Happy Friday morning to everyone reading this. Remember upcoming are webinars covering issues related to leasing property, landlord-tenant communication, resources available, and how to set a fair rent. For more information, see https://arecleasingwebinar.eventbrite.com.
Mila Kunis Sued for Stealing a Chicken: Its rare we discuss celebrity gossip here, by rare I mean never, but sometimes a story comes a long and hits on ag law issues. 25 years ago, Mila allegedly stole a childhood friend’s pet chicken and the law is finally catching up with her. More details of the story can be found over on the avclub.com (http://www.avclub.com/article/mila-kunis-sued-stealing-chicken-218416).
Beer: The Latest Cash Crop For Maryland Farmers: Tom Barse’s 47-acre Stillpoint Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland looks like an average agricultural operation. Its fields are rich with crops, while sheep and horses graze in the pastures. However, Barse’s most lucrative crop is actually beer.There are approximately 40 breweries in Maryland, including five fully functioning farmhouse breweries. However, their ranks are growing quickly. “In eight months, we’ll see the number double,” says Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Brewers Association of Maryland. The entire article can be found here: http://fortune.com/2015/04/21/beer-maryland-farmers/?xid=timehp-category
Raisins and the Supreme Court: The Ag Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 was on the docket for the Supreme Court earlier this week. The law authorizes farmers to join cooperative boards (like the California Raisin Board) to stabilize prices for their products. The law allows the boards to limit how much land members can plant with the crop and how excess production can be utilized/sold. The Hornes in California did not agree with the practices and was fined for their action. The Hornes sued in federal court claiming a takings without just compensation that is required by the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Oral arguments were held this week before the U.S. Supreme Court and a ruling is expected later this summer. For more info, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/raisin-farmers-appear-poised-to-win-challenge-of-new-deal-era-program/2015/04/22/17bd061a-e913-11e4-9a6a-c1ab95a0600b_story.html.
5 Keys to Succession Planning: Farm Press has an article up by Kevin Spafford discussing the 5 keys to farm succession planning. If you have not start considering the process then take a moment to check out the article http://deltafarmpress.com/rice/5-keys-succession-planning.
Missouri upholds Right-to-Farm law: The Supreme Court of Missouri recently held their state’s right-to-farm law did not created an uncompensated takings. The case involved a recently built large hog operation that neighbors complained cause odors and other smells that impacted their use and enjoyment of their property. To read the opinion http://www.inversecondemnation.com/files/opinion_sc93816.pdf. I am working on a summary of the case, stay tuned for that.
Forest garden bearing fruit as both food producer, water filter-At the end of a long winter, this portion of the 10-acre plot managed by their Forested, LLC, looks more like an abandoned farm field than a forest or a garden. Four years into their ambitious project, the forest garden is beginning to bear fruit, both in the forested canopy on the plot’s perimeter and in the field where trees — once cleared to make way for crops like tobacco, corn and hay — are being grown for products and education. Persimmons, paw paws and mulberries, fruits with a history in these sandy Maryland soils, have been harvested from their still-maturing trees in recent years. Here is the link for the entire story: http://www.bayjournal.com/article/forest_garden_bearing_fruit_as_both_food_producer_water_filter
New Crop Insurance Math: Politico’s David Roger has an interesting story on the new Yield Exclusion option with crop insurance and its impact on producers. The article highlights how differing farmers are reacting to it and its impact on premium prices. The article is available at http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/new-crop-insurance-math-new-challenges-for-farmers-117195.html. For info on Yield Exclusion in Maryland see http://bit.ly/1PpJQc7.
Website Feedback: The Ag Law Education Initiative is looking for feedback on our websitewww.umaglaw.org. Please check the site out and take a moment to tell us what we can include on that site athttp://bit.ly/umaglawsurvey.