Amarillo Court of Appeals Rules in Landlocked Property Case

*Update:  The Texas Supreme Court denied the petition for review on August 2, 2019.  The Amarillo Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Gordon v. Demmon, a case involving access to landlocked property.  This is an issue more common in Texas than one might realize, so I always find court opinions instructive and a good reminder to landowners about some key considerations when dealing with access to property. Background In 1971, the Gordons purchased a 6 acre tract of land in Bell County, which was severed from a… Read More →

May 31, 2019 Weekly Round Up

We’ve reached the end of May…I’m not sure how time goes so quickly.  Here are a few ag law stories in the news recently. *Texas judge finds 2015 WOTUS Rule violated Administrative Procedures Act.  A federal judge here in Texas found that the 2015 WOTUS rule violated the Administrative Procedures Act.  Specifically, the judge found that the proposed rule, for which public comment was allowed, differed too greatly from the final rule.  In other words, because there were portions of the final rule that were significantly modified from… Read More →

2018 Texas Rural Land Value Trends Published

Each year, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends report.  This document provides helpful, interesting information for Texas landowners on both average property value and lease rates for agricultural land across the state. The state wide average price per acre increased, up to $2,779/acre.  This is up 5.1% from a year ago.  The publication divides the state into seven regions, within which are multiple sub regions.  Land is broken down into different categories applicable to the… 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 →

2018 Texas Agricultural Custom Rates Report Published

Have you ever wondered what the going rate is in your area for custom farm work like hauling hay or harvesting wheat?  The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Ag Economics Unit has a helpful publication. The 2018 Texas Agricultural Custom Rates Report is now available.  This report is based upon survey responses gathered from farmers, ranchers, and other landowners across Texas.  The report divides Texas into four quadrants and then provides survey results for each.  The type of work included in the survey ranges from tractor rental to application… Read More →

May 3, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy May!  Welcome to this week’s Agricultural Law Round Up. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I want to say welcome to those of you who I met presenting in Canadian, Burnet, and Kerrville!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Settlement offer in Maui County v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund could remove case from SCOTUS docket.  This week, news broke that a settlement offer had been made by plaintiffs in the Maui County  Clean Water Act case, which… Read More →

TX Attorney General Opinion: Groundwater Conservation District Cannot Limit Definition of Agriculture

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, recently issued an opinion regarding the ability of a Texas Groundwater Conservation District to limit the definition of “agricultural crop” under its rules. [Read full opinion here.]  Although not binding on a court, this opinion could potentially impact GCDs and producers around the state. Background Senator Bob Hall, Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture requested an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on an interesting legal question.  Specifically, Senator Hall wanted to know how the Attorney General thought a court… Read More →

TX Supreme Court Addresses Duty of Executive Rights Holder

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an opinion addressing the duty owed by an executive right holder to non-participating mineral owners.  This is an important issue for both mineral owners and executive right holders to understand and be aware of when considering lease offers. Factual Background Dora Jo Carter owned 1,082 acres in Frio County.  She and her two children also, collectively, owned 50% of the mineral estate. The other 50% mineral interest was owned by the Hindeses. In 2002,  Mrs. Carter sold the surface estate to Texas… Read More →

April 19, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy Easter!  Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. *EPA Publishes “Interpretive Statement” on Applicability of Clean Water Act to Groundwater as Conduit.  You may recall from this prior blog post the legal issue surrounding groundwater as a conduit.  Basically, the question has arisen about whether the discharge of a point source pollutant into groundwater that is connected to a Water of the United States is withing the scope of the Clean Water Act.  The Environmental Protection Agency issued an… Read More →

Free Agricultural Law Workshops Set Across Texas

We’re excited to announce a new educational program for Texas landowners and ag producers, “Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know”.  These programs will offer information to landowners on a variety of topics like water law, landowner liability, eminent domain, fence law, easements, special use tax valuation, and more!   Each program will last from 9am-3pm and will include lunch sponsored by Ag Workers Insurance. Presenters will include Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Extension Ag Law Specialist, who will be joined by a local attorney… Read More →