USDA Did Not Have the Discretion to Implement New Program That Benefited Farmers: When Does The Agency Have Discretion to Implement a New Program?

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Combine unloading wheat into a semi truck in a harvested field.  Photo by Shannon Dizmag via flickr.com

The article is not a substitute for legal advice. 

Many of us are paying attention to the debate over the new Farm Bill and looking at how changes to existing programs and potential new programs. One issue that may come up after passing a new Farm Bill is how quickly USDA must implement the program changes or new programs. In Ausmus v. Perdue, a group of Colorado wheat farmers recently won after selecting to utilize a new crop insurance product before USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) had implemented the product for wheat. The court ruled that although it might conflict with other duties had under federal law, RMA had to allow producers the ability to use the program after the effective date of the 2014 Farm Bill and not when RMA had implemented the regulations. Continue reading

Industrial Hemp Still Illegal To Cultivate In Maryland

 

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Photo from Wikicommons

This post is not legal advice

 

The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill allows for the cultivating industrial hemp only in states that have developed a pilot program for a college, university, or another state department of agriculture to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes (§ 5940). Since the 2014 Farm Bill’s passage, many states have jumped on board and begun to develop pilot programs to study industrial hemp production (NCSL, 2016). The country has not had industrial hemp production since the 1950s, and information is needed before changing federal and state laws to allow industrial hemp production. Continue reading