Hemp in Indiana: Today and Tomorrow

Hemp in Indiana: Today and Tomorrow

Some Indiana farms may soon look a little different — hemp is on the horizon here in the Hoosier state. Since the 2018 Farm bill legalized industrial hemp production, our state politicians are working to update state law to match the federal language.

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You Can't Make Everybody Happy All the Time: the Costco Chicken Story

You Can't Make Everybody Happy All the Time: the Costco Chicken Story

We’ve written before on consumer demand’s impact on agriculture. Non-GMO, organic, cage-free, sustainable, antibiotic-free, lab-grown…there is a long list of products developed to meet new consumer demand. As Costco has been finding out, not all attempts to meet consumer demands can make everybody happy all of the time.

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Row Crops Changing to Meet Consumer Demands

Row Crops Changing to Meet Consumer Demands

Tyson Foods recently announced plans to improve environmental practices on two million acres of corn by the end of 2020. This is another example of consumer demands changing how farmers farm.

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Tracing E-Coli Outbreaks

Tracing E-Coli Outbreaks

The news for Romaine lettuce has been bleak lately. Haven’t we heard this before? Why lettuce? And what can we do about it? Blockchain technology would allow users to quickly trace lettuce from the store back to the farm.

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Cell-Based Meat: What Is It? Who Regulates It?

Cell-Based Meat: What Is It? Who Regulates It?

According to Wikipedia, cell-based meat is also called synthetic meat, cultured meat, lab-grown meat, clean meat, or in-vitro meat. Whatever you call it, there are plenty of question about what it is and how it will be regulated. Here’s your primer.

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Consumer Demands are Changing Livestock Farms

Consumer Demands are Changing Livestock Farms

Consumers have an endless variety of options at the grocery store these days. How are consumer demands impacting livestock farms?

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Refresher Course: Indiana Right to Farm Act

Refresher Course: Indiana Right to Farm Act

I spent some time on a college campus recently teaching an Ag Law class about the Indiana Right to Farm Act. This was a good chance for me to think about the Act in a new light and reminded me of two key facts about the Act.

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WOTUS Rule Back On (For Now)

WOTUS Rule Back On (For Now)

In the constant back and forth of numerous court cases across the country, regulatory action, and congressional posturing, it can be hard to keep track of what waters the EPA has jurisdiction over any more. Most recently, a federal district court in South Carolina issued an order striking a rule that would delay implementation of the 2015 WOTUS definition.

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Zoning: Neighbors Do Not Have Automatic Standing

Zoning: Neighbors Do Not Have Automatic Standing

The Indiana Court of Appeals just issued an opinion holding that a neighbor did not have “standing” to appeal variances because he did not show he was “aggrieved.” This case could be important for farmers whose neighbors want to appeal a zoning approval.

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Indiana Wine and Grape Growers: Handshakes and Heartbreaks

Indiana Wine and Grape Growers: Handshakes and Heartbreaks

Last week I drove to beautiful Monroe County, Indiana to present at an Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association annual meeting. We met at Creekbend Vineyard, Oliver Winery's commitment to producing wine from Indiana-grown grapes.

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Crop Share Agreements

Crop Share Agreements

Crop share agreements are more flexible than the fixed cash rent lease. There are benefits and drawbacks to this type of farm contract, including tax liability and risk allocation.

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Cash Rent Agreements

Cash Rent Agreements

A cash rent lease is a fixed agreement in which a landowner receives a fixed payment from the farmer to rent the farmland. There are pros and cons to this most widely used farm lease.

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Farm Leases and Rented Farmland

Farm Leases and Rented Farmland

I gave a presentation about farm leases this week to a national group of attorneys. I'm sharing some of my presentation here on the blog in case it can help our clients and friends when negotiating their own leases. 

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Grape Growers and the FSMA Produce Rule

Grape Growers and the FSMA Produce Rule

As of 2018, grape growers are required to adhere to the Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA") Produce Rule if they sell grapes to wineries. However, most grape growers will qualify for an exemption.

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What does the $50M hog farm verdict mean for livestock farms?

What does the $50M hog farm verdict mean for livestock farms?

On April 26, 2018, a North Carolina jury awarded 10 plaintiffs a total of $50 million in punitive damages and $750,000 in compensatory damages for damages allegedly caused by a nearby hog farm. What does this mean for other livestock producers?

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Omnibus Bill Removes Livestock Air Emissions Reporting Requirement

Omnibus Bill Removes Livestock Air Emissions Reporting Requirement

The 2018 federal omnibus spending bill fixed the problem caused by a federal court regarding air emissions reporting requirements for livestock operations. 

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Zoning: The "You Can't Do That" Edition

Zoning: The "You Can't Do That" Edition

Recently we've seen a few counties consider blocking livestock development. But barring the construction of of livestock farms in rural areas often is legally suspect.

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Return of the Local Butcher: Meat Class

Return of the Local Butcher: Meat Class

I recently attended a whole hog butchering class here in Indianapolis, which closed the gap between farmer, butcher, and consumer.  

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Fake Meat: When "Beef" Isn't Beef

Fake Meat: When "Beef" Isn't Beef

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association recently filed a petition asking the USDA to issue a formal definition of "beef" as meat derived from cattle. This has set off a battle over labels with makers of lab-grown "clean meat" and plant-based meat substitutes. So just what is "beef"? 

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Hop Farm Checklist

Hop Farm Checklist

Specialty crops, like hops farms, deserve special attention. This post explains three important tasks a new or established hops farm should complete to ensure it is well-protected. 

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