freeze the value of the homestead for school tax purposes a the dollar value when the person initially claimed this additional exemption on their homestead.   The market value can continue to increase… 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 →

Many Over the Counter Livestock Antibiotics to Require Prescription Starting in June

In January, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released specific details on a change to how certain antibiotics for animal use may be purchased.  As of June 11, 2023, a number of veterinary antibiotics considered “medically important antimicrobials” previously sold over the counter will require a veterinary prescription in order to purchase.  Here are answers to some common questions surrounding this new rule. What is the new rule?  The Food and Drug Administration’s CVM GIF #263 makes changes to the availability of certain over the counter antibiotics for… Read More →

Survey of Texas Agricultural Producers and Landowners Results

You may recall this time last year, Dr. Justin Benavidez and I were working hard to get Texas landowners and ag producers to respond to our survey on land ownership.  This project was funded by the Texas Corn Producers.  We were thrilled that nearly 650 people responded.  To those of you included in that number, thank you! Thanks to the data set we had to work with, we were able to catch an interesting glimpse and insight into rural land ownership in Texas.  We are excited to have… Read More →

Case Addresses Dedication of Public Roads

A recent San Antonio Court of Appeals case, Holly v. Newberry Ranches of Texas, offers a good overview of the law surrounding dedication of public roads.  [Read opinion here.] Background The Hollys own 1,500 acres in Val Verde County.  This property was acquired from two deeds, one in 2004 and one in 2005.  Both deeds reference “a county-maintained gravel road” known as Arledge Road.  In 2012, the Hollys protested the inclusion of Arledge Road in the Val Verde County Road map.  As part of that protest, a jury of… Read More →

Save the Dates: Owning Your Piece of Texas & Ranchers Leasing Workshops Back for 2023

Our two award-winning programs will be back on the road for 2023! Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know This one-of-a-kind program offers rural landowners and agricultural producers in Texas an overview of many of the key agricultural law issues that they could face.  The live course allows for great questions-and-answer and discussion with the audiences.  This year, we’re excited to head to Rosenberg, Dripping Springs, and Emory. From landowner liability to eminent domain, special use tax valuation to fence law, we address… Read More →

Egg Pricing Case Going Forward; Petition for Review at Texas Supreme Court

The State of Texas claims that Cal-Maine Foods illegally charged excessive prices for eggs during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first case to interpret the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act disaster price gouging provision.  The trial court dismissed the case, but the First Court of Appeals in Houston reversed that decision.  [Read Opinion here.]  A Petition for Review is currently pending at the Texas Supreme Court with the State of Texas’ response due February 6, 2023. Factual Background Cal-Maine Foods is the largest producer of shell eggs… Read More →

December 2, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy December! We are back with a number of updates for you with regard to agricultural law news around the country. *Lesser prairie chicken listed under Endangered Species Act.  On November 17, the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a press release that it will be listing the lesser prairie chicken as threatened in the northern distinct population segment (including areas in southeastern Colorado, southcentral and western Kansas, western Oklahoma, and the northeastern Texas Panhandle.) and endangered in the southern distinct population segment (including areas in eastern New… Read More →

Debt Relief for Certain Farmers and Ranchers

Dr. Bart Fischer and I recently co-authored an article for Southern Ag Today looking at the current legal status of Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan of 2021.  This provision required the USDA to make payments to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers  “up to 120% of outstanding indebtedness” of eligible producers for both direct and guaranteed loans administered by USDA agencies.  Numerous lawsuits were filed around the country. To find out more about the current status of Section 1005, click here to read our article.