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Articles from 2020 In January


swfp-shelley-huguley-20-ffa-state-officers.jpg Shelley E. Huguley
Texas FFA Officers, from left, Carlye Winfrey, Area II, president; Wyatt Harlan, Area I; and Calvin Morgan, Area VIII, first vice president, present "Leading with Confidence," to approximately 180 students at Olton High School.

FFA: More than cows and plows

More than cows and plows. That's what Olton High School FFA advisor Nikki Smith hopes the OHS student body learned from a presentation given by Texas FFA Officers Carlye Winfrey, Area II, president; Calvin Morgan, Area VIII, first vice president; and Wyatt Harlan, Area I.

"I want all the kids, not only my ag kids, to see that FFA has something to offer everybody," says Smith. "If it weren't for FFA and 4-H, making me talk all the time, I would never have been able to get up and talk in front of people."

The officers, who have postponed starting college to serve their year-long term, presented "Leading with Confidence," to about 180 students. "Talking about confidence is perfect," Smith says, adding that participating in FFA competitions such as Creed Speaking or Prepared Public Speaking, are great ways to build that confidence.

Along with self-assurance, she says, "I wanted the officers to show the other kids what FFA is about – not just cows and plows."

STATE PRESIDENT

While a student at Seminole High School, Winfrey says she didn't struggle with her appearance but with confidence in her abilities. For example, she says she shied away from public speaking or the limelight. "I always had family and friends tell me, 'You need to be confident in the things you're good at.' So, now I get to take that advice given to me and hopefully teach students to do the same."

Shelley E. Huguleyswfp-shelley-huguley-20-ffa-state-officers-Carlye.jpg

FFA President Carlye Winfrey

Winfrey credits FFA for developing her as a person. In high school, she competed in FFA's Career and Leadership Development Events such as Employment Skills and Creed Speaking. She says Employment Skills taught her to have conversations with adults while also preparing her for "real-world activities" beyond high school, such as interviewing to be an assistant veterinary technician. "I'm going to be applying for jobs for the rest of my life, and I was able to learn how to have simple conversations. It's made a huge impact."

Through the creed competition, she had to memorize a five-paragraph speech and "say it correctly under an enormous amount of pressure," she says.

But FFA also gave Winfrey a taste of entrepreneurship through its Supervised Agricultural Experience program. While in high school, Winfrey raised market show lambs on eight acres behind her house. The sheep were raised for stock showing. Two years in a row, Winfrey had the Grand Champion market lamb: in 2018 at Rodeo Austin and in 2019 at the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo.  

"The income I generated mostly went to my college fund and to purchase animals for the following year," she says. Her program concluded upon graduation.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Winfrey is the daughter of Bob and Kim Winfrey. Her agricultural roots began with her grandparents, who farmed and ranched near Cross Plains. Her father is a pharmaceutical salesman for companion animal veterinarians and her mother, a computer teacher at an alternative high school. Both of her brothers majored in agriculture at Texas Tech University.

"We're a big ag family," she says. "We are extremely involved in production ag, especially being from Seminole." Even though they are not "on the farm," she credits each of their professions for allowing them to see different aspects of the agricultural industry.

As for who has influenced her life the most, she says, "Definitely my family. A lot of people ask me about mentors, and immediately, it goes back to my family." But she points more specifically to her dad.

"My dad grew up in agriculture, but always joked, 'I can't grow anything. That's not what I'm good at,'" she says. So, he became an ag teacher and then sold fertilizer. Today, he works for Merk Animal Health. "He's shown me that hard work will get you anywhere and any job, as long as you're doing what you love."

FUTURE

Upon completion of her role as president, Winfrey plans on attending Texas Tech University and majoring in agricultural communications. "I'm interested in the political side of agriculture. I don't want to run for office, but I want to help those who do. I've also thought about becoming a lobbyist."

As a state officer, she's visited Washington D.C. several times. "We tend to think D.C. is made up of people who don’t have backgrounds in production ag, so it's important for somebody to be there reminding them of farmers and ranchers and who their policy is going to affect."

Shelley E. Huguleyswfp-shelley-huguley-20-ffa-state-officers-young2.jpg

Texas FFA Officers Carlye Winfrey, Area II, president, left, and Calvin Morgan, Area VIII, first vice president, visit with Olton FFA Chapter President Madison Young following their presentation at the high school.

Over the next year, Winfrey and Morgan will travel approximately 40,000 miles and visit 400 schools. Morgan, a member of Midway High School FFA, plans to attend Tarleton University and major in agriculture education. Harlan, a Slaton FFA member, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in agricultural economics and public policy.

market updates monsitj / ThinkStock

Déjà vu grain markets

Déjà vu. Some markets do the same thing over and over in similar situations or similar timeframes; there are patterns. Whether prices rally to ration demand or spreads widen to pay to store a crop while demand is weak, the market is expecting and achieving a certain result for its actions.

Here’s a marketing tip: Some of these market behaviors come at identifiable times that can help you make decisions.

Have you noticed the similarity between the lows in corn futures this past September and December? Both timeframes saw futures decline into option expiration while making major lows as the contracts were in delivery.

Think about it. Have you ever set basis on bushels but never set the futures price attached to it? Then you get a phone call from the elevator saying, “Hi best-farmer-ever, you need to price these bushels before Friday or roll them.” Your neighbor got that call too on their unpriced basis contracts, and so did their neighbor and the other producer three states away who didn’t price theirs. Then all those bushels are sold in a short period of time. Well guess what’s coming at the end of February? Another option expiration with another contract going into delivery is just around the corner. Use short term bounces to avoid being forced to price your grain during this window of time.

How predictable

The USDA is somewhat predictable come spring. They’ll take the acres they say you told them that you intend to plant, and put a “trend line” yield on those acres. It happens every year on the May WASDE report. You’re not going to like it this year.

Did you know if USDA starts with a 94.5-million-acre intention for corn plantings and a 177 bpa yield, production would be nearly 15.4 billion bushels? 2016’s record crop was 15.1 billion bu. Even if USDA starts with the massive 14.8 bb demand seen in 2017, we’re still looking at a 2.5 bb carryout just to start.

In three of the last five years, Dec corn has made lows sometime in spring to early summer in the mid $3.60s. The other two years saw lows made before rallying into the summer high somewhere at least below $3.80.

Unless the USDA shows stocks have dropped significantly on the report at the end of March, it could happen all over again.

Now think back the past few years and remember sitting in your planter being pissed off that the crop you haven’t even gotten in the ground yet is trading below your cost to grow it. You don’t have to feel that way. There are puts that expire at the end of June, priced off the Dec ‘20 contract, and they might make your time in the planter more enjoyable.

Soybeans losing the battle

You’ve probably noticed new crop soybean values have dropped 60 cents from the high at the beginning of January. As we head into the timeframe that determines spring price averages for crop insurance, one could argue that the acreage battle isn’t going well for soybeans. But 10 of the last 15 years saw soybean values higher for the month of February. Only one of the last 15 years had soybeans values down back to back in January and February.

March futures closed the month of January at 872’2, just 5 cents above lows the January futures made in early December before smartly rallying 80 cents. Soybeans have been in a wild trading range for the last seven months and are at the low end of that range right now. Calls are cheap and the enforceable period for the U.S./China trade deal starts February 15.

There’s a disclaimer that “Past Performance is Not Indicative of Future Results.” We have to say this stuff to cover our butts. But there’s also the saying that history repeats itself.

Reach Brian Splitt at 847-946-2080 or bsplitt@AgMarket.Net
The risk of loss in trading futures and/or options is substantial and each investor and/or trader must consider whether this is a suitable investment. AgMarket.Net is the Farm Division of John Stewart and Associates (JSA) based out of St Joe, MO and all futures and options trades are cleared through ADMIS in Chicago IL. This material has been prepared by an agent of JSA or a third party and is, or is in the nature of, a solicitation. By accepting this communication, you agree that you are an experienced user of the futures markets, capable of making independent trading decisions, and agree that you are not, and will not, rely solely on this communication in making trading decisions. Past performance, whether actual or indicated by simulated historical tests of strategies, is not indicative of future results. Trading infromation and advice is based on information taken from 3rd party sources that are believed to be reliable. We do not guarantee that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. Trading advice reflects our good faith judgment at a specific time and is subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that the advice we give will result in profitable trades. The services provided by JSA may not be available in all jurisdictions. It is possible that the country in which you are a resident prohibits us from opening and maintaining an account for you. 
 
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
Groundwater recharge UCANR
A field is flooded as part of a University of California research project to recharge the groundwater basin.

Deadline arrives for critically overdrafted basins

Local agencies representing 19 of the state’s most stressed groundwater basins are required to submit plans to the state by midnight tonight on how they will manage their basins to achieve sustainability by 2040.

Several plans were submitted early and were posted online today, starting a public comment period which closes on April 15, 2020. The remaining plans will be posted online in the coming weeks for a 75-day public comment period.

Overpumping of groundwater has led to a variety of negative effects including reduced groundwater levels, seawater intrusion, and degraded water quality. It has also led to subsidence, which causes damage to critical water infrastructure. In some cases, years of overpumping have left entire California communities and farms without safe and reliable local water supplies.

“Groundwater is a critical component of the state’s water supply resources,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). “California’s groundwater basins must be managed for long-term sustainability rather than for short-term need.”

California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), signed into law in 2014, requires locally led Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to develop groundwater sustainability plans outlining actions and implementation measures to halt overdraft and bring groundwater basins into sustainable conditions.

Plans for critically overdrafted basins are due today, Jan. 31, 2020. High- and medium-priority basins have until 2022 to submit plans and are required to reach sustainability by 2042. SGMA allows for more than one GSP to be prepared for a single basin as long as the GSAs demonstrate the plans work together through a coordination agreement.

“The premise of SGMA is that local agencies are best suited to craft plans to sustainably manage groundwater basins,” said Joaquin Esquivel, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “If the state finds a groundwater plan is unlikely to achieve sustainability, the Water Board will temporarily step in to work with the local agency and DWR to bring the basin back into compliance.”

GSAs are submitting plans to DWR, the lead state agency providing compliance and regulatory oversight. The State Water Resources Control Board can intervene in basins when local management of groundwater is not successful.

Once a plan is submitted, DWR has 20 days to post it on the website, at which point the plans are open to public comment for 75 days. GSAs will begin implementing their plans immediately after they adopt them.

SGMA directs DWR to evaluate and assess all plans to determine whether each plan is adequate, based on best available science and information, and whether implementation of the plan is likely to achieve the groundwater basin’s sustainability goal. More information about the plan submittal and review process and the significance of managing groundwater for long-term sustainability is contained on DWR’s website.

Groundwater accounts for about 40 percent of the state’s water use in a normal year and up to 60 percent during dry years. Groundwater is the only water supply for approximately a third of California residents, and many municipal, agricultural, and disadvantaged communities rely on groundwater for all of their water supply needs.

Implementation of SGMA is an important component of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently released draft Water Resilience Portfolio.

“Groundwater storage will become even more important as California’s changing climate produces less snow and more rain,” Nemeth said. “Groundwater acts as a drought buffer by providing water that is available to use when surface water supplies are diminished.”

Source: California Department of Water Resources, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 
Max Armstrong's Daily Updates

MIDDAY Midwest Digest, Jan. 31, 2020

One of the biggest ag gatherings of the year is next week, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, at San Antonio.

K.C. Wolf is the longest performing mascott in the NFL. Dan Meers is the man behind the mask, and has been doing it for 30 years.

Grain-Market-Week-in-Review-Video-Audio-Art-Final.jpg

Soybeans land in red for ninth consecutive session

Missed some market news this week? No worries, we've put everything in one place for you. Check it out.

Ag Marketing IA

Now that we have digested the highly anticipated January USDA report and Phase 1 of the U.S.-China trade agreement has been signed, producers’ attention should focus on the 2020/21 crop year. There are both existing opportunities and challenges lurking ahead; we suggest producers ask themselves five basic questions as they lay the groundwork for their marketing plan.

Worries about the spread of the coronavirus in China are roiling markets around the world. But as so often happens, bad news can perversely be good news, at least for growers needing to lock in market-sensitive inputs for 2020 crops. Most fuel and fertilizer products are good values that may not last once farmers get serious about securing needs for spring.

The government influences price through USDA crop production, planting estimates, and grain stocks reports. I believe the impact to farmers on report days is increasing. Some believe we would be better served if the USDA discontinued reporting crop information. I do not believe this will solve the problem as private firms will fill the void leading to price discovery, disagreement and price volatility.

I have been in this business for 40 years, witnessing export business with the former USSR, Russia and China. I can assure you, it is not at all uncommon for something like Phase One to be followed by a market reaction that traps initial buyers of headline announcements. It is almost as if the post-announcement trade is hand-delivering a buying opportunity to the new large customer, as initial buyers are chased to the exit door during a long liquidation phase.

The month of February is a time when grain futures have a tendency to move higher due to various factors.  2020 looks to be a year with even more twists and turns in regards to pricing opportunities for your grain. Make sure you are confident in your marketing strategy so you can face whatever the month of February brings to the marketplace.

Market reports

Grain prices are mixed following optimistic trade data from China. Strong international demand boosted March corn futures prices Friday morning. Positive trade data released from China ended nearly two straight weeks of price declines for a short time overnight before opening what appears to be a ninth straight session of losses on Friday. Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures traded one to two cents lower overnight amid ongoing coronavirus concerns and lackluster trade data yesterday. The ICE Dollar Index was down 0.10% in overnight trading, helping March Minneapolis futures to gain a cent in afterhours trading.

Grain markets were mixed but mostly lower Friday, with soybean futures landing in the red for a ninth-consecutive session as traders continue to fret over the coronavirus’s possible longer-term impacts on Chinese imports. Wheat futures also sagged today, with some contracts losing as much as 1.25%. Corn futures firmed slightly, in contrast, buoyed by improving export prospects and some bargain buying.

Exports

USDA’s latest grain export inspection data showed mixed but mostly favorable results for the week ending January 23. Corn volume nearly doubled, and soybeans took a modest turn lower, while wheat fell to less than half of last week’s tally.

The latest export sales report from USDA, covering the week ending January 23, offered a mixed bag of results. Corn emerged as the most bullish factor in today’s report, climbing 23% higher week-over-week and topping the prior four-week average by 99%. But wheat sales dipped 7% from a week ago, with soybeans tumbling 41% lower week-over-week.

Four export sales have been reported this week. Japan, Mexico and South Korea bought corn while Egypt bought soybean oil.

CFTC

For nearly a decade, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has grappled with setting limits on speculative positions in agricultural and energy futures markets. On Thursday, CFTC voted to approve a proposed rule on speculative position limits in futures and derivatives markets.

chicken-wings-extension.jpg Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo

Chicken wing consumption to hit 1.4 billion prior to Super Bowl LIV

A spike in chicken wing consumption leading up to the Super Bowl has become an annual trend in the U.S., according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. 

The National Chicken Council reported Americans will consume 1.4 billion of the game-day menu staple – the chicken wing – during Super Bowl LIV this weekend, as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers battle for the Lombardi Trophy Feb. 2. 

The estimate is 1.4%, or 20 million wings, higher than last year. 

Grub for the Big Game

David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station, said poultry production and price spikes reflect the incredible number of chicken wings consumed leading up to the Super Bowl.

As chicken wings continue to rise in popularity and demand, consumers should expect to see increased chicken wing and drumstick prices leading up to the Super Bowl, Anderson said. 

“We’re already seeing wholesale prices above the five-year average, but we’re also producing more chicken than last year,” he said. “There is the annual bump from the Super Bowl, but I also think there are expectations for increased exports to China that may be driving prices.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Livestock Marketing Information Center, the price of chicken wings rise dramatically leading up to the Super Bowl and fall just after the big game. From 2013 to 2017, chicken wing prices increased 16 cents per pound from the beginning of January through Super Bowl Sunday.

Last year, wing prices increased to $1.91 per pound by Super Bowl Sunday from $1.56 per pound on Jan. 5. This year, wings were already at $1.86 per pound as of Jan. 18, up from $1.74 on Dec. 28.

“Wings and drumsticks are something that consumers have grown to love,” Anderson said. “The story in the short term is the way the Super Bowl drives demand and bumps prices, but the long-term story is that wings as a product found a popular following and have really taken off.”

Chicken wings’ annual trend

Craig Coufal, AgriLife Extension poultry specialist, College Station, said increased demand for chicken wings overall has caused an annual problem when the Super Bowl drives demand beyond normal production. Boneless wings and chicken strips help, but chicken supplies are stressed each January.

“It’s a standard trend now,” Coufal said. “They’re popularity as a party and fast-food item has taken the chicken wing to a different level. You’ve got poultry cuts that historically weren’t that popular that have, over time, turned into something valuable.”

***Chicken wings not your favorite snack for the big game? Why not try some of Texas A&M AgriLife Dinner Tonight’s recipes? Like this one for Veggie Tots!

Source: is AgriLife TODAY, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

DFP-ROBB-HEMP-PLANTS-ROWS.jpg Brad Robb

Summary of proposed Texas hemp regulations

UPDATE:  The Texas Hemp Plan was approved by the USDA today, January 27, 2020.  Note that the TDA still has to publish the final version of the regulations and announce when it will begin accepting license applications. 

This article summarizes the proposed Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) regulations titled Hemp Program as submitted to the Texas Register on January 10, 2020. These rules are not final and have not yet been adopted by TDA. A copy of the proposed regulations may be found here. Public comment is open through February 10, 2020. For more information about submitting comments, click here and look under Texas Hemp Program FAQ.

Licensing

Producers looking to grow hemp will need to obtain both a license and various permits.

TDA License

First, all producers, handlers, or those who will sample or collect hemp will be required to obtain a TDA license.[i]  This will require an annual online application.[ii] For producers wishing to renew a license, a renewal application must be submitted prior to the expiration of the current license as there will be no automatic renewals.[iii]

The application will require the following information:

  • Complete and accurate application form.[iv]
  • Proof of completion of TDA mandatory orientation course.[v]
  • Criminal background check for each applicant and each key participant in an entity.[vi] (A “key participant” is defined as “a sole proprietor, a partner in a general partnership, a general partner in a limited partnership, or a person with executive managerial control in an entity. A person with executive managerial control includes persons such as a trustee, independent or dependent executor or administrator of an estate, chief executive officer, managing member, manager, president, vice president, general partner, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, or their equivalents. This definition does not include non-executive employees such as farm, field, or shift managers that do not make financial planning decisions and that do not vote or exercise control of an entity.).[vii]
  • Payment of all required fees[viii]

The application form will require the following information:[ix]

  • Applicant’s name, Texas address, phone number, email address;
  • If submitting on behalf of an entity, the entity’s principal Texas location address; full names, titles, addresses, and emails of key participants; the full name, title and email of the applicant who will have signing authority; and the Texas taxpayer ID number.
  • (For producer or grower licenses) a street address & geospatial location including GPS for each facility where hemp will be cultivated or stored and proof of ownership or control over these locations.
  • All other info required by the department.

Further, the applicant must be in good standing with TDA and TDA will take into account the applicant’s history showing willingness to comply with TDA rules and instructions from TDA staff.[x]

The following persons may not obtain a producer license:[xi]

  • Persons under 18 years of age at the time the application is submitted.[xii]
  • Persons who have had a hemp license revoked, terminated, or suspended by TDA, USDA, another state, Indian nation, or U.S. territory within 5 years.[xiii]
  • Persons who have been convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance under federal or state law within the past 10 years. (Note, this also applies to governing persons of a business entity that holds a license.[xiv] A “governing person” is defined as “a person serving as part of the governing authority of an entity.”)[xv]
  • A person who falsifies any information contained in a license application to the TDA or who has previously submitted an application containing materially false statements or misrepresentations to TDA, USDA, another state, Indian nation, or US territory.[xvi]

The TDA will notify applicants of approval or denial by letter or email.[xvii]  If there are changes to the information submitted in the license application, the applicant must submit a license modification.[xviii]

If TDA denies a license, the applicant may appeal this decision.[xix]  If TDA denies an appeal, the applicant may request, in writing, a formal adjudicatory proceeding within 30 days.[xx]

Importantly, licenses are not transferable.[xxi]  The only exception to this rule is in the event a license holder dies.  In that situation, his or her executor may contract with another license holder to cultivate, harvest, handle, test, and convey the hemp crop existing at the time of the license holder’s death.[xxii]

Lot Permit

All producers will be required to obtain a lot permit for each lot where the license holder intends to produce or handle hemp.  This will require the applicant to submit the license number, geospatial location of the lot where the hemp will be planted, the facility where the lot is located, and anticipated dates of cultivation.[xxiii]

A “lot” is defined as “a contiguous area in a facility, field, greenhouse, or indoor growing structure containing the same variety or strain of cannabis throughout the area.”[xxiv]  A “facility” is defined as “a location with a legal description and is within the legal control of a person or entity.  A facility may consist of multiple fields, greenhouses, storage, and/or lots.”[xxv]  “Contiguous” is defined as “all of the lots in or on a location owned or controlled by one owner or tenant, or the same owner and tenant, and no lot is separated from the other lots on the location by different ownership or control, or a public right of way, a navigable waterway, or an area greater than sixty feet.”[xxvi]  A “field” is defined as “an outdoor area of land consisting of one or more lots on which the producer will produce or store hemp.”[xxvii]

Transportation

Third, all producers who plan to transport hemp outside of a facility where hemp is produced will be required to obtain a transportation certificate or transportation manifest.[xxviii]  Hemp produced outside of Texas and transported in Texas must be accompanied by valid documentation authorized by another state, Indian nation, or US territory.[xxix]  Transport manifests must accompany all samples collected and send to a laboratory for testing.[xxx]

There are two further restrictions related to transportation.  First, a person transporting hemp plant material may not transport any other cargo that is not hemp material.[xxxi]  Second, a person may not transport hemp in Texas that contains an agricultural pest or disease listed under the Texas Administrative Code.[xxxii]

Fees

Texas hemp producers will be subject to the following fees:

  • License application fee:[xxxiii] $100[xxxiv]
  • License modification fee (if applicable)[xxxv]
  • Annual license renewal fee:[xxxvi] $100[xxxvii]
  • Annual background check fee
  • Participation fee (at a minimum for each facility, each lot, and a processor registration)[xxxviii]
  • Facility modification fee (if applicable): $500[xxxix]
  • Fee for sampling and collection conducted by TDA (if applicable): $300[xli]
  • Fee for licensed samplers contracted with TDA to conduct sampling (if applicable)[xlii]
  • Shipment/transportation fees to get a sample to the laboratory.[xliii]
  • Testing fees payable to laboratory.[xliv]
  • Transport manifest fees in an amount determined by TDA.[xlv]
  • Organic certification fee (if applicable) in an amount determined by TDA.[xlvi]
  • Participation fee for optional TDA marketing program (if applicable) in an amount determined by TDA.[xlvii]
  • Fee for destruction of material in accordance with DEA reverse distributor regulations[xlix]

Seed and Transplanting

First, after May 2020, a person may not sell, possess, hold, or purchase hemp seed unless they have a TDA license for production and handling.[l]

Second, a person may not sell or distribute hemp seed in Texas unless the seed is certified or approved by TDA.[li] TDA shall maintain and make available to license holders a list of businesses that sell certified and approved hemp seed for production, sale, offered for sale, or distribution within Texas.[lii]

Third, there are a number of legal standards related to seed.  All hemp seed must meet the legal standards for seed quality and seed labeling required by Texas and federal law, as well as the legal standards in the jurisdiction(s) where the seed was originally sold and produced.[liii] There are also additional TDA labeling requirements specifically for hemp seed quality and labeling that must be followed.[liv]  Finally, all hemp seed must contain a clear, legible statement on the label indicating the specific variety of hemp seed, the seller or distributor, and the location and jurisdiction of the original seed.[lv]

Finally, for license holders who transplant, there are a number of additional requirements:

  • A license holder may only cultivate cannabis transplants originating from plants germinated in Texas. No cannabis transplants may be brought into Texas if they originated from cannabis plants germinated outside of Texas.[lvi]  Note that “transplant” is defined as moving “a fully germinated seedling, mature plant, cutting, or clone from one lot and to replant it in another permanent lot under the control of the same license holder, for later harvest by the same license holder. “Transplant” also means a plant, cutting, or clone that has been moved from its initial lot of germination or cultivation for the purpose being transplanted.”[lvii]
  • A license holder must obtain a lot permit for the initial area of cultivation and a lot permit for each final transplantation area. The initial cultivation area and final transplant areas shall constitute separate lots.[lviii]
  • In the initial lot permit application, the applicant must include all final transplant areas and anticipated dates of transplant.[lix]
  • A license holder must maintain all recordkeeping required for each lot permit, including submissions of all lot reports.[lx]
  • A license holder must pay the required fee for each lot permit.[lxi]
  • If the initial cultivation area and final transplantation area are not located in the same facility, the license holder must request a transport manifest before transporting.[lxii]
  • Finally, the sale or transfer of a lot of cannabis plants from a license holder to another license holder for transplant is considered a harvest.[lxiii] This will trigger the various requirements related to harvest, including the testing requirements discussed below.[lxiv]

Production

There are certain regulations related to hemp production that growers need to be aware of.

First, a license holder may not produce or handle hemp in any other locations not listed on his or her license application.[lxv]  Should a producer wish to handle or produce hemp on additional facilities, a facility addition or modification request must be submitted or approved.[lxvi]  Similarly, a license holder shall not produce or handle any cannabis that is not hemp.[lxvii]

Second, a license holder must own or completely control any real property included on his or her license application.[lxviii]  Growers may not handle or produce hemp on land owned by or leased from a person who is ineligible for licensure under the Department’s hemp program, a person whose application or renewal application was denied by TDA, or a person whose license was terminated or revoked.[lxix]

Third, a license holder may not interplant hemp with any other crop without express written permission from TDA.[lxx]  Hemp must be physically segregated from other crops without prior written TDA approval.[lxxi]  Prior to processing, harvested hemp may not be commingled with cannabis from other lots or other material without prior permission from TDA.[lxxii]

Fourth, growers must comply with TDA regulations related to the transportation and movement of hemp plants and plant parts.[lxxiii] This includes ensuring that hemp in transit has an issued transport manifest.[lxxiv]

Fifth, a license holder must notify TDA of any theft of cannabis materials, whether growing or not.[lxxv]

Inspection, Sampling, and Testing

Hemp producers will be required to submit to certain inspection, sampling, and testing.

Inspection

First, a license holder must immediately produce a copy of his or her license upon request from TDA.[lxxvi]  TDA or its representatives shall conduct random inspections of license holders to verify compliance with state and federal law.[lxxvii]

Second, as a condition of licensure, license holders consent to entry on and inspection of all locations identified in an initial or renewal application and all land on which hemp or other cannabis plants or materials are located.[lxxviii]  TDA, DEA, DPS, US authorities, and local law enforcement agencies shall have complete and unrestricted access to all hemp plants, whether growing or harvested, all facilities used for the production and storage of hemp in all locations where hemp is produced or handled.[lxxix]   This includes the right for TDA and US authorities and their representatives to enter such locations, land and premises, with or without cause, and with or without advance notice.[lxxx]

Third, a license holder must notify TDA of any interaction with US authorities.[lxxxi]  This must be done by phone within 24 hours of the interaction and by follow-up in writing within 3 calendar days of the interaction.[lxxxii]

Sampling

A license holder may not harvest a cannabis crop prior to samples being collected.[lxxxiii]  A sample request form must be submitted to TDA at least 15 days prior to the expected harvest date.[lxxxiv]  Receipt of this form triggers a site inspection and sample collection by TDA or its representative.[lxxxv]  Harvest must be completed within 15 days of sample collection, unless otherwise specifically authorized by TDA.[lxxxvi]  If the license holder fails to complete harvest within 15 days from the sample collection, a secondary sample of each lot must be collected and submitted for testing.[lxxxvii]  The license holder must notify TDA of a harvesting delay by submitting another sample request form.[lxxxviii]

Material that will be selected for sampling will be determined by TDA’s Sampling and Collection Procedure, which has not yet been publicly released.[lxxxix] A separate sample must be taken for each lot.[xc]  Samples will be labeled and prepared to transport to the laboratory for testing in accordance with TDA’s Sampling and Collection Procedure, available here.[xci]  This procedure mandates the number of required cuttings for each lot, depending on the number of acres.  During a scheduled sampling, the producer or a representative of the producer shall be present at each lot undergoing sampling.[xcii]  Generally, TDA will conduct no more than 2 sample requests per lot.[xciii] TDA may grant additional requests per lot if there are unusual circumstances, including an event unforecastable to a reasonable person.[xciv]

Testing

A license holder may not sell or use harvested plants unless a test of the sample for the lot associated with the harvested plant is at or below the acceptable hemp THC level.[xcv]  The acceptable hemp THC level is defined as “a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis, that, when reported with the laboratory’s measurement of uncertainty, produces a distribution or range that includes a result of 0.3% or less.”[xcvi]  The regulations include the following example:  “If the reported delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level of a dry weight basis is 0.35% and the measurement of uncertainty is +/- 0.06%, the measured delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content level on a dry weight basis for this sample ranges from 0.29% to 0.41%.  Because 0.3% is within[xcvii] the distribution or range, the sample is within the acceptable hemp THC level.”

Testing related to the TDA hemp program may only be conducted by an independent laboratory registered with TDA or by a State of Texas Laboratory operated by TDA or its representatives.[xcviii]  In order to be registered with TDA, an independent lab must submit an application, be accredited by an independent accreditation body in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization ISO/ICD 17025, and be registered with DEA.[xcix] A list of registered laboratories shall be available to license holders on the TDA website.[c]  A license holder may select a registered laboratory to conduct testing unless the license holder has an ownership interest in the lab or has less than a 10% ownership interest in the lab if the lab is a publicly traded company.[ci] A license holder is responsible to pay for all laboratory fees.[cii]

A lab must use appropriate, validated methods and procedures for all testing activities and must evaluate the measurement of uncertainty.[ciii]  At a minimum, testing of samples for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content must use post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods approved by TDA.[civ]  The testing method must consider the potential conversion of the for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the test result reflect the total available THC derived from the sum of the THC and THCA content.[cv]

Labs must test samples in accordance with TDA’s “Testing Procedure,” which is included in the TDA hemp plan, available here.[cvi]  The lab shall maintain chain of custody for each sample using a TDA prescribed form.[cvii]  All samples shall be retained by the lab for at least 30 business days from the sample collection date.[cviii]

Labs must electronically send test results to the license holder and TDA no later than the 14th business day from the sample collection date.[cix]  Results shall include the total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content on a dry weight basis and the measurement of uncertainty.[cx]  Any sample test result showing with at least 95% confidence that the THC content of the sample exceeds the acceptable hemp THC level shall be conclusive evidence that one or more cannabis plants or plant products from the lot represented by the sample contain a THC concentration in excess of that allowed. If the results of a test conclude that the THC levels of a sample conclusively exceeds the acceptable hemp THC level, the laboratory will promptly notify the producer and the Department or its authorized agent.[cxi]

A license holder may request a retest of the original sample within 5 days of receiving the results of the first test.[cxii]  The retest must be conducted by the same laboratory using the same sample that was used in the first test.[cxiii]  The retest results are final.[cxiv]

Destruction of Unauthorized Plants

A license holder has the legal duty to destroy, at the license holder’s own expense in accordance with DEA reverse distributor regulations, and without any compensation from the State or Federal government the following:[cxv]

  • Any material found in excess of an acceptable hemp THC level.[cxvi]
  • Any plants located in an area that is not licensed by TDA.
  • Any plants not accounted for in required reporting to TDA.

With regard to plants over the acceptable hemp THC level, a final test result exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level is conclusive evidence that the lot represented by the sample is non-compliant with state and federal law.[cxvii]  Cannabis on that lot may not be further handled, processed, or enter the stream of commerce for any purpose other than disposal in strict compliance with the Controlled Substance Act and DEA regulations.[cxviii]

Within 5 days of receiving a notice of disposal from TDA, a license holder must contact a DEA-registered reverse distributor or other authorized person or entity to request the required disposal.[cxix]  All plants must be surrendered to the authorized person and all fees and costs required for destruction will be the responsibility of the license holder without compensation from TDA, the State of Texas or the United States.[cxx]  Within 7 days of receiving a final test result exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level, a license holder must submit a completed disposal report to TDA.[cxxi]  Receipt of this report triggers a potential TDA field inspection.[cxxii]

All license holders who intend to dispose of non-compliant plants must notify TDA and USDA and verify disposal by maintaining and submitting required records.[cxxiii]

Enforcement

There are a number of enforcement provisions related to enforcement for violations of these regulations.

Complaints

Any person who believes a violation of these regulations has occurred may file a complaint with TDA.[cxxiv]  TDA will, as soon as possible, notify the person believed to be responsible for violations described in the complaint, as well as the owner or lessee of land where the incident allegedly occurred, of the existence of the complaint.[cxxv]  TDA will investigate the complaint and make a written report.[cxxvi] The written report will be made available to the public to the extent allowed by the Texas Public Information Act.[cxxvii]

Negligent Violations

Hemp producers shall be subject to enforcement for negligently producing hemp or for negligently producing cannabis that exceeds the acceptable hemp THC level.[cxxviii]  Negligence is defined as “failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in complying with the regulations.”[cxxix]

Negligent violations include:[cxxx]

  • Failure to provide a legal description of geospatial location of the facility on which the license holder produces or stores hemp;
  • Failure to obtain a license or other required authorization from TDA;
  • Production of cannabis with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level.

Importantly, if a producer uses reasonable efforts to grow hemp, but the test results show a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level, the producer has not committed a negligent violation so long as the THC level is below 0.5%.[cxxxi]

For each negligent violation, TDA will issue a Notice of Violation and require the license holder to submit a corrective action plan.[cxxxii]  A corrective action plan must include, at a minimum, the date by which correction action will be taken for each violation, steps to correct each negligent violation, and a description of the written procedures to demonstrate compliance with applicable law and TDA policy and procedures, which may include additional reporting requirements to show compliance.[cxxxiii]  If a corrective action plan is approved, the license holder shall comply with the plan to cure the negligent violation and the plan will be in place for a minimum of 2 years.[cxxxiv]  If a corrective action plan is denied, the license holder’s license will be revoked.[cxxxv]  If a subsequent violation occurs while a corrective action plan is in place, a new corrective action plan must be submitted with a heightened level of quality control, staff training, and quantifiable action measures.[cxxxvi]  TDA or any US authority shall conduct inspections to determine if the corrective plan has been implemented.[cxxxvii]

Negligent violations shall not result in criminal enforcement actions in Texas.[cxxxviii]  A license holder that negligently violates the terms of a license 3 times in a 5-year period shall have their license revoked and be ineligible to produce hemp for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of the third violation.[cxxxix]

Violations with a Culpable Mental State Greater than Negligence

A license holder who is found by TDA to have violated any statute or regulation governing their participation in the hemp program with a culpable mental state greater than negligence shall be subject to license suspension, license revocation, and monetary civil penalties, as discussed below. [cxl]  A culpable mental state greater than negligence is defined as acting “intentionally, knowingly, willfully, or recklessly.”[cxli]

Additionally, TDA shall immediately report such person to the US Attorney General, Texas Department of Public Safety, Office of the Texas Attorney General, and other law enforcement agencies with appropriate jurisdiction.[cxlii]

Penalties

There are a number of penalties provided for under the TDA regulations.

First, TDA may suspend a license if TDA receives credible evidence establishing that a license holder violated a provision of this chapter or failed to comply with a written order from TDA related to negligence.[cxliii]  A person whose license has been suspended shall not produce, cultivate, handle, or remove hemp or cannabis from its location at the time the Department issued a notice of suspension without written permission from TDA.[cxliv]  A license holder has the right to appeal the suspension.[cxlv]

Second, licenses shall be immediately revoked if a person:[cxlvi]

  • Pleads guilty to or is convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance;
  • Made a false statement or provided false information to TDA with a culpable mental state greater than negligence;
  • Is found to be growing cannabis exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level with a culpable mental state greater than negligence or negligently violated this chapter three times in five years.

Third, there are a number of potential administrative penalties that may be assessed on a person who violates these regulations.[cxlvii]  Failure to pay such administrative penalties is a violation of TDA regulations.[cxlviii]

Finally, persons who believe they have been adversely affected by the assessment of an administrative action may appeal the decision to TDA.[cxlix]  If TDA sustains the appeal, the person will retain their license and not be subject to administrative action proposed by TDA.[cl]  If TDA denies the appeal, the license will be revoked or suspended and any administrative penalties imposed.[cli] A person may request a formal adjudicatory proceeding.[clii]

Reporting & Record Keeping

There are a number of reporting and record-keeping requirements that growers must follow.

First, license holders must maintain records and reports of all hemp plants acquired, produced, handled, sampled and collected, or disposed of for at least 3 years.[cliii]  All records, including the acquisition of hemp seeds or cultivars, regarding hemp production, handling, sampling and collection, records regarding disposal of plants exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level, and records regarding the transportation of hemp  must be available for inspection by TDA or US authorities during reasonable business hours.[cliv]

Second, growers must report to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service or USDA Farm Service Agency the following information, consistent with USDA requirements:

  • License number, street address, facility and lot geospatial location including all transplantation areas where hemp is and will be produced;[clv]
  • Acreage dedicated to the production of hemp or greenhouse indoor square footage dedicated to the production of hemp, and the total acreage or square footage of hemp planted, harvested and disposed.[clvi]
  • Any change in the facility or lot geospatial location or amount of acreage dedicated to the production of hemp, and any change in the facility or lot geospatial location or amount of greenhouse indoor square footage dedicated to the production of hemp, including the total acreage or square footage of hemp planted, harvested, and disposed due to the changes.[clvii]

Keep in mind that information submitted to TDA is subject to disclosure pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act.[clviii]  All personally identifiable information including physical address, mailing address, driver’s license numbers, background checks, geospatial location, phone numbers and email addresses, will be withheld as permitted by the Texas Public Information Act.[clix]

Third, license holders must submit lot reports to TDA no later than the 20th day after the final sample is collected from a lot, or no later than 180 days from the lot permit issue date, whichever is earlier.[clx]  Reports shall be provided using a TDA form and must contain, at a minimum, the following information for each lot:[clxi]

  • License holder account number;
  • Facility ID and lot ID;
  • Sample IDs and test IDs;
  • Disposition of the cannabis plant materials produced or handled within the lot, including any TDA-issued transportation manifest and certification of disposal including a description of the date and method of disposal;
  • Total acres or square footage of cannabis plant material produced or handled; and
  • A certificated statement indicating whether or not any living cannabis plants remain at any lot and, if any living plants remain, the intended disposition of said plants. If the license holder cultivates the remaining plants, he or she must register the locations of the remaining plants as new lots and pay the applicable participation fee.[clxii]

Finally, a person who sells, offers to sell, distributes, or uses hemp seed in Texas must maintain records of:[clxiii]

  • The origin of the hemp seed (must be retained for 5 years);
  • The person or entity from whom the seed was purchased;
  • Any documentation indicating certification or approval of the province, quality, and variety of the hemp seed; and
  • The location and jurisdiction of the origin of the seed.

[i]  Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(a).

[ii] Tex. Agric. Code §24.8(c).

[iii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(f).

[iv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(d)(1-2).

[v] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(d)(3).

[vi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.11.

[vii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(41).

[viii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(d)(5).

[ix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(e).

[x] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.10(b).

[xi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(e).

[xii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.9(a).

[xiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.9(b); §24.8(d)(8).

[xiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.9(c).

[xv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(32); Tex. Bus. & Orgs. Code 1.002.

[xvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.9(d).

[xvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(h).

[xviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(g).

[xix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.12.

[xx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.12(c).

[xxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(c).

[xxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(c).

[xxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.17(a).

[xxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(46).

[xxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(24).

[xxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(8).

[xxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(26).

[xxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.39(a).

[xxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.39(b).

[xxx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.40.

[xxxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.43.

[xxxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.41.

[xxxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(c).

[xxxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.24.5(a).

[xxxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(c).

[xxxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.8(c).

[xxxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.5(b).

[xxxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.5(c).

[xxxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.5(d).

[xl] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.6(a).

[xli] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.6(b).

[xlii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.6(c).

[xliii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.6(d).

[xliv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.6(e).

[xlv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.7(a).

[xlvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.7(b).

[xlvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.7(c).

[xlviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.7(d).

[xlix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(b).

[l] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.45.

[li] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.44(b).

[lii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.44(a).

[liii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.46(a).

[liv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.46(b).

[lv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.46(c).

[lvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.42.

[lvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(68).

[lviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.15(a).

[lix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.15(a).

[lx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.15(a).

[lxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.15(b).

[lxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.15(c).

[lxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.15(d).

[lxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.23(a).

[lxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.313(d).

[lxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.16.

[lxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.14(a).

[lxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.14(d).

[lxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(e).

[lxx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(e).

[lxxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.14(c).

[lxxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.23(c).

[lxxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(f).

[lxxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(g).

[lxxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(j).

[lxxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(h).

[lxxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.20(b).

[lxxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(a).

[lxxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.20(a).

[lxxx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(a).

[lxxxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(i).

[lxxxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(i).

[lxxxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.23(a).

[lxxxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(a)(1).

[lxxxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(a)(2).

[lxxxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.23(b).

[lxxxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b)(2).

[lxxxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b)(2).

[lxxxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b).

[xc] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b)(4).

[xci] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b)(5).

[xcii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.20(c).

[xciii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b)(3).

[xciv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.21(b)(3).

[xcv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.23(d).

[xcvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(2).

[xcvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(2).

[xcviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.24(a)(1); § 24.24(c).

[xcix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.24(a)(2-3).

[c] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.24(b)(2).

[ci] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.24(b)(2).

[cii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.24(b)(3); § 24.24(c)(3).

[ciii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.26(a).

[civ] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.26(b).

[cv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.26(c).

[cvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.27(a).

[cvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.27(b).

[cviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.27(c).

[cix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.28(a).

[cx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.28(b).

[cxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.28(c).

[cxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.29(a).

[cxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.29(b-c).

[cxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.29(d).

[cxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(b).

[cxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.31(a).

[cxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.31(b).

[cxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.31(b).

[cxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.31(c)(1).

[cxx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.31(c)(2).

[cxxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.30(a).

[cxxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.30(b).

[cxxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.31(d).

[cxxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.32(a).

[cxxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.32(d).

[cxxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.32(b).

[cxxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.32(c).

[cxxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(a).

[cxxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(49).

[cxxx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(b).

[cxxxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(c).

[cxxxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(d).

[cxxxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(d).

[cxxxiv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(d).

[cxxxv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(d).

[cxxxvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(f).

[cxxxvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(h).

[cxxxviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(e).

[cxxxix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.33(g).

[cxl] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.34(a).

[cxli] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.1(13).

[cxlii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.34(b).

[cxliii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.5(a).

[cxliv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.35(b).

[cxlv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.35(d).

[cxlvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.36

[cxlvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.37; Tex. Agric. Code 12.020.

[cxlviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.37.

[cxlix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.38(a).

[cl] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.38(b).

[cli] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.38(c).

[clii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.38(c).

[cliii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.18(a).

[cliv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.18.

[clv] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(k)(1).

[clvi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13(k)(2).

[clvii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.13((k)(3).

[clviii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.4(a).

[clix] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.4(b).

[clx] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.22(a).

[clxi] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.22.

[clxii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.22(d).

[clxiii] Tex. Agric. Code § 24.47.

Source: is Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Texas Ag Law Blog, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

 

The Bayer Pharma AG building on Aug. 29, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Adam Berry/Stringer/GettyImagesNews

Bayer responds to EPA's favorable ruling

The EPA's favorable conclusion about the safety of glyphosate in its Interim Registration Review Decision reaffirms that the extensive body of science continues to support the safety of herbicides containing glyphosate and that this active ingredient is not carcinogenic, Bayer said in a media statement.

In its Interim Registration Review Decision, which is based on the agency's expert review over a 10-year period, EPA concluded that it “did not identify any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”

“EPA’s latest decision on glyphosate-based herbicides adds to the long-term evaluation of leading international health authorities that these products can be used safely, and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic,” said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President Crop Science Division. “Glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, which is a major reason why farmers around the world continue to rely on these products not only for effective weed control, but also to minimize tillage farming practices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve more land for native habitats, and provide enough food to meet the needs of a growing population worldwide. EPA’s science-based, in-depth assessment by its expert team reflects a gold standard for scientific rigor that is respected by regulators and scientists across the globe.”

The EPA had already confirmed its position on glyphosate earlier this year. Together with the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. government, EPA filed an amicus brief in the Roundup Litigation in the Hardeman appeal. In this brief both authorities are supportive of the company’s arguments.

In August 2019 the EPA sent a letter to glyphosate registrants, which stated respectively that a cancer warning on products containing this active ingredient would be “inconsistent with the agency’s scientific assessment of the carcinogenic potential of the product” and would be a “false and misleading statement.”

The EPA also said in its Interim Registration Review Decision that “it used the most current science policies and risk assessment methodologies to prepare a risk assessment in support of the registration review of glyphosate. The EPA thoroughly assessed risks to humans from exposure to glyphosate from all registered uses and all routes of exposure and did not identify any risks of concern.” EPA also reiterated its conclusion that “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans”, its most favorable rating.

Regulatory and scientific bodies that have reaffirmed their conclusions about the safety of glyphosate-based products and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic include the European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German BfR, and Australian, Canadian, Korean, New Zealand and Japanese regulatory authorities, as well as the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues.

In January 2019, Health Canada concluded: “After a thorough scientific review,” concerns about glyphosate safety “could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data.” Health Canada also noted that the 20 scientists who conducted the review, who had not been involved in its 2017 re-evaluation of glyphosate, “left no stone unturned” and “had access to all relevant data and information from federal and provincial governments, international regulatory agencies, published scientific reports and multiple pesticide manufacturers.”

As part of Bayer’s Transparency Initiative, the company has committed to enabling access to all of the in-depth glyphosate safety and other crop protection studies submitted to the European Food Safety Authority that Bayer has permission to disclose on its transparency platform.

Source: Bayer, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

Texas grower fences his cotton, switches to skip-row planting

John McDowell farms with his two brothers Mark and Pat in the sandy loam soils of Shamrock, Texas. To conserve water while increasing yields, he's transitioned to a skip-row planting system, along with designing a fertilizer rig that places the fertilizer directly on the crop. 

While McDowell may not battle crop insects and disease, he does battle deer. Over the last eight years, the McDowell brothers have built 16 miles of fencing around their farms and are starting to build their 17th. 

Look at this photo gallery to learn more about McDowell and his operation and a "must-see" if you're traveling Route 66. 

To read more about McDowell's operation, see Red River farmer implements skip-row system, battles deer

swfp-shelley-huguley-bwcc20-bwcc.jpg Shelley E. Huguley
Gary Adams, left, president and CEO, National Cotton Council, and Don Parker, NCC IPM manager, chat during a break between sessions of a sustainability panel discussion, part of the recent Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Austin, Texas.

Sustainability, it's part of doing business in cotton

Sustainability isn't just something that's nice to do anymore. It's something the U.S. cotton industry must do to maintain consumer confidence, market share and profitability from farm to retail.

"We will not see sustainability go away," said Gary Adams, president and CEO, National Cotton Council, during a sustainability panel discussion at the recent Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Austin, Texas.

Adams and other speakers emphasized that the cotton industry — brands, manufacturers and, perhaps most important, consumers — expect fabric purchases to be produced sustainably.

"Sustainability is one more aspect we need to talk about from the U. S. industry perspective to make sure we can convey all the positive attributes of U.S. cotton," Adams said. "Whether that's the quality the textile supply chain needs or the reliability the textile supply chain gains from sourcing U.S. cotton, we need to make sure that when they source U.S. cotton, they're sourcing a fiber that's produced in a responsible manner," Adams said.

He added that the council hears from producers who wonder if these efforts simply add to reports, paperwork and regulations they already endure. "We hear the attitude of 'why do I have to do this?' They see this as one more management burden. They know they're farming in an efficient and responsible manner."

Responsible production

Adams concedes the point. Farmers have been reducing cotton's environmental footprint since the 1970s, decreasing soil loss, reducing water use and producing high-quality fiber with fewer pesticides.

"We can trace that all the way back to the 1970s in terms of how producers have continued to improve," he said. "That's been an economic necessity in many cases; improvement has been required. Being as efficient as possible with resources has been the only way our farmers have been able to remain profitable.

"U.S. cotton producers have a long history of adopting technology, making use of the best management practices, and reducing their environmental footprint," he added.

"For the future of U. S. cotton, and to maintain the demand base, we must make sure that we continue to improve."

The push now is to promote and verify that progress to an increasingly environmentally conscious public.

Recent efforts to that end include Field to Market in 2006, Cotton Leads in 2013, Cotton USA Sustainability Task Force in 2017, and the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol in 2018 (https://bit.ly/2RsdYNj).

Adams said each of these endeavors includes multiple entities working together to promote cotton as a sustainable fiber. Involved parties include farm organizations, the textile industry, environmental groups, and major apparel (and other fabric product) brands.

Sustainability defined

It begs the question: What does sustainability mean?

Jesse Daystar, vice president, sustainability, Cotton Incorporated, Cary, N.C., said sustainability may be difficult to define and goes beyond environmental stewardship. The concept also considers social responsibility, championing equality, supporting vulnerable communities, monitoring child labor abuses and offering product traceability.

"Transparency and product traceability are really high priorities," he said.

Some aspects of sustainability are "more humanistic and some are more technical," Daystar said.

He said efforts such as the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol help tell cotton's story and relates to consumers.

Consumer preference

Consumers, Daystar said, want more information about products.

He cited recent research from the Nielsen Consulting Group that shows eight in 10 consumers believe companies should follow a sustainability program.

"They also found that about 75% of millennials want more transparency. They like transparency, traceability, and believe social issues really matter. Generation Z [respondents] are even more critical. A survey shows that 50% will make purchasing decisions based upon whether a company is viewed as sustainable or responsible.

"They've grown up with this mindset and they will be making decisions based upon how they see sustainability in their clothing, their food, anything they buy.

"We did some research at Cotton Incorporated, polling consumers. We asked Generation Z respondents to answer questions [about their concerns]. Climate change was the top one; 34% ranked it as either the top one, two or three concern, along with pollution and too much waste."

Daystar said, "Generations younger than I am don't have a lot of buying power today, but guess what, they're coming up."

He said young people are making their voices heard and represent the future of retail purchasing power.

"Their eyes are on us and that's something we all have to accept. As Gary said, it's not going away. So, how do these consumers know which brand is a high performer or a low performer?"

Verification

He said one measuring stick is Filthy Fashion, a source that rates brand sustainability. He said Levi's scores high with Filthy Fashion as a sustainable brand.

"[Brands] don't want to be at the bottom," Daystar said. "Those are not scoring high in commitment to climate and sustainability."

Companies are taking public concern seriously. Daystar said a vehicle to track sustainability, The Global Reporting Initiative for Sustainability, came out a few years ago.

"It's something like an end of the year financial report for stakeholders, but more encompassing. It includes financials but is more focused on sustainability and social issues. Now, 93% of the world's largest 250 companies use this. It is something investors want to see."

It's important for cotton production, too.

Daystar said textile manufacturers and brands "are seeking cotton from a particular program, perhaps the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. So, big brands are being held accountable for what they're doing."

Cotton is responding.

Sustainability goals for cotton production include increasing soil carbon capture by 30%, improving land use efficiency, reducing soil loss by 50%, reducing energy consumption by 15%, improving water use efficiency by 18% and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 39%.

Daystar said irrigation is the main driver of water consumption in cotton production. "So, this is where we see the impacts that tell us where we want to get better. Maybe we can be more efficient with fertilizer use. We can reduce our energy and greenhouse gas emissions."

Action Plan

Daystar, Adams and others explained how the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will help reach some of the industry's aggressive sustainability goals.

The protocol will rely on farmer participation, self-assessments and verification of sustainable practices they employ on their farms.

"We're really interested in working with the folks in this room to achieve these goals," Daystar said. "We want to communicate and implement practices we know to be sustainable."

Adams said cotton has a strong case to make for sustainability.

"You know, we've been sustainable for a long time, before it was a newly coined phrase, in terms of responsible production practices."

The goal now is to educate consumers.