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Bob McIntosh, the Tenant Farming Commissioner, has published a blog on the Scottish Land Commission website about the powers that the commissioner has to investigate alleged breaches of codes of practice. It seemed to me that the headline was slightly misleading. It stated boldly “Tenant farmers encouraged to notify the TFC of alleged code breaches” but of course landlords and tenants have duties under the codes and either party is entitled to complain ...

  There has been concern within the agricultural industry for some time the race to achieve carbon net-zero is leading to the loss of productive agricultural land to forestry purchasers. Another perceived threat is from investors, both private and institutional, looking to invest in natural carbon, for example, by way of peatland restoration and rewilding projects ...

  There is concern the race to achieve carbon net-zero is leading to the loss of productive agricultural land to forestry. Investors recognise land with planting potential as an excellent investment, which has had a distorting effect on land values. To some extent, this is simply the operation of market forces. A landowner with an unprofitable farming business may well be tempted to sell land to a forestry investor and there are no restrictions on their ability to do so ...

As much of Oregon faces another year of drought, water experts say farmers and ranchers should be aware of all the tools available to them under the state's water rights laws. At a seminar Tuesday, Elizabeth Howard, Oregon water law attorney, and Lindsay Thane, natural resources attorney, both of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, spoke about nine tools for farmers through the state Water Resources Department, or OWRD ...

  Agricultural and rural settings present significant health and safety risks, which must be carefully managed and mitigated by employers and landowners operating in the sector. This was brought into sharp focus after two fatalities led to prosecutions following investigations by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  Prosecution one In February, a farmer was prosecuted after a tragic fatal incident on farmland in Leeds ...

  The establishment by the Scottish Government of a food security task force is a necessary and timely response to the war in Ukraine. In addition to the harrowing humanitarian crisis, the conflict has prompted significant concern among food producers. The UK food sector and consumers are currently facing a perfect storm just as we begin to emerge from the pandemic ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | February 2022

 I’ve had a number of queries recently about agricultural tenancies where a partnership is the tenant rather than an individual. This can often give rise to problems and I thought that it would be worthwhile spending some time looking at some of the issues that can arise and how they might be resolved. First of all, in Scots law, a partnership is a separate legal person in its own right quite distinct from the individual partners in the partnership ...

 I have recently been advising a farmer in relation to an appeal against a department penalty imposed for an alleged breach of GAEC (Good Agricultural Environmental Conditions). These are the conditions farmers claiming agricultural support payments must comply with, and which are designed to safeguard soils, habitats and landscape features on agricultural land. A breach of GAEC can lead to financial penalties being imposed on the farmer ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | November 2021

Earlier this year I wrote about a court challenge being made by the rewilding charity Trees for Life against NatureScot, challenging the issue of licences to kill beavers. This followed the release of information by NatureScot reporting that, during 2019, 87 beavers were killed and 15 were live trapped under licences that it had issued to farmers and landowners ...

Historically, businesses involved in the U.S. defense industrial base have been protected from foreign direct investment by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) — but changes to U.S. laws and regulations on foreign direct investment have expanded the types of businesses that are now protected ...

The Tenant Farming Commissioner’s Code of Practice on the Conduct of Rent Reviews contains a useful summary of the law applicable to rent reviews and provides recommended steps for the conduct of the rent review itself. If the rent can’t be agreed by simple discussion or exchange of letters then the Code of Practice sets out a timetable that the parties should follow unless both parties have agreed otherwise ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | September 2021

Water and wastewater agencies gained an important new protection from lawsuits challenging their rates on Wednesday, when Governor Newsom signed SB 323 (Caballero). For water or sewer service fees or charges adopted after January 1, 2022, this new law requires any lawsuits challenging those fees or charges to be commenced within 120 days of the effective date ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2021

When is an agricultural lease not an agricultural lease? An agricultural lease provides a tenant with various rights, including security of occupation for the agreed length of the lease. That might be for five or 10 years or longer under a fixed duration tenancy or even for the foreseeable future, if the lease is a traditional lease entered into before November 28 2003. However, not every lease of land is an agricultural lease. Whether it is or not depends on the purpose of the lease ...

ENSafrica | September 2021

  The National Treasury (“NT”’) published its draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill with accompanying Explanatory Memorandum on 28 July 2021 (the “draft Bill”). By now it is well known that the draft Bill contains a fairly radical proposal: section 20 of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (“the Act”) will be amended to limit the amount of an assessed tax loss that may be set-off against taxable income ...

Health and safety issues in the agricultural and rural sector are a matter of considerable concern. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging farmers to make safety a priority to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in the sector. This recent campaign was prompted by four fatalities over a fortnight, coming only weeks after Farm Safety Week ...

Deacons | August 2021

Did you know? A new judicial interpretation issued by China’s Supreme Court took effect on 7 July 2021. The interpretation clarifies the application of the law in disputes over the infringement of plant variety rights (PVRs) ...

Bob McIntosh, the Tenant Farming Commissioner, spoke at a conference on agricultural law at the beginning of June and gave a useful update of his activities and a range of issues surrounding agricultural tenancies. He had received 139 inquiries from agricultural landlords and tenants and their agents during the course of 2020 – a marked increase on the previous two years. The majority were from tenants (47 per cent) or their representatives (27 per cent) ...

Free movement of workers from the European Economic Area (EEA) was ended by Brexit and the UK Government introduced the EU Settlement Scheme to bridge the gap between the UK’s two immigrations systems of those coming from the EEA, and those coming to the UK from outwith the EEEA. The EU Settlement Scheme is a mechanism for any EEA citizen who lived in the UK before 31 December 2020 to remain lawfully in the UK ...

Agricultural rent reviews have been a source of controversy within the industry for many years. After a period of 15 years or so where there was little rent review activity in the agricultural tenanted sector between the early 1990s and the mid-2000s, a sharp spike in commodity prices during the course of 2007 led to a large number of rent review notices being served ...

Morgan & Morgan | June 2021

The Ministry of Security, through theExecutive Decree No. 199 of May 7th, 2021(hereinafter the “Decree”), adjusts the requirements for obtaining atemporary residence permitand apermanent residence permitas a Forest Investor, as follows: The forest investor residence permit may be requested in the following modalities: (i) temporary residence permit, (ii) permanent residence permit in 2 stages, and (iii) permanent residence permit in 1 stage ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2021

On March 18, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 (HR 1603) (FWMA).1 The proposed FWMA would streamline the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program, providing a path to legal immigration status for undocumented farmworkers and their family members. The FWMA would also require all agricultural employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their workers ...

Washington’s Supreme Court disrupted the state’s agricultural industry on November 5, 2020, when it held that the agricultural overtime exemption at RCW 49.46.130(2)(g) violated the state’s constitution as applied to dairy workers. As a result, all dairy employers immediately had to start paying their workers overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate. While not explicitly addressed, the Martinez-Cuevas v ...

Washington’s Supreme Court disrupted the state’s agricultural industry on November 5, 2020, when it held that the agricultural overtime exemption at RCW 49.46.130(2)(g) violated the state’s constitution as applied to dairy workers. As a result, all dairy employers immediately had to start paying their workers overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate. While not explicitly addressed, the Martinez-Cuevas v ...

Carey | March 2021

On March 16, 2021, Decree No. 64 / 2020 of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, was published in the Official Gazette, approving the Regulation that establishes conditions for the treatment and final disposal of wastes from aquaculture activities (the "Regulation") ...

Shoosmiths LLP | February 2021

Post-Brexit, it’s now even more important for farming families to understand how changes to direct payments and valuation of farmland can affect succession, asset protection and family disputes. We explain what you need to know. Leaving the EU resulted in the UK leaving the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which paid farmers direct payments and has been a significant source of income for many farmers ...

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