Texans to Vote on Right to Farm Constitutional Amendment November 7

On November 7, 2023, Texas voters will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 1, which would establish the right to farming, ranching, timber production, and wildlife management into the Texas Constitution.   Background During the 88th Legislative Session, Texas lawmakers passed House Joint Resolution 126 (HJR 126). It is the language from this HJR that Texas voters will cast their ballots for or against in November.  HJR 126 reads as follows:   SECTION 1.  Article I, Texas Constitution, is amendment by adding Section 36 to read as follows: Section… Read More →

Texas Right to Farm Statute Overview

Earlier this year, we discussed legislative amendments to the Texas Right to Farm Statute here. Now that those changes have gone into effect, we thought it might be useful to provide a brief overview of the Texas Right to Farm Statute.  To read the full text of the Texas Right to Farm statute (with changes underlined), click here. Background One real concern for farmers across the country, especially those whose operations are located in areas where houses are moving out into traditionally more rural areas is the threat… Read More →

USDA NASS Publishes Cash Lease Data for 2023

Each year, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts a nationwide survey to gather data and compile a report showing average cash rental rates across the United States.  These results are based upon the survey responses from landowners and producers around the country.  Please note that all reported cash rent amounts are listed in a per acre/per year format. To view the database with the data for each state, click here.  To view the database with data for each county in the US, click here. Tp see a… Read More →

Ag Law in the Field Podcast: Episodes 151-160

Did you know we have a podcast about agricultural law called Ag Law in the Field?  It is a really fun project that allows me to introduce listeners to some of the best ag lawyers in the country.  If you aren’t familiar with Ag Law in the Field or with podcasts in general, don’t panic.  This is simply another resource that I have available for you to learn more about agricultural law.  Each episode is audio-only, and I interview an ag lawyer or other expert about a specific… Read More →

September 8, 2023 Weekly Round Up

We’re back again with another rundown of some of the key ag law issues in the news this week. *There is a new I-9 form that must be used starting November 1, 2023.  The US Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new I-9 form on August 1.  For now, employers may use either the new form or the current form, but as of November 1, all employers must use the new form. You can find the new form here.  A summary of the changes may be found here…. Read More →

EPA Releases Revised WOTUS Definition

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (“COE”) released a final rule to amend the WOTUS definition previously issued in January.  This amended rule was issued in response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA. Background The definition of WOTUS is really a question regarding the scope of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Congress, acting under the Commerce Clause, passed the CWA in 1972.  The CWA gave federal jurisdiction over “navigable waters,” a term that was defined as… Read More →

Who Owns Produced Water from Oil and Gas Operations in Texas?

The El Paso Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Cactus Water Services, LLC v. COG Operating, LLC answering the question of who owns produced water resulting from oil and gas production in Texas. [Read Opinion here.] Produced Water Basics This case involves a question of the ownership of produced water. As explained in more detail below, this is water, along with a number of other substances, that travels to the wellbore in the fracing process.  To offer a bit of perspective on the scope of this issue,… Read More →

August 25, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Once again, we’ve had a number of ag law issues in the news the past couple of weeks. * Bipartisan group of lawmakers ask House Agriculture Committee Chairman not to include EATS Act in the next Farm Bill.  A letter signed by more than 170 lawmakers asks House Ag Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson not to include the EATS Act in a new farm bill.  The Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act was proposed after the Supreme Court upheld California’s Proposition 12 and would prohibit such measures in… Read More →

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 →

Statutory Amendments Offer Broader Liability Protection to Texas Landowners

The Texas Legislature recently amended Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 75.006 to expand liability protections in situations when damages or injuries arise that are out of control of the agricultural landowner or lessee.  The statute is titled “Certain Liability Limited in Connection with Livestock or Agricultural Land” and the amendments are found in HB 73. Prior Version Previously, Section 75.006 provided protection to landowners in certain scenarios.  First, landowners were not liable for damages arising from an incident caused by livestock due to the act or… Read More →