Groundwater as a Point Source?

Groundwater as a Point Source?

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral argument this fall regarding whether the discharge of pollutants through groundwater requires an NPDES permit.

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Beer and Corn Syrup: Deception or Consumer Preference?

Beer and Corn Syrup: Deception or Consumer Preference?

If you can remember way way back to February 2019, the internet was abuzz over the Bud Light Super Bowl commercial criticizing Miller Light and Coors Light for using corn syrup. Since the Super Bowl, Bud Light continued to run more corn syrup ads. But were the ads deceptive or did they just cater to consumer preferences?

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Local v. State Control - Indiana Planning and Zoning

Local v. State Control - Indiana Planning and Zoning

Planning and zoning seems, at least at first, like a purely local issue. This idea is called Home Rule. But in most states, including here in Indiana, state (and federal) statutes limit a local government’s power.

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How Indiana's Trespass Law Differs from "Ag Gag" Laws

How Indiana's Trespass Law Differs from "Ag Gag" Laws

Indiana’s agricultural trespass law is different than many states “ag gag” laws. The ACLU recently challenged Iowa’s “ag gag” law—could Indiana be next?

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Cage-Free Laws in California and Massachusetts

Cage-Free Laws in California and Massachusetts

Do you pay any attention to what voters are deciding out in California? In the past, I think a lot of people have thought what happens in California stays in California. But, as egg, veal, and swine farmers are finding out, that idea isn’t so true anymore.

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Dairy Farm PFAS Contamination

Dairy Farm PFAS Contamination

A New Mexico dairy farmer has been in the news lately, and it isn’t good news. He is dumping milk, letting employees go, and terminating cows because his dairy is contaminated with PFAS, a dangerous family of man-made chemicals that have seeped into the groundwater from a nearby Air Force base.

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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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