Farms

News & Analysis as of

Grants Available for Specialty Crops – March 26 Deadline

In early February 2015, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD) announced the availability of a series of grants for Michigan specialty crop growers. The grants are funded by...more

Texas Supreme Court Leaves Trespass Question Unanswered

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Environmental Processing Systems LC v. FPL Farming Ltd., case number 12-0905, and specifically declined to address the issue of whether wastewater that migrates under...more

Missouri Federal Court Cuts Claims in Pipeline Property Damage Action

Underscoring the need for plaintiffs to show concrete proof of harm in suits alleging property damage, a federal district court dismissed a suit alleging that an oil pipeline contaminated farmland in Missouri. See Henke v....more

Is Wastewater Migration From Disposal Wells A Trespass Under Texas Law? The Texas Supreme Court Declines to Answer

In Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., a landowner sued the operator of a neighboring wastewater disposal facility on the theory that deep subsurface wastewater trespassed beneath the landowner’s...more

California Egg Producer Fails to Crack New Shelled Egg Law

The Ninth Circuit recently upheld California’s Proposition 2, Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 25990-25991, agreeing with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that the new shelled egg law is...more

WRI Report Concludes Biofuels Competing With Food Sources

The World Resources Institute (WRI) issued a working paper, "Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land," as part of its series on "Creating a Sustainable Food Future." ...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Rail case heading to state Supreme Court: Willits News - Jan 27: The Supreme Court of California has accepted review of a lower court decision holding that federal law implemented by...more

Recent Cases on Clean Air Act Preemption of Common Law Torts Upend Conventional Wisdom

Two recent appellate-level decisions allowing state common law tort claims against an intrastate emitting source to avoid Clean Air Act (CAA) preemption have surprised many CAA litigators. The outcome in both Bell v....more

Wisconsin Supreme Court's misapplication of the pollution exclusion and disregard for policyholders' business and purpose in...

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two opinions in which it held that pollution exclusions barred coverage for third-party claims resulting from alleged contamination of water due to the seepage of cow manure and...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Applies Pollution Exclusion to Well Contaminated with Manure

Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the pollution exclusion applies to well water contamination arising from the application of manure to nearby farmland, relieving a general liability insurer of its duty to...more

Typo Disastrous for Lender

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently issued a harsh opinion for lenders in In re: David L. Duckworth. The case provides a startling example of the drastic consequences of failing to carefully...more

State of the GMO Union

Just how hot is GMO-labeling legislation? On Jan. 6, 2015, a Republican state senator introduced just such a bill - in Indiana, the nation’s breadbasket. Still, federal legislation on both sides of the issue has stalled, the...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Well Contamination Resulting from the Application of Manure and...

In Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Robert Falk and Jane Falk, 2013AP691 & 2013AP776, and Preisler v. Kuettel’s Septic Serv., 2012AP2521, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sought to resolve conflicting court of appeals’ decisions on...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Cow Manure Claims

In its recent decision in Wilson Mut. Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2014 WI 136, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had occasion had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm, and which migrates from the insured’s...more

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

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