WAYNE KERBER, Plaintiff, v. CARVER COUNTY FARM SERVICE AGENCY & UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Defendants., No. CV 18-907 (MJD/BRT), 2018 WL 6529494 (D. Minn. Dec. 12, 2018):
On October 22, 2015, Defendant the Carver County Farm Service Agency entered into a Conservation Reserve Program contract with regard to farmland Plaintiff Wayne Kerber co-owns with his sibling. Plaintiff alleged Plaintiff’s sibling forged Plaintiff’s signature on the contract and on other documents. Plaintiff asked the Carver County Farm Service Agency and Defendant the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) for information about the documents, but Defendants denied that Plaintiff’s signature was forged and refused to give him access to information he requested. Plaintiff asserts that he was damaged by having to return the land that had been fraudulently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program to its original state as agricultural production land. Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is granted.

KELLER FARMS, INC., Plaintiff, v. COLIN V. STEWART, BRANDON G. STEWART & FARON B. STEWART, Defendants., No. 1:16 CV 265 ACL, 2018 WL 6570873 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 13, 2018): 

Plaintiff Keller Farms, Inc. (“Keller Farms”) filed this diversity action alleging claims of negligence, negligence per se, and trespass against Defendants Colin V. Stewart, Brandon G. Stewart, and Faron B. Stewart (“Stewart Defendants”). Plaintiff’s claims arise from the aerial application of burndown agriculture chemicals by Dennis McGarity for the benefit of the Stewart Defendants. Plaintiff alleged that Mr. McGarity allowed the chemicals to come into contact with the Keller property, causing extensive damage to growing crops and trees. Plaintiff attempted to hold the Stewart Defendants vicariously liable for the actions of Mr. McGarity by alleging that the aerial spraying of burndown chemicals is an “inherently dangerous activity.”
This action was tried before a jury from August 27, 2018, through August 30, 2018. The Court granted Defendants’ Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law on Plaintiff’s trespass claim. On August 30, 2018, the jury returned its verdict in favor of the Stewart Defendants on Plaintiff’s negligence and negligence per se claims. On August 31, 2018, the Court issued a Judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict.
On September 19, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for New Trial.  The court denied the motion for a new trial.
Berbos v. Berbos, 2018 S.D. 82: Landowners Victoria Perry, Craig Perry, and James Perry (Appellants) entered into a farm lease/cash rent agreement with Berbos Farms General Partnership (Berbos Farms). Joe and Lisa Berbos and Nick Berbos were partners in Berbos Farms. Appellants sued Berbos Farms to recover unpaid cash rent under the lease for the year 2015. During discovery in that litigation, Appellants realized Joe and Lisa had filed a separate action in circuit court to dissolve Berbos Farms. Appellants moved to intervene in the partnership dissolution action seeking to preserve their right to payment of the 2015 cash rent in case Berbos Farms was dissolved. The circuit court denied the Appellants motion and they appeal. Supreme Court affirms.


Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA: Proposed rule and referendum order; This document proposes amendments to Marketing Order No. 956, which regulates the handling of sweet onions grown in the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon. The Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee (Committee) recommended changing the Committee’s size, quorum, and voting requirements. The Committee also recommended changing the term of office and staggered term limits so that the term of office for producers and handlers would be two fiscal periods instead of three fiscal periods, and one-half instead of one-third of the producer and handler member terms would expire every year. Info HERE

Proposed rule: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; This proposed rule invites comments on a recommendation from the Processed Pear Committee (Committee) to change the Committee’s membership structure. This action would remove the second alternate member position from the Committee structure, leaving ten member positions and one alternate position for each respective member. Info HERE

Notice: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the designation of D.R. Schaal Agency, Inc. (Schaal) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary’s Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under AMS. Info HERE

Notice of public meeting: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing a meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee). The meeting is being convened to examine the full spectrum of fruit and vegetable industry issues and provide recommendations and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can tailor programs and services to better meet the needs of the U.S. produce industry. Info HERE

Notice to solicit nominees: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the USDA Grain Inspection Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee meets no less than once annually to advise AMS on the programs and services it delivers under the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA). Recommendations by the Advisory Committee help AMS better meet the needs of its customers who operate in a dynamic and changing marketplace. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary’s Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under AMS. Info HERE

Final rule: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.; We are amending the regulations regarding the branding of bovines imported into the United States from Mexico. We are taking this action at the request of the Government of Mexico to address issues that have arisen with the branding requirement for these bovines. These changes will help prevent inconsistencies in branding that can result in bovines being rejected for import into the United States. Info HERE

Notice of availability: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with importation of fresh guava fruit from Taiwan into the continental United States. Based on the analysis, we have determined that the application of one or more phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh guava fruit from Taiwan. We are making the pest risk analysis available to the public for review and comment. Info HERE

Notice of determination: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; We are updating the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) Program Standards. In a previous notice, we made available to the public for review and comment proposed changes to the NPIP Program Standards pertaining to the compartmentalization of primary poultry breeding establishments and approval of compartment components such as farms, feedmills, hatcheries, and egg depots. These changes will be added to the NPIP Program Standards. Info HERE

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications: Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture.; The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its general policy and application procedures for funding under the broadband pilot program established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. In facilitating the expansion of broadband services and infrastructure, the pilot will fuel long-term rural economic development and opportunities in rural America. One of those opportunities is precision agriculture. The use of this technology requires a robust broadband connection. The awards made under this program will bring high speed broadband to the farms which will allow them to increase productivity.  Please note that the application process is designed so that an applicant must demonstrate financial and technical feasibility of the project and the entire operation of the applicant. Applicants that do not demonstrate financial or technical feasibility will not be considered for an award. Info HERE

Notice: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); EPA is requesting public review and welcomes comments on the scientific experts nominated to be considered for ad hoc participation and possible membership on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). Nominations that were received in response to a prior notice are being considered for ad hoc participation on an as needed basis for the TSCA SACC’s peer reviews of the EPA’s risk evaluations for chemical substances addressed under the TSCA. In addition, all nominees are under consideration for TSCA SACC membership to fulfill short term needs when a vacancy occurs on the chartered Committee. Info HERE