October 6, 2017 Weekly Round Up

This week I traveled to Fredericksburg for the Bennett Trust Women’s Stewardship Conference and to Johnson City for the Pedernales Wildlife Management Co-Op Meeting.  This trip, I had a two-year old sidekick with me who thoroughly enjoyed the fun.  Welcome to those of you joining from these programs. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. * Farm program payments under ARC/PLC are going out beginning this week.  Those of you enrolled in the ARC and PLC programs keep an eye on your mailboxes.  The… Read More →

Vote for the Texas Agriculture Law Blog

We are excited that the Texas Agriculture Law Blog has been nominated by The Expert Institute as one of the Best Legal Blogs in the Education & Law Category. Voting is now open and you can cast your vote for your favorite blog in the various categories.  To vote for the Texas Agriculture Law Blog, click here.  (Voting is quick, easy, and only takes one click!) Thank you all for your support during the nomination process and now with your votes.

Texas Attorney General Opines on Fannin County Fence Law

Fannin County residents have had an ongoing disagreement about whether the county is closed range or open range.  The District Attorney, Richard Glaser, sought an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to answer this question. As Mr. Glaser explained, “In what has recently become an annual Fannin County tradition, this office has been repeatedly asked whether Fannin County is currently an open- or closed-range county.” According to Mr. Paxton’s opinion, Fannin County is, indeed, a closed range county and livestock owners may not allow their animals to… Read More →

September 29, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Hello to new followers from my tour of the San Antonio area last week.  I had presentations in Pearsall, San Antonio, and Floresville and really enjoyed those groups!  I also have done two online presentations recently, one for landowners in Rusk County and another for folks in Upshur County.  To all of you joining from those events, welcome! It has been a busy week on the ag law front, particularly with the announcement that Syngenta has reached a settlement agreement with corn farmers in lawsuits across the US… Read More →

Breaking News: Syngenta Agrees to Settle MIR-162 Corn Lawsuits

Today, parties to the GMO corn litigation pitting corn farmers against Syngenta announced they have reached a settlement in the various lawsuits around the country.  The parties have not announced settlement details, but Reuters News reports the amount to be approximately $1.5 billion. Although settlements must be approved by the court, the parties announced that they have reached a pending settlement agreement in the cases.  In a statement issued by both parties, they stated that “the proposed settlement would allow both sides to avoid the uncertainty of ongoing… Read More →

Court Holds Insurance Pollution Clause Excludes Coverage for Manure Contamination

Judge Thomas Rice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washingon issued a ruling earlier this month that is important for agricultural producers to be aware of when purchasing liability insurance policies.  Specifically, Judge Rice held that when a Washington dairy was sued for contaminating drinking water with manure, its insurance company was justified in denying coverage based upon absolute pollution exclusion clauses in the dairy’s policies. Background Long-time readers of this blog may remember the underlying case involved in this insurance coverage dispute.  The… Read More →

Hiring & Firing on the Farm: What You Need to Know

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Forage magazine on considerations for agricultural employers when hiring and firing employees. There are a number of considerations for employers to keep in mind from thoroughly investigating applicants to ensuring proper paperwork is completed to knowing what question to ask (and not ask!) in an interview.  Additionally, if the time comes to let someone go, employers should be aware of the law regarding termination and ensure they play by the rules. My article is available here and I also recently interviewed… Read More →

September 15, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It has been a bit of a crazy week around here and I apologize to anyone who has called or emailed and not gotten a quick response from me.  On Monday, my two year old landed in the hospital after fighting a nasty stomach virus for two weeks.  He is home and doing much better now, but as you can imagine, work got put on the back burner.  I am back in the saddle now and here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Number… Read More →

Texas Rural Land Value Trends Published

I have received many calls recently inquiring about average land leasing rates across the state.  There are two major publications that offer this type of data to landowners.  In addition to the USDA NASS survey results I blogged about earlier this month, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends Report. This publication, which comes out each April, looks at land prices for the prior year across Texas, broken down into 7 regions and then into several sub-regions…. Read More →

Best Legal Blog Contest Nominations

The Expert Institute is currently accepting nominations for its Best Legal Blog Contest.  Of course, we would love for you to consider nominating the Texas Agricultural Law Blog for this honor if you enjoy our content. From now through September 15, 2017 readers can nominate their favorite legal blog and bloggers to be included on the list of nominees.  The blogs with the most nominations will then be included in the final round where the public is given the chance to vote for its favorite legal blog/blogger. The… Read More →