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Latest from Schroeder Ag Law Blog

While animal agriculture is often a target in the climate change battle, recent research shows livestock could play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions. “Regenerative agriculture” or “carbon farming” is the practice of raising livestock or crops in a way that sequesters carbon and maximizes soil health. This can include no-till, cover crops, crop rotations, using fewer chemicals and fertilizers, and incorporating rotational livestock grazing. Soils are a natural carbon vacuum, since plants absorb…
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral argument this fall regarding whether the discharge of pollutants through groundwater requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case, the court broadly construed the Clean Water Act (CWA) and held that discharges “fairly traceable from the point source to a navigable water” required a permit. This holding made waves because…
If you can remember way way back to February 2019, the internet and agricultural media were 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. Were the ads deceptive or did they just cater to consumer preferences? MillerCoors quickly responded to the advertisements: first, it sued Anheuser Busch and alleged the commercial intentionally…
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. These are the numerous exceptions to Home Rule (and then of course there are exemptions to the exceptions). I recently gave a presentation to a group of certified planners and others involved in local government planning and zoning decisions.…
The ACLU recently challenged Iowa’s “ag gag” law in federal court. Iowa’s law makes it a crime to use deception to gain access to a private livestock or meatpacking facility with the intent to cause physical or economic harm or “other injury” to a facility’s operations, property or persons. The ACLU challenged that the Ag Gag law is unconstitutional, chills free speech, and criminalizes a free press. Indiana farms have been targeted by anti-agriculture activists…
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. California passed a ballot proposition a few years ago requiring laying hens, veal, and swine have enough room to lay down and turn around. More recently, in 2018,…
A New Mexico dairy farmer has been in the news lately, and it isn’t good news. Art Schaap is dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, had to let 40 of his employees go, and plans to terminate all 4,000 of his cows because 7 of his 13 wells have been contaminated by toxins called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that entered the groundwater at nearby Cannon Air Force base. Now Schaap is stuck with contaminated…
A New Mexico dairy farmer has been in the news lately, and it isn’t good news. Art Schaap is dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, had to let 40 of his employees go, and plans to terminate all 4,000 of his cows because 7 of his 13 wells have been contaminated by toxins called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that entered the groundwater at nearby Cannon Air Force base. Now Schaap is stuck with contaminated…
It is still illegal to grow marijuana in Indiana (for now, at least!). Right now, with a license, hemp production for research purposes is allowed. Soon, general grower licenses likely will be available. Industrial hemp refers primarily to Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). There are thousands of uses for hemp, from medicinal and food grade oils from the seeds to paper and clothing from the fibers. Analysts predict the hemp market could hit more than $20 billion in the…
It is still illegal to grow marijuana in Indiana (for now, at least!). Right now, with a license, hemp production for research purposes is allowed. Soon, general grower licenses likely will be available. Industrial hemp refers primarily to Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). There are thousands of uses for hemp, from medicinal and food grade oils from the seeds to paper and clothing from the fibers. Analysts predict the hemp market could hit more than $20 billion in the…