Year in Review: 2018 Ag Law Developments

Image of White Fence by Zach Stern via flickr.com

This is not a substitute for legal advice.

With 2018 over and 2019 underway, I want to take a minute to look back at many of the top legal developments impacting agriculture in 2018. Many of these legal developments may seem like repeats from my 2017 update; click here. For those interested embedded above is a join podcast episode I did with Tiffany Lashmet covering the top ag law developments. With those repeated issues, in many cases, we have seen resolutions, and we will probably continue to see litigation further develop with a few problems in 2019. Moving into 2019, we will likely see new issues emerge as a new Farm Bill is implemented and further developments in the international trade area. If you have not already signed up for updates, see the bottom of this post or any post on this site to get email updates sent to you as new content is available. Continue reading

Eligible Corn Growers and Landlords Begin Filing Syngenta Settlement Claims in May

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Corn harvest with combine dumping onto grain cart.  Image  by United Soybean Board.

This post is not legal advice.

On April 10, 2018, a federal district court judge granted preliminary approval to the $1.51 billion MIR162 Syngenta settlement. This settlement, reached in September 2017 and officially announced in March 2018, would settle claims by U.S. farmers for Syngenta bringing Viptera and Duracade corn varieties to market before approval in China. This approval means corn growers region will begin to see formal notices hitting their mailboxes in May, and the claims process will begin. Corn growers and eligible landlords will be able to file claims electronically beginning May 11, 2018, at www.cornseedsettlement.com, or by calling 1-833-567-CORN(2676) to request a paper form. Corn growers and eligible landlords will need to file a claim by October 12, 2018. Continue reading

Syngenta Announces $1.51 Billion Dollar Settlement to MIR162 Class Action Suit

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Corn being harvest in a field by a combine.  Image is by the United Soybean Board.

The article is not a substitute for legal advice.

In September 2017, Syngenta agreed to settle claims brought by U.S. farmers for bringing Viptera and Duracade corn varieties to market before approval in China. On March 12, 2018, Syngenta formally announced that it would be settling all U.S. corn growers, grain handlers, and ethanol plant claims. This settlement, from media reports, will include all U.S. corn farmers including those who opted out of the original class action suit and those who grew Agrisure Duracade Corn and/or Agrisure Viptera corn varieties. The settlement will be for a period starting after September 15, 2013, and continue through the 2018 crop year. You are not required to retain an attorney to assist you in collecting on this settlement. Continue reading

2017 in Review: Legal Developments In Agriculture

 

2017 ag law developments

Image in photo from powerpoint slide developed by FPPT.com

 

With 2017 coming to an end, I want to take a minute to look back at many of the top legal developments impacting Maryland agriculture in the year. Many of these legal developments may seem like repeats from my 2016 update, click here to see. With those repeated issues, we in many cases have seen resolutions in a few, and with others, we will probably continue to see litigation further develop with a few issues in 2018. Moving into 2018, we will probably see new issues develop as we look at a new Farm Bill debate and cycle potentially starting.  You can listen to Tiffany Lashmet and I discuss many of these top legal developments on our joint podcast episode, click here. Continue reading

Proposed Settlement of Claims Against Syngenta May Not Apply to Maryland and Delaware Corn Growers, But A Future Settlement Will Settle Claims Nationwide

 

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Grain silos with bare field.  Image by Jeannette E. Spaghetti via Flickr.com

 

Disclaimer:   Paul does not take any position on the claims asserted against Syngenta or on whether producers join in a  class action lawsuit against Syngenta.  This article is for informational purposes only.

On September 26, 2017, Syngenta agreed to settle claims brought by U.S. farmers for bringing Viptera and Duracade corn varieties to market before approval in China. News of the settlement came after weeks of a trial involving about 22,000 Minnesota corn growers seeking $400 million in damages, following a settlement in June where a jury awarded over 7,000 Kansas corn growers $218 million in damages. While terms of this late September settlement are currently unknown, reports are that Syngenta is seeking to establish a fund of around $1.5 billion to settle this ongoing litigation. These class action lawsuits currently involve corn growers who priced corn after November 18, 2013, and who did not purchase Viptera or Duracade corn varieties.
Continue reading

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

Forthcoming Article: Adapting to the Changing World of Biotechnology: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation as Regulation-By-Litigation

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In late 2016, I got the opportunity to speak at the Texas A&M Law Review’s Symposium on Agriculture, Intellectual Property, and Feeding the World in the 21st Century. During the symposium, I spoke on a panel with Andrew Morton, Morton Farms, and Prof. Joanna Sax, Professor of Law, California Western School of Law, and the panel was moderated by my former ag law professor, Drew Kershen, Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, College of Law. Continue reading

Corn Producers in Maryland and Delaware Have Till April 1 to Decide Stay or Opt Out of the Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation

 

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Image by Nyttend via wikicommons

 

This post is not legal advice. 

Time is running out for Delaware and Maryland producers to make a decision on staying in the current Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation or opting out to pursue individual claims against Syngenta. Currently, Delaware and Maryland corn producers have until April 1, 2017, to make this decision. Continue reading

Pesticide Drift Leads To Class Action Lawsuit

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This post is not legal advice. 

Pesticide drift is a concern of many agricultural producers. This summer producers in the South and Midwest experienced damage to crops due to pesticide drift. Producers adopting new technology from Monsanto caused the pesticide drift. This new technology was Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton. 2 Xtend products are resistant to dicamba, but not the types of dicamba on the market when Monsanto began marketing Xtend soybeans and cotton. The type of dicamba for Xtend, VaporGrip, is designed to be lower volatility that minimizes drift but was not approved by the EPA till November 2016. Hundreds of producers filed complaints after detecting crop damage due to pesticide drift this past year. Recently, a group of producers in Missouri has filed a class action lawsuit in Missouri against Monsanto seeking more than $5,000,000 in damages due to drift for producers in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Continue reading