Blog Authors

Latest from Janzen Ag Law Blog

The market is buzzing with carbon reduction platforms designed to pay farmers for following established carbon reduction protocols. Indigo Ag, ESMC, FBN, Bayer/Climate Corporation, Nori, and Nutrien are just some of the players in these new carbon reduction platforms for row crop and grain farmers. Livestock producers are also seeing changes in how they produce proteins driving by the buyers of these commodities. What all of these efforts have in common—they all rely on data…
The ag data transformation of agriculture is well underway. Five years ago, the Ag Data Transparent (ADT) launched with a mission to bring clarity and simplicity to farmers’ decisions to use online ag data platforms. The central part of ADT’s vision was fulfilled by creating a certification process that involved tech providers answering 10 questions about how they collect, share, and use farmers’ ag data. Online ag data platforms have matured a lot since 2016,…
Here are the 11 questions that ag tech companies must answer in order to become Ag Data Transparent certified. Who is the tech provider? What products, platform, or services within the tech company are certifying as Ag Data Transparent? Who are the primary users of the product, platform, or services? What categories of data does the data platform collect? Do the tech company’s agreements with the user address ownership of user data?  Does the tech…
Each year at this time I like to reflect on what the big events were over the last twelve months. Here are the news articles and stories getting the most interest on the Janzen Ag Tech Blog in 2020. Covid-19. There is no summary of 2020 that does not include the Covid-19 pandemic. Our office, like many, was closed for much of the late spring and early summer as we shifted to working from home.…
I feel like it was about five years ago when the gates were opened to the ag data land rush. Small ag-tech companies and multinational legacy companies all entered the ag data space, each rushing to grab as many acres or customers as possible. As we near the end of 2020, I thought it would be worth reflecting on how ag data has changed during this five-year period. Ag data is an international commodity. We…
A recent AgWeb article made a bold claim: Tesla is the biggest threat to farming today. I’ve always considered Tesla to be an enormous innovator—more likely to improve the efficiencies of farming than to threaten it. What could the author possibly mean? In article, Wells Fargo Economist: Biggest Threat to Farming is Tesla, the author more pointedly explains that the adoption of electric vehicles by consumers is the biggest direct threat to ethanol, and…
Wind power in my part of the world has become a very popular “clean” energy source for power companies. Wind power has also become very controversial, leading to highly contentious zoning fights at the county level. This article discusses three legal items for landowners to consider before signing an agreement to allow construction of wind turbines on their fields by a developer. Zoning. Large-scale wind turbine projects often become extremely contentious at the county level.…
As one farmer recently told me, “If we can’t make money grain farming, we might as well farm the sun.” Clean energy is hot on the farm, and its more than anaerobic digesters and windmills. Many farmers are being approached by solar energy developers who ask them to sign up acres of farmland for conversion into solar farms. These farmers are presented with very long-term leases that take farm ground out of production for decades.…
A reporter recently asked me if there are examples of ways in which new ag technologies can actually increase a farmer’s liabilities. As I thought about the question, I concluded usually the opposite is true—ag tech decreases risk by improving accuracy and efficiency, lessening unknowns. Autosteer is a great example. It was able to increase the precision of the tractor and therefore decrease fuel, seed, fertilizer and pesticide usage. Likewise, autosteer decreased the risk that…
A recent Forbes article touts that “Carbon Labels are Finally Coming to the Food and Beverage Industry.”  The article cites examples from the UK and US where food packagers are voluntarily adopting and labeling their products with carbon rating.  For example, chicken breast might have a carbon score of 5.9kg CO2e/kg, while blueberries have a carbon score of 1.5kg CO2e/kg (Source: Quorn).  Carbon labeling advocates envision a world where all consumer products are labeled and buyers…