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Weekly News Update, May 8th Edition

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

By Ashley Ellixson

Cows on a farm (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Happy END OF THE WEEK everyone! I hope you find this week’s stories informative and enjoyable. From new ALEI publications available to the avian flu outbreak, we have it all here for you. Happy reading!

Webinars Online: Problems talking to your landlord or tenant? Issues you think can be mediated? Available on the UME Ag Leasing page are 2 webinars discussing landlord-tenant communication and ag mediation programs. The webinars were conducted by Jenny Rhodes of UME and Mae Johnson of MDA. You can find the webinars online at

New Publication Available: ALEI has released another new publication covering legal risk management consideration. This publication is focused on providing agricultural operators with thoughts on things they can do to limit some legal risks in their operations. The publication is available online at

The Farm Bill: Forest Laws with Farm Press has a very nice ongoing series on reviewing the 2014 Farm Bill. Part 3, released earlier this week, is focused in on the ag lender perspective of the farm bill. The article is available at

White barn (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Federal District Court Upholds VT’s GMO Labeling Law: A federal district court judge in Vermont has upheld the state’s GMO labeling law. The court disagreed with the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association challenges that the law violates the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. An appeal is likely in the case, but to read more about the court’s decision see

Delaware’s Poultry Industry Booms But Avian Flu Looms. Delaware’s broiler output rebounded sharply last year, with new federal statistics showing that the state’s largest farm industry’s output surged upward to 244.1 million birds for 2014, a 13.2 percent growth rate far ahead of any other state. But industry and grower worries about the continuing spread of avian influenza has cast a pall over expectations for another strong year in 2015. Multiple strains of the virus have been found in dozens of commercial and backyard flocks in 13 states, with Arkansas the closest to Delaware. Some 15.8 million birds have been destroyed so far, based on the most recent information available from federal agencies. Department of Agriculture briefings associate outbreaks with “flyways” used by migratory birds, believed to play a role in the spread of the disease, along with wild birds, backyard flocks and human activities. Detections since December have cropped up in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways but not along the Atlantic. Read the full article here:

USDA says Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) will not benefit the U.S. economy-“ An economic analysis addressed to Congress by the USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist says, “the economic benefits of implementing the COOL regulations would be insufficient to offset the costs of the requirements whether analyzing the impacts through economic models of beef, pork, and poultry industries or of the U.S. economy as a whole.” To see USDA’s entire analysis, read the full story at

Boxes of tomatoes (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Farmer’s Harvesting the Power of Big Data and The Cloud– “The family farm has been around since 1904, and Schweigert recently returned home to take over the operation. The fourth-generation farmer grows corn and wheat on his 10,000 acres and says tracking progress is extremely important to the farming community, and tech solutions are simplifying the job.” Want to learn more about how farms are using technology as younger generations begin to take over? See the full story at

Proper Cow Morality Disposal in Maryland. With rendering no longer available, there are basically three options — cremation, burial and composting. Cremation is expensive due to the amount of fuel necessary, so it is not a viable option. Burial has its limitations, especially on soils with a high water table and in locations prone to sink holes. There is the potential for groundwater contamination with burial. Therefore, if this is your disposal choice, contact the Health Department for their guidelines. The best option for most farmers is composting. If done correctly, composting is an efficient, biosecure and environmentally sound practice. Correct composting involves combining material with different properties in the correct proportions. Read the full article here:

Does Right To Farm EQUAL Right To Grow Marijuana?– A woman in Kansas was charged in 2013 with manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance. Her lawyer is now arguing that the case hinges on the 2014 approval of the state’s right to farm constitutional amendment. To read the full story and follow the case visit

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