Arkansas Producers File Class Action Lawsuit Related to Dicamba Drift Damage

 

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Sprayer in field by the United Soybean Board.

2016 and 2017 have seen large numbers of complaints filed of drift damage in the Midwest and South. The drift damage is due to dicamba application on new Monsanto varieties of cotton and soybeans that allow for over-the-top applications of dicamba. I’ve written earlier about a dicamba drift class action lawsuit filed in Missouri, but a recently filed one in the Eastern Federal District of Missouri. The new class action is being brought by a group of Arkansas farmers who planted older varieties of soybean and cotton that was not resistant to dicamba. Continue reading

Utah’s Ag-Gag Law Violates First Amendment But Producers Still Have Options

 

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Image of milking parlor by Living Landscape Architecture

 

This is not a substitute for legal advice.

Recently, the federal district court in Utah found that Utah’s ag-gag law violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Animal Legal Defense Fund, 2017). Before this, the federal district court in Idaho had found Idaho’s ag-gag law to violate the U.S. Constitution (Idaho is currently appealing that decision before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals). Although these laws potentially violate the Constitution, producers still have options. In many cases, producers can work with producer groups to conduct audits on the operation to determine that current practices are up to date. Producers can make sure employees have the proper training and tools to conduct tasks. Always conduct background checks before hiring new employees, and utilizing employment contracts and employee handbooks can help limit many of the issues that ag-gag laws are designed to address. Continue reading

After Experiencing Drift Damage, What Should You Do?

 

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Image by Greg Jordan of aerial pesticide application via flickr.com

 

Damage caused by pesticide drift has been in the news a lot over the past couple of years. With Monsanto releasing new varieties resistant to a new less volatile formula of dicamba, many states have seen an increase in reports of drift damages. At the winter agronomy meetings, I discussed what type of liability an applicator might face if a neighbor complained of drift damage, but what should you do if you suspect drift damage in your fields. An injured producer should contact the state department of agriculture to investigate, begin developing evidence of the damage, and consider working with the applicator/neighbor to settle the damage or consider hiring an attorney to pursue a lawsuit in court. Understanding how to handle drift damage can help the injured producer understand his/her rights in this situation. Continue reading

Getting Paid For Your Services

 

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Image by peggydavis66 via flickr.com

 

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Forage that was recently published.  The article covers that critical question, how do you get paid for custom services, such as custom swathing and baling.  A few states have laws that create automatic liens in the crop harvested or swathed and baled.  But the majority of states offer custom operators no automatic lien.  In those states, custom operators should consider developing a standard contract to use to help the operator get paid.

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