Ag Innovation ShowcaseEarlier this week, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Larta Institute hosted this year’s Ag Innovation Showcase. Husch Blackwell LLP was proud to sponsor and have several of our attorneys attend this event. This year’s attendance surpassed 400 and registration was closed due to excess demand.

Continue Reading 2015 Ag Innovation Showcase Draws A Sellout Crowd

Drone Precision AgricultureRecently, many speakers at conferences and authors in blogs have focused on the seeming conundrum as to who owns the farm data collected and/or created using precision ag technologies, as well as the related question of who must protect the data and how. Many have proposed legislation as an (unlikely) solution, while others have attempted to gain industry agreement as to ownership rules (see e.g., PRIVACY AND SECURITY PRINCIPLES FOR FARM DATA, spearheaded by the American Farm Bureau Federation). And still some have thrown up their hands, almost in dismay, and said these disputes will simply have to be resolved in the courts.

Yet, if one starts with the assumption that farm-generated data is an asset and, therefore, a type of property, it becomes apparent that there is a third alternative: careful contracting. I’m not just referring to the agreements entered into by precision ag companies. Rather, all parties along the field to fork chain should give careful consideration to whether farm data likely will be generated at some point in the process and, if so, who is entitled to own the data and what data protection obligations exist by virtue of this control.

Continue Reading Agree to Agree: Data Ownership, Protection and Precision Ag (Part 1)

Flag of CubaWhile Iran has taken center stage in current foreign policy discussions, Congress and the Administration are keenly aware that Cuba is on deck. Following President Obama’s historic meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro and his announcement of intent to remove Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, members of Congress have responded by introducing bills both supporting and opposing the President’s policies, including:

Continue Reading Lawmakers Continue Taking Sides on Cuba while Cities Begin Taking Action

drone agOn May 1, 2015, the FAA approved the first section 333 exemption request for approval to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) over crops for purposes of spraying a wide-array of material (watering, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides). The ruling can be found here.  The exemption approval notes that vehicle at issue, the Yamaha RMAX Type II G, “can also be equipped with sensors and equipment to detect and monitor agricultural areas that require irrigation, fertilization, or other treatments.”
Continue Reading FAA Approves Yamaha UAV Spray Applications in the United States

So far in the month of August the FAA has taken at least 3 steps towards integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system.

The first step was the issuance of a Chief Counsel Opinion on August 8.  The opinion addressed whether certain documents that are required by the FARs to be kept on an aircraft may be kept at a UAS control station.  The opinion found that keeping these required documents at the control station met the intent of the applicable FARs. 
Continue Reading Integration of UAS into NAS is Making Progress . . . Slowly

UAS1Earlier this week, two of Husch Blackwell’s UAS team members, Matt Grant and Tom Gemmell, attended the inaugural Delta AgTech Symposium sponsored by Entira with support from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which took place at the Agricenter International complex in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Symposium offered an early glance at the use of UAS to support precision farming. Attendees included farmers, UAS manufacturers and operators, precision farming consultants and seed companies.

Continue Reading Inaugural Delta Ag Symposium Launches UAS/UAV Applications in Precision Farming

When most consumers hear the word “drone” they envision military or surveillance operations. But, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) appear to be a significant industry and offer a vast array of resources for differing applications. As the FAA determines the appropriate regulations (and assuming it has jurisdiction), the future use of UAVs in agriculture is particularly important to the firm’s Food & Agriculture industry clients.
Continue Reading UAVs or “Drones” …. Will They Change Agriculture?

Before the Wright Brothers and other innovators of flight, man always had a desire to fly.  Now the question is, why should I fly or pay someone to fly when I can have my drone do it?  Known also as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or just simply as drones the uses and potential uses for unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) are growing in number and predicted to be one of the next big technology booms. 
Continue Reading Industries Take Off with Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Adam Miller is presenting “Eat, Drink, but Be Wary: Plaintiffs’ New Attack on Chemicals in the Food Chain” today at the DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar. Plaintiffs allege a link between chemicals in food and various diseases. Their theories create unprecedented burdens on product manufacturers, essentially making them insurers of their products from

On Aug 5, 2013, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) opened its draft Rules of the China Food and Drug Administration Legislation Procedure (the “Draft”) for public comment. The CFDA provided one month (August 5-September 5) to submit opinions on the new rules in the Draft. The Draft states the purposes of the new Rules are to regulate legislative procedures, guarantee the quality of legislation, and improve the efficiency of the legislation.
Continue Reading Draft of Rules of the China Food and Drug Administration: Legislative Procedures Opened for Public Comment