Farms

News & Analysis as of

Ho Ho Ho GMO! The 2014 GMO Legislation Scorecard

This has been a big year for GMO legislation. In 2014 alone, 25 states have proposed 67 pieces of legislation aimed either at the labeling of products containing GMOs or at the ban of GMO-containing crops. While this space...more

Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - GAPPs Improve Michigan Food Processing - 30 Projects Announced to Support Michigan Specialty Crop Growers - Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries - Great Lakes Ag-Tech...more

Conservation Easements Are Not Required As Mitigation For Permanent Loss Of Farmland

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, the California Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the County of Fresno’s adoption of an Environmental Impact Report for a mining operation that will result in a permanent...more

Banking Bulletin: Saddle Up! Livestock Lenders and Livestock Leasing

On August 14, 2014, in a dispute regarding entitlement to proceeds resulting from an auction of livestock in possession of a dairy farmer-debtor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an order in favor of a...more

GAPP Improves Michigan Food Processing

The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development recently adopted Generally Accepted Processing Practices ("GAPPs"), which serve to promote and grow a healthy food processing industry in Michigan. Functioning...more

PA Supreme Court Grants Important Victory for Insurers Regarding CGL Coverage for Progressive Property Damage

In a comprehensive and sweeping opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed several key principles of commercial general liability (CGL) policy interpretation in Penn National v. St. John, decided on December 15, 2014....more

Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

Turning Manure into megawatts (Swine Farm Biogas Renewable Energy Project)

As I noted in my last post, Withers & Ravenel’s Swine Farm Biogas Renewable Energy Project, located in Bladensboro, North Carolina, is one of this year’s ACEC Excellence in Engineering Award winners....more

Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is considering a change to Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural Practices ("GAAMPs") that would compel beehive owners to "block" their apiaries from neighboring properties....more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator Helps Entrepreneurial Farmers

State Representative Joe Haveman recently announced the State of Michigan's $500,000 contribution to the new Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit. The Incubator offers specialized assistance to...more

Court Holds Small Business Administration and Farm Service Agency Must Consult on Loan Guarantees

A federal district court in Arkansas recently issued a decision clarifying that the obligation to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) extends to the Small Business Administration and the Farm...more

Federal District Court Doubles Down, Vacates Hawaii County GMO Ban

On November 26, Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren struck down Hawaii County’s Ordinance 13-121, which restricts the open-air growth and cultivation of genetically engineered crops or plants (GMOs). See Slip Op. at 28. In this...more

Emissions Reduction Fund Passed by Australian Parliament

On 24 November 2014 the Australian Parliament passed the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) which puts in place the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF is the cornerstone of the Australian Government's...more

CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee to Meet on December 9

The Agricultural Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will convene on December 9 to discuss deliverable supplies of agricultural commodities and related implications for position limits and the...more

Seeds Worth More than Gold

Plant Breeders are Learning the Value of Protecting Their Inventions - Agricultural espionage: it’s not exactly the stuff of John le Carré novels. But recently a Chinese woman was charged in a plot to steal U.S. corn...more

Australia and China Free Trade Agreement

This week, following the successful hosting of the G20 summit, the Australian Federal Government signed a declaration of intention with China to bring into force a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The agreement...more

Federal Court Finds Potential Risks to Human Health and the Environment from Pesticide Use on Genetically Modified Organisms...

In Jim Aana, et al. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., et al. (August 26, 2014) (2014 WL 4241221), a consolidated class-action lawsuit filed by the residents of Waimea, Kauai, the United States District Court for the...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress: Los Angeles Times - Nov 10: Heat and extreme drought have worsened smog in California over the last year, stalling...more

Beveridge & Diamond Wins Preemption Decision in Washington State Court of Appeals

Appellate litigators in Beveridge & Diamond’s District of Columbia office, working with the Washington Department of Ecology, secured a unanimous decision from the Washington Court of Appeals striking down a county ban on...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus: Federal Appeals Court rejects challenge to new highway linking LA and Long Beach - Courthouse News Service - Oct 31: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling...more

The State and Local Regulatory Landscape for Bioengineered Plants

Across the country, numerous state and local governments have enacted or are considering laws affecting the cultivation, use, and labeling of genetically engineered plants (“GMOs”). These laws are best described in three...more

Florida Statute Deeming Workers’ Compensation an Exclusive Remedy Declared Unconstitutional by 11th Circuit Trial Court

On Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 11th Circuit Trial Judge Jorge E. Cueto entered a Summary Final Judgment Order declaring the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) unconstitutional. In Julio...more

EEOC Sues County Fair Farm for Sexual Harassment

Federal Agency Charges County Fair Farm With Subjecting Female Farmworkers to Groping, Verbal Abuse, Solicitations for Sex - BOSTON -- County Fair Farm, a farm and produce wholesaler located in Jefferson, Maine,...more

Mushroom Growers Denied Capper-Volstead Antitrust Immunity

On October 14, 2014, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion for reconsideration brought by members and affiliates of the former Eastern Mushroom Marketing Cooperative (EMMC). In re Mushroom Direct Purchaser...more

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