Thursday, June 14, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—June 14, 2018



Written by: M. Sean High—Staff Attorney
                 
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Dairy Policy: USDA Announces California Federal Milk Marketing Order
On June 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that a required number of California’s dairy producers have voted to approve a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) to regulate the handling of milk in California.  As a result, on June 7, 2018, USDA published notice in the Federal Register of a final rule establishing a California FMMO (83 FR 26547).  According to USDA, under the final rule, the entire state of California will adopt “the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used throughout the current FMMO system.” The final rule will become effective on October 17, 2018.  Compliance with the final rule will begin on November 1, 2018.

Ag-Gag: Court Reinstates Challenge to North Carolina Ag-Gag Law
On June 5, 2018 the Associated Press (AP) reported that a federal court of appeals has reinstated a challenge to North Carolina’s “ag-gag” law.  The North Carolina law in question, also known as the Property Protection Act, addressed undercover surveillance of agricultural operations.  According to the AP, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the challenge, brought by a group of plaintiffs, which included People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Animal Defense Fund, could continue.  Previously, on May 3, 2017, Agri-Pulse reported that the lawsuit had been dismissed by the U.S. District Court for Middle District of North Carolina due to lack of standing.

Agritourism: Maryland Enacts Model Definition of Agritourism
On May 15, 2018, Maryland enacted a law authorizing county governments to adopt a model definition for agritourism (HB 252).  Under the legislation, agritourism is defined “as an activity conducted on a farm that is offered to a member of the general public or to invited guests for the purpose of education, recreation, or active involvement in the farm operation.” Specifically, HB 252 stated that the definition of agritourism includes: farm tours, hayrides, corn mazes, seasonal petting farms, farm museums, guest farms, pumpkin patches, “pick your own” or cut your own” produce, classes related to agricultural products or skills, and picnic and party facilities offered in conjunction with any agritourism activity.  According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the law does not mandate that a county government adopt the model definition but is to serve as a reference.  

International Trade: EU Commission Proposes Farm Subsidy Cuts
On June 7, 2018, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) reported that the European Commission has introduced a set of legislative proposals that would reduce farm subsidies in the European Union (EU) long-term budget 2021-2027.  ICTSD stated that the intent of the legislative proposals is to “modernise and simplify” the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.  First, member states would be granted greater flexibility to determine how funds are distributed.  Second, while overall subsidies would be reduced, support to small and medium-sized farms would be increased. Third, more funds are to be allocated to address the environment and climate change.  Finally, greater funding is to be allocated for research and innovation.  According to ICTSD, the proposals are designed help small producers while also allowing EU agriculture to compete internationally.     

From National Ag Law Experts:


Pennsylvania Legislation:
Agriculture and Rural Affairs (S)
  • Public hearing on PA Milk Marketing Board nominees: Robert Barley (Millersville) and Carol A. Hardbarger (Newport) (June 13, 2018)
  • SR 382 Resolution urging the FDA to enforce milk labeling standards (Referred to committee, June 11, 2018)
  • SR 384 Resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study and issue a report making recommendations for initiatives to assist Pennsylvania dairy producers (Referred to committee, June 11, 2018)


Environmental Resources and Energy (S)
  • SB 917 Legislation to amend the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act to expand the definition of “compost materials" to include spent mushroom substrate (Reported out of committee, June 12, 2018)


Agriculture and Rural Affairs (H)
  • HR 948 Resolution calling on the Auditor General to initiate an audit and review of PENNVEST nonpoint source management transactions (Reported out of committee, June 11, 2018)


Pennsylvania Actions and Notices:
Department of Environmental Protection


Penn State Research:


AgLaw HotLinks:


Stay Informed:


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—June 7, 2018


Written by: M. Sean High—Staff Attorney
                 
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Antitrust: DOJ Announces conditional approval of Bayer/Monsanto Merger
On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it has granted conditional approval regarding Bayer AG’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto Company.  According to DOJ, approval for the acquisition was granted on condition that Bayer AG divests itself of approximately $9 billion in businesses and assets to the chemical manufacturer BASF.  The required divestments include Bayer AG cotton, canola, soybean, and vegetable seed businesses, as well as the company’s Liberty herbicide business.  DOJ stated that without the required divestments, farmers would have experienced “higher prices, lower quality, and fewer choices across a wide array of seed and crop protection products.” Following DOJ’s conditional approval, Bayer AG asserted that it anticipates that the proposed $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto Company will be finalized on June 7, 2018.  Additionally, Bayer AG stated that following the acquisition, the Monsanto Company name will no longer exists, although the acquired products will continue to carry their current brand names.

International Trade: Mexico Imposes Tariffs on Certain U.S. Agricultural Products
On June 5, 2018, Reuters reported that Mexico has placed tariffs on certain U.S. agricultural products in retaliation to U.S. tariffs being levied on imported steel and aluminum.  According to Reuters, Mexico issued a retaliatory tariff list that included a 25% tariff on certain U.S. cheeses and a 20% tariff on U.S. apples, potatoes, and unprocessed pork.  The report stated that in March of 2018, the U.S. began imposing a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum.  Nevertheless, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union, were provided a two month exemption to the tariffs.  On May 31, 2018, however, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the countries would no longer be exempt from the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.  According to the report, Mexico trade negotiators specifically designed the retaliatory tariff list, “in part, to include products exported by top Republican leaders’ states…” Reuters stated that total annual trade between Mexico and the U.S. is currently at $600 billion.

Pesticides: 3 States Sue EPA over Delayed Pesticide Training Materials
On May 30, 2018, attorneys general from New York, California, and Maryland brought suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for delaying the compliance date of EPA’s 2015 final rule entitled: Final Rule, Pesticides; Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Revisions (New York v. Pruitt, Case 1:18-cv-04739).  According to the complaint, the 2015 final rule was intended to provide farmworkers and pesticide handlers with enhanced safety training.  Under the 2015 final rule, compliance was to begin 180 days after EPA published updated pesticide safety training materials.  In December 2017, however, EPA decided to indefinitely delay publication of the updated materials; thereby indefinitely delaying compliance with the 2015 final rule.  The attorneys generals asserted that the delayed compliance is “unjust” because the enhanced safety training is necessary to better protect farmworkers, pesticide handlers, and their families from pesticide exposure. 

Agricultural Finance: FSA Requests Applications for Veteran Farmer Pilot Program
On June 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) published notice in the Federal Register of a new pilot program entitled: Veteran Farmer Streamlined Eligibility Pilot Program (83 FR 25640).  According to FSA, the purpose of the new program is to provide veterans with a way to reduce the management experience time requirements for Farm Ownership Loan (FO) Program Microloans or Downpayment Loans.  Currently, to receive a Microloan or a Downpayment Loan, an applicant must have participated in the management of an agricultural operation for at least 3 of the previous 10 years.  FSA currently allows 1 year of service in the military to count towards the management requirement.  Under the new pilot program, participating veterans would have the ability to complete the remaining required management experience time in 12-18 months, as opposed to 2 years.  The application period to participate in the pilot program begins on June 15, 2018, and ends on July 20, 2018.
    
Agricultural Finance: FSA Reopens Indemnity for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish
On May 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the on June 4, 2018, the agency will begin accepting disaster assistance applications for losses suffered to livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish resulting from natural disasters.  According to FSA, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made changes to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) that included:

·         “Removing ELAP’s $20 million fiscal year funding cap, enabling FSA to pay producers’ 2017 applications in full and their 2018 applications as soon as they are approved”
·         “Removing the per-person and legal entity annual program payment limitation of $125,000 for LIP for 2017 and future years. (The income limitation applies as it did before, meaning producers with an adjusted gross income of more than $900,000 are not eligible.)”
·         “Changing LIP to allow producers to receive a payment for injured livestock that are sold for a reduced price due to an eligible event. Previously, the program only covered financial loss for livestock death above normal mortality”

As a result, FSA has reopened the application period for ELAP and LIP and will accept new applications for losses for calendar year 2017 or 2018.  Interested individuals are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center.


From National Ag Law Experts:
Right-to-Farm Law Does Not Protect Landowner from Nuisance Caused by Septage Lagoons, Paul Goeringer, Maryland Risk Management Education Blog, June 5, 2018
Technical Corrections Needed for Qualified Improvement Property and NOL Date, Kristine A. Tidgren, Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, May 31, 2018


Pennsylvania Legislation:
Environmental Resources and Energy (S)
  • SR 373 Resolution to establish a commission to study pipeline construction and operations (Referred to committee, May 30, 2018) 

Appropriations (S)
  • SB 1171 Legislation to replace Nutrient Management Advisory Board with Farm Animal Advisory Board (Referred to committee, May 23, 2018) 

Agriculture and Rural Affairs (H)
  • HR 948 Resolution calling on the Auditor General to initiate an audit and review of PENNVEST nonpoint source management transactions (Referred to committee, May 31, 2018)
  • SB 792 Legislation regarding labeling requirements for lawn fertilizer (public hearing, June 5, 2018) 


Pennsylvania Actions and Notices:
Department of Agriculture


Penn State Research:


AgLaw HotLinks:


Stay Informed:


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—May 31, 2018


Written by: M. Sean High—Staff Attorney
                 
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Right to Farm Laws: Neighbors Appeal to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Regarding Swine Operation
On April 29, 2018, neighbors filed petitions with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court seeking review of a lower court decision in favor of a Pennsylvania swine operation (296 MAL 2018) (297 MAL 2018).  The petitions follow a March 29, 2018, Superior Court of Pennsylvania determination that a nuisance suit brought against a swine operation’s application of liquid swine manure was barred under Pennsylvania's right to farm law (Burlingame, J. v. Dagostin, P., No. 799 MDA 2017).  For more information concerning the Superior Court’s ruling, see the Penn State Agricultural Law Weekly Review—April 5, 2018.

Agricultural Labor: U.S. Secretaries Release Joint Cabinet Statement Regarding H-2A Program
On May 24, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a joint cabinet statement concerning the H-2A temporary agricultural visa program.  According to the statement, the agencies are working together to modernize the H-2A temporary agricultural visa program to better meet the labor needs of the American farmer.  The secretaries asserted that their goal is to reduce the complexity of the regulations currently governing the program.  Additionally, the secretaries stated that they intend to provide farmers with incentives to use the voluntary E-Verify online system to confirm an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S.

FSMA: FDA Issues FSMA Guidance for Food Facilities
On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published notice in the Federal Register of industry guidance entitled: Registration of Food Facilities: What You Need To Know About the FDA Regulation—Small Entity Compliance Guide (83 FR 24479).  Previously, on July 14, 2016, FDA published a final rule, entitled: Amendments to Registration of Food Facilities (81 FR 45912).  Under the July 14, 2016, final rule, food facility registration regulations were amended to reflect FDA Food Safety Modernization Act amendments to section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.  FDA stated that the purpose of the industry guidance is to help small entities comply with the food facility registration changes that resulted from the July 14, 2016 final rule.

Animal Welfare: APHIS Will Not Recognize Third-Party Inspections and Certifications to Determine Frequency of Animal Welfare Inspections
On May 25, 2018, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that the agency will not establish criteria that recognize third-party inspection and certification programs used for determining the frequency of APHIS inspections under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  APHIS stated that the agency arrived at the decision following a series of public listening sessions and public comments submitted through the Federal Register.  According to APHIS, the “vast majority” of stakeholders providing response were not in favor of establishing a program that recognized third party inspections and certifications when determining the frequency of AWA inspections.  As a result, APHIS stated that when determining frequency of AWA inspections, the agency will continue to utilize its current risk-based inspection system.     

Air Quality: Court Issues Mandate for CERCLA/EPCRA Reporting [Update to article appearing in May 24, 2018, Agricultural Law Weekly Review]
On May 2, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a mandate vacating a 2008 final rule that provided agricultural exemptions for reporting air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  Under the 2008 final rule, all agricultural operations were provided a complete exemption from CERCLA reporting requirements.  While the 2008 final rule required certain concentrated animal feeding operations to report air emissions under EPCRA, the regulation exempted all other agricultural operations from EPCRA reporting requirements.  Subsequently, on April 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit vacated the 2008 final rule.  Following the court’s ruling, on March 23, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Omnibus Bill) which contained language exempting agricultural operations from CERCLA air emission reporting requirements (Public Law No: 115-141).  Additionally, because the Omnibus Bill excluded the reporting of air emissions from animal waste under CERCLA, EPA stated that “these releases fall out of the reporting requirements of EPCRA section 304.” (See EPA document entitled: How does the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act impact reporting of air emissions from animal waste under CERCLA Section 103 and EPCRA Section 304?).  As a result, despite the May 2, 2018, court mandate, agricultural operations “do not need to report air emissions from animal waste at farms under either CERCLA or EPCRA.”

From National Ag Law Experts:
  • Exempt Wells & Agriculture, Jesse J. Richardson, Jr. and Iris Aloi, West Virginia University College of Law, an agricultural law research publication by the National Agricultural and Food Law Consortium, May 18, 2017
  • Water Rights Tables, Jesse J. Richardson, Jr. and Iris Aloi, West Virginia University College of Law, an agricultural law research publication by the National Agricultural and Food Law Consortium, May 18, 2017


Pennsylvania Actions and Notices:
Department of Agriculture

Milk Marketing Board

State Conservation Commission


Penn State Research and Education


AgLaw HotLinks:


Stay Informed:


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—May 24, 2018


Written by: M. Sean High—Staff Attorney
                 
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Air Quality: Court Issues Mandate for CERCLA/EPCRA Reporting [Updated May 30, 2018]
On May 2, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a mandate vacating a 2008 final rule that provided agricultural exemptions for reporting air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  Under the 2008 final rule, all agricultural operations were provided a complete exemption from CERCLA reporting requirements.  While the 2008 final rule required certain concentrated animal feeding operations to report air emissions under EPCRA, the regulation exempted all other agricultural operations from EPCRA reporting requirements.  Subsequently, on April 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit vacated the 2008 final rule.  Following the court’s ruling, on March 23, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Omnibus Bill) which contained language exempting agricultural operations from CERCLA air emission reporting requirements (Public Law No: 115-141).  Additionally, because the Omnibus Bill excluded the reporting of air emissions from animal waste under CERCLA, “these releases fall out of the reporting requirements of EPCRA section 304” (see EPA document entitled: How does the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act impact reporting of air emissions from animal waste under CERCLA Section 103 and EPCRA Section 304?).  As a result, despite the May 2, 2018, court mandate, agricultural operations are not required to submit reports regarding air emissions from animal waste at farms under either CERCLA or EPCRA.

Dairy Policy: Pennsylvania Introduces “Choose PA Dairy” Campaign to Promote Local Milk
On May 18, 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) announced the introduction of a new dairy promotion campaign entitled: Choose PA Dairy: Goodness that Matters.  PDA asserted that the purpose of the campaign is to educate consumers on how to recognize and purchase Pennsylvania-produced milk by looking at a product’s packaging.  Consumers can identify Pennsylvania-produced milk by locating either the PA Preferred® logo or plant code 42.  Plant codes, which indicate the state where the milk was processed, are located at the top of each container.   Accordingly, plant code 42 is the designation assigned to milk processed in Pennsylvania.  PDA stated that the new campaign is a partnership between PDA, the Center for Dairy Excellence, Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, PA Preferred, American Dairy Association Northeast, the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

Dairy Policy: California Dept. of Food & Ag Issues Response Regarding Proposed FMMO
On May 12, 2018, California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) issued a letter responding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Recommended Decision proposing the establishment of a Federal Order (FMMO) to regulate the handling of milk in California.  According to CDFA, while “ready and willing to establish a stand-alone, producer funded quota program,” the department sees potential conflict with current California statutes.  As a result, CDFA stated that prior to holding the California FMMO producer referendum, the department intends to sponsor new legislation and develop details for the stand-alone quota program

Agribusiness: Pennsylvania Exempts Qualified High Tunnels from Storm Water Management Regulations
On April 18, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf approved Act 15 which exempts qualifying “high tunnels” from requirements under the Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act.  Under Act 15, a high tunnel is defined as a structure used for the production, processing, keeping, storing, sale or shelter of an agricultural commodity that:

  • Has a metal, wood or plastic frame;
  • When covered, has a plastic, woven textile or other flexible covering; AND
  • Has a floor made of soil, crushed stone, matting, pavers or a floating concrete slab

To qualify for the exemption, the high tunnel (or its flooring) may not result in an impervious area that exceeds 25% of all structures located on the owner's total contiguous land area.  Additionally, the exemption only applies when a high tunnel meets one of the following requirements:

  • The high tunnel is located at least 100 feet from any perennial stream or watercourse, public road or neighboring property line;
  • The high tunnel is located at least 35 feet from any perennial stream or watercourse, public road or neighboring property line and is located on land with a slope not greater than 7%; OR
  • The high tunnel has a buffer or diversion system that does not directly drain into a stream or other watercourse

Pesticides: EU Court Upholds Ban on Pesticides Thought Potentially Harmful to Bees
On May 17, 2018, Euractiv reported that the European Court of Justice has upheld a European Union (EU) ban on three pesticides thought to be harmful to bees.  According to the report, the court rejected attempts by Bayer and Syngenta to lift current EU restrictions against the nicotine based pesticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid.  In upholding the current ban, the court cited potential risks the pesticides posed to bee populations.  According to Euractiv, “past studies have found neonicotinoids can cause bees to become disorientated such that they cannot find their way back to the hive, and lower their resistance to disease.”


From National Ag Law Experts:


Pennsylvania Case Law:
  • Encore Fund Trust v. Cribbs, No. 1420 WDA 2017, Pa. Superior Court (May 18, 2018) (finding existence of implied easement and right to use neighbor’s driveway)


Pennsylvania Legislation:
Agriculture and Rural Affairs (S)
  • SB 819  Legislation to amend the Agricultural Area Security Law to provide uniformity and protection for agritourism activities (Reported out of committee for Senate consideration, May 22, 2018)
  • SB 1171 Legislation to replace Nutrient Management Advisory Board with Farm Animal Advisory Board (Reported out of committee for Senate consideration, May 22, 2018)


Agriculture and Rural Affairs (H)
  • HB 2422 Legislation to enable PA Game Commission to work with Department of Agriculture to combat spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (Referred to committee May 17, 2018)


Pennsylvania Actions and Notices:
Milk Marketing Board


Penn State Research


AgLaw HotLinks:


Stay Informed:


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—May 17, 2018


Written by: M. Sean High—Staff Attorney
                 
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Checkoff Programs: USDA Terminates Proposed Organic Checkoff Program
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published notice in the Federal Register that the department was terminating a proposed rule that would have established a certified organic products checkoff program (83 FR 22213).  Under the proposed rule, a federal program would have been developed for the national research and promotion of certified organic products.  Program funding was to have been made possible through an assessment, or “checkoff”, levied on certified organic products.  According to USDA, during the rule making process, stakeholder comments revealed a split within the organic industry regarding the proposed program.  USDA stated that because industry support for the program was uncertain, and because of issues regarding “the assessment of non-food products and products ‘made with (specified ingredients)’”, the agency elected to terminate the rule making proceedings.

FSMA: FDA Issues FSMA Small Entity Compliance Guide
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published notice in the Federal Register of the availability of a guidance document entitled: The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act; Extension and Clarification of Compliance Dates for Certain Provisions of Four Implementing Rules: What You Need to Know About the Food and Drug Administration Regulation—Small Entity Compliance Guide (83 FR 22193).  According to FDA, the document provides explanations and clarifications regarding how small entities must comply with the final rule entitled: The Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act; Extension and Clarification for Certain Provisions of Four Implementing Rules.  FDA stated that the intent of the guidance document is to reduce the burden encountered by small entities when determining how to comply with the final rule.

International Trade: China Increases Inspections on U.S. Pork Imports
On May 8, 2018, Reuters reported that Chinese customs officials have significantly increased inspections of U.S. pork products entering the country.  According to the report, previously, Chinese customs officials only conducted random inspections of pork shipments arriving from the U.S.   Now, however, at Chinese ports, officials are opening and inspecting each shipments of U.S. pork.  As a result, U.S. pork has been delayed at Chinese ports for up to two weeks, as opposed to the standard few days.  The report stated that numerous trade experts believe the increased inspections and delays are retaliation for recent trade demands made by the U.S. government.  

National Agricultural Policy: USDA Announces 2018 Rates Charged for AMS Services
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the rates that the agency will charge in 2018 for the voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing, and laboratory services for certain commodities (83 FR 22239).  Those commodities covered under the announced rates include: meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and cotton and tobacco.  According to AMS, rates for 2018 have been increased for meat, poultry and egg grading and the hourly rate for AMS's Laboratory Approval Service.  All other rates, however, remain unchanged from 2017.

Farmland Preservation: American Farmland Trust Issues Report on Farmland Loss
On May 9, 2018, the American Farmland Trust issued a report entitled: Farms Under Threat: The State of America’s Farmland.  According to the report, from 1992 to 2012, almost 31 million acres of U.S. agricultural land was permanently lost to development.  The authors of the report recommend a national agricultural land protection strategy that includes increased funding of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.


From National Ag Law Experts:


Pennsylvania Case Law:


Pennsylvania Actions and Notices:
Department of Environmental Protection

Environmental Hearing Board


Penn State Research


AgLaw HotLinks:


Stay Informed: