Overview of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

On April 17, 2020, President Trump announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), designed to provide funding to partner with regional and local distributors to purchase fresh produce, dairy, and meat products and to provide direct support to agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and to assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19. On May 19, 2020, the USDA released details of the direct support programs.  The… Read More →

Appellate Court Finds High-Speed Rail Meets Required Definitions for Eminent Domain Authority

A recent decision, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure v. Miles,  from the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals  garnered substantial media coverage.  Are the companies proposing Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. (TCRI) and Integrated Texas Logistics (ITL), considered “railroad companies” or “interurban electric railways”  such that they have eminent domain power? [Read full opinion here.] Background  This case revolves around the proposed high-speed electric-powered passenger train that would run between Dallas and Houston. In 2012, TXHS Railroad, Inc. was formed and in 2015, the company changed… Read More →

May 15, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the ag law front.  Here are some of the cases in the news. *Appellate court finds Texas Central Railroad is a “railroad company” and an “interurban electric railway.”  One of the main legal battles over the proposed high speed rail project in Central Texas has been whether the builder, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. qualifies as a “railroad company” or an “interurban electric railway.”  If so, the company would likely be entitled to use eminent domain to… Read More →

New Owning Your Piece of Texas Dates

After having to postpone two of our Spring events, we are excited to announce the dates for three upcoming Owning Your Piece of Texas programs this fall.  We appreciate your flexibility and patience with us during this time. Our remaining 2020 events will be:  Conroe (August 20); Burnet (September 15); Seguin (October 7). These day-long events focus on the key legal issues facing rural landowners and agricultural producers.  To find more information or to register, please click here. We will be looking forward to seeing you this fall!

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 →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Can One Co-Owner Grant an Easement to a Third-Party?

Question:  Can one co-owner of property grant an easement to a third party or is consent from all co-owners required? Answer:  “It is well settled that a tenant in common cannot, without the precedent authority or subsequent ratification of his cotenants, impose an easement or dedication upon the common property in favor of a third party.”   See Tex. Mortg. Co. v. Phillips Petrol. Co., 470 F.2d 497 (5th Cir. 1972) (applying Texas law).  In other words, without the consent of all co-owners, or their subsequent agreement to the terms… Read More →

May 1, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy May Day to all!  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Here are some of the biggest ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Navigable Waters Protection Rule is published.  The WOTUS saga continues.  The Trump administration’s definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, newly named “Navigable Waters Protection Rule,” was published in the Federal Register on April 21.  I’ll have a blog post discussing the details soon, but for now if you want to read… Read More →

US Supreme Court Decides Maui County Clean Water Act Case

The much-anticipated United States Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund was released last week.  It is a fascinating decision that results in the Court adopting a “functional equivalent” test.  [Click here.] Background Under the federal Clean Water Act, it is unlawful to discharge a pollutant from a point source into a Water of the United States without obtaining a federal permit.  The question before the US Supreme Court is whether a permit is required when pollutants originate from a point source, but travel through… Read More →

New Ranchers Leasing Workshop Dates

Like just about everything else, our Ranchers Leasing Workshop events were impacted by COVID-19. We have re-grouped and worked with our County Extension Agents to determine new dates for our postponed events.  We appreciate your patience and flexibility with us. The remaining events for 2020 will be:  Brenham (August 18); Fredericksburg (September 14); Abilene (September 29) and Leming (October 6).  Note that Leming will be the location of our event previously scheduled in LaVernia. To get more information or to register, please click here.  As always, feel free… Read More →

Texas Department of Agriculture ADOPTED Hemp Regulations

This article summarizes the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) hemp regulations as adopted on March 6, 2020.  The full text of these regulations may be found here.   While the changes from the proposed rule (which we summarized here) were few in number, there were several significant changes in the adopted regulations. We have attempted to note those significant modifications within this summary.  A video summary of this adopted rule put together by Dr. Justin Benavidez may be accessed here. Licensing Producers looking to grow hemp will need to… Read More →