LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Problems in the Mississippi River are Flowing Upstream: Gulf Restoration Network v. EPA

In 2008, various nonprofit environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create rules to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River Basin. The environmental groups argued that because of the massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico—known...

Modern Agriculture's Big Five Issues (and How the Law is Reacting to Them)

For this next year, I’m serving as the chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Agricultural Management Committee . The Committee is part of the wider ABA Section on the Environment, Energy and Resources and focuses on cutting-edge issues involving agriculture and the environment, including...

Why the Chesapeake Bay Matters to Midwestern Farmers

I just returned from the American Bar Association's annual fall environmental conference. This year's conference was in Baltimore, at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay. Needless to say that the environmental condition of the bay and the controversy surrounding it were the talk of the conference...

Is Ethanol Causing Pollution of Our Streams?

While watching CNBC during my usual workout routine, I heard a story about how President Obama's "Green Energy" policies had a dark side. The story specifically referred to the renewable fuels standard (or "RFS") requiring that gasoline sold in the US contain a minimum percentage...

House Passes California Water Bill Over Governor Brown's Objections

HOUSE PASSES CA WATER BILL OVER BROWN'S OBJECTIONS: The ongoing drought in California has sparked yet another new skirmish in the longstanding war between the Golden State's pro-environmental forces and its pro-business agricultural interests. Last Wednesday, the Republican-controlled U.S. House...

Three Agricultural Lessons from The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country roughly the size of New Jersey yet is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world behind only the USA. That statistic is made even more remarkable when one considers that The Netherlands has over 17 million people and much of the country is below sea level. Our...

The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy

Our Indiana Ag Leadership trip to northern Europe included a visit to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union (EU). One of the main topics of discussion was the Common Agricultural Policy, or "CAP," the EU's version...

The Challenges Facing Liberian Agriculture

The last leg of our Indiana Ag Leadership class was to Liberia, West Africa. What we saw was dramatically different than the highly structured and sophisticated agricultural systems of Northern Europe. Liberian agriculture struggles in every area where EU agriculture thrives. The root causes are many...

Indiana Ag Leadership Program Wrap Up

The previous five posts chronicled my journey with the Indiana Agricultural Leadership program to The Netherlands, Belgium, and Liberia. From an agricultural standpoint, the contrast between northern Europe and West Africa could not be more extreme. Northern Europe has highly developed agricultural systems;...

Agricultural Leadership is Hard Work

During our Indiana Ag Leadership class trip to Liberia, West Africa recently, I saw something that has stuck with me since I arrived back in Indiana. At a United Nation's peacekeeping outpost in Ganta, Liberia--manned completely by Bangladeshi troops and engineers--I noticed a large saying hand painted...

U.S. v. Causby: How a 1940s Chicken Farmer Case Will Impact Drone Usage in the 21st Century

In 1946, a North Carolina chicken farmer sued the United States government for trespass by air. The US navy and army operated an airstrip adjacent to the chicken farm, such that the glide path from the runway extended directly over the farmer’s house and outbuildings. Normal glide paths put aircraft...

Huge Manure Spill Fines: $120,000 Plus Surcharge

Two hog farming businesses and a Director must pay manure spill fines of $120,000, plus $30,000 victim fine surcharges, for discharging pig manure into the Thames River and Sweets Creek. The manure impaired the quality of water, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act. The individual Director also...

Are Drones Legal as "Hobby" Aircraft?

The prevalence of drone flights on farms and in other remote locations has apparently caused some real concern at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). There are court cases pending to determine whether current drone usage is legal (from both a regulatory standpoint and a First Amendment standpoint...

FDA Speaks Out on Spent Grains

On April 25, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two documents to address the impact of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) animal feed Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) proposal on spent grains, and ultimately, the impact of the animal feed HARPC proposal...

What You May Be Giving Up When You Agree To "Arbitration" In Your Farming Contracts

Although most people are unfamiliar with the arbitration process, it is common for many form contracts to contain "arbitration" clauses. The Texas Supreme Court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], recently addressed cotton farmers’ challenge to an arbitration clause...

Top 10 CAFO Violations

David Letterman has his Top 10 list. Now the Indiana Department of Environment Management (IDEM) has its Top 10 list for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). These large livestock producers are primarily regulated through IDEM's confined feeding operation (CFO) regulations. Recently, IDEM...

Indiana Sets Rules for "Satellite" Manure Storage Structures

A few years ago, concerned Indiana residents raised complaints with their elected officials about the storage of manure in remote ponds, or “lagoons” that were not sited next to existing livestock farms. There was also concern that poultry litter was being shipped across state lines from...

Farm Animals, Manure and Environmental Law

Here is the presentation by Meredith James on Farm Animals, Manure and Environmental Law for the Animal Law section of the OBA . The presentation focuses on the manure produced by farm animals. In particular, the presentation looks at how manure is regulated and how violations of the acts governing...

Is Your Business Prepared for a Crisis?

A crisis can destroy a business’s reputation and bottom line. A crisis can come from anywhere: a surprise EPA, OSHA, or other regulatory inspection, a natural disaster, or a man-made catastrophe like the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion last year. Though a business owner can never anticipate...

Farm Bureau Data Privacy Poll Produces Some Interesting Results

The American Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau) recently polled over 2500 farmers about their concerns with data privacy and technology. Over 1000 of those surveyed indicated that they already use “precision technologies” on their farm, including data analysis tools operated by off-farm...

Ag Industry Releases Core Principles for Farm Data Privacy

This past year some of America’s leaders in agricultural technology products worked together with American Farm Bureau Federation and industry trade organizations to come up with a set of core principles for data privacy. The principles identified should help these agriculture technology providers...

Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data

A few people have asked me for a link to the farm data core principles document released by ag technology providers and industry trade organizations. Below is the entire document, which represents a collaboration of American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Beck’s Hybrids,...

A Closer Look at Farm Data Ownership

A number of agriculture technology providers (ATPs) worked together recently to produce a document identifying core industry principles for data privacy and security on the farm. (Read the core principles document here: Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data ). One principle addressed ownership...

Big Data on the Farm: Presentation to Indiana Farm Bureau

My January 20, 2015 presentation to Indiana Farm Bureau's District Meeting can be found by clicking on the following link: Big Data on the Farm Don't forget to also check out American Farm Bureau Federation's Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data . Read more at Janzen...

What You Need to Know about Farm Data Privacy

Here is my presentation to the Indiana Horticultural Congress on January 21, 2015. You can follow along online by clicking below: Farm Data Privacy: What You Need to Know Please check out other articles about the agriculture and technology on this blog. Read more at Janzen Ag Law...